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While it hasn't been a huge commercial success and its gameplay is far from revolutionary, the graphical fidelity of Crysis is still second to none and as such it's still the ultimate test for a graphics card. With masses of dynamic foliage, rolling mountain ranges, bright blue seas, and big explosions, this game has all the eye-candy you could wish for and then some.
We test using the 64-bit version of the game patched to version 1.1 and running in DirectX 10 mode. We use a custom timedemo that's taken from the first moments at the start of the game, wandering around the beach. Surprisingly, considering its claustrophobic setting and graphically rich environment, we find that any frame rate above 30fps is about sufficient to play this game. All in-game settings are set to high for our test runs and we test with both 0xAA and 2xAA.
First things first, it's clear that overclocking this card provides a decent boost in performance. Indeed if you compare the average cost per fps - in this title - of the Zotac and reference speed card it is almost exactly the same. In other words, you're not paying a premium for buying the overclocked model and you're maintaining your warranty. Compare the GTX 275 to the HD 4890 and we have a very even fight, with the GTX 275 just edging it on average.