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Crysis Question, now that I've upgraded...

Last response: in Video Games
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December 26, 2008 6:47:40 AM

I'm not exactly extremely cyber-savvy here, hehe, so I have a couple basic "ballpark" style questions and I'm sure that you guys could give me a good "ballpark" answer..

I have a mid-sized case right now that has been housing a Q6600 @ 2.4ghz with stock cooling for a while now. Vista 32bit, 2 gigs DDR2 (667/533/400)... I finally decided to put a few bucks into it and make it usable for gaming without going for heinous record breaking framerates and dollar expenditures either, hehe..

So, after a good month or so of research, I decided to toss in a 512mb HD4870 and a BFG 650watt PSU. I determined that for my price range, that was far and away the best option for me, even if I am more nVidia biased anyway. I have been very satisfied with it so far, my little 19" widescreen monitor has a native res of 1440x990 and the setup will run FEAR at that res with *everything* fully maxed, soft shadows on, 4xaa/16xAF, and EAX/HD sound - the in-game benchmark never dips below 45fps, maxes at over 120fps IIRC..

So I'm very pleased with that.

I HAVE noticed that this card creates a LOT of heat though, and I don't exactly have a humongus cave-like case here... the GPU temps seem ok, but this leads to my 1st question -

...can I O/C my cpu to 2.8ghz without doing ANY cooling mods whatsoever? The new PSU has a monstrous fan underneath it but I really don't know much about o/c'ing and with the size of the case and the nuclear heat generated by the 4870, I question if I should just leave it alone.

My 2nd question, that you all saw coming a mile away, is - **BALLPARK**, what kind of performance can I expect from Crysis? (Not WArhead). I don't really plan on running high resolutions, 1440x990 is a LUXURY to me and I'd be totally happy with 1024x768 to be honest, and anti-aliasing is by no means something I really care about either. I would really love to be able to run it at 25+fps with the 'ultra' detail settings applied. You guys would be much better at helping me determine what I can expect.

Thanks a ton for any responses, I really appreciate it.

Dave
December 26, 2008 8:55:51 PM

I have virtually the same set-up as yourself and can pull pretty decent frame rates on Crysis with the settings cranked. Like you I can only play on a max res of 1400X900, the 4870 is pure overkill for anything running at these resolutions. I can usually play at 30-35 fps except for a few stutters after cinematics or at busy sequences, nothing that will ruin gameplay though.

As for your processor, it would be of great assistance if you could post some temps, both idle and load. The overclock that you want isn't drastic and I would bet your cooler could keep it under 60 degrees at peak temps. I know guys who run it at 3ghz with the stock cooler and get good temps. I would say go for it and keep track of the temps with a program like speedfan*, if it goes over 60 degrees C under load then you've got your answer and you can probably fix it with a new heatsink. Before you do it, make sure there's plenty of thermal paste under the cooler if the processor isn't fairly new or if you bought it used.

*http://www.almico.com/sfdownload.php
December 27, 2008 4:47:09 AM

Thanks Matt, this is exactly the kind of response I was looking for. I don't have anything to monitor cpu temps so I'll get that program you mentioned and see what the deal is with it. I'm surprised to see that the FPS is so high with your setup, it seems like this game just cripples the high-end systems so I am very pleased to hear that it looks like I should be able to run it well.

I will probably buy the game tomorrow and throw it in at this rate - thanks again for the reply!!

Dave
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December 27, 2008 2:47:28 PM

One more thing, I forgot to mention that I have anti-aliasing off, I don't see the point of it because of its dreadful performance:aesthetics ratio, especially in a game like Crysis. Even if you don't pull the same framerates at "very high" I can assure you it will be fine at high, in fact, the difference between the two really are only noticeable at ungodly resolutions.

Happy Gaming
December 29, 2008 3:58:11 AM

if your q6600 happens to be a G0 stepping, i think theres no problem with the clocks that you're trying to achieve, hell i think you should even go higher @ 3.0ghz.

for the stock cooler, i never trusted them. why dont you get something like this :

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

cheap as dirt but performs a helluva lot better than you'll expect. its what im using right now and heres my q6600 showing some love @ idle.



i was able to play crysis along with warhead @ very high / enthusiast settings , no AA, 8xAF, no motion blur and no post processing @ a steady 30+ fps @ 1440x900 on a 4850 1gb.

note: the last 2 graphics option made my eyes bleed, i definitely needed to turn them off or permanent blindness is inevitable.
December 29, 2008 7:59:45 AM

Very cool. I bought the game and have been beating it up with the "natural mod" and the "Ultra high" config, and also changed a few CVars after that as well - so far, so good!

