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Crysis 3 Benchmarked

Florian Glaser, Tanja Hinum (translated by Ariana Brodsky), 03/08/2013

Avant-garde After gamers had a somewhat disappointing experience with Crysis 2, Crytek pulled out all the stops for their new FPS. The third title in the series is supposed to present a perfect mix of the first two parts, offering a full Crysis experience. Find out here if Crysis 3 is more than just a graphical showpiece and how much the game will demand from a notebook's hardware.

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Crysis 3 Logo

Description

For the original German review, see here.

This first 5-10 minutes of Crysis 3 simultaneously reveal one of the game's greatest strengths and one of its greatest weaknesses: The great production quality and the lame, primitive storyline. The main character, Prophet, is freed by his colleague Psycho to fight against the Ceph aliens and the C.E.L.L. corporation's soldiers in New York. The missions are introduced with cool video snippets, but it quickly becomes clear that the basic story is so banal that many gamers will ignore it entirely. Additionally, most of the supporting characters are flat, and you never really end up caring about them.

But as far as critical comments go, that's about the end of the list. In most categories the ego-shooter makes a good or even a very good impression. Alongside the first-class production value (more on that later), we were delighted with the diverse and detailed levels full of atmosphere. For instance, in the first chapter you fight through indoor and outdoor areas of a rainy port facility, and in the second you make your way through an idyllic green metropolis. The lush vegetation is reminiscent of Crysis 1, and thanks to the thick grass, it also opens up lots of possibilities for the player.

The optional tutorial is stylistically reminiscent of Tron: Legacy...
The optional tutorial is stylistically reminiscent of Tron: Legacy...
...and presents the game controls.
...and presents the game controls.
The circular menu is like that of its predecessor.
The circular menu is like that of its predecessor.
The various weapons can be individualized.
The various weapons can be individualized.
Turrets are hacked through mini games.
Turrets are hacked through mini games.
The nanovision is like a thermal imaging camera.
The nanovision is like a thermal imaging camera.

For those who want to get through the game as stealthily as possible, the stylistic bow-and-arrow is the perfect weapon in every circumstance - at least against human opponents. Like the rest of the weapons, the quiet and deadly instrument (it doesn't blow your cover) can be customized in the menu. Through the menu the player can choose the shot-speed and the type of ammunition, among other things.

Depending on the situation, Crysis 3 is in large part a game of strategy. Various enemies are lingering near each other in the water? That's an ideal moment to use an electric arrow! Some of the best improvements Crytek made when it comes to "normal" fire arms are the target visuals and new additions, like a sound damper and a magazine expansion. Speaking of improvements: To breathe a little role-play into Crysis 3, Crytek has built in a nice skill system. The gamer can unlock new abilities with points he or she collects (like a longer sprint time, higher health regeneration, etc.) and save in three different sets.

The cutscenes are well-staged...
The cutscenes are well-staged...
...and use nice camera perspectives.
...and use nice camera perspectives.
The player isn't always alone on the journey.
The player isn't always alone on the journey.
The protagonist Prophet...
The protagonist Prophet...
...is accompanied by Psycho.
...is accompanied by Psycho.
The weather effects are first-rate.
The weather effects are first-rate.

Even with all the possibilities, it's still easy to control the game by hand. With a simple keystroke you can either activate the armor-mode (standard Q) or the stealth-mode (standard E). In our experience, the stealth system can certainly hold its own in comparison to other titles. Although Crysis 3 doesn't do stealth quite as well as classic stealth adventures like Thief, Splinter Cell or Dishonored, sneaking around quietly is still lots of fun as there are countless different covering options on the various levels.

We deem the AI of the enemy mercenaries - aside from the occasional malfunctions - above average, although you shouldn't expect wonderful things. The enemies move around under cover, throw grenades, agree on strategies or even try to flank us every once in a while. Battles with the alien brutes often turn into simple endurance-shooting ala Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 or Medal of Honor: Warfighter.

You can mark opponents with the help a visor.
You can mark opponents with the help a visor.
The smoke effects look terrific.
The smoke effects look terrific.
Crysis 3 wins points with its neat level architecture.
Crysis 3 wins points with its neat level architecture.
Some passages are pretty linear.
Some passages are pretty linear.
The cool mission descriptions prove to be rather trivial.
The cool mission descriptions prove to be rather trivial.
You can create practical sets in the skill menu.
You can create practical sets in the skill menu.

All-in-all, the game mechanics make a good (though not stellar) impression. In terms of sound, we don't have any complaints at all. The loud weapon noises are as well done as the game's soundtrack. Level size, however, is an area people could disagree on. While fans of the first part of the series will find Crysis 3 too "cramped," we think the mixture of wide-open outdoor spaces and more linear inside passages is fairly well balanced.

