|PowerColor PCS+ AX5870 1GBD5-PPDHG2|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Bruce Normann|
|Monday, 19 April 2010|
Page 8 of 17
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, but can also run using DirectX 9, on Vista, Windows XP and the new Windows 7. As we'll see, there are significant frame rate reductions when running Crysis in DX10. It's not an operating system issue, DX9 works fine in WIN7, but DX10 knocks the frame rates in half.
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.
Low-resolution testing allows the graphics processor to plateau its maximum output performance, and shifts demand onto the other system components. At the lower resolutions Crysis will reflect the GPU's top-end speed in the composite score, indicating full-throttle performance with little load. This makes for a less GPU-dependant test environment, but it is sometimes helpful in creating a baseline for measuring maximum output performance. At the 1280x1024 resolution used by 17" and 19" monitors, the CPU and memory have too much influence on the results to be used in a video card test. At the widescreen resolutions of 1680x1050 and 1900x1200, the performance differences between video cards under test are mostly down to the cards.
With medium screen resolution and no AA dialed in, the PowerColor PCS+ 5870 card continues to have a field day. Remember all the test results in this article are with maximum allowable image quality settings, plus all the performance numbers in Crysis took a major hit when Benchmark Reviews switched over to the DirectX 10 API for all our testing. Considering all that, the 5870 hits the sweet spot for Crysis, with no lag detectable in game play.
At 1900 x 1200 resolution, everything looks the same; even the 512MB card is still hanging in there. Those old HD4850 cards were really good performers in Crysis with DX9, but they can't compete in DX10 with today's powerhouses. Both the HD5870 cards take about a 7FPS hit when moving up to 1920x1200, but they're still comfortably above the 30 FPS mark.
Now let's turn up the heat a bit, and add some Anti-Aliasing. With 4x MSAA cranked in, the PCS+ AX5870 backs off slightly, only making 42 FPS when overclocked to 925 MHz. Of course this result demolishes all the GTX cards again.
This is one of our toughest tests, at 1900 x 1200, maximum quality levels, and 4x AA. Only one GPU gets above 30 FPS in this test, and until recently it was the fastest single-GPU card on the planet, the Radeon HD 5870. The PowerColor PCS+ gains a little ground on its stock counterpart, and gains even more when pushed to a 9% overclock. The scaling in Crysis is almost as linear as a synthetic benchmark, I think that's one of the reasons it has stayed relevant all this time. In the middle ranges, the HD 5850 holds on to its spot as the value proposition to beat. Even with its low stock clocks, it beats the GTX285 by 29%.
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.