GC 2008: First performance analysis of Crysis Warhead - four GiByte required? (Update: Crytek statement)
At the Games Convention we could play a full section of Crysis Warhead. With console commands we had the fps rate and the memory usage displayed and thus could check the performance.
The test PC was a high-end system with a Core 2 Extreme QX9770, four GiByte DDR3 1333 RAM and a Geforce GTX 260. With the command "r_displayinfo 1” we activated the display of details like framerate, memory usage or the number of polygons displayed (see screenshots). According to the information delivered, Crysis Warhead was running in DX 9 mode only. Anti Aliasing was inactive and the resolution was set to 1,152 x 864. In the graphics options we couldn't change anything and the menu "Advanced” could not be accessed. Therefore we don't know about the exact detail settings. The console displayed "Custom” - so the settings did not match any of the presets. We suppose - because of what we saw in the game - that most details had been set to "high”. Since the version was a prerelease one, it could be that Crytek did not optimize it yet.
The section we played began with a long intro video: The hero Psycho scans the area with a binocular and takes out a distracted North Korean soldier with the cloaking capabilities of the Nanosuit. We noticed that - as promised by Crytek - the faces look a lot more details as in the original Crysis. The framerate was constantly above 41. But the memory usage was surprisingly high: According to the command console 2,146 MiByte were in use. In Crysis this value never exceeded 1,300 MiByte. On a PC with only 2 GiByte memory this scene is likely to cause loading lags.
After the intro there was a spectacular car chase with an included air strike. Here the memory usage increased to 2,180 MiByte. The framerate was around 35 fps and fell to 29 fps in challenging scenes. In the following scene we took a harbor on foot. Here the fps rate was round 35 pictures per second and Crysis Warhead used up to 2,190 MiByte. But you have to bear in mind that Crytek got a lot of time for optimizations. We are anxious to see the final version.
Update: As they got aware of it, Crytek commented on our article about the memory requirements of Crysis Warhead. Crytek meant: "Crysis Warhead will not require 4 GiByte RAM of course. The pre-release version displayed in Leipzig had specialized settings and was not optimized in any way. Because of this it needed a lot more memory than the final version will do. With the 2 GiByte that are recommended (1 GiByte minimal) by Crytek, the framerate performance of the final Crysis Warhead will be comparable to what you saw.
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