Crysis: Warhead

It’s been over 2 years since the release of the original Crysis, and “but can it run Crysis?” is still a common question even today. With a mix of dense foliage, long draw distances, and high quality textures, Crysis is still a game that can bring any machine to its knees, and is our first choice for testing any video card.

Crysis Warhead

Crysis Warhead

Crysis Warhead

As far as this first game is concerned, things are looking so-so for NVIDIA. For the GTX 480, it’s in a solid 10-12% lead over the 5870, and unsurprisingly losing to the 5970. For the GTX 470 things are less rosy; it basically is breaking even with the 5850. Furthermore there’s an interesting pattern in our averages: the gap between the GTX 400 series and the Radeon 5000 series shrinks with resolution. Keep an eye on this, it’s going to be a repeating pattern.

Crysis Warhead - Minimum Frame Rate

Crysis Warhead - Minimum Frame Rate

Crysis Warhead - Minimum Frame Rate

We’ve also gone ahead and recorded the minimum framerates for Crysis, as in our testing we’ve found the minimums to be very reliable. And in doing so, we have some data even more interesting than the averages. The GTX 400 series completely tramples the 5000 series when it comes to minimum framerates, far more than we would have expected. At 2560 Crysis is approaching a video RAM limitation in our 1GB and under cards, which gives the GTX 480 cards a clear lead at those resolutions. But even at lower resolutions where we’re not video RAM limited, the GTX 480 still enjoys a 33% lead in the minimum framerate, and the GTX 470 is well ahead of the 5850 and even slightly ahead of the 5870.

For whatever reason AMD can’t seem to keep up with NVIDIA when it comes to the minimum framerate, even at lower resolutions. Certainly it’s obvious when the 1GB cards are video RAM limited at 2560, but if we didn’t have this data we would have never guessed the minimum framerates were this different at lower resolutions.

Finally we have a quick look at SLI/CF performance. CF seems to exacerbate the video RAM limitations of the 5000 series, resulting in the GTX 480SLI coming in even farther ahead of the 5870CF. Even at lower resolutions SLI seems to be scaling better than CF.

The Test BattleForge: DX10
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  • GTaudiophile - Saturday, March 27, 2010 - link

    Me thinks that Cypress really blindsided nVidia. And then on top of it being such an efficient chip, you throw in Eyefinity and all of the audio over HDMI features, etc.

    Talk about a smack down.
    Reply
  • AnnihilatorX - Saturday, March 27, 2010 - link

    Page 2:

    Finally we bad news: availability. This is a paper launch;
    Reply
  • simtex - Saturday, March 27, 2010 - link

    With the current console generation being the primary focus of game developers I find it hard to believe that tessalation will get the big breakthrough anytime soon. With the next-gen console, it will come, but that is few years from now, and hopefully at that time we have seen at least one new generations of GPUs. Reply
  • viewwin - Saturday, March 27, 2010 - link

    I would like a test to see how the new cards do at video encoding. Reply
  • Philip123 - Saturday, March 27, 2010 - link

    These things are not "single slot cards" They are double slot. They take 2 slots. No review should be published without pointing out performance per watt. If you dont publish performance per dollar which includes the 100 watt premium over 3 years you are not doing your job. Only and idiot would buy anything from nvdia. You really think anyone is going to want fan noise from these monstrosities anywhere near them?

    SHAME SHAME SHAME.
    Throw this bullshit in the garbage and tell nvidia to f-off untill it releases an actual computer graphics product instead of a spaceheater for retarded monekeys with developmental disablities.
    Reply
  • AnnonymousCoward - Saturday, March 27, 2010 - link

    You are so wrong.

    You talk about dual-slot cards as if it's a bad thing--it's the best design currently possible, since it allows for efficient cooling without much fan noise, and the heat goes outside your case. Plus, AMD's 5870 & 5850 are also dual slot!

    "No review should be published without pointing out performance per watt" - what gamer cares about that? That's a concern for server farmers!
    Reply
  • 529th - Saturday, March 27, 2010 - link

    I think people would be interested in seeing these cards overclocked, also seeing the 470 in SLI Reply
  • cobra32 - Saturday, March 27, 2010 - link


    So Nvidia's fastest card is 11% faster than AMD's mid level card 5870 and AMD's top card the 5970 is allot faster than the 480 GTX. Do not give me that the 5970 is a two chip card and cannot be compared to a single chip card. Sorry guys the 5970 takes up one slot just like the 480 GTX and is faster and consumes less energy to move things on the screen faster. If I got 3 slots on my motherboard I can have 6 video chips with an ATI while with a nvidia setup I can have only 3 at the most. Until Nvidia has a two chip version which looks impossible with this power hunger design. ATI has the top single card, be that two chips, you can buy. It took them 6 months and still cannot buy one paper launches suck. I have bought several Nvidia Cards and like them all but this one really looks to fall short. If I got one slot to put my video card in, ATI has the highest performing Card I can buy 5970. It's like this would I rather have a single core chip or dual core cpu and that's a no brainer two is always better than one.
    Reply
  • Roland00 - Saturday, March 27, 2010 - link

    Two things
    You can only have 4 gpus in nvidia or ati multi gpu setups. That means two 5970s not 3. (well you can have 4 gpus and one physX)

    Second crossfire doesn't scale well past 2 cards, sli doesn't scale well past 3.
    Reply
  • derrida - Saturday, March 27, 2010 - link

    Thank you Ryan for including OpenCL benchmarks. Reply

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