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Game Benchmarks: Crysis

Can Your Old Athlon 64 Still Game?
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Also released in November 2007, Crysis is one of the most hardware demanding games currently available. Even very high-end GPUs can be brought to a crawl if trying to play Crysis in DX10 at high resolutions. We take a look at both the CPU and GPU benchmarks included with the game, which readers at home can try on their own systems. While our performance numbers in these demos will not equal actual game play, they will place demands on both the GPU and CPU and give an idea of how these CPUs do keeping up with the 8800 GS. But it’s good to keep in mind that lower performance may be seen while gaming. We look at both all medium and all high settings with 16xAF.

As seen in CoD4, the single-core A64 4000+ is struggling with this new title. It was unable to average 30 FPS at any resolution, which was almost as low as the minimum FPS on the dual-core CPUs. Clearly medium settings, especially the physics effects, are too much for the single-core CPU.

The GPU benchmark is a flyby. Without the demands of a destructible environment and physics effects, we see that the single-core CPU is able to stay fairly close to the X2 4200+. As the resolution is raised, we see little drop in performance until 1600x1200, so the CPU is still limiting performance at the lower resolutions in the GPU benchmark. The X2 5600+ is able to put up much better numbers than the other two CPUs.

Enabling high details, we now see the X2 4200+ fall back compared to the X2 5600+ with its clock speed and L2 cache advantage. By the time we hit 1600x1200, the 8800 GS is not able to keep up and we see about equal performance with both dual-core CPUs. And as no surprise, the added demands of high details are too much for the single-core CPU.

At high details in the GPU test, the X2 5600+ is again able to provide the best low-resolution performance with the X2 4200+, barely averaging 30 FPS at 1024x768. The 8800 GS is hurting as we raise the resolution, and we see at stock speeds performance is well under 30 FPS at 1280x1024. It takes a hefty GPU to handle 1600x1200 high resolution and our 8800 GS is far from capable at these settings. Enabling FSAA would be pointless to try with this card, and better left to a card like the GTX 280, HD 4870x2, or an SLI/CrossFire solution.

In Crysis, gamers on a single-core processor may find they need to reduce physics effects all the way to low, which greatly impacts the fun and wow-factor of the game. While we could have used a more powerful GPU to handle the higher resolutions and high details, it’s still easy to see that Crysis demands a hefty CPU to get the best game play. Single-core CPU owners are out of luck, and lower-clocked dual-core CPU owners may want to look into overclocking for this game. Performance and limiting factors will vary by level, so don’t be surprised if settings need to be further turned down as the game progresses.

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