The game Crysis 3 has been available for some time already and I took it for a spin to see how well it works on my stereo 3D setup with 3D Vision and do some benchmarks using the game of course. I should start with the fact that like its predecessor Crysis 2 the new Crysis 3 also uses 2D + Depth rendering method (Screen Space Re-Projection Stereo or SSRS in short) for its stereoscopic 3D output, regardless of what kind of stereo 3D display device you are using. This apparently has proven to be a good compromise between stereoscopic 3D quality and performance requirements and thus allowing the game to run in stereo 3D mode on the current generation of game consoles in stereo 3D mode as well. The fact that the 2D + Depth method is used also in the PC version of the game instead of providing two full stereoscopic 3D rendered views for each of the eyes on the PC as well has been criticized, but seeing how demanding the new Crysis 3 is it is no wonder that the developers did not provide us with full stereoscopic 3D rendering. The side effect from 2D + Depth rendering method is that it may not look as good as “true” stereo 3D rendering and there could be some additional artifacts (look at the halo around your gun), so it is not perfect, but it also takes up very little performance hit, something like just 5% decrease in performance as compared to about 40% or more for the alternative full dual view rendering. After playing the game for a while I suspect that it will yet again turn out to be more of a reference benchmark than a highly liked game by many, though it can be fun to play for a while and I do plan to finish the story when I have the time for that. But now let us take a look at some benchmark results…
The results above were achieved in stereo 3D mode in an open environment inside the game and are the average FPS achieved inside the game on a system equipped with single GeForce GTX 580 and two GTX 580 cards running in SLI with an Intel Core i5 2500K quad-core CPU (3.3 GHz) and 8GB system Memory under Windows 8 OS. All of the hardware was running in stock frequencies and was not overclocked, as you can see from the results the GTX 580 is either outdated already or more likely the new Crysis 3 game is way too heavy. Of course these results are in stereoscopic 3D mode, but the framerate increase you’d get switching back to 2D mode is minimal because of the performance optimized stereo 3D rendering mode that the game uses. Even with two GeForce GTX 580 cards in SLI the game is not comfortably playable in stereo 3D mode at Very High detail levels with no AA filtering enabled. And an average framerate of 60 FPS is not achievable even with the SLI setup at Low level of details, and no, the Crysis 3 is not a demanding game… it is a very demanding one.
Stereo 3D mode using Dual GTX 580 in SLI with AA:
- Very High, 8x MSAA – 21 fps
- Very High, 4x MSAA – 29 fps
- Very High, 2x MSAA – 31 fps
- Very High, SMAA mGPU (2x) – 31 fps
- Very High, SMAA Low (1x) – 31 fps
- Very High, FXAA – 31 fps
- Very High, no AA – 32 fps
Here is the situation when using the various AA filtering modes available in the game, as you can see apart form the high MSAA modes the situation does not change much in terms of average framerate achieved when using two GTX 580 cards in SLI.
How will overclocking affect performance:
- CPU + 1GHz @ 4.3GHz: Very High, no AA – 34 fps
- GPUs + 100MHz @ 872MHz: Very High, no AA – 34 fps
- GPU and CPU overclocked: Very High, no AA – 39 fps
It seems that Crysis 3 can push not only the GPU, but also the CPU and having more performance squeezed from either of them by overclocking does help in getting a few FPS more in the game. This however is an exception as still not many games can push the limit of multi-core CPUs as well as multiple GPUs running at 100% load and even pushing the video memory to the maximum. It turns out that with high AA levels Crysis 3 in stereo 3D mode can reach levels of video memory usage very close to the 1.5GB available on the GTX 580.
Now, considering that the above results in stereoscopic 3D mode were achieved using the 2D + Depth rendering, getting something like 40% lower framerate if full dual view stereoscopic 3D rendering was used the FPS would get even more disappointing. So yet again, I’m expecting that Crysis 3 will be used more for benchmarking hardware than being played for fun, something that we’ve seen happening with previous version of the game as well.