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

As we discussed a couple of days ago in But Can It Run Crysis? 10 Years Later, Crytek's graphical design work made this title a legend in the minds of many enthusiasts. It was magnificent, with irreproachable gameplay. And most of all, Crysis challenged the most powerful hardware available back in 2007. In fact, it continues bludgeoning high-end graphics cards in 2017.

Crysis was one of the first games to incorporate DirectX 10 and 64-bit support. In doing so, it became iconic as a benchmark for the fastest machines. Crytek made its mark on history by causing gamers to ask, "can it run Crysis?"

We must mention that this was a veritable demonstration of technology from beginning to end, in addition to offering excellent gameplay (for those who could manage a decent frame rate). Now, just after its 10th anniversary, we dusted off our old copy to test Crysis once again. Whereas the Tom's Hardware U.S. team put its emphasis on benchmarking a decade of graphics hardware, Tom's Hardware France gathered up some modern mainstream GPUs and a Ryzen-based platform to test frame rates, CPU utilization, and memory use, chasing down possible bottlenecks.

Graphics Quality: As Good As Ever

The first thing we noticed upon firing up Crysis after so long was that it's just as beautiful as we remember. The following video is evidence. It's hard to imagine this is 10 years old. Crytek's CryEngine 2 could still serve as the foundation for a beautiful open-world first-person shooter in 2017.

Crysis

The shaders look great, yielding a believable experience that's well-rendered (sunlight passing through the foliage is still impressive). In particular, we remember loving those destructible objects at the mercy of an inescapable physics engine. Crysis almost hasn't aged, though it does show a few wrinkles (particularly in the way it manages shadows, subsequently improved in later games). The main feature missing from Crysis was ambient occlusion.

2007-Era PCs Hammered By Crysis

The recommended configurations for Crysis were relatively in-line with the times. In practice, though, they were far from perfectly smooth.


Minimum Configuration
Recommended Configuration
CPUIntel Pentium 4 2.8 GHz (3.2 GHz for Vista) or faster, Intel Core 2.0 GHz (2.2 GHz for Vista) or faster, AMD Athlon 2800+ (3200+ for Vista) or faster
Core 2 Duo 2.2 GHz/Athlon X2 4400+ or better
Memory1GB (Windows Vista requires 1.5GB)
2GB
Operating System
Windows XP/Vista/7
Windows XP/Vista/7
GraphicsNvidia GeForce 6800 GT, ATI Radeon 9800 Pro (Radeon X800 Pro for Vista) or better, 256MB of Graphics Memory
Nvidia 7800 Series, ATI Radeon 1800 series or better, 512MB of Graphics Memory (Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTS/640)
Disk Space
12GB
12GB

In November of 2007, our complete benchmark of the game under DirectX 10 clearly showed that even the most powerful machines couldn't stand up to its most taxing settings. The following table summarizes our findings. In it, we hoped to achieve more than a paltry 24 frames per second.

Today, Crysis runs quite well (either in 32- or 64-bit mode) under Windows 10, without any problematic bugs. You may have to fiddle around with Alt+Enter to put the game in full-screen mode, particularly if you own a G-Sync-equipped display. But let's focus on the performance we came here to explore.

MORE: Best Graphics Cards

MORE: Desktop GPU Performance Hierarchy Table

MORE: All Graphics Content

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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.
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • Brian_R170
    Anonymous 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?
  • killerchickens
    Anonymous 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 :)
  • 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.
  • ammaross
    Anonymous said:
    Anonymous 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.
  • 10tacle
    Anonymous 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.
  • bgunner
    I still remember buying the DVD copy of Cyrsis back in 2007 and my Core 2 Duo E4500 and my Nvidia 8800 GT-OC being hammered by a mix of medium and high settings @1680x1050.

    Now having a AMD FX-8350 @4.8GHz and a AMD XFX 7970 @965 core /1675 memory this game still hammers my PC to the tune of 43 FPS minimum is some areas with Very High settings @1920x1080 and 8x AA on. I realized that core utilization was an issue over a year ago when I was delving into my library of games looking for a change.

    Soon after Crysis was released there was talk of being able to edit the files to better use the the Core 2 Extreme's four cores. Being so long ago I'm not sure that I could find the config files referred to since I looked briefly a year ago and could not find any threads on the subject. Now if this was possible I would love to see the i7 7700k and the Rysen R5 1600 go head to head so show the actual prowess of each newer Gen CPU in this older title.

    Crysis 2 was a console port to PC so it can not be compared to the original Crysis in many ways that matter to PC gamers. this means that Crysis 2 was originally designed to play on consoles the the code was added to allow it to be played on PC so the hardware requirements are far less than the original Crysis. Crysis 3 was meant to be another "Crysis... can you play it?" title but it never really turned out to be as demanding as the original title or even as innovative
  • Ivan Tuzikov
    In both articles concerning the Crysis 1 nobody has tested the latest iHD630/iUHD630 on i7 7700k/8700k? Why? Is it possible that modern iGPU with speedy DDR4 RAM can't handle such and old title? Maybe someone from the THG community can post individual test results? I would have tested the game myself but I've got HD2500 as an iGPU. No sense in even trying)
  • 10tacle
    Anonymous said:
    I still remember buying the DVD copy of Cyrsis back in 2007 and my Core 2 Duo E4500 and my Nvidia 8800 GT-OC being hammered by a mix of medium and high settings @1680x1050.


