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Crysis 2 Is The Best DirectX 11 Implementation Yet

Crysis 2 Goes Direct X 11: The Ultra Upgrade, Benchmarked
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Unlike many first-generation DirectX 11 titles, which were superficial by nature, Crysis 2 offers a major benefit to running the current-gen API versus what came before. If you know what to look for, many improvements are easy to see. But even folks with DirectX 9- and 10-class hardware are treated to a graphics updates and a high-resolution texture pack that increases visual fidelity.

A lot of work was put into these releases, and Crytek deserves acknowledgement for creating the best example of DirectX 11 in action that we’ve seen to date. Based on the impressive amount of work that went into the Ultra Upgrade, we won’t be surprised if this remains the status quo for some time to come.

Having said that, if you’re actually playing through this game, you probably won’t notice a significant improvement unless you’re scrutinizing the environment instead of enjoying the experience. Crysis 2 was gorgeous on release in DirectX 9 mode, and hardcore DirectX 11 evangelists who refused to play this title until the Ultra Upgrade patch was released only failed to enjoy the title sooner.

Considering the price (free), it's hard to find anything to complain about. But it's a shame that we experienced wrecked 3D Vision support with the DirectX 11 patch. Crysis 2 is really the only game I've encountered that makes me feel like I'm missing something when I'm not playing it in 3D Vision mode; it's the definitive stereoscopic release, and if you’re at all interested in three-dimensional immersion, then this is the one to try. Flatly, for those with the compatible hardware, 3D Vision/DirectX 9 is more visually rewarding than the DirectX 11 mode, if we're being forced to choose now. Realistically though, the deployment of DirectX 11 graphics cards far exceeds the number of 3D Vision-capable screens, so the majority of Crysis 2 players can get their free DirectX 11 Ultra Upgrade enhancements without any tradeoff, assuming their machines are fast enough to turn them on.

(Update: As mentioned previously, we had the chance to test with Nvidia's GeForce 275.50 beta driver, which fully works with both 3D Vision and DirectX 11 at the same time.)

Crysis 2 DirectX 11 Ultra Upgrade

And what about graphics card performance? The very minimum detail level of Crysis 2 requires at least a Radeon HD 5770 or GeForce GTX 550 Ti at 1680x1050. If you want to turn all the new eye candy on at 1920x1080, nothing but the big guns will do: a couple Radeon HD 6970s in CrossFire or GeForce GTX 580s in SLI pave the way, although the results suggest Radeon HD 6950s in CrossFire and GeForce GTX 570s in SLI should also be serviceable. When it comes to CPUs, a triple-core chip at 3.5 GHz should do the trick, but the game really works best on quad-core processors at 2.5 GHz or faster.

In conclusion, we're glad that Crytek followed through with its DirectX 11 plans, delivering the best example of Microsoft's API in action yet, all without charging customers an extra penny. If you were holding off on Crysis 2 until the DirectX 11 patch came out, you owe it to yourself to stop hesitating and give it a try.

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Top Comments
  • 26 Hide
    Anonymous , July 12, 2011 4:25 AM
    >.> the graphics card I bought a month ago is officialy outdated imo.
  • 16 Hide
    iam2thecrowe , July 12, 2011 6:55 AM
    the reason i tell people to get a 6850 minimum even for lower res...games like this. Toms, how do 6 core phenom2's scale?? does it see improvement over 4 cores?
  • 13 Hide
    dragonsqrrl , July 12, 2011 4:25 AM
    Awesome, I've been waiting for Tom's to bench the DX11 patch. Thanks for the benchmarks.
Other Comments
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , July 12, 2011 4:24 AM
    O.O
  • 26 Hide
    Anonymous , July 12, 2011 4:25 AM
    >.> the graphics card I bought a month ago is officialy outdated imo.
  • 13 Hide
    dragonsqrrl , July 12, 2011 4:25 AM
    Awesome, I've been waiting for Tom's to bench the DX11 patch. Thanks for the benchmarks.
  • 6 Hide
    dragonsqrrl , July 12, 2011 4:33 AM
    bear95>.> the graphics card I bought a month ago is officialy outdated imo.

