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DiRT Showdown

We've added the latest entry in the DiRT series to our test suite at the suggestion of AMD, who has been working with Codemasters for years on optimizations for Eyefinity and DirectX 11. Although Showdown is based on the same game engine as its predecessors, it adds an advanced lighting path that uses DirectCompute to allow fully dynamic lighting. In addition, the game has an optional global illumination feature that approximates the diffusion of light off of surfaces in the scene. We enabled both the new lighting path and global illumination in our tests.

This is a fantastic game, by the way. My pulse was pounding at the end of each 90-second test run.

Well, I suppose this is what happens sometimes when a GPU maker works closely with a game developer to implement some new features. Showdown simply runs better on Radeons than on GeForces, and it's not even close. We've seen lots of similar scenarios in the past where Nvidia took the initiative and reaped the benefits. Perhaps this is karmic payback.

The GeForces are just overmatched here. You'd want to dial back the image quality settings or lower the resolution to play Showdown on any of the GeForces, including the Zotac GTX 680 AMP! card. The GTX 570 is nearly unplayable, although I did my best to muddle through the testing.