    Funny you mention that because that resolution and C2D series chip was exactly what I was using when I finally upgraded my outdated Pentium IV AGP build. It's why I didn't buy the game until early 2009 - my outdated hardware couldn't run it without serious dumbing down of graphics quality and resolution. And of course by then, the game was heavily discounted. I think I only paid $20 for it on sale at Fry's Electronics. But that overclocked E8400 to 4.4Ghz and overclocked GTX 285 ripped through it pretty good, averaging 45FPS or so at very high quality setting at 1680x1050. Far Cry 2 at the time was another heavy hardware hitting title I was playing at the same time and about got the same performance maxed out in quality and 4XAA.

    Anonymous said:
    Crysis 2 was a console port to PC so it can not be compared to the original Crysis in many ways that matter to PC gamers. this means that Crysis 2 was originally designed to play on consoles the the code was added to allow it to be played on PC so the hardware requirements are far less than the original Crysis. Crysis 3 was meant to be another "Crysis... can you play it?" title but it never really turned out to be as demanding as the original title or even as innovative


    Exactly. I made that same point here and others made it over on the other Crysis article written by Chris. People just have no idea why Crysis 1 is still relevant to today's tech. Consoles have ruined top tier innovative graphics development for PC gaming. I love my PS3/PS4, but it's no gaming PC in eye candy capability.
  • 10tacle
    Anonymous said:
    In both articles concerning the Crysis 1 nobody has tested the latest iHD630/iUHD630 on i7 7700k/8700k? Why? Is it possible that modern iGPU with speedy DDR4 RAM can't handle such and old title? Maybe someone from the THG community can post individual test results? I would have tested the game myself but I've got HD2500 as an iGPU. No sense in even trying)


    You can compare paper specs between Intel's latest HD 630 iGPU and say a ten year old high end GPU like an Nvidia 9800 GTX and see that even with a ten year old GPU, Crysis would run far better on it than on an Intel's current generation iGPU platform.
  • Ivan Tuzikov
    You can compare paper specs... Of course I can't! I can't compare an iGPU alone because it is an element of different CPUs. HD Graphics 630 is an integrated part of Desktop Pentium G46**, i3, i5 and i7, and Laptop H-series i3, i5 and i7. Then one should take into account DDR4 speeds that can range from 2133 up to 4600+. Also single/both channel setup matters. So which papers should I compare? A test would be better, IMO. Thank you.
  • bgunner
    Anonymous said:
    You can compare paper specs... Of course I can't! I can't compare an iGPU alone because it is an element of different CPUs. HD Graphics 630 is an integrated part of Desktop Pentium G46**, i3, i5 and i7, and Laptop H-series i3, i5 and i7. Then one should take into account DDR4 speeds that can range from 2133 up to 4600+. Also single/both channel setup matters. So which papers should I compare? A test would be better, IMO. Thank you.


    I agree with you that a real world test is better than paper but if the HD630 compares to lets say a 8800gt or 9800 GTX then it will play it on medium settings. as for both of those cards or any of them that came out in 2007-2008 will have DDR3 memory and be more bottlenecked than the HD630 variants in memory transfer rates.
  • 10tacle
    Anonymous said:
    HD Graphics 630 is an integrated part of Desktop Pentium G46**, i3, i5 and i7, and Laptop H-series i3, i5 and i7. Then one should take into account DDR4 speeds that can range from 2133 up to 4600+. Also single/both channel setup matters. So which papers should I compare? A test would be better, IMO. Thank you.


    By "paper specs" I was referring to comparing specs of pipelines, CUDA cores (none for Intel), transistor count, texture fill rate, and GFLOP performance. As I said, a 10 year old 9800 GTX will still destroy a modern Intel iGPU in performance. You can scroll down in this link in comparing that 9800 GTX to an HD 620 and see where the HD 620 sits in Crysis 3 benchmarks.

    https://technical.city/en/video/GeForce-9800-GTX-vs-HD-Graphics-620

    At high quality at only 768p resolution, they report 14.7 FPS with that HD 620. And keep in mind Crysis 3 was a dumbed down graphics engine with nowhere near the demands that Crysis 1 was on hardware. There's a reason tech websites don't bother wasting time on integrated graphics tests vs. dedicated GPUs when it comes to AAA game benchmarks: unplayable FPS. Finally, DDR3 vs. DDR4 difference and speed differences among them would be minimal at best in improving FPS.
  • mattkiss
    Test system graphic shows a Ryzen 7 box, not a Ryzen 5 box. The 1600X is a Ryzen 5 processor.
  • theshadow721
    I've always known there are a decent amount of CPU bound titles out there. They prioritize the CPU over the gpu when most games are the opposite. That's why I run my 6700k @ 5ghz, with the help of a Swiftech prestige H320x2 aio water cooling system. I've never seen it over 55c in a game at 5ghz, but the chip is also de-lidded. People always wonder how I'm getting such good fps. I get better fps than a buddy in pubg. He has a 7700k at stock 4.4ghz I think it runs at and a 1080ti. I get more fps then him by 10-15 frames with my 6700k @ 5.0 and 980ti @ 1.5ghz. it seems like there are still people out there who believe that CPU overclocking can't be a real game changer ( at least in in game performance ). If you have an i5/7 from the 2600k - 7700k is consider seeing how much you could get out of it before upgrading. Going from 4.0 to 5.0 raised my cinebench score from 887 to 1127. That is more than a 20% boost in performance.
  • Olle P
    Anonymous said:
    Wish you included an 8600K@5GHz or an 8700K@5GHz for comparison. ....
    Nah, the Core i3-7350K, heavily overclocked, is the perfect companion!