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Crysis (And LAN Parties)
Saturday 8th March, 2008 22:20 Comments: 10
I finally got around to playing the demo. I installed it a while back, but I couldn't find it. Turns out that it's a known problem on Vista, and you have to find the right executable and launch it manually. Which I did. I then had to change the resolution, and discovered it seems to max out at 1680x1050 (which is fine for my 20" Dell monitor that I plan on taking to the LAN party next week), but it doesn't support the native 2560x1600 resolution of my 30" Dell monitor, so I went with 1280x800 (so each pixel maps to 4 pixels, so it doesn't look too bad). I would complain, but it turns out that Crysis really hammers my 3870. I have a Fanmate on the GPU fan, and the heatsink felt quite hot, so I turned the Fanmate up to its highest setting and it seemed okay. I also was a bit worried about the CPU temperature, so I decided to play safe and hooked the fan back up (thermal throttling on the chip will stop me killing it, but it doesn't hurt to connect the fan). The game looks good on the Medium settings that it recommended for my card, but I decided to try Very High for a laugh and it looks fantastic! However, it looked fantastic at a pretty abysmal frame rate. So I played with the settings some more and found a balance where it still looks good (better than Medium), but doesn't suck for framerates. I think you'd need some sort of CrossfireX 3870X2 setup to play the game on Very High, so no wonder they don't support 2560x1600. As an aside, I finally put my spare BFG 7800GT OC into my PC at work, which means that system is probably better than half the systems that will turn up at the LAN party over Easter. Mind you, even my laptop with integrated Intel graphics might be better than some of the systems there (it scores an impressive 3.5 on the Vista performance rating thingy, the graphics obviously being the weakest point).

Anyway, I think I might try and play the Crysis demo again on Easy. I must be really terrible, as I keep dying/running out of ammo/not found any grenades yet. I think it's all related. Need to get some practice in before the LAN party just in case we play other FPS games (which we probably will; however there's been a strong move towards playing on the Wii and other games like TrackMania Nations and some strategy games).

EDIT: It looks like to go above 1920x1200, I would need a graphics card with 1GB of RAM. This might be why I'm limited to 1680x1050 in the game, as my card only has 512MB RAM (perhaps I can try 1920x1200 if I force the game to use DX9 in Vista, although that would limit me to High).
Avatar Fab - Sunday 9th March, 2008 11:52
I currently have Crysis on mine running on v high with few problems, but then my resolution is 1280 x 1024. I might drop it down to high though as things gets laggy when a lot is going on. My hard disk is still the limiting factor, but switching off some processes like the anti virus and spybot etc makes it run a bit smoother.

To avoid running out of ammo: Lean how to shoot accurately!! Use the cloak to get nice and close before opening up. Use the tactical ammo (tranquiliser, press C). And use the Korean's assualt rifle and pick up all their ammo. If you are really sneaky and manage to sneak up behind a Korean soldier, you can grab him by the neck and then beat him to death or chuck him off a cliff etc. It is a great game.
Avatar Robert - Sunday 9th March, 2008 13:52
You do realise you can probably add Crysis (or perhaps the Electronic Arts folder) as an exception to your AV software, so you don't have to disable it each time you play the game?

And yes, I was starting to get the hang of it, shooting more accurately, stealing their guns and ammo after I'd killed them (bear in mind I haven't played a FPS since August). I presume I have to steal grenades off the dead bodies too? I haven't seen any anywhere yet.

There is a timedemo included in the SP Crysis demo:
Bin32Benchmark_CPU.bat (or Bin64 if you're running Vista x64)

Also, to see the framerate in the game:
Enter console mode (hit the ~ on your keyboard)
Type in the following and hit return "r_displayinfo = 1" (no quotes)
Hit the ~ again to exit console mode
You will now see your framerate and other info on the upper right part of your screen

PS According to this: http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1697,2222417,00.asp
DX10 with Very High settings at 1280x1024 on a 3870 results in 15.4fps
DX9 with the hacks to make it run at Very High results in 22.1fps

No matter which graphics card you have, you're not going to be able to set Crysis to its Very High settings—the ones that generated all those impressive preview screenshots—and run the game smoothly at a resolution above 1280x1024. In fact, you won't even get 1280x1024 without having two really good graphics cards working together in SLI or CrossFire mode

And you think it runs fine for you? DX10 at your resolution with High (rather than Very High) is 26.9fps which is probably playable. I'm about to try Catalyst 8.3 as I noticed I'm still using 8.1, maybe I'll see some improvements?

