DX11-enabled DiRT 2 PC demo released, full version arriving this week

By on December 1, 2009, 11:55 AM
The new ATI Radeon HD 5000 series of graphics cards may have given AMD a nice long head start on DirectX 11, but it isn't like compatible games are flooding the stores right now. So far we've only seen the release of two DirectX 11 games and benchmarking tools, among them S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat, which we recently ran on our Radeon HD 5970 review, but a bunch of full-fledged games are definitely on their way.

This week marks the launch of another major title to support this technology, Dirt 2, the latest in a series of off-road racing games featuring the late Colin McRae. While the game launched early September on consoles, the PC version was delayed to bring full support for DX11 graphics and should start hitting stores in the next few days. Valve's Steam quotes a December 4 unlock date, and Amazon.com says the game starts shipping December 8.

Whatever the case, Codemasters has announced a playable demo is available now from the official site. The 1.32GB download includes a Moroccan point-to-point event in the Mitsubishi Eclipse GT and an eight-trophy truck race around the Ensenada Port circuit in Baja California. A benchmarking tool is also available as part of the demo so you can test your rig against the new DirectX 11 features.

User Comments: 55

Got something to say? Post a comment
TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Now if the new DX11 Radeon cards would actually become available, we'd be good to go!

fref said:

It would be nice to see DirectX 9 screenshots being compared to DirectX 11 screenshots. Most of the time, games that support older versions of DirectX are only slightly better when running with a newer version of the API.

Se7enVII said:

I'm downloading the demo now. I'm surprised that Codemasters was able to churn out a DX11 game this quickly. I wonder just how well Dirt 2 takes advantage of the DX11 features and what I'll miss with my dual 4770 setup.

PUTALE said:

looking good. although I can't really tell too much difference unless you put the dx10 and dx11 side by side

Heretic said:

I can hardly tell the difference between dx9, 10, or 11 personally. I'd need someone to explain to me how it's different. I know they render differently, but I just don't know how it supposedly looks differently.

Still neat that they're putting out DX11 games though.

ryan29121 said:

I hope we start seeing some more DX11 games soon. Looking forward to that.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Most of the difference I notice in comparison between DX9, 10, and 11 have to do with subtle detail... Fluids, reflections, smoothing, some lighting effects. It's a lot like watching a DVD on a good high-def TV, then watching a Blu-Ray of the same movie. There is just a bit more clarity and sharpness to the details, that you don't notice in the DVD playback until you have the Blu-Ray to compare to.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Heretic, here's a good article on the specific advantages of DX11 over DX10: [link]

Unfortunately, screenshots don't do it justice. I've seen a number of screenies that you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between the two (and even DX9 for that matter). However, it's the animation where DX11 really shows it's stuff. The fill rate is MUCH faster and efficient than DX10. Allowing for more sophisticated and realistic display.

Eddie_42 Eddie_42 said:

If only i were to win a ATI 5850 video card....then i could test the DX11 performance.

Nice to see advances in the graphics world. We've come a long ways from 8-bit Nintendo.

claycc said:

I would love to see some side-by-side shots with DX9, DX 10, and DX 11. The Unigine Heaven Benchmark shows some pretty impressive increases in detailed with DX 11 tessellation enabled but it came at a big hit to your performance. Personally I can't tell a difference going between DX 10 and DX 11. If it is the same with DX 11 it would make it a lot easier to hold off on a graphics card upgrade.

Serag said:

The difference is harder to tell than Dx9 Vs Dx10..

Actually I don't really see any diff at all!!

ColdPreacher said:

Great, i haven't yet played Dirt 2 yet.

Rapidhic said:

So to play that game you need win7 and a directx11 compatible card? Or just the os?

claycc said:

You will be able to play the game on a non-DX11 card but you won't be able to enjoy the DX11 features.

Aolish Aolish said:

I really never saw a huge difference between DX9 vs DX10 games. I highly doubt i'll see a difference between DX10 and 11 games. lol

harby said:

Lets say you have a dx11 card. Whats the performance difference for 9/10/11? Thats my first question. After that, does 11 really make a visual difference over 10?

claycc said:

Check out Unigine Heaven Benchmark - [link]

[H] also has a pretty good writeup that shows some side-by-sides.


It looks like there is definately some potential there but it will depend on how much the game developers decide to use the DX11 features.

muljator said:

i just tried out the demo, and it runs great.

i have a core duo e6600 oc'd to 3ghz 4gb ram and radeon 5770 and played on 1680/1050 all settings on max, it was as smooth as a babies bottom.

BlindObject said:

Wait, did you guys have the FULL version of STALKER: COP?

TorturedChaos, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Personally I haven't noticed a difference between running a game in Dx9 and Dx10, but then again I have an old CRT monitor. I imagine you notice the different a lot more on a nice flat screen.

I probably wont worry about upgrading my graphics card to one that can run dx11 until I have a monitor that I will be able to see the difference on.

Wagan8r Wagan8r said:

Cool, but I'll have to wait a long while to try this out cause I'm waiting for Fermi. Maybe TechSpot will do a side by side comparison of DX9, DX10, and DX11 of this game.

klepto12 klepto12, TechSpot Paladin, said:

a side by side would be nice but i can almost bet you that the dx 10 and 11 game looks the same. DX 11 is just a lot better at making it easier for people to code the same scene or with less passes versus dx 10 or 10.1 but it will still give dx 11 cards the edge in dx 11 titles. i need to download this demo and test it out to see what its all about.

