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How About Playing Crysis 3 in Stereoscopic 3D Mode With 3D Vision

March 4th, 2013 · 12 Comments · GeForce 3D Vision


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was running in stock frequencies and was not overclocked, as you can see from the results the GTX 580 is either outdated already or more likely the new Crysis 3 game is way too heavy.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.

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12 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Johnny // Mar 4, 2013 at 19:58

    I’d like to mention that the game also has native support for AMD cards for the usual outputs (side by side etc, not sure about HD3D). Unlike Crysis 2, this can be set ingame, no more config file hacks required.

  • 2 djnforce9 // Mar 4, 2013 at 23:04

    It seems this article focuses a lot on the “performance hit” rather than the actual 3D experience itself. I’ve tried enabling 3D Vision for this game already and was surprised to still get a fairly decent framerate on my GTX 680 with everything set to “very high” and FXAA enabled. That being said, I still didn’t like it because for some reason, the depth is VERY shallow even when I crank its respective setting to 100 in the nVidia control panel.

    Perhaps it’s to stop the scope crosshair from splitting in two when looking down iron sights? Whatever the reason, this “shallowness” really minimizes the whole 3D experience as you cannot really “look into” the scene. I wish they had taken the Helix mod approach and have the separation change when you are looking down the scope and then revert once you let go. That would have allowed for far more depth without compromising your ability to aim.

  • 3 Remer // Mar 4, 2013 at 23:21

    Is there any way to enable regular 3D in Crysis 3?

  • 4 Majnu // Mar 5, 2013 at 02:16

    The depth is shallow and I cranked it up to 100% to make it reasonable. Is there a way to make the crosshair have more depth? Also my 750D has way too much crosstalk, so unless there is a way to reduce it I don’t find the 3d experience enjoyable.

    I’m playing with an edid override with sli 670’s and in very high settings the frame rates are great.

  • 5 GDL // Mar 5, 2013 at 09:11

    As far as I know there are 2 setting you can use for 3D Vision, Driver and Native, Driver being the AMD/Nvidia/Tridef solutions and native being the game handling the 2D + depth, I use the driver method with a GTX 670 and I notice the performance hit as well as the stereoscopic difference on my Bravia 40″ compared to the native setting using interlaced rendering on my passive Asus 23″.

  • 6 Joseph Blower // Mar 6, 2013 at 04:01

    I just have to rage a little: 2.5 D is little more realistic than 2 D. I hate playing with it. Leave in the 2.5 D BS compromise, but don’t disable true 3D. The game looks incomparably worse than it might otherwise look.

    If you’re tired of 3D, you’re tired of life.

  • 7 mlambert890 // Mar 6, 2013 at 04:46

    Great entry! I did some similar testing if you are interested in how GTX680 tri-sli compares

  • 8 ricky // Mar 6, 2013 at 05:31

    nice benchmarks but this faked 3d is a crap.
    Like C2, if you like 3d, play this game in 2d cause this 3d is a fake, like all of the converted fake 3d movies, avoid that like pest.

    i wish they will enable a true 3d in the future, it’s already in the engine as (locked) cvar.

  • 9 Ryan // Mar 6, 2013 at 19:54

    I personally think the fakey 3D looks fine and appreciate the higher performance.

  • 10 Dugom // Mar 6, 2013 at 21:48

    For me Crysis 3 isn’t in 3D… 2D+Depth just sucks.

    Play Tomb Raider in Native 3D or Dead Space 3 with HelixMod, that true 3D.

  • 11 Kyle // Mar 9, 2013 at 19:50

    He’s right, Tomb Raider and Dead Space 3 are awesome in 3D!

  • 12 BL1NDS1DE13 // Mar 10, 2013 at 19:15

    Something that I happened to notice with a recent triDef update was improved shadow handling for a lot of games including Crysis 1…

    Runs in DX9 only, but is great and now with shadows,etc….

    This gave me a good Crysis 3D fix.

    And a side note, 4 years later with a whole new rig, Crysis sure does look great. Better than Far Cry 3 and Crysis 3??

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