Crysis: Warhead

Kicking things off as always is Crysis: Warhead, still one of the toughest games in our benchmark suite. Even three years since the release of the original Crysis, “but can it run Crysis?” is still an important question, and for three years the answer was “no.” Dual-GPU halo cards can now play it at Enthusiast settings at high resolutions, but for everything else max settings are still beyond the grasp of a single card.

Crysis is often a bellwether for overall performance; if that’s the case here, then NVIDIA and the GTX 590 is not off to a good start at the all-important resolution of 2560x1600.

AMD gets some really good CrossFire scaling under Crysis, and as a result the 6990 has no problem taking the lead here. At a roughly 10% disadvantage it won’t make or break the game for NVIDIA, but given the similar prices they don’t want to lose too many games.

Meanwhile amongst NVIDIA’s own stable of cards, the stock GTX 590 ends up slightly underperforming the GTX 570 SLI. As we discussed in our look at theoretical numbers, the GTX 590’s advantage/disadvantage depends on what the game in question taxes the most. Crysis is normally shader and memory bandwidth heavy, which is why the GTX 590 never falls too far behind with its memory bandwidth advantage. EVGA’s mild overclock is enough to close the gap however, delivering identical performance. A further overclock can improve performance some more, but surprisingly not by all that much.

The minimum framerate ends up looking better for NVIDIA. The GTX 590 is still behind the 6990, but now it’s only by about 5%, while the EVGA GTX 590 squeezes past by all of .1 frame per second.

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  • BreadFan - Thursday, March 24, 2011 - link

    Would this card be better for the P67 platform vs GTX 580's in sli considering you won't get full 16x going the sli route? Reply
  • Nfarce - Thursday, March 24, 2011 - link

    The 16x vs. 8x issue has been beaten to death for years. Long story short, it's not a measurable difference at or below 1920x1080 resolutions and only barely a difference above that. Reply
  • BreadFan - Thursday, March 24, 2011 - link

    Thanks man. Already have one evga 580. Only reason I was considering was for the step up program evga offers (590 for around $200). I have till first part of June to think about it but am leaning towards adding another 580 once the price comes down in a year or two. Reply
  • wellortech - Thursday, March 24, 2011 - link

    You won't get 16x going the CF route either.....although I agree that it doesn't really matter. Reply
  • softdrinkviking - Sunday, March 27, 2011 - link

    i hope your screen name is from the budgie song! Reply
  • softdrinkviking - Sunday, March 27, 2011 - link

    that comment was to breadfan. Reply
  • 7Enigma - Thursday, March 24, 2011 - link

    Comon guys, I would have thought you could have at least had the 6990 and the 590 data points for Crysis 2. Perhaps a short video as well with the new game? :) Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Thursday, March 24, 2011 - link

    It's unlikely we'll be using Crysis 2 in its current state, but that could always change.

    However if we were to use it, it won't be until the next benchmark refresh.
    Reply
  • YouGotServed - Friday, March 25, 2011 - link

    Crysis: Warhead will always be the benchmark. Crysis 2 isn't nearly as demanding. It's been dumbed down for consoles, in case you haven't heard. There are no advanced settings available to you through the normal game menu. You have to tweak the CFG file to do so.

    I thought like you, originally. I was thinking: Crysis 2 is gonna set a new bar for performance. But in reality, it's not even close to the original in terms of detail level.
    Reply
  • mmsmsy - Thursday, March 24, 2011 - link

    I know I can be annoying, but I checked it myself and the built in benchmark in Civ V really favours nVidia cards. In the real world scenario the situation is almost upside down. I got a reply from one of the reviewers last time that it provides quite accurate scores, but I thought that just for the heck of it you'd try and see for yourself that it doesn't at all. I know it's just one game and that benchmarking is a slow work, but in order to keep up the good work you're doing you should at least use the advice and confront it with the reality to stay objective and provide the most accurate scores that really mean sth. I don't mean to undermine you, because I find your articles to be mostly accurate and you're doing a great job. Just use the advice to make this site even better. A lot of writing for a comment, but this time maybe you will see what I'm trying to do. Reply

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