|Sapphire Radeon HD 4890 RV790 Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Friday, 03 April 2009|
Page 8 of 15
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 (DirectX10) 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. Benchmark Reviews uses the Crysis Benchmark Tool by Mad Boris to test frame rates in batches, which allows the results of many tests to be averaged.
The very first thing we discovered during our 1680x1050 resolution tests was how well NVIDIA products performed compared to the Radeon product line. Test results like these begin to raise the question of how unbiased games like Crysis are when they proudly proclaim "NVIDIA: The way it was meant to be played". I don't consider this to be coincidence, but at the same time it's probably also not coincidence that Crysis demands more GPU power than any other product, which was perfect for a time when AMD/ATI couldn't build a decent VGA product to save their lives (literally).
Analyzing the chart below illustrates two distinct trends. The first is that the Radeon HD 4870 and GeForce GTX 260 are virtually identical in terms of Crysis gaming performance. The second trend tries to convince us that the Radeon HD 4890 and an overclocked GeForce GTX 285 can beat or match the performance of an outrageously overclocked (and liquid-cooled) 4870 X2. I suppose that some of readers, those famous for skipping to this (Crysis) test and the conclusion, will fall for the punch line. The rest of us have seen the test results from the previous two sections, and already know the joke.
With only a small dose of anti-aliasing added to Crysis, there are very few products that would make for playable frame rates. Our Island time-demo mixes a some beach and water views, so it's going to be on the high side of frame rates when compared to actual game play. The results shown in the chart below illustrate (more distinctly) how well NVIDIA products scale with anti-aliasing enabled.
It would be easy to accuse NVIDIA of some level of driver code favoring, but there is one glaring piece of evidence in their defense: AMD/ATI graphic cards stop at 8x AA, while modern GeForce products reach 16x Q AA before calling it quits. So with this being an undisputed fact among our test products, it makes more sense to see the GTX 285 outperform the Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 X2 Atomic ST-6026, but it still appears Crysis does not treat Radeon dual-GPU products the same as NVIDIA products. The Radeon HD 4890 actually approaches identical performance with a single RV790 GPU compared to dual-RV770's in the Radeon HD 4870 X2, while the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295 roars ahead of the others despite the results we've seen in every other test.
At the end of our Crysis testing, it was apparent that heavy post-processing effects are still an obstacle that Radeon HD video cards have yet to clear. NVIDIA probably isn't surprised to see the GTX 285 and GeForce GTX 295 make the top of our charts for performance with 4x AA enabled. It's worth noting that most products used in this review have been used in past articles and tested at-length on our X48 benchmark system, with the results being comparable all throughout to these X58 results.
In our next section, Benchmark Reviews tests with Devil May Cry 4 Benchmark. Read on to see how a blended high-demand GPU test with low video frame buffer demand will impact our test products.