The game is BEAUTIFUL, I'm totally blown away so far, and at 1440x990 everything ran very, very smooth. I'm very satisfied!

As I got further into the game though, the frame rates really started dropping consistently as the levels get more and more detailed, and now I'm at the point in the game where I made my retreat from that 'tent' where the dude gets frozen during his chat with some Korean bastard, to an extraction point. I kept dropping the resolution, all the way to 1024x768, but it was still crappy FPS..

Does that "Catalyst Control Center" thing override the in-game detail settings? Because in the game, I can't find any AF settings to adjust, and I have anti-aliasing off. But in that CCC thing I'm at 4xAA and 16XAF... so have I been running Crysis with AA and AF??

Dave
December 29, 2008 9:09:07 AM

Damage INC said:


Does that "Catalyst Control Center" thing override the in-game detail settings? Because in the game, I can't find any AF settings to adjust, and I have anti-aliasing off. But in that CCC thing I'm at 4xAA and 16XAF... so have I been running Crysis with AA and AF??

Dave


it does if you uncheck the box that says "use application settings". so if you uncheck that box and set the AA settings @ 4x and 16xAF with CCC, you are indeed running the game with those settings. and that will explain the dramatic performance hit you're getting. dude, the game still looks beautiful without AA and AF and playing it @ low resolutions like 1024x768 wont do your money and the game justice. so the simple rule of thumb is always go for the maximum resolution your monitor can support and do the detail settings after. resolution comes first before anything.

and since you're playing it @ dx10. i always do this method, it sort of helps to lessen the mouse lag from dx10 games:

lower your resolution via the in game settings, when asked if you want the new resolution dont accept it. it will revert back to the original resolution you have and the mouse seems smoother that way (tried it on farcry2, crysis, my aim got better i can say). just a tip.
December 29, 2008 4:18:55 PM

Very cool, I'll give that a shot and see how it all works afterward. I'm sure you're all sick of Crysis related questions but I've researched the holy hell out of this and could not find anything anywhere that really -directly- applied to my current system or the questions that I had, so I appreciate the help. Thanks again!

Dave
December 30, 2008 7:18:52 AM

Fixed it!!

I went through the autoexec.cfg file from the Ultra-high config I downloaded and found that there's a CVar in there that forces 2xAA. So I went and changed it's value to "0" instead of "2" and that brought the framerates way up. The difference is visually so minimal that I can't imagine EVER sacrificing any FPS for that. Still on 8xAF though, with the Natural Mod and the Ultra-High, the game is smooooooth.

I also found a post someone else made about a CVar called "sys_budget_videomem" and supposedly the number after it has something to do with the amount of video memory the game utilizes. There's an arguement as to why it works because "in theory" it should have no effect on the FPS, but either way, its' value is normally 256. Since I have a 512mb card, I placed 512 in in and actually, saw another noticeable increase. Also, the clipping/chattering I'd get when making quick turns and really beating up the motion-blur effect, is gone now.

I'm in the 'snow level' right now after the cave, and everyone mentions that these are the framerate killers, but my system is just chewing it up flawlessly now. Smooth as glass, I'm totally blown away by this HD4870. I initially had my heart set on a GTX 260 core 216 but I'm by no means wishing I'd bought that instead, this is a great card so far. (Fan's kinda noisy though)

Dave
December 31, 2008 3:27:43 PM

I forget exactly how and dont have time to look but the natural mod can use the edge (something) AA. Its a lighter AA but helps quite a bit.
Also here is a different mod I installed the other day and looks just a good.
You can only use one at a time though unfortunatly.
http://www.incrysis.com/forums/viewtopic.php?id=23117
December 31, 2008 5:55:08 PM

That's interesting, I just finished the game so maybe I'll give that mod a peek too and see what's up with it - thanks!