The panoramic views are often intoxicating.
The panoramic views are often intoxicating.
Unlike bodies, faces are amazingly well animated.
Unlike bodies, faces are amazingly well animated.
The lighting effects make for a picturesque atmosphere.
The lighting effects make for a picturesque atmosphere.
Careful: In Crysis 3 there are mine fields here and there.
Careful: In Crysis 3 there are mine fields here and there.
In terms of atmosphere, there's little to criticize.
In terms of atmosphere, there's little to criticize.
The outdoor areas are magnificently detailed.
The outdoor areas are magnificently detailed.

Graphics

In terms of production value, the developers have certainly outdone themselves. Whether we're talking about textures, effects (smoke, particles, weather, etc.), lighting, shadows or physics: Crysis 3 is definitely playing in the top league and will have very few competitors in 2013 that can approach the same level of detail. We were especially impressed with the vividly conceptualized outdoor areas, which wowed us with their breadth of vision and great water effects.

Only when it comes to animation were we a little more ambivalent. While the body movement feels a little "awkward" and "rough around the edges" (Call of Duty and Battlefield 3 do a little better here), the facial animations are almost at the level of L.A. Noire's (which, in this author's opinion, were magnificent). Users should note that since Crysis 3 requires a DirectX 11 graphics card, Windows XP users and owners of DirectX 9 or DirectX 10 GPUs (that includes the popular Intel HD Graphics 3000) are left out in the cold.

This will be one of the most beautiful games of 2013.
This will be one of the most beautiful games of 2013.
The textures are sharp up-close too.
The textures are sharp up-close too.
In some levels you even discover animals.
In some levels you even discover animals.
We especially liked the water imaging.
We especially liked the water imaging.
Water + enemies + electric arrow = Schadenfreude.
Water + enemies + electric arrow = Schadenfreude.
While taking strides delicate ripples develop.
While taking strides delicate ripples develop.

Crytek splits the graphics options (which are found directly within the game) into two menus. In the "Graphics Options" menu you can control the resolution, picture mode, vertical synchronization, texture sharpness, anti-aliasing (the palette ranges from FXAA and SMAA to TXAA and MSAA) and the general quality level ("System Spec"), which automatically regulates the detail settings in the "Advanced Graphics Options". Only the anisotropic filtering (1x-16x), the intensity of the motion blur and the so-called "lens flare" remain untouched by the four presets "Low", "Medium", "High", and "Very High".

A shame: In order to apply certain settings, Crysis 3 needs to be completely restarted. The load times could also be a little shorter. Even with an SSD it takes a while before the fully-loaded level appears.

Low Settings
Low Settings
Medium Settings
Medium Settings
High Settings
High Settings
Ultra Settings
Ultra Settings
Low Settings
Low Settings
Medium Settings
Medium Settings
High Settings
High Settings
Ultra Settings
Ultra Settings

Benchmark

We picked a very demanding scene from the beginning of the first level ("Post-Human") for our benchmarks. As the video below illustrates, we follow the colleague Psycho for about 50 seconds. Since the refresh rate is rather low in comparison to other levels, about 25-30 FPS will suffice for the sequence and the rest of the game for an enjoyable experience.

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Results

Considering the opulent visuals, Crysis 3's hardware hunger is completely reasonable. Since entry-level solutions like the HD Graphics 4000 and lower class models like the Radeon HD 7660G or the GeForce GT 630M will only manage the game at low resolutions, players will need a graphics card from the upper middle-class (for example the GeForce GT 650M or the Radeon HD 8870M) to play on medium settings.

Those who want to enjoy Crysis 3 on high settings and with active anti-aliasing will need a genuinely high-end model (from the GeForce GTX 660M on up). For FullHD resolutions we strongly recommend a GeForce GTX 675M or better. At a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels with maximum presets and anti-aliasing, all current notebook graphics cards as of early Q1 2013 are insufficient. Even the GeForce GTX 680M and the Radeon HD 7970M only reach about 20 FPS (2x SMAA) in the tested sequence.

Low Settings
Low Settings
Medium Settings
Medium Settings
High Settings
High Settings
Ultra Settings
Ultra Settings

But it's important to say that Crysis 3 still looks respectable at the high or mid detail levels. Even at the lowest graphical level the shooter can be a blast to play. The competing Frostbite 2 Engine (Battlefield 3) falls a minimal distance behind. The Crytek production sprints miles ahead of the current Call of Duty title (Black Ops 2).

