Before we move onwards into the conclusion it is handy to know how much graphics memory the game requires in a preferred resolution.
You'll notice that 2GB graphics card are sufficient and thus the generic rule of thumb here for maximum quality mode with complex MSAA levels at 2 AA samples. So a graphics card with 2 GB of graphics memory is really recommended. Should you have less available and run into performance issues, the easiest way out preventing frames from being swapped back and forth in that framebuffer is to select medium quality settings.
Now we switch in-between 2xAA / 8xAA and the image quality modes (Very HIGH and ULTRA) to monitor framebuffer utilization. The above results are all measured at all four primary resolutions tested today. As you can see we are hovering at roughly 1 GB of graphics memory.
Once you go Ultra and have high MSAA levels enabled starting at 1600x1200 there will be a turning point where the game utilizes more than 1 GB of graphics memory. Overall the advise is simple enough, make sure you have a graphics card with 2 GB of graphics memory when using Very HIGH or Ultra image quality modes.
Rain bullets on your enemies in Far Cry 3 -- The Conclusion
Excellent, this is the first word that comes to mind when I need to describe Far Cry 3. From A to Z the game is very interesting, it offers a great and long single single player capmaign, really good gameplay in that big sandbox, a good storyline and of course a really nice graphics engine.
I didn't expect the game to be this harsh on performance though, but wel like that ! :)
From a hardware perspective the updated game rendering engine is definitely great, it's simply offers good quality graphics at a level you may expect from a AAA ranking PC title.
The right call to make
If you flip on all eye-candy then the engine really is even taxing for mid-range and lower, hence it you should probably stick to HIGH or Very High quality settings. As the charts have shown, Very HIGH quality with 2xAA enabled will deliver a good gaming framerate up-to 1920x1200 on most modern mainstream graphics cards with 2 GB or more memory, versus a really lovely rendered experience.
At a 1920x1200 monitor resolution the Radeon HD 7800 series manages itself really well. The Radeons with their large framebuffers are just very capable. We do need to see the performance with the updated driver (TBA next week).
For NVIDIA the starter card is a GeForce GTX 660.
Single GPU wise the winner today is the GeForce GTX 680. Both these cards will allow you to play the game at the very best image quality settings with decent AA levels enabled.
Summing it up
All modern graphics cards will run the game at Full HD extraordinary well. For mid-range the 7800 series from AMD and the GTX 660 series from NVIDIA will offer truly nice value for money. There is just no need to drop down in images quality modes too massively and heck, that's where we as PC gamers needs to be. We do not like to forfeit in quality.
If you need a little more icing on top of the cake then the GeForce GTX 660 Ti is great with on the competitions side the Radeon HD 7950 Boost editions being very price competitive as well -- single GPU wise. From there upwards you pay the price for premium products and the value for money ratio slowly is killed off.
The last bit
I wanted to point out, all cards used today are reference cards with reference clocks. As you guys know AIC/AIB partners mostly offer factory overclocked or factory faster clocked products. That by itself can shift performance per card or brand upwards another 10% -- just so that you guys know okay ?
The Radeon cards all have been tested with the Catalyst 12.11 Beta 11 driver (download here) and the GeForce cards with the new 310.64 Beta driver (download here).
As always, we hope you enjoyed this selection of measurements.
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