Far Cry 3 Performance, Benchmarked

Image Quality And Settings

Far Cry 3 is powered by the Dunia 2 engine, a heavily modified version of Crytek's CryEngine. The game looks fantastic, and, more than anything, else it reminds me of the original Crysis (a testament to how ahead of its time that game was back in 2007). Some of Far Cry 3's visual elements may be superior to the original Crysis, though it appears that the environment isn't quite as detailed (this is subjective; I haven't played the original Crysis in a long time). No matter what, though, Far Cry 3 looks amazing. My one nitpick is that some of the animal animations seem to halt abruptly and unnaturally as they transition.

Far Cry 3 employs an advanced light culling system that brings down the overhead of shading many lights, some of which don't necessarily affect an entire scene. The title also optimizes multisample anti-aliasing by only applying the feature to "important" parts of the image, purportedly without sacrificing image quality. DirectCompute-accelerated HDAO and Direct3D 11 TSAA also serve to improve the title's better-looking graphics.

The game has five detail presets, but individual settings can be customized as you see fit. What follows are the options you see when you specify Low, Medium, High, Very High, and Ultra on the Overall Quality menu.

The changes between each detail level are often subtle. However, there are gradual improvements in shadow, geometry, and lighting quality as you go from one end of the spectrum to the other.

One thing you can't see in these screenshots is the LOD transition that happens as you approach objects. The developer chose a pixellated fade between levels of detail, rather than a softer transparency fade (perhaps to help performance?), and it's painfully obvious at times. The following screenshot captures the effect as it happens.

The pixellated LOD transition is obvious.The pixellated LOD transition is obvious.

The good news is that this artifact is less apparent at higher detail settings because the transition happens further away from the camera. If you're using the Medium or Low preset, though, you're going to have to live with it.

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  • :D

    I thinks it read like this

    "The good news for folks with Piledriver-based processors is that the FX-8350 is nearly as quick as Intel's Core i7-3960X (never mind the fact that the Core i7 costs more than $500..). "

    hehe....

    anyways good review...
    37
  • "The good news for folks with Piledriver-based processors is that the FX-8350 is nearly as quick as Intel's Core i3-2100 (never mind the fact that the Core i3 costs $90 less)."

    My God... Are the reviewers of this website paid to make AMD look bad? Any person with a minimum hint of common sense can clearly see that there is virtually no difference between FX 8350, the i3, the i5 and i7. This is a big disservice to the community.
    35
  • Why did the benchmark go from Medium straight to Ultra? Why not High settings? Now I don't know how well my 7870 will do on High at 1080p. It does pretty good at medium, but then gets destroyed with everything else on Ultra/high resolution.

    Why no middle ground? And why no 7970/680 tests in Crossfire/SLI? Why use single flagship cards, but then only use SLI/Crossfire for the medium bunch?

    I'm very glad to see that this game uses Crossfire/SLI effectively, ~50% increase in performance for dual GPU configurations.
    31
  • Other Comments
  • "The good news for folks with Piledriver-based processors is that the FX-8350 is nearly as quick as Intel's Core i3-2100 (never mind the fact that the Core i3 costs $90 less)."

    My God... Are the reviewers of this website paid to make AMD look bad? Any person with a minimum hint of common sense can clearly see that there is virtually no difference between FX 8350, the i3, the i5 and i7. This is a big disservice to the community.
    35
  • :D

    I thinks it read like this

    "The good news for folks with Piledriver-based processors is that the FX-8350 is nearly as quick as Intel's Core i7-3960X (never mind the fact that the Core i7 costs more than $500..). "

    hehe....

    anyways good review...
    37
  • sugetsu"The good news for folks with Piledriver-based processors is that the FX-8350 is nearly as quick as Intel's Core i3-2100 (never mind the fact that the Core i3 costs $90 less)."My God... Are the reviewers of this website paid to make AMD look bad? Any person with a minimum hint of common sense can clearly see that there is virtually no difference between FX 8350, the i3, the i5 and i7. This is a big disservice to the community.

    LOL truthed ! I bet that 8350 when OCed can even close the tiny gap between it and the Intel processors. Can the i3 OC I don't think so.
    20
  • Why did the benchmark go from Medium straight to Ultra? Why not High settings? Now I don't know how well my 7870 will do on High at 1080p. It does pretty good at medium, but then gets destroyed with everything else on Ultra/high resolution.

    Why no middle ground? And why no 7970/680 tests in Crossfire/SLI? Why use single flagship cards, but then only use SLI/Crossfire for the medium bunch?

    I'm very glad to see that this game uses Crossfire/SLI effectively, ~50% increase in performance for dual GPU configurations.
    31
  • I've heard that FC3 was a demanding game but I never realized that ultra settings was SUPER demanding. Anyways, heard a lot of good things about this game, maybe I'll give it a try.

    Thanks Don for the great review as always.
    22
  • 2 x 2GB Galaxy GTX 560's in SLI with everything maxed in game and control panel gives around 35 FPS average. (4 X MSAA only though) Ran the cards to 78 which is fine. Turned it down in the NVIDIA control panel to get steadier frames. Not the best looking game you've seen? I think it looks better than even BF 3.

