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Written by Olin Coles   
Wednesday, 26 March 2008
Table of Contents: Page Index
Gigabyte GV-NX98X1GHI-B GeForce 9800 GX2 Video Card
GeForce 9800 GX2 Features
NVIDIA Hybrid Technology
Features and Specifications
GeForce 9800 GX2 Closer Look
GV-NX98X1GHI-B Detailed Features
Video Card Testing Methodology
3DMark06 Benchmarks
COD 4 Fraps Benchmarks
Crysis Benchmarks
Lightsmark Frame Rates
Passmark 3d Mark Results
SupComm: Forged Alliance Results
World in Conflict Benchmarks
9800 GX2 Overclocking Results
GeForce 9800 GX2 Temperatures
GeForce 9800 GX2 Final Thoughts
Gigabyte GV-NX98X1GHI-B Conclusion

Crysis Benchmark Results

Crysis uses a new graphics engine: the CryENGINE2, which is the successor to Far Cry's CryENGINE. CryENGINE2 is among the first engines to use the Direct3D 10 (DirectX 10) framework of Windows Vista, but can also run using DirectX9, both on Vista and Windows XP.

Roy Taylor, Vice President of Content Relations at NVIDIA, has spoken on the subject of the engine's complexity, stating that Crysis has over a million lines of code, 1GB of texture data, and 85,000 shaders. To get the most out of modern multicore processor architectures, CPU intensive subsystems of CryENGINE 2 such as physics, networking and sound, have been re-written to support multi-threading.

Crysis offers an in-game benchmark tool, which is similar to World in Conflict. This short test does place some high amounts of stress on a graphics card, since there are so many landscape features rendered. For benchmarking purposes, Crysis can mean trouble as it places a high demand on both GPU and CPU resources.


Low-resolution testing allows the graphics processor to plateau maximum output performance, which thereby shifts demand onto the system components. Even still, Crysis appears to have a preference for the new PCI Express 2.0 graphical interface; even if it only hints at it in our results.

Even without Anti-Aliasing turned on, Crysis keeps the top three competitors around 60 FPS. It's clear that the CryENGINE2 is a heavy hitter, as the ZOTAC 8800 GT AMP! Edition outperforms the GeForce 8800 GTS 640MB by over 26% and the GTX by almost 3%. Even with more vRAM available to them, the older 8800 GTS and GTX just cannot offer the performance of the G92 GPU paired with the PCI Express 2.0 graphics bus. What comes as a surprise to me is how close the single G92 8800 GT can come to matching the performance of the two G92 GPU's inside the 9800 GX2, which did not shine so bright in this low-resolution test.


At 1280x1024 resolution, the results are still excellent but nearing the 30 FPS performance threshold for acceptability for the aging G80-based GeForce 8800 GTS unit. In terms of performance, all products maintain the same performance ratio, which still gives the 8800 GT a small frame rate improvement over the GTX, but nowhere near the performance of the 9800 GX2 which is beginning to pull away with more than a 15% lead.


Surprisingly, the three GeForce 8800 series products maintained a rather constant performance ratio between one-another throughout the Crysis benchmark testing, while the 9800 GX2 actually improved as the demand increased.

At the end of our real-world testing Crysis was given the GPU-thrashing 16x Q AA performance setting, and we watched the G92 youngsters run circles around the ailing G80 generation. ZOTAC's GeForce 8800 GT AMP! Edition outperformed both G80 GPUs by a significant margin despite all of the previous tests indicating a much closer disparity. Perhaps the new G92 core architecture is to be credited, or the new PCI Express 2.0 interface which allows twice as much graphics data bandwidth. Or perhaps MSI's 8800 GTX is barely more than an overclocked GTS. Either way, our benchmarks certainly indicate that while the GTX beat the AMP!'ed GT in the other tests, it doesn't come close in a high-pressure Crysis.


Boasting even more success than the 8800 GT is the unfathomable performance exerted from the 9800 GX2. While the extra load did show an impact on the performance results, the dual-G92 video card walked over the competition with almost 42% difference between it and the next closest competitor (the 8800 GT). If you want to play Crysis will bells, whistles, and bag pipes, and you're not in a position to use an SLI array, then the 9800 GX2 is a clear winner.

EDITORS NOTE: After many months of using the Crysis demo for testing with the MadBoris Benchmark Tool, we recently started using the full retail version. Our initial tests have discovered that non-AA results were identical, but the 16x Q AA test produced very different test results. All of our previous results are still good for product comparison, but using the patched retail version of the video game (v1.21) has demonstrated that post processing effects (offered up to 16x Q AA) were not fully incorporated into the demo (limited to 8x AA). We have decided to address this matter in our Crysis performance comparison: demo vs retail forum discussion and welcome your comments.

In our next section, Benchmark Reviews switches to video-output only benchmarking, and uses Lightsmark for an apples-to-apples comparison of performance.


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