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Crysis Warhead $699 Gaming PC from EA Details

EA has released the final specifications of its specialized “Crysis” machine that it intends to offer for those looking to get into PC gaming’s most demanding title.

In late July, we reported that EA was planning on releasing special Crysis-branded PCs that would be both affordable and well-equipped to handle the most graphically demanding game of today. Details of this machine are now hitting the Internet, just in time for the release of Crysis Warhead, the next installment to the series, on September 16.

The Crysis Warhead PC will carry with it the following specifications:

- Nvidia GeForce 9800GT 512MB
- Intel Core 2 Duo E7300 2.66 GHz
- G31 mATX motherboard
- 2 GB DDR2 PC6400
- 250 GB hard drive
- Integrated LAN
- Integrated audio
- Keyboard and mouse
- 500 Watt PSU
- Ultra X-Blaster ATX mid-tower
- One-year parts and labor warranty

All of the above will cost only $699 and will come with everything except a monitor and headphones or speakers. The Crysis Warhead PC is the result of ideas from EA, Crytek, Nvidia and the company who will build the machine – Ultra PC.

Crytek’s originally supplied the specifications to EA as recommended system requirements, but Nvidia stepped in with the idea of selling it as a pre-built machine.

Crysis Warhead Ultra PC

Crysis franchise producer Bernd Diemer explained the concept to Chris Remo’s blog, saying, ”When we started working on Warhead, we decided performance was a big issue. So we said, ‘Guys, we’re going to build a PC which has a maximum price of six or seven hundred dollars, and it has to run Warhead in high spec at an average framerate of 30.’ We built that PC—Crytek in the Budapest office [where Warhead was developed]—and we put it in the middle of the studio, and every review was on that machine. All the milestone presentations we did for EA, for the Yerlies [founding brothers Cevat, Avni, and Faruk], for the team, all the new prototypes, we showed on that machine.”

The hammered out specifications allowed the development team to borrow a little bit from the console-mentality of optimizing towards a certain platform.

“For us, it was really helpful, because we sort of had a hard cap,” Diemer added. “You couldn’t say, ‘It works on my computer, looks great on my machine.’ No no no, this is the benchmark, guys. If it sucks on this, the whole thing sucks. For us as a team, that was really valuable. We had a tangible border we could bump our heads into.”

Interestingly enough, the Crysis Warhead PC will not come packed with Windows Vista and its supposed gaming prowess. Instead, according to GameCyte, the system will be preloaded with Windows XP Professional with the latest updates and Service Pack 3.

Online retailer TigerDirect already has a campaign paged advertising the $699 system. Slightly confusing, however, is that the machine won’t come pre-bundled with Crysis Warhead or the original Crysis – making the special Crysis machine just sensibly put together gaming PC.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.