Note: With notebooks, it is best to be very cautious with the anti-aliasing. Demanding modes like 4x or 8x MSAA will pull frame rates and the level of performance down significantly. We believe that SMAA Medium (2TX) for high-end mobile cards is a good balance point for both smooth gameplay and reducing visual jaggies.

Benchmark table: Crysis 3

Verdict

Considering nothing but the technical aspect of the game, the game is excellent on almost all levels. Crysis 3 shines with breathtaking visuals, which makes it clear that Crytek takes the PC platform quite seriously. In terms of gameplay, too, the title does quite well, though some will have wished for new stimuli and more spacious areas. When it comes to the storyline and plot, the shooter comes extraordinarily thin and is perhaps the title's weakest link. Titles like Bioshock and Borderlands 2 have raised player expectations on narrative and storytelling for modern first-person shooters.

Every once in a while we get to carry alien weapons too.
Every once in a while we get to carry alien weapons too.
The bow-and-arrow is one of the game's greatest highlights.
The bow-and-arrow is one of the game's greatest highlights.
Without a shield things get dicey real fast.
Without a shield things get dicey real fast.
Many script sequences are a little overdone.
Many script sequences are a little overdone.
Helicopters bring reinforcements quickly.
Helicopters bring reinforcements quickly.
The facial animation is almost as good as in L.A. Noire.
The facial animation is almost as good as in L.A. Noire.

Test Systems

Most of the results are from devices from the company Schenker Notebooks (mysn.de):

  • XMG P502 (Core i7-3610QM, GeForce GTX 660M, GTX 670M, GTX 675M(X), GTX 680M, Radeon HD 7970M & HD Graphics 4000)
  • XMG A502 (Core i5-3360M, GeForce GT 650M)
  • Xesia M501 (Core i7-2630QM, GeForce GT 630M)
  • Each with 8 GByte DDR3-RAM (2x 4096 MByte @ 1600 MHz), 160 GByte SSD (Intel 320 Series)  & Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit

GPU driver: Nvidia 314.07, AMD 13.2 Beta 6 & Intel 9.17.10.2932.

From left to right: Schenker XMG A502, Xesia M501 & XMG P502
From left to right: Schenker XMG A502, Xesia M501 & XMG P502

