This is the English translation of our Turkish article "Crysis Benchmark with current graphics cards including GeForce 8800GT" . Unfortunately, it will be a summarized translation.
Crysis is the most anticipated FPS game of the year and the public demo has been released just a few days ago, on 27th of October. With the release of Crysis demo, we can easily say that a new age for benchmarking the graphic cards has begun. The reason is simple: Crysis benchmark results will affect user's graphics card buying decisions and the game demands more than the current GPU's have to offer. Especially users who recently bought a 8800GTX or HD 2900XT will be more curious than anyone as it is time to see the full potential of their cards. The only missing part of the puzzle was the benchmark results and today we are looking at these numbers.
In the same time today is the release date of a new Nvidia card; so we included the new 8800GT in our Crysis benchmarking test and as you will see in the following lines, we've got some interesting performance results to share with you.
The Graphics Cards that we used in Crysis benchmarking test are as follows:
- Zotac 8800GT AMP Editon
- Zotac 8800GTX
- Zotac 8800GTS 320MB AMP Edition
- Palit 8800GTS 640MB
- Palit 8600GTS 512MB
- Palit 8600GT Sonic+
- Palit 7900GS Sonic
- ATI 2900XT
- ATI 2600XT GDDR4
- Palit 2600Pro Sonic
- MSI 1950Pro
With all these cards, we were able to cover mid and high-end segments.
Zotac 8800GT AMP Edition
Our Zotac 8800GT is the AMP Edition. Which means overclocked version. Core speed is 700MHz, shader processor speed is 1600MHz and memory speed is 2000MHz. This card is a sample board so final specs can be different. Note that they also overclocked shader processor speed. It has a single slot cooling solution like the rest of the reference boards.
Asus P5K Deluxe WiFi
Samsung 160 GB SATA 7200 RPM HDD
Windows Vista Ultimate 32-bit
We've used nVidia's latest "Crysis" driver which is also essential for 8800GT. Crysis is included in nVidia's gaming program so it is no surprise that they came up with a driver for the game. We can expect a move from AMD / ATI very soon.
Before the benchmarks let's look at the settings menu in Crysis and talk about how we tested.
Click for bigger image.
Crysis can configure the settings automatically by analyzing the system but it can't fine tune them. Settings are represented in 'low', 'medium', 'high' and 'very high'. Look at the screenshot carefully, "very high" option is disabled. That's because we were using a DirectX9 graphics card. "Very High" option is enabled when you use a DX10 based card. "very high" option is disabled in audio and artificial intelligence options too. So it is not only a DX10 option. We believe that in time some of the options can be enabled through tweaking even with a DX9 card.
We've used just one resolution for benchmarking: 1024×768. You'll understand why we don't bother with higher resolutions when you see the results. We've used 3 settings while benchmarking the graphics cards:
- "Very High" and "High" settings for high end GPUs (8800GTX, 8800GT, 8800GTS 640/320 MB, 2900XT)
- "Medium" settings for mainstream GPUs (2600XT, 2600Pro, 8600 GTS, 8600 GT, 1950 Pro and 7900GS)
My personal suggestion is: don't play Crysis if you have to select "Medium" quality settings. As Cevat Yerli said, if you select 'low or Medium' settings, you will almost have an equal visual quality to Far Cry. Let's look at the examples:
The difference between "Very High" and "High" settings is not that huge in these shots but still noticeable. There are differences in motion blur and the trees ahead are sharper. If your graphics card performs well enough in "High" settings, you will be satisfied.
Let's look at the medium details. The first noticeable thing is, the warning sign on the rocket launcher. The image is not clear and you can not read the writing. Texture quality and details are pretty low. And if you look at the frame, you will see really simpler objects compared to higher settings. For example, in medium settings, you can't even see the wheel rim :) HDR effect is missing under "Medium" quailty so trees aren't affected from sun light and they are all equally green like we've seen in Far Cry. So, you should analyze the 'medium' benchmark results with this quality decrease in mind.
There are two benchmark suites under Crysis. After installing Crysis, you'll see "benchmark_gpu" and "benchmark_cpu" files in bin32 folder under Crysis installation folder. If Crysis benchmark doesn't return to desktop after finishing the test, just click the mouse. Test results are saved under "Levels->Island" folder. Under Vista we had problems getting the results. Benchmark could not create the benchmark log file as the folder was read-only. We tried to solve it but failed and since we had limited time, we just installed the game to another folder and it worked.
Let's look at the numbers:
I wasn't expecting 60 FPS but 30 FPS is too low for this resolution. The important thing is, 8800GT outperforms 8800GTS and it's very close to 8800GTX. 8800GT's price is around $279, which is much lower than GTX. Radeon HD 2900XT could use a driver optimization for Crysis.
But the main result for this test is, none of the cards perform well under this "very high" setting. We need SLI or Crossfire for "very high" settings. And of course next generation GPUs will handle this quality settings, hopefully.
Frame rates nearly double when we select 'high' settings. We can't say that Direct X 10 is disabled when you don't select "very high" settings. Graphics details are decreased but DirectX 10 is still there. DX10 is not only eye candy. You have performance befefits too.
Again, 8800GT performs very well. You can try higher resolutions with GTX and GT under high settings.
Now, lets look at midrange cards. We'll use "high" quality settings first.
1950Pro did a good job. 1950Pro is 256-bit and has 512MB of memory. But all of the cards performed poorly as expected.
Under "medium" settings, we see a performance gain but again it's still not good enough. 30-35 FPS average is not 'safe'. You will have slow downs during heavy scenes which will have a negative impact on your game play.
Game Play Videos
Now we'll show you what these FPS numbers mean in terms of playability. We've recorded CPU benchmark demos with fraps. Using fraps causes frame rate loss but it's not that important.
The resolution is 1024×768. You should be able to evaluate the smoothness of the game from these videos.
8800GTX/8800GT Very High:
8800GTS 640MB/320MB Very High:
8800GTS 640MB/320MB High:
8600GTS 512MB Medium:
These were our initial Crysis benchmarks and we also had a chance to test 8800GT with Crysis to see how it performs against its brothers 8800GTX, 8800GTS and also 2900XT. We'll test 8800GT in detail later on. Crysis will be the benchmark for gamers for a very long time.
Our main concern is with the resolution. As most of the users prefer LCD monitors, 1024×768 is already history. If there's an interpolation setting on your LCD monitor, you're lucky but on a 24" LCD, 1024×768 resolution is too small to play comfortably if 1:1 interpolation setting is used. If your high resolution LCD doesn't support interpolation settings, get used to play Crysis with annoying quality. In addition to these, please note that we didn't activate FSAA. It is a must if you're playing a game on a low resolution like 1024×768. Personally, in order not to ruin the experience I'll wait for more powerful GPUs to play this game. The best way to decide what to do is to download the demo and play. You'll see your system's performance clearly. We'll surely see new driver optimizations and patches in time. So scores will/may improve. There will also be tweaking guides to make the game run better.
The only upside of this review is the new 8800GT GPU. Zotac's AMP! edition is overclocked by default so it performs a bit better than a standart 8800GT but even standart a 8800GT will be very close to 8800GTX in terms of performance. When this card comes out, 8800 GTS will be history. Users who recently bought a 8800GTX will not be happy to see a cheaper card performing close to a GTX. 8800GT name will also create a confusion as it looks like the slower version of 8800GTS. Meanwhile SLI and Crossfire users should enjoy high resolutions under very high settings as it seems these territories are only accessible to them for the time being.