Basher said:

Very nice. Hopefully the internship I'm signed up for goes into motion and I'll be able to afford a small upgrade from my 8800 GTS 512. I love this card, but it's about 2 years old now and I feel the need for something a little better.

lfg18 said:

The graphics in this game look impressive, not as neat as in GT5 but they look good, I'm planning to get a radeon 5870 as soon as it shows up around here, shouldn't take long. I'm downloading the demo in this moment, let's see how it runs, but it seems promising

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

While I wasn't planning to buy this game, and still don't, I'll download the demo just to see how DX11 mode looks on my 5750.

stolennosferatu said:

I'd be excited if i had a 5xxx card. :(. Maybe I'll pick one up as a christmas gift for myself.

UT66 said:

"PC version was delayed to bring full support for DX11 graphics" so... the bigger the number, the longer you have to wait? where is my dx7 version then? ><

WakeMO said:

I think I know what my xmas present is going to be. haha. I want a 5770 so bad after taking a look at some rendering pics between dx9, dx10, and dx11. I am amazed by dx11!

Razerblade said:

I would love to try out this game with DX11, I just need a graphics card that uses DX11. Hopefully ATI will manage to get their manufacturing sorted so we can actually buy them!

Puiu Puiu said:

The more games support dx11 the better for AMD since Nvidia still has nothing and Fermi is months away.

freedomthinker said:

Man i hope there are gonna be more DX 11 cards on the market Im hoping somewhere next year possible to buy a PC

Puiu Puiu said:

The difference is big, but games won't be coming out with support for all of dx11's features. Most will only have some of them so when you compare the games in dx11 and dx10 you won't see a very big difference.

Just check youtube for a good comparison between dx10 and dx11 using Unigine's "Heaven" benchmark.

kaonis92 said:

I'm still WAITING for nvidia fermi cards... I hope they release them before the end of this year.

njmarkham said:

Tested the demo with my 5870 and must say it's very nice, oozes a certain quality I've not seen before not even in Crysis. Crysis looks more like sharp detail, whereas DiRT 2 seems to have a smooth easy feel to it. Very nice, looking forward to the full game, already activated my free version on steam bring on the 4th.

Fada said:

Really nice graphics on this one, played the demo for xbox a while back, didnt think much of the actual game itself though!

WRC is still the best rally game out there!

RIP Colin.

swilllx2p said:

I'm not really a big fan of racing games...although I loved GranTurismo and The 2nd one, Sadly i've yet to have the same fun with a racing game since. The graphics do look great on this though, I may download it just to try it i guess...I'm needing something to hold me over until Battlefield Bad Company 2. If anyone has any demo suggestions lemme know plz!

BlackIrish said:

I checked out some screenshots, doesn't seem to have too much difference from DX 10. But then again, DX 10 also didn't differ much from DX 9 :/

AbsolutGaloot said:

It can't be much longer until games are rendered at true realism levels of detail. Where does it go after that?

Orionlocke said:

I'd love to see screens shots of DX 9 and DX 11 side by side to compare. Definitely looking forward to getting a DX11 card but I think I'll wait a bit to see what Nvidia answers with to ATI's 5000 series cards.

Unfortunately with the 5870's and 5970's out of stock everywhere, I couldn't get a DX 11 card now even if I wanted to!

UglyChild said:

I'm honestly not impressed with the game at all. I want Forza 3 on PC.

DarKSeeD DarKSeeD said:

Will download and do a test XP vs. Vista vs. W7. The best way - test things by yourself.

drasho said:

the game looks good... ill go downlaod the demo right away +P

would be nice to see a comparison wiht screenshot of dx9 and dx 11

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

It can't be much longer until games are rendered at true realism levels of detail. Where does it go after that?

Physics and material properties.

claycc said:

Physics and material properties.

And hopefully better dinamic atmospheric affects, more advanced lighting, 3d gaming, using the GPU for everyday tasks instead of just for gaming/3d programs - there is plenty of areas for graphics to grow

Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Played the Demo last night and boy does this game look amazing, I'm able to nearly max it out on a single 8800 GT with 2xMSAA. I say nearly because the sliders wont go any higher on some of the settings. Also I was running it side by side with my friend who was using a 5970 and really when your flying down the dirt road at break neck speeds the game looks the same. And we did a little comparison with similar settings except he was using 8xMSAA and his frame rate was not that much higher, on the built in benchmark he scored 50FPS average and I got 40. Its probably due to the fact that the drivers for the 5970 are still not up to par with the games yet.

ken777 said:

The console versions of this got pretty good reviews, so I'm hoping the PC version is going to turn out well too. I'm totally ready to upgrade my 8800 GT for all these new games, but can't make a decision until I can compare Fermi with the 5800's.

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

I ran it on a couple of different setups - ran wonderfully on both and neither had a 5xxx series card in it. Did look really good though even for DX 10.x

claycc said:


Here is an article on Bit-Tech that has some side by sides. There really isn't much of a difference between DX9 and DX11 in this demo.

DarKSeeD DarKSeeD said:

Well I will test the demo with an GTX 260 and Vista vs. W7 since they didn't include a DX10 test. Will post back the results.

Rick Rick, TechSpot Staff, said:

An analysis and benchmark of Dirt 2 that I saw recently says that is runs slower in DX11 than DX9 and there appears to be barely any visual improvement.


*Just noticed this was linked above. The article makes the DX11-enabled Dirt 2 look pretty futile, for anyone interested.

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.