Overview

Show Restrictions
      Model
Crysis 3
 Crysis 3 (2013)
low
1024x768
Low Preset
med.
1366x768
Medium Preset
16xAF
high
1366x768
High Preset
16xAF FXAA
ultra
1920x1080
Very High Preset
16xAF 2xSMAA
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti (Desktop)
122
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop)
179
176
138
100
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
98.7
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Desktop)
81.5n2
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
72.25n2
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti
81
AMD Radeon R9 Fury
114
64.5
AMD Radeon R9 Nano
63.8
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980
147.4
134.5
105.7
58.3
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
150.4n2
137.05n2
106.7n2
60.55n2
AMD Radeon R9 390X
130.1
123.1
89.9
56.1
AMD Radeon RX 480 (Desktop)
52.6
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
51.7
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti
146.2
135.7
107.2
60.3
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970
167.6
145.4
111.4
52.8n2
AMD Radeon RX 470 (Desktop)
48.9
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
137.75n2
118.5n3
94.95n4
43.25n4
AMD Radeon R9 280X
143.5
124.1
88.3
38.5
AMD Radeon R9 380
137.3
122.9
87.4
39.4
      Model
Crysis 3
lowmed.highultra
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960
139.7
123.9
91.7
36.1
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Desktop)
35.8
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
129.85n4
110.9n4
83.3n4
33.4n4
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680
105
93
73
36.8
AMD Radeon HD 7970
96.2
84.5
59.8
28.3
AMD Radeon R9 M295X
125.4n2
85
59.9
30.9n2
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Desktop)
31.9
AMD Radeon R7 370
155.92
107.38
64.5
26.3
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M
136.6n2
112.7n2
81.5n3
33.2n3
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950
138.6
112.3
78.8
29
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti
94.1
83
61.9
30.3
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760
142
119.3
83
33.3
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M
130.3
102.1
72.2
29.25n4
AMD Radeon RX 460 (Desktop)
25.3
AMD Radeon HD 7870
90.9
79.8
57.7
25.8
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
125n3
88.4n3
66.4n3
26.2n3
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M
125.6n2
95.1n2
65.6n3
26.7n3
AMD Radeon R9 M290X
107.8
72.8
48.2
22.8
AMD Radeon HD 8970M
117.1
77.6
44.35n2
22n2
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680M
84.1
69.8
51.4
21.8
      Model
Crysis 3
lowmed.highultra
AMD Radeon R9 M390
62
22.7
AMD Radeon HD 7970M
106
63.8
44.8
20.3
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
119.1n2
78.8n3
53.8n3
20.6n3
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti
133.8
81.9
54.3
20.4
AMD Radeon Pro 555
17.9
NVIDIA GeForce MX150
42.3
16.8
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770M
117.58n2
69.91n2
49.6n3
19.55n3
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
118.8n3
76.4n7
50.35n8
18.75n8
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675MX
84.8
59.1
40.9
16.3
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M
79.15n2
46.95n2
34.15n2
12.7n2
AMD Radeon R9 M385X
48.5
36.2
14.8
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M
81.4n3
52.3n3
34.8n5
14n5
AMD Radeon R9 M280X
47.4
35.8
26.7
13.1
NVIDIA GeForce 945M
85.7
50.4
33.9
12.6
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M
91.8
53.25n2
36.8n3
14.2n3
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675M
76.3
51.6
35.7
13.9
AMD Radeon HD 7770
86.2
46.5
30.4
12.6
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 768MB
92.37
56.31
39.27
13.6
AMD Radeon R9 M370X
62.7
50.6
32
12.3
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670MX
84.9
50.7
35
13.8
      Model
Crysis 3
lowmed.highultra
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760M
49
34
13
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670M
79.7
43.4
29.4
11.2
AMD Radeon HD 8870M
56.2n2
35.9n2
24.45n2
10.1n2
AMD Radeon R7 250
76.2
46.1
28.7
10.6
NVIDIA GeForce GT 755M
49.4
32.2
12.4
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M
74.7
39.8
26
10
NVIDIA GeForce 845M
29.4
18.9
6.3
AMD Radeon HD 8850M
44.5
28.8
AMD Radeon R9 M265X
67.5
41.15n2
25.4n2
9.85n2
AMD Radeon HD 8790M
103
66
42
16
NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M
52.3n3
30.6n3
21.9n3
9.85n2
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
44.3n3
26.3n3
20.1n3
6.95n2
NVIDIA GeForce 940M
39.1n3
24.6n3
18.35n2
7.15n2
AMD Radeon R9 M375
37.9
23.2
AMD Radeon R7 M370
54.1
32.6
20.2
7.4
NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M
51.3
32.6
21.9
8.4
NVIDIA GeForce 840M
37.65n4
22.7n4
16.5n3
6.3n2
NVIDIA GeForce GT 745M
47.4
29.5
21.5
AMD Radeon R7 512 Cores (Kaveri Desktop)
