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.

OCP Refined, A Word On Marketing, & The Test BattleForge
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  • 7Enigma - Thursday, March 24, 2011 - link

    Yeah I don't get it either. The last review of the 6990 was fantastic with how it was color-coded. Now you have a DIRECT competitor in both price and performance and the 6990 is never highlighted in the charts!?!? It made it a real PITA to always go hunting for the 6990 bars when they should have been labeled from the get-go.

    Hopefully this can be remedied easily...
    Reply
  • rabidsquirrel - Thursday, March 24, 2011 - link

    Red/Green is horrible for those of us in this world that are colorblind. Blue/Green is equally horrible. I'd like to see textures used instead. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, March 24, 2011 - link

    I've changed Ryan's colors. Green is for the stock and EVGA clocks, yellow is for OC 590, red for 6990, and orange for 6990 OC. For the color blind, I apologize but using green/red for the primary cards is pretty standard. Reply
  • rabidsquirrel - Thursday, March 24, 2011 - link

    Common colorblindess is between Green/Red and Green/Blue. Red/Blue works great! Reply
  • Dudler - Thursday, March 24, 2011 - link

    "After talking to several other reviewers, this does not seem to be an isolated case, and many of them have killed their cards with similar testing, which is far from being an extreme test."

    "I most strongly advise anyone to stay away from overclocking this product and use extremely conservative settings, maybe up to 650 MHz and no voltage adjustments."

    Looks like it is no OC champ.

    For high res action, H got their review up. 6990 even beats the 590 at Civ V. Conclusion is damning too:

    "We truly thought the GTX 590 was going to make the Radeon 6990 look bad, but the fact of the matter is that NVIDIA made the 6990 look that much better. The GTX 590 is not the "World's Fastest Single Card Solution" as stated on our page 1 slides; the Radeon HD 6990 is very much retaining that title. Hail to the King, baby! "

    2x 6950 on water looks to be my next buy. Must buy wider desk though :-)
    Reply
  • Dudler - Thursday, March 24, 2011 - link

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRo-1VFMcbc&fea...

    SweClockers also fried their card.. The blame nVidia quality drivers.
    Reply
  • Nfarce - Thursday, March 24, 2011 - link

    Fanboy much? Anyone who is an AMD/ATi fanboy shouldn't be crowing about nVidia driver quality. That's one reason I left AMD and went full nVidia-only GPUs after a 4870 purchase. nVidia cards also play a lot nicer on Microsoft FSX, but not everyone cares about that just like not everyone cares about Civ5. Reply
  • Dudler - Thursday, March 24, 2011 - link

    ?? Fanboy? NVidia just released their highest end($700) card with a driver that fries it if you overvolt. Me commenting on that, how come that is fanboyism?

    It is nothing short of a disaster. Sweclockers fried 2(two) Gtx590's. Thats $1400 worth of hardware. TPU fried one.

    Sure I've had my share of driver issues with ATi, but not any more than with my 8800Gt. Couldn't care less whose name is printed on the sticker.
    Reply
  • cmdrdredd - Thursday, March 24, 2011 - link

    "fries it if you overvolt."
    _______________

    YOU overvolted it...not the drivers doing it automatically. Remember the saying "your mileage may vary" or "proceed at your own risk"?
    Reply
  • Dudler - Thursday, March 24, 2011 - link

    Yup. But who doesn't expect voltage tuning today? Read the back of the ASUS box: "50% faster with voltage tuning." Nice way to say: This card can't be oc'ed. It will catch fire. But of course, you are overvolting so it is your own fault.

    But, only reason I posted it was to warn ppl who invest $700 in a card and has it fry on them. I'm not arguing who shall take blame.

    Be careful, at least 6 cards dead, stay away from oc'ing it.
    Reply

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