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10 Modern, Mainstream GPUs And Ryzen: Can They Play Crysis?

Conclusion

Visually, Crysis is still a contender. Comparing this 10-year-old game to present-day titles, we can clearly see that CryEngine 2 was ahead of its time. Maybe even a little too much. It is missing some well-placed shadows (notably, ambient occlusion technology, which arrived in later mainstream games). Modders improved the graphics quality even beyond Crytek's original scope, though, further showcasing the potential of this unique 3D engine.

Need a 5 GHz CPU?

Between this piece and But Can It Run Crysis? 10 Years Later, we've put a lot of effort into testing modern GPUs and previous-generation graphics cards. In the process, we came away with two striking observations.

First, only the fastest desktop board available (GeForce GTX 1080 Ti) can average more than 60 FPS at 4K. Oh yeah, that's Crysis for you. It's a game that remains challenging to render, even 10 years later.

Second, the game is still bottlenecked on most of our machines. Why? Because it's not sufficiently threaded to run well on present-day CPUs. These processors have progressed less with clock rate and more on their core/thread count. New architectures are more efficient, but they're still unable to fully unleash the game with just one core fully utilized. You need a beast of a processor overclocked to 5 GHz in order to max out a high-end graphics card and reach for 120 Hz.

A Perfect Game By All Accounts

Technical limitations aside, Crysis remains a small work of art in every area: gameplay, campaign, and graphics (plus the physics simulations that go with it). Open maps offer multiple ways to enjoy the experience a second or third time. And if you've beaten it once, try increasing the game's difficulty. We promise you'll be challenged.

But Crysis is also well-made from a technical perspective. It runs like a charm on modern Windows 10-equipped machines. And although the built-in resolutions are a blast from the past, we had no problem adding 2560x1440 and 3840x2160 to the game's list of options.

Now's the time to enjoy Crysis with smooth frame rates and forget frustrations it might have caused you in the past. If you missed Crysis altogether, don't skip out on this classic (and marvel at the fact that a decade-old game still costs $20!).

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  • redgarl
    It proves that Ryzen is not a concern unless using an High End GPU at 1080p... and who in his right mind would do that especially when taking the cost factor.
    Reply
  • vinay2070
    Wish you included an 8600K@5GHz or an 8700K@5GHz for comparison. Ryzen is not a CPU to be used when games cannot thread well. Especially old games.
    Reply
  • Brian_R170
    Looking at the article from 2 days ago "But Can It Run Crysis? 10 Years Later" there is one graphics card that is the same (RX 580) between the test setups. The frame rates are 10-45% higher with the 7700K vs. the 1600X. Are the settings the same?
    Reply
  • Brian_R170
    20381452 said:
    Looking at the article from 2 days ago "But Can It Run Crysis? 10 Years Later" there is one graphics card that is the same (RX 580) between the test setups. The frame rates are 10-45% higher with the 7700K vs. the 1600X. Are the settings the same?

    I actually did the math and it's 10-42% higher average frame rates and 35-56% higher minimum frame rates. Is this only due to the higher clock speed and IPC of the 7700K?
    Reply
  • killerchickens
    20381318 said:
    It proves that Ryzen is not a concern unless using an High End GPU at 1080p... and who in his right mind would do that especially when taking the cost factor.
    Resolution is not every thing don't forget about refresh rate, not every one is happy with 60hz some one might want up to a 240hz 1080p monitor.
    Reply
  • csm101
    really dont understand why crysis is still getting benchmarked. let me state what i have stated in the previous article. this is a game with un-optimized code everywhere. so the result was that it requires lot of h/w power to play the game smoothly. hence this is a game that should not be considered for benchmark. instead take Crysis 3 and we all know that Cryengine 3 is way more better and smoother than previous engines. so stop giving credit to a game that is running on stupid code.
    Reply
  • pegasusted2504
    I always used to get decent framerates when I played Crysis AFTER I bought a 9800GX2 and then had to upgrade from and AMD cpu due to under-utilisation of the card so got a QX9650.... Great performance :)
    Reply
  • jessterman21
    Just a correction: Crysis was one of the first games WITH Ambient Occlusion. There isn't an option to enable or disable it in the settings, but it is there on High and Very High. You can tweak its darkness and radius with cvars.
    Reply
  • ammaross
    20381509 said:
    20381452 said:
    Looking at the article from 2 days ago "But Can It Run Crysis? 10 Years Later" there is one graphics card that is the same (RX 580) between the test setups. The frame rates are 10-45% higher with the 7700K vs. the 1600X. Are the settings the same?

    I actually did the math and it's 10-42% higher average frame rates and 35-56% higher minimum frame rates. Is this only due to the higher clock speed and IPC of the 7700K?

    "RX 580" does not necessarily mean stock. One could be a stock-settings card and the other could be an MSI Gaming X+ version. That alone could shift the FPS significantly.

    Reply
  • 10tacle
    20381644 said:
    really dont understand why crysis is still getting benchmarked. let me state what i have stated in the previous article. this is a game with un-optimized code everywhere. so the result was that it requires lot of h/w power to play the game smoothly. hence this is a game that should not be considered for benchmark. instead take Crysis 3 and we all know that Cryengine 3 is way more better and smoother than previous engines. so stop giving credit to a game that is running on stupid code.

    Because the original Cryengine delved into completely new territory with light ray tracing and water and foliage texturing. On top of that, it was an open world shooter, not a sandbox player like previous AAA shooters that took place in corridors, metro cities, etc. Crysis 2 was not nearly as challenging on hardware as it was a closed city world where there wasn't much distance draw and just had simple building and street textures. On top of that it was dumbed down for consoles. Cryengine 3 was dumbed down for consoles as well.

    In any event, after two articles on this, I'm going to have to break out my original Crysis 1 DVD and install it and play it again on my 1440p rig and check out some graphics mods. Anyone remember when you could actually buy a physical copy of a PC game in a box in a store? I hadn't played it since 2010 or so.

    The main takeaway I got from this is how well the 8GB R9 390 scaled with an increase in AA use and higher resolution over Nvidia counterparts or even the 8GB RX 580. Case in point: at no AA at 2560x1440, the R9 390 and RX 580 are only apart by 1FPS average, yet with 8xFSAA dialed in, the R9 390 leaves the RX 580 behind by 7FPS. Very impressive and I have to only assume that is attributed to the 390's 512-bit memory bus to the 256 bit for the 580.

    You don't see this separation in an R9 390 review from two years ago regarding Crysis 3 when jumping up in resolution and AA like here (https://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Sapphire/R9_390_Nitro/11.html). That's all you need to know about why the original Crytek 1 engine is still useful and why later versions of Crysis or other game engines dumbed down for consoles just aren't in the same resource demanding universe.
    Reply