43
25.9
18
7
Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200
48.3n2
29.65n2
19.65n2
7.3n2
      Model
Crysis 3
lowmed.highultra
AMD Radeon R7 384 Cores (Kaveri Desktop)
41.2
25
16.9
6.5
NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M
46.8n3
25.6n3
18.4n3
7.4n3
NVIDIA GeForce 930M
37.05n2
21.85n2
Intel Iris Graphics 550
58.1
32.7
21.2
8
NVIDIA GeForce 830M
36.6
21.4
15.3
NVIDIA GeForce 920MX
38
22.2
15.9
Intel Iris Graphics 540
45.65n2
29.9n2
19.8n2
6.6
NVIDIA GeForce GT 735M
29.65n2
17.95n2
13.2
NVIDIA GeForce 825M
32.2
19.1
AMD Radeon R7 M260X
44.1
27.5
17.4
6.8
NVIDIA GeForce GT 730M
44.3
28
19.6
NVIDIA GeForce GT 645M
46.6
27.6
18.6
7
AMD Radeon HD 8750M
34.25n2
21.4n2
14.25n2
5.8
AMD Radeon R7 M265
32.89
21
NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M
44.3
25.3
17
6.5
AMD Radeon R7 (Carrizo)
30.1
17.9
12.7
4.6
AMD Radeon R7 (Kaveri)
29.2
17.4
12.3
AMD Radeon R7 M460
29.9
18.3
13.7
5.2
AMD Radeon R7 M360
27.35n2
17.4n2
12.25n2
4.6
NVIDIA GeForce 920M
33.5
21.3
      Model
Crysis 3
lowmed.highultra
AMD Radeon HD 8690M
28.5
15.4
10.3
6.5
AMD Radeon R7 M440
29
18
12.8
4.8
AMD Radeon R7 M260
21.8
13.9
AMD Radeon R7 M340
28.8
17.9
13.1
5.1
Intel HD Graphics 530
32n2
20.5n2
13.25n2
5.1
AMD Radeon R5 (Bristol Ridge)
25.6
20.5
11.5
4.2
Intel HD Graphics 620
38.2
23.1
14.7
5.4
AMD Radeon R6 (Carrizo)
29.55n2
16.85n2
11.25n2
3.7
AMD Radeon HD 8670D
39.4
23.5
14.9
5.8
AMD Radeon R6 (Kaveri)
24.8
15.5
Intel HD Graphics 5600
30.8
18.8
12.4
4.7
AMD Radeon HD 8570D
34.2
20.4
13.1
4.8
AMD Radeon HD 8670M
19.2
AMD Radeon HD 7660D
34.7
20.5
13.8
5.1
AMD Radeon HD 8650G
25.45n2
15.6n2
NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
32.9n2
17.75n2
11.7n2
4.45n2
AMD Radeon R5 M330
19.1
11.9
8.4
NVIDIA GeForce 820M
25.1
15.6
Intel HD Graphics 520
21n2
15n2
11.1
Intel Iris Graphics 6100
22
15.9
11.3
4.4
      Model
Crysis 3
lowmed.highultra
NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M
22.2
14.1
AMD Radeon R5 M240
22.5
13.9
9.8
AMD Radeon R5 M230
22.1
15.4
9.8
4.1
AMD Radeon HD 8570M
13.3
8.2
5.7
2.3
Intel HD Graphics 6000
20.9
13.9
Intel Iris Graphics 5100
26.9
15.5
12.4
4.3
Intel HD Graphics 4600
23.6n2
19.3
13.5
4.7
Intel HD Graphics 5500
16.05n4
10.35n4
7.3n4
2.35n2
Intel HD Graphics 615
21
12.7
AMD Radeon HD 7660G
28.1n2
16.05n2
Intel HD Graphics 5000
20.89
12.98
9.44
AMD Radeon HD 7570M
22.3
13.6
8.7
AMD Radeon HD 8550G
27
16.7
AMD Radeon HD 7610M
68
35
20
Intel HD Graphics 515
20.2
12.9
8.3
Intel HD Graphics 4400
13.4
8.6
AMD Radeon HD 7550M
19.7
11.7
7.5
Intel HD Graphics 5300
12.5
7.5
4.2
1.7
Intel HD Graphics 4000
22n3
11.2n2
7.65n2
3.2
AMD Radeon R5 (Beema/Carrizo-L)
12.1
7.4
3.1
1.1
      Model
Crysis 3
lowmed.highultra
AMD Radeon R4 (Beema)
15.1
9.3
6
1.9
AMD Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema)
13.3
8.5
Intel HD Graphics 4200
11.4
7.2
4.9
AMD Radeon HD 8450G
24.7
15
AMD Radeon HD 8400
14.2
AMD Radeon HD 7520G
14
9
5
AMD Radeon HD 8350G
21.2
12.7
AMD Radeon HD 8330
13.9
8.3
5.1
Intel HD Graphics (Braswell)
9.3
5.7
2.1
Intel HD Graphics (Haswell)
12.2
7.6
AMD Radeon HD 7400G
11
7
AMD Radeon HD 8280
12.6
AMD Radeon HD 8250
9.2
5.6
3.7
AMD Radeon HD 8210
8.8
Intel HD Graphics 2500
13.8
(-) * Smaller values are better. / n123 Number of benchmarks for this median value / * Approximate position

 

Legend
5Stutters – This game is very likely to stutter and have poor frame rates. Based on all known benchmarks using the specified graphical settings, average frame rates are expected to fall below 25fps
May Stutter – This graphics card has not been explicitly tested on this game. Based on interpolated information from surrounding graphics cards of similar performance levels, stutters and poor frame rates are expected.
30Fluent – Based on all known benchmarks using the specified graphical settings, this game should run at or above 25fps
40Fluent – Based on all known benchmarks using the specified graphical settings, this game should run at or above 35fps
May Run Fluently – This graphics card has not been explicitly tested on this game. Based on interpolated information from surrounding graphics cards of similar performance levels, fluent frame rates are expected.
123Uncertain – This graphics card experienced unexpected performance issues during testing for this game. A slower card may be able to achieve better and more consistent frame rates than this particular GPU running the same benchmark scene.
Uncertain – This graphics card has not been explicitly tested on this game and no reliable interpolation can be made based on the performances of surrounding cards of the same class or family.
The value in the fields displays the average frame rate of all values in the database. Move your cursor over the value to see individual results.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Crysis 3 Benchmarked
Florian Glaser, 2013-03- 8 (Update: 2013-06- 6)