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VGA performance: Crysis WARHEAD (DX10)


As in last year's game, expect to encounter dense jungle environments, barren ice fields, Korean soldiers and plenty of flying aliens. There's no denying that this is more of the same, except here it's a more tightly woven experience with a little less freedom to explore.

With a top-end PC (although Warhead has supposedly benefited from an improved game engine, you'll still need a fairly beefy system) rest assured, developer Crytek has enhanced more than just the graphics engine.

Vehicles are more fun to drive, firefights are more intense and focused, and aliens do more than just float around you. More emphasis on the open-ended environments would have been welcome, but a more exciting (though shorter) campaign, a new multiplayer mode, and a whole bunch of new maps make Crysis Warhead an excellent expansion to one of last year's best shooters.

Crysis Warhead has good looks. As mentioned before, the game looks better than Crysis, and it runs better too. Our test machine that struggled a bit to run the original at high settings ran Warhead smoothly with the same settings. Yet as much as you may have heard about Crysis' technical prowess, you'll still be impressed when you feast your eyes on the swaying vegetation, surging water, and expressive animations. Outstanding graphics. Couldn't say more here.

We up the ante a little more by enabling DX10. Though we really wanted to push 4x AA here, we notice that current day graphics cards yet again run out of memory, and you'll notice the HDD activity going up a lot. That would affect the framerate dramatically disallowing an objective measurement of our time demo. So 2x AA in combo with the gamers quality mode is what we need to test with.

  • Level Ambush
  • Codepath DX10
  • Anti-Aliasing 2x MSAA
  • In game Quality mode Gamer

Here's where things get a little interesting. Scaling wise we see very similar performance, but our image quality settings (gamers mode) plus 2xAA is too hefty to use past a resolution of 1280x1024.

Lot's of fluctuations are visible .. and though you can see that the large framebuffer (video memory) helps really well at higher resolutions .. fact remains that the GPU does not pack enough puch.

So that's the proper thing to do here as now up to 1280x1024 is playable, though marginal. Crysis WarHEAD is a title that likes large framebuffers a lot though.  Your only option here is to forfeit on image quality and selected a medium image quality settings.

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