But Can It Run Crysis? 10 Years Later

3840x2160 Results

Ten years ago, we benchmarked the Radeon HD 3870 at a maximum resolution of 1600x1200, rendering 1.9 million pixels per frame at an average of ~15 FPS. Call that ~30 million pixels per second. Today, we have to manually configure Crysis to run at a resolution of 3840x2160, or 8.2 million pixels per frame. And AMD’s Radeon RX Vega does this at almost 50 FPS (~404 million pixels per second). Dang.

Beyond a certain point, AMD’s display controllers simply won’t work with our 4K monitor, so we’re happy to draw the line at Radeon HD 7970. That first-gen GCN-based board isn’t playable anyway, at just under half the frame rate of Radeon RX Vega 64.

Even fewer of Nvidia’s cards cooperated with our 4K screen, so we pulled the plug at GeForce GTX 780 Ti. It was for the best, perhaps, as that 2013-era card averaged just over 30 FPS.

The real news, however, is GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, averaging nearly 80 FPS at 4K in Crysis. Ten years on, and there’s exactly one gaming graphics card (we’re not counting Titan cards here) able to do this. Everything else from AMD and Nvidia fails to break the symbolic 60 FPS mark.

8x Anti-Aliasing Results

We include 4K anti-aliased results for the sake of completeness, but even AMD’s fastest graphics card fails to break the 40 FPS mark. Fortunately, frame time variance is low at this resolution, so our unevenness index indicates acceptable smoothness. Radeon R9 Fury X isn’t far behind either, beating Radeon R9 290X by nearly 34%.

But that’s nothing compared to GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, which trounces Nvidia’s 980 Ti by more than 82%. It doesn’t even drop below 60 FPS through our benchmark sequence.

MORE: Best Graphics Cards

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Chris Angelini
Chris Angelini is an Editor Emeritus at Tom's Hardware US. He edits hardware reviews and covers high-profile CPU and GPU launches.
  • lun471k
    Quite interesting. I wonder how the rest of this generation's GPUs would compete in a Crysis benchmark!
  • Luis XFX
    This is awesome! Good work! I've always wondered how today's most powerful GPUs would handle Crysis. Crazy to see that even the GTX 1080ti still barely breaks 60fps at 4K. This game is a beast.
  • envy14tpe
    Wawawow. Love this comparison. Never seen anyone do this..seriously. Once again Tomshardware is the best.
  • wh3resmycar
    10 years ago i debated someone in the forums that Crysis was crap since his supposed rig ran Unreal 3 games and COD4 just fine. i wonder if that guy is still here. i mean side by side circa 2017 put Crysis along COD4 you'd see and probably understand why the latter was so much ahead of its time. The Map scale and the physics, too.
  • gasaraki
    So the question "But can it run Crysis?" still applies. Only one card can run crysis at 4K above 60fps.
  • Kridian
    What would really be interesting is if they redid Crysis with Chris Robert's updated engine (Star Engine/Lumberyard). What kind of performance gains would we see from a software standpoint?

  • hdmark
    can anyone give me a clean cut answer as to why crysis was/is so demanding? Is it that they took all of the new graphics technologies at the time and put them into one game? and then over time those technologies matured/were optimized and now we can see games that are better for less?
    was it just poorly optimized?
  • jonajohnson3
    Right now im playing games like Gmod and Tf2 qute well with a 11 year old pc! Yes they might be really old titles to but they still run well. So for me yes I can run a 11 year old pc.
  • DataMeister
    @HDMARK, I think the game engine for the original Crysis was just poorly optimized, because Crysis 2 ran better on the same hardware.
  • therickmu25
    There will never be another Crysis. Imagine a developer releasing a game where a 1080ti couldn't run it on the highest settings in 2017. 1. Optimization played a factor I know, but 2. Because it looked 20x better than any game available.

    It was a product of the times where developers were still trying to push the envelope for cutting edge graphical techniques.. Pretty cool