Crysis: Warhead

Kicking things off as always is Crysis: Warhead. It’s no longer the toughest game in our benchmark suite, but it’s still a technically complex game that has proven to be a very consistent benchmark. Thus even four years since the release of the original Crysis, “but can it run Crysis?” is still an important question, and the answer continues to be “no.” While we’re closer than ever, full Enthusiast settings at a 60fps is still beyond the grasp of a single-GPU card.

Crysis: Warhead - 2560x1600 - Frost Bench - Enthusiast Quality + 4xAA

Crysis: Warhead - 1920x1200 - Frost Bench - Enthusiast Quality + 4xAA

Crysis: Warhead - 1680x1050 - Frost Bench - E Shaders/G Quality + 4xAA

While Crysis was a strong game for the GTX 580, the same cannot be said of the GTX 680. NVIDIA is off to a very poor start here, with the Radeon HD 7970 easily outperforming the GTX 680, and even the 7950 is tied or nearly tied with the GTX 680 depending on the resolution. On the bright side the GTX 680 does manage to outperform the GTX 580, but only by a relatively meager 17%.

Given the large gap in theoretical performance between the GTX 680 and GTX 580, as it turns out we’ve run into one of the few scenarios where the GTX 680 doesn’t improve on the GTX 580: memory bandwidth. In our overclocking results we discovered that a core overclock had almost no impact on Crysis, whereas a memory overclock improved performance by 8%, almost exactly as much as the memory overclock itself. When it comes to the latest generation of cards it appears that Crysis loves memory bandwidth, and this is something the Radeon HD 7900 series has in spades but the GTX 680 does not. Thankfully for NVIDIA not every game is like Crysis.

Crysis: Warhead - Minimum Frame Rate - 2560x1600

Crysis: Warhead - Minimum Frame Rate - 1920x1200

Crysis: Warhead - Minimum Frame Rate - 1680x1050

The minimum framerate situation is even worse for NVIDIA here, with the GTX 680 clearly falling behind the 7950, and improving on the GTX 580 by only 10%. At its worst Crysis is absolutely devouring memory bandwidth here, and that leaves the GTX 680 underprepared.

The Test Metro 2033


View All Comments

  • Wreckage - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    Impressive. This cards beats AMD on EVERY level! Price, performance, features, power..... every level. AMD paid the price for gouging it's customers, they are going to lose a ton of marketshare. I doubt they have anything to match this for at least a year. Reply
  • Creig - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    The review has been up for less than a minute so you couldn't possibly have read it already. How pathetic is it that you were sitting there hitting F5 repeatedly just so you could get in another "First post! Nvidia is uber!" comment.

    Get a life.
  • Grooveriding - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    Haha Creig,

    Good observation, he must of been sitting there spamming to get in that first comment, before he read a word of the review.

    Sour grapes at being banned much, Wreckage ?
  • nathanddrews - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    ... but he's correct. The 680 does dominate in nearly every situation and category.

    "the GTX 680 is faster, cooler, and quieter than the Radeon HD 7970. NVIDIA has landed the technical trifecta, and to top it off they’ve priced it comfortably below the competition."

    Obvioulsy Wreckage's analysis of AMD's "price gouging" and prophesies of doom are farfetched...
  • N4g4rok - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    Well, yeah, the card does well in most of those tests, but i think it might be a little too far to say that it dominates the 7970 on every level. Reply
  • cactusdog - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    Just finsished looking around various sites and the 680 isnt as good as was suggested.

    Dont forget, you're basically comparing an overclocked Nvidia card to a stock AMD card, and even the base clock is much higher on the nvidia card.

    At the same clocks the results will look much better for AMD. Also, 3 monitor gaming could favour AMD with 3GB of vram.

    Seems like Nvidia really wanted to target the 7970 and the price/performance tag this time, by building a souped up, overclocked Gk104 but its not a 7970 killer. AMD will just need to sell them for $449.

    AMD can stay with the 7970 as planned until Q4 and the 8 series.
  • gamerk2 - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    You know clocks aren't the only thing that determines speed? Couldn't one just as easily argue that AMD cards were better because they basically clocked their RAM so high?

    Fact is, at stock, the card beats the 7970 at a lower price. Period.
  • Meaker10 - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    You're ignoring the host of factory overclocked models out there that will be quieter than the 680M and perform on a similar level, the price just needs to be dropped. Reply
  • Kakkoii - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    Herp derp, the same can be said about Nvidia cards as well. The 680 has tonnes of OC'ing headroom. The GPU boost it has is a messily overclock. Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    I guess the lower clocked cores of 470, 480, 570, 580 , and many other Nvidia cards were greatly cheated in all benchmarks because the amd cores were often well over 100mhz higher at stock....
    So we have had at least 3 years of lying benchmarks in amd's favor.
    I'd like to personally thank gamerk2 for this very astute observation that sheds the light of Nvidia asbolutely winning in all the above mentioned nvidia cars for the past couple of years.
    Thank you... (sarc/reality check is free)

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