Radeon HD 4830: High-Speed, Cheap CrossFire

Benchmark Results: Crysis

Advanced first-person shooters like Crysis are notoriously dependent on graphics power to provide smooth game play. Let’s see how these cards handle these titles, starting with Crysis:

It doesn’t get any closer than that, folks. The 4830 seems to match the overclocked 8800 GT in both single- and dual-card configurations. We can see a slight advantage with two 8800 GTs in SLI, but the fact that it’s beating the Radeon HD 4870 X2 by a slight amount suggests a CPU bottleneck.

A great deal of this benchmark is academic, because neither card can supply a playable frame rate at very high settings unless they’re paired in an SLI or CrossFire configuration. And even then, 1680x1050 performance is barely playable. It is notable that the Radeon HD 4870 X2 seems unfettered by the higher resolutions.

Let’s see what happens when we add 4x anti-aliasing (AA) and 8x anisotropic filtering (AF) to the mix:

Here we see the Radeon HD 4830 really surpass the 8800 GT. But once again, the result is academic, since the game isn’t playable at these settings. And even dual-card configurations can only run the game at 1280x1024. The Radeon HD 4830 seems to have a solid lead over the 8800 GT and we can’t really blame the 750i’s lower SLI bandwidth, as it has manifested itself in single-card configurations where this wouldn’t be an issue.

However, this result is puzzling, as we’ve come to expect the GeForce 8800 GT to surpass the 4830 when it comes to Crysis--traditionally favoring the GeForce architecture. On a hunch, we benchmarked the game once more using only single cards and this time, we use the High setting instead of the Very High setting with no AA enabled:

At this lower detail setting--and the one most popularly benchmarked--the GeForce 8800 GT shows its strength. It seems that the Radeon HD 4830 has more power to handle difficult shader operations when pushed really hard. But when detail is lowered a bit, the 8800 will take the Crysis crown.

Notably, we can see that Crysis is playable with a single 4830 or 8800 GT card at lower detail levels. In our real-world experience, lowering even more detail levels can allow for playable 1920x1200 Crysis game play on these cards.