    What graphics card did you buy a month ago?
  • 4 Hide
    bebangs , July 12, 2011 4:43 AM
    Is your monster rig is bored? Can't find any other games to play with your rig? Get this patch.

  • 2 Hide
    coldtortilla , July 12, 2011 4:51 AM
    wow now I am really ashamed of buying a core i3 for my budget gaming pc, hopefully it won't be that bad considering that the game favors intel architecture.
  • -5 Hide
    Anonymous , July 12, 2011 4:59 AM
    Always when you overclock a amd system, the CPU_NB (northbridge ) is so or more important then clock itself. Just raise the multiplier and no cpu_NB over makes no sense at all!!! The performance boost its significative!!
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , July 12, 2011 5:17 AM
    And the game play still is average or below. When people say they want gameplay over graphics and then push Crysis 2 you know that is not the truth.
  • 7 Hide
    Taylor422 , July 12, 2011 5:19 AM
    I would've liked to see how a single GTX 580 held out. There were single and double 570s, but only double 580s. Otherwise, good article. It looks like Metro 2033 has been knocked off as the benchmark standard.
  • 2 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , July 12, 2011 5:45 AM
    So a $109 dollar Phenom II X4 945 CPU can play Crysis 2 just fine as long as you have a Highend GPU. Well I got one of the two now I need an Nvidia Geforce GTX 570 Time to retire my ATI Radeon 4770 and sell it on ebay.
  • -3 Hide
    dragonsqrrl , July 12, 2011 5:59 AM
    SteelCity1981So a $109 dollar Phenom II X4 945 CPU can play Crysis 2 just fine as long as you have a Highend GPU. Well I got one of the two now I need an Nvidia Geforce GTX 570 Time to retire my ATI Radeon 4770 and sell it on ebay.

    That processor will definitely bottleneck a GTX570 (at lower resolutions the performance hit seems quite severe), although yes, you'll probably still be able to achieve playable frame rates at anything but maxed out settings.
  • 5 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , July 12, 2011 6:06 AM
    dragonsqrrlThat processor will definitely bottleneck a GTX570 (at lower resolutions the performance hit seems quite severe), although yes, you'll probably still be able to achieve playable frame rates at anything but maxed out settings.



    Doesn't look that way seems like the Phenom II X4 945 @ 3gz paired with a Geforce GTX 570 on highest details on a 1280x 1024 with 45fps seems to be pretty playable.
  • 3 Hide
    wintermint , July 12, 2011 6:09 AM
    Don't wanna be nitpicky on typos but for your test setup.. you mentioned "OCZ PC3-16000" :p 
  • 0 Hide
    dragonsqrrl , July 12, 2011 6:11 AM
    SteelCity1981Doesn't look that way seems like the Phenom II X4 945 @ 3gz paired with a Geforce GTX 570 on highest details on a 1280x 1024 with 45fps seems to be pretty playable.

    Sorry, I just assumed that since you were going for a GTX570, you'd be running it at higher resolutions.
  • -1 Hide
    flyboy86 , July 12, 2011 6:16 AM
    Wish they would have included the 5770 in crossfire.
  • 3 Hide
    kurahk7 , July 12, 2011 6:25 AM
    It says "1920x1800" instead on 1920x1080 on the Dx11 page.
  • -3 Hide
    crisan_tiberiu , July 12, 2011 6:25 AM
    i have a GTX 460 1 GB, and yes, the benchamrk what Toms did its accurate. Maxed out on 1080p i have 20 -21 FPS. Core i7 2600k its bottlenecked by the GTX 460. I buyed the card last december.. so i dont wanna upgrde yet :(  or i should? oO
  • 16 Hide
    iam2thecrowe , July 12, 2011 6:55 AM
    the reason i tell people to get a 6850 minimum even for lower res...games like this. Toms, how do 6 core phenom2's scale?? does it see improvement over 4 cores?
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