The new 5000 series ATI graphics cards are the most advanced on the market and Dirt 2 utilizes many aspects of their DX11 technology such as Hardware tessellation on water, cloth and crowd surfaces. There is also DirectCompute 11 accelerated high definition ambient occlusion and Full Floating point high dynamic range lighting as well as full screen resolution post processing. Some of these such as HADO and HDR are always enabled but hardware tessellated animated crowds and dynamic water are only turned on with ULTRA settings.
Testing was performed at 1280×720 with no anti-aliasing and low in-game settings.
When running DiRT 2 on NVIDIA hardware we are limited to DirectX 9 visuals, ruling out any chance of enabling advanced features such as tessellated water. Unfortunately, at 1280×720 the 5450 is not quite up to enabling these advanced features… at least in this title. This means it is a straight fight between it and the 210 on DirectX9, the Sapphire card wins this battle comfortably.
Here are some examples of the display quality on the 5450 at our tested settings: