Crysis is the textbook definition of a next-generation game. Picturesque beaches? Check. Ridiculously detailed jungles? Check. Utterly drinkable water effects? Check. Requires a computer from the future? Check. Crysis is either a game from the future that managed to travel back in time to warn us about nanosuits and North Koreans as interpreted though a cleverly disguised shooter, or it's just ahead of its time. Our best test computers, outfitted with high-end CPUs and GPUs, struggled to maintain frame rates at the game's highest-quality settings. Suffice it to say, you will need to upgrade your computer for Crysis.
We used Crysis' two built-in benchmarks as our primary frame rate tests. The GPU benchmark performs a flyby over the island, gliding over many of the game's watery locales. The CPU benchmark takes a more destructive approach and has the character hurling grenades and firing rockets at every single structure and vehicle in sight, taxing the CPU with the resulting carnage. All results are the average of three test runs.
Expect to relax some of the game settings you're accustomed to enabling in other games when playing Crysis. We went through each game setting and figured out which settings affect performance and graphics quality the most. Take a look at the comparison screenshots to determine which settings are worth keeping.
The minimum specs for Crysis call for a GeForce 6800. The game will run on a 6800, but it won't be pretty. We went ahead and tested more than 20 video cards to see how the game performed under three different operating systems, including Windows XP, Windows Vista 32-bit, and Windows Vista 64-bit.
Crysis likes multicore processors. It doesn't care how many there are, or even how fast they are, as long as you have at least two cores. However, if you're chugging along on a single-core processor, you might want to look into getting a new CPU.
We broke out the memory sticks and tested Crysis to see how the game performed with varying amounts of memory across Windows XP, Window Vista 32-bit, and Windows Vista 64-bit.
SystemsWe put together a few sample systems to show how the game performs using real-world computers put together with parts from past hardware generations. Our slowest machine, a 3.0GHz Pentium 4 paired with a GeForce 6800, barely managed to run the game at the lowest settings. Our single-core AMD Athlon 64 4000+ paired with a Radeon X1650 XT performed adequately at low resolution with medium-quality settings. The dual-core Athlon 64 FX-60 paired with the Radeon X1900 XT 256MB managed to run the game with high-quality settings at somewhat playable frame rates. Our Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz and GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB system could run the game at high quality, but we had to reduce the screen resolution to boost frame rates. Our best dual-core rig, the Intel Core 2 Duo 2.93GHz and GeForce 8800 GTX 768MB setup, managed to run the game decently at 1600x1200 with high-quality settings.
System Level Performance Tests
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
1600x1200, High Quality
1280x720, High Quality
1280x720, Medium Quality
800x600, Medium Quality
System Setup: Intel Core 2 X6800, Intel Core 2 E6600, Intel 975XBX2, 2GB Corsair XMS Memory (1GB x 2), 160GB Seagate 7200.7 SATA Hard Disk Drive, Windows Vista. Graphics Card: GeForce 8800 GTX 768MB, XFX GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB XXX Edition, beta Nvidia ForceWare 169.04.
Athlon 64 FX-60, Athlon 64 4000+, Asus A8R32 MVP Deluxe, 2GB Corsair XMS Memory (1GB x 2), 160GB Seagate 7200.7 SATA Hard Disk Drive, Windows XP Professional SP2. Graphics Card:Radeon X1900 XT 256MB, Radeon X1650 XT 256MB, ATI Catalyst 7.10.
Intel Pentium 4 2.4GHz, Asus P4C800, 1GB Corsair XMS Memory (512MB x 2), 160GB Seagate 7200.7 SATA Hard Disk Drive, Windows XP Professional SP2. Graphics Card: GeForce 6800 128MB, beta Nvidia ForceWare 169.04.