The Game That Conquered PCs
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.
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|
|CPU||Intel 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|
|Memory||1GB (Windows Vista requires 1.5GB)||2GB|
|Operating System||Windows XP/Vista/7||Windows XP/Vista/7|
|Graphics||Nvidia 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)|
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.
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