    Edit: These still screen shots don't do it justice.
    8
  • This game can be really demanding on CPU depending upon the environment. In a firefight that involves flame throwers and explosions along with some AIs , you can see the framerates drop from 60 to 40 in no time. Also I would like to mention that game stutters like hell with anything below 60 fps . Even 57 -58 fps is unplayable and gives me headache. So it is essential to tweak the settings such that the fps is above 60 most of the time. The good thing is if you have a decent system you can maintain 60fps without loosing too much visual fiedelity. I can run the game at 0x AA @1080p with all other details maxed out using OCed 7970(1060,1575) and 2500k(4.0Ghz).
    6
  • Too late to publish the article, but it's good and indicative as usual!
    -1
  • sugetsu"The good news for folks with Piledriver-based processors is that the FX-8350 is nearly as quick as Intel's Core i3-2100 (never mind the fact that the Core i3 costs $90 less)."My God... Are the reviewers of this website paid to make AMD look bad? Any person with a minimum hint of common sense can clearly see that there is virtually no difference between FX 8350, the i3, the i5 and i7. This is a big disservice to the community.


    rdc85I thinks it read like this"The good news for folks with Piledriver-based processors is that the FX-8350 is nearly as quick as Intel's Core i7-3960X (never mind the fact that the Core i7 costs more than $500..). "hehe....anyways good review...


    The good thing is the game doesn't scale up with intel CPUs making the 8350 really look good in comparison.
    12
  • sugetsu"The good news for folks with Piledriver-based processors is that the FX-8350 is nearly as quick as Intel's Core i3-2100 (never mind the fact that the Core i3 costs $90 less)."My God... Are the reviewers of this website paid to make AMD look bad? Any person with a minimum hint of common sense can clearly see that there is virtually no difference between FX 8350, the i3, the i5 and i7. This is a big disservice to the community.



    Dude, the writer is only trying to point out that using a dual core i3 is more meaningful than using the 8core FX8350. AND B.T.W. its common sense than the latest games dont even benefit from so many cores. Stop moaning about whether or not the writer is an Intel fanboy because AMD performed well in the GPU section.
    7
  • this game runs incredibly slow in DX11 compared to DX9 and the graphics are almost the same. I get like 30~40 FPS in DX11 ultra 1080p and 110~120 fps in DX9 ultra 1080p

    I use 310.70 drivers and evga GTX 580 in SLI
    5
  • shahroozthis game runs incredibly slow in DX11 compared to DX9 and the graphics are almost the same. I get like 30~40 FPS in DX11 ultra 1080p and 110~120 fps in DX9 ultra 1080p

    It's how it was worded as in they made it sound like the 8350 was at a grave disadvantage when that really was not the case at all in fact AMD needs to be praised as they made a good CPU for a change that is competitive with Intel's offerings in most tasks not to mention the AMD chip is a multithreading beast.
    6
  • A little incomplete - we're missing some high end cards, Tom's.
    2
  • Why not test with the Core i5 3570k? Seems like that CPU has been coming up lately on Toms recommended buy for gaming.
    14
  • Quote:
    Speaking of multi-card solutions, notice that the Radeons achieve higher average results, but suffer lower minimum frame rates. In the frame rate-over-time chart, you can see that the GeForce boards in SLI yield smoother numbers than AMD's cards, which are not as consistent.


    Until you go to Eyefinity modes, in which case the 7870s not only pull away from the 660s, but maintain a far more consistent frame rate. Purely academic at that framerate though.

    Also, the fact that a heavily overclocked i7-3960X cannot beat the i5-3550 suggests it's GPU limited in the extreme. Piledriver cores are notably weaker per thread than Ivy Bridge (or Sandy Bridge, for that matter) which could explain the minimum frame rate being a little lower. If we really want to see CPU bottlenecking, I'd retest with lower quality graphics.
    9
  • am kinda surprised how the core i3 cpu pulls so far ahead of the dual core pentiums which seems to contradict the theory that hyperthreading does not benefit games too much.
    also toms should have done benchmark on high quality settings as well as thats the setting most people are going to play at
    12
  • A lot of the settings in FC3 can and should be lowered with almost no obvious graphical quality loss. Shadows at Medium, SSAO OFF (HUGE FPS HOGGER HERE, disable it completely from the usersettings file in Documents>My Games>Far Cry 3) and Post Process (or whatever it's called). Medium will keep all the bells and whistles BUT it also disables Motion Blur, which is preferable for many gamers :)
    6
  • ArmedandDangerousA lot of the settings in FC3 can and should be lowered with almost no obvious graphical quality loss. Shadows at Medium, SSAO OFF (HUGE FPS HOGGER HERE, disable it completely from the usersettings file in Documents>My Games>Far Cry 3) and Post Process (or whatever it's called). Medium will keep all the bells and whistles BUT it also disables Motion Blur, which is preferable for many gamers


    yeah i get the feeling this article was a little rushed. there are quite a few settings that when slightly lower without any apparent decrease in visuals can have a dramatic increase in frame rates. just simply going with HDAO and medium shadows raised my FPS from 35 to 48 on my GTX 570 OC'd to 855.

    though it is a bit to ask for the author to spend 15 minutes tweaking out each card . . .
    4
  • So wheres the gtx 680 tests? If your going to benchmark the AMD flagship 7970, then wouldnt it only be fair to benchmark the nvidia single chip flagship gtx 680?
    5
  • It seems they managed to finally optimize the heavily modded engine with both Nvidia AND AMD. Good news. I also have to say from the screenshots the game looks a lot more natural that the previous title, they seemed so glues together... Now to go buy the game...
    2