The Gamer detail setting is the lowest of the three available in the game’s option menu. It certainly doesn’t appear to be unattractive compared to other modern game titles, but the lighting and water models are clearly inferior to the Advanced and Hardcore settings. Now, let’s see how the different graphics cards perform:
At this low resolution, a GeForce GTS 450 or Radeon HD 5750 is sufficient to provide solid performance with a minimum frame rate over 30 frames per second (FPS). Even the GeForce GT 240 GDDR5 and Radeon HD 5670 muster playable, if not smooth performance. It’s good news that a sub-$125 graphics card is sufficient to play Crysis 2 at 1280x1024. The result would be even better at 720p for users with a widescreen display.
We also notice that the game engine appears to favor GeForce graphics cards over similarly-priced Radeon counterparts. This could be an early artifact of the title's TWIMTBP status, and the fact that AMD has likely had very little time with the game. So, we could be seeing a situation that changes once Crysis 2 launches, or we might be looking at the way things will remain, given the ISV's access to NV's hardware during development (as part of a marketing deal or otherwise, we don't know for sure). Only time will tell, there. Let’s see if this holds up as we raise the stakes.
Indeed, the Radeon 5750 suffers a bit at the higher resolution, with a minimum frame rate of 27 FPS. The GeForce GTS 450 does slightly better here with a minimum 29 FPS. These cards are playable, but at 1680x1050 we’d recommend a GeForce GTS 550 Ti or Radeon HD 5770, at least.
At 1080p you’ll want something a little more powerful for smooth performance, such as a GeForce GTX 550 Ti, Radeon 6850, or GeForce GTX 460. The Radeon HD 5770 is passable, with a minimum frame rate of 27 FPS. All of these cards can be found under $200 today, which is good news for folks worried that Crysis 2 would require incredibly expensive hardware to enjoy.
On a side note, it appears that both SLI and CrossFire are not yet profiled to work with Crysis 2. Two GeForce GTX 460 cards in SLI actually perform worse than single card, and two Radeon HD 6850s in CrossFire gives the same result as one. We will probably have to wait for zero-day driver updates to get enhanced multi-card performance.