EDIT: The GPU benchmark gave me 16.06fps at 1280x800 (in a window) with everything on Very High. If I turn on 8xAA (and run fullscreen, not that it probably matters) it drops down to 10.92fps. I presume you must have AA off? 1280x800 on Medium without AA resulted in an average of 26.94fps, which is just about okay. If I enable 8xAA and change a few settings to high, I can keep it at an average of 23.08, which isn't too bad either. I think I've found a bunch of settings that looks pretty but doesn't kill my machine. A couple of times I think my CPU might be the limiting factor though, it's meant to be a multithreaded engine, but I'll have to check what's going on. They claim the 64-bit version "will bring a performance difference of up to 10 to 15 percent on each thread" compared to the 32-bit version, which might also explain why yours runs more smoothly.
Avatar Fab - Sunday 9th March, 2008 20:47
Talanzar also went and downloaded a natural mod. It makes the lighting look even better. I have not run it on mine yet.

You will find the grenades in the huts rather than off bodies. You don't need to use them for the demo though as you rarely get whole clusters of enemy coming after you. It is fun to chuck one into a hut though and watch the whole thing collape!

See running Vista 64 is worthwhile after all! Mine does run well on high with slight slowdown when a lot is happening. The Antivirus is causing major problems, it is just slowing down my hard disk which doesnt have a big enough paging file. It is worth having the settings on high as the difference with medium is massive.
Avatar Robert - Sunday 9th March, 2008 22:45
I'm afraid "well" doesn't cut it for me :P I want your benchmarks, average frames per second, when you run at 1280x1024. If you say something like 15fps (with no AA), I'll mock you. What setting does it suggest if you click the option to determine your optimal setting? When I run my 30" at 1280x800 I feel I need to enable AA to avoid the jaggies, I can usually disable it when running at 2560x1600 (and sometimes 1680x1050 too on my 20") as the high resolution tends to hide the problem better.
Avatar Fab - Sunday 9th March, 2008 23:46
Well I get an average fps of about 30. However, this can go up to 40 in multiplayer except for when the hard disk pisses around at which point it temporarily drops to 10! I guess that it pretty much what one would expect. I don't like to run it on medium because the long range detail is lacking and high just looks so much nicer and brighter. :D
Avatar Robert - Monday 10th March, 2008 01:29
Is that 30fps running the benchmark, or when you play the game normally? You have the same card as me, and I don't believe my C2D was running maxed out (need to check, as the game is meant to be hard on the CPU though), so I'm a bit surprised by your framerate... unless for some reason Crysis is playing in DX9 mode or you're running with AA disabled. I'll have to check if I'm running the 1.0 or 1.1 or 1.2 version (not sure what version I have, I just grabbed a demo a while back, so probably 1.0).
Avatar Fab - Monday 10th March, 2008 12:29
I am running v1.1, I don't think you are meant to patch demos!

Actually the games does not really stress the CPU much, the developers lied when they said the CPU would be the hardest hit component, it is actually the GPU. I can tell because the sidebar tool (on a separate screen) tells me the CPU is having an easy time. I got the framerates running it in game. CBA to do the benchmark business and I haven't turned AA on as that is meant to be a real FPS killer.
Avatar Robert - Monday 10th March, 2008 12:47
I checked earlier and you get a Windows Installer error message if you try and install the 1.2 patch when all you have is the demo. I gather the 1.1 and 1.2 patches do improve the FPS slightly. If you do the "benchmark business" (which involves running a batch file, which also makes the game bypass any intro sequences, not too hard) I can do a somewhat direct comparison (although I'd imagine the 1.1 version is going to be a bit faster than the demo). And AA does kill the FPS, but on my 30" I don't really have an option as it looks a bit ugly without it.
Avatar Fab - Monday 10th March, 2008 13:24
Ooh, is 1.2 out? Did not realise, will have to download that tonight. It would be great if it tweaked some things like FPS and any Vista issues.

To be honest, you really do need a 3870 X2 or Crossfire to do it justice on a 30" screen. The graphics are just too hardcore omnce you go above standard LCD resolution.
Avatar Fab - Monday 10th March, 2008 22:38
A small tip that I have just discovered: turn off the motion blur. It doesn't add much to the graphics but switching it off improves FPS by 10%. Just as well as I have just gone through a huge and awesome tank battle.
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