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nVidia GeForce GTX 295 - Crysis
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 32-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 4xAA. Transparency anti-aliasing is also manually turned on through the driver, though this is obviously only enabled when normal AA is being used in-game.
In the final run through of this game, it was obvious the GTX 295 was coming up against some unforseen barrier in performance as all the other results here suggest it should've beaten the HD 4870 X2. We are led to believe this is a memory bandwidth issue due to the GTX 295's relatively slow memory (it's essentially nearly half the speed of that on the HD 4870 X2), which starves the GPU of data and causes slow down. Thankfully this wasn't a trend that continued in our other games but, in all honesty, this may be because they're getting a little long in the tooth already and aren't fully taxing the card. This is something we'll redress in the coming weeks when we overhaul our testing procedure. For now, though, it's clear the GTX 295 is the best card around unless used at insane resolutions.
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