I changed that use_edge_AA CVar to "0" and the FPS went waaay up, by the way.

Dave
January 7, 2009 8:54:01 PM

wh3resmycar said:
it does if you uncheck the box that says "use application settings". so if you uncheck that box and set the AA settings @ 4x and 16xAF with CCC, you are indeed running the game with those settings. and that will explain the dramatic performance hit you're getting. dude, the game still looks beautiful without AA and AF and playing it @ low resolutions like 1024x768 wont do your money and the game justice. so the simple rule of thumb is always go for the maximum resolution your monitor can support and do the detail settings after. resolution comes first before anything.

and since you're playing it @ dx10. i always do this method, it sort of helps to lessen the mouse lag from dx10 games:

lower your resolution via the in game settings, when asked if you want the new resolution dont accept it. it will revert back to the original resolution you have and the mouse seems smoother that way (tried it on farcry2, crysis, my aim got better i can say). just a tip.



I've gone over this issue so much, and basically have settled on a combination of both if that's what it comes to. Certainly native resolution is what to aim for, and if adjusting the detail settings as much as personal preference allows will still not yield a solid 30 fps, than that's when I typically will go with a lower resolution, and usually end up having some room left over to bump some of the settings back up wherever possible. Every game is different too, so it's always an adventure.
January 8, 2009 6:48:45 PM

Well after a lot of head scratching and research, I ended up re-installing it 3 times because I found that it wasn't completely installing itself.

Also tried a series of different ATI drivers and found that the most current ones indeed work the best. Now I'm VERY happily playing the game at 1440x900 averaging close to 40fps with 0AA and 8xAF thanks to a fresh install and the CCC 2.21 (with TOD) mod at level 5. In VERY heavy battle with lots of explosions and craziness in a WIDE open setting where there's a lot of rendering to be done, the FPS drops down sometimes to the low 20's, but only for a brief moment.

MUCH better looking, and performing, than any of the other mods I tried (which was Vanilla, Natural, and a couple other .cfg's as well.

The only other things I've done were slightly bump the clocks in my HD4870, so now I'm at 780 and 1080, and keep it idling around 60 degrees C.. never goes above 70C while playing.

Really appreciate all the help I got here guys, thanks!

Dave
January 10, 2009 1:04:27 AM

Try the advanced ai mod. Soo much better its untrue. Well i think its sweet anyway how everybody who heres a gunshot HUNTS U DOWN!


lol dont expect miracles but it makes the game alot better imho.

so ccc2.21 is better than the natural mod? I was really impressed with natural but if theres something better out there i'll try it.
January 10, 2009 7:13:56 AM

I am totally sold on CCC 2.21 with the TOD mod, it's ridiculous. And there are AI mods in that package too!

The lighting is PERFECT - when it's dark, it's dark, when it's bright, it's bright, everything in between is just the way it should be... I'm on detail level 5 (you're given 6 options when installing it) and it's just awesome, performance is great too. I'm playing this mod on DX9 and it looks better than the others on DX10.

The textures in the tree leaves are VERY sharp, to be honest my 1440x900 monitor can't take full advantage of the detail there. And the shadows with the "realistic shadow" option are great too, really stands out when you're in a forest with light shining through the branches and leaves & crap...

If you're standing still, the larger shadows (like your own shadow) "move" funny, but it's something you'll notice once and then forget about unless you actually want to see it again, hehe.

Dave
January 10, 2009 10:52:21 AM

are those mod just graphical modification on crysis or is it a very different game?

that ccc mod, will that be installed as a driver?
January 10, 2009 6:08:06 PM

It's simply a mod, it's not new levels or anything..

The .cfg files that come with it however will transfer perfectly to other mods and/or games like Warhead, from what I understand.

It comes as a .exe file and an install wizard will pop up allowing you to choose what you what to install (the level of detail #1 - #6, the shadow detail, the TOD mod, the AI mod) and it just goes from there. If I remember correctly, there's a video out there (it might be on crymod.com)that's basically a walkthrough of the installation in case there are any questions, but it's really simple.

If you have Vista, you'll need to turn off the UAC (User Account Control) or the installer won't work right, but other than that, it's pretty straightforward.

Dave
!