Crysis 3: Graphical Preset Comparisons & Performance Tips

Crysis 3 builds heavily upon the strengths of its predecessors while simultaneously stripping out their weaknesses. Notably, the Nanosuit’s energy system has been completely overhauled so the game’s protagonist, Prophet, won’t have to worry too much about his energy reserves while he’s busy kicking ass.

Aside from continuing the sci-fi plot where the previous game left off, Crysis 3 reintroduces us to an old face: Psycho, who serves as a foil for Prophet throughout the game. Fans of the Crysis series might know him as the lead character in Crysis: Warhead. In addition to a single-player campaign, Crysis 3 offers a lot in the way of multiplayer options, with several classic and innovative new modes.

Crytek is known for their attention to graphics detail and high-fidelity visuals, and Crysis 3 serves as a flagship for the studio’s powerful CryEngine 3, which already powers several other games. The game makes full use of DirectX 11 and features a wide range of settings that’ll allow you to make the most out of your gaming PC, putting it at a distinct graphical advantage to any game on the console.

Before you read on, make sure you have a computer capable of running the game. Be aware of Crysis 3′s minimum, recommended, and high-performance PC requirements if you plan on playing the game, as specified below:

Minimum Specs
GPU: DirectX 11 graphics card with 1GB Video RAM
Recommended GPU: AMD Radeon HD5770
CPU: Dual core CPU 
 Recommended CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 2.7Ghz (5200+)
Memory: 2GB Memory (3Gb on Vista)
OS: Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8

Recommended Specs
GPU: DirectX11 graphics card with1GB Video RAM 
 Recommended GPU: AMD Radeon 5870
CPU: Quad core CPU 
 Recommended CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 805
Memory: 4GB Memory
OS: Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8

Hi-Performance Specs
GPU: Latest DirectX11 graphics card 
 Recommended GPU: AMD Radeon 7970 
 Improved Performance with SLI / Crossfire
CPU: Latest quad core CPU
Recommended CPU: AMD Bulldozer FX 4150
Memory: 8GB Memory
OS: Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8

Graphics Options – Basic Settings

Crysis 3 offers a large number of graphics-related settings, many of which can substantially alter how the game looks and plays. Depending on your system and your personal preferences, you may have to trade performance for visual quality or vice versa. To change how the game looks, simply access the game’s graphics options from the main menu.

If you don’t care to do too much tinkering, Crysis 3 alows you to choose from four preset configurations listed under “System Spec”. They include Low, Medium, High, and Very High. You can watch a video with a detailed comparison of these settings below. Full credit goes to ResetLoad for putting it together.

Even while the game is set on low, it looks gorgeous, albeit without the complex shadows offered at higher settings. You’ll notice a bit of texture pop-in and LOD transitions on the lower settings. On very high, even the grass casts complex shadows—it’s a setting that we wouldn’t recommend unless you’re playing the game on a high-end graphics card.

As you can see in the video above, that aside from a few issues with texture detail the game looks great on Low and even better on Medium. The framerate dips slightly on high, and absolutely plummets on Very High without offering very much in the way of improved visuals. I’d recommend playing the game on the Low setting and seeing how well it performs before moving up to Medium, and then High. If the game framerate drop is unacceptable at High, just play it on Medium and you won’t notice too much of a difference. For whatever reason, the ripple effect caused by bullets hitting the water tends to glitch on the High and Very High settings.

In addition to the system presets, you can choose how the game performs anti-aliasing, with options ranging from FXAA to MSAA 8x. I would recommend setting the anti-aliasing to TXAA Medium (2TX), which does a serviceable job of removing the jaggies. As a post-process, FXAA doesn’t affect performance as much as the other options, but it smears the entire scene. If you think you have everything figured out, you can experiment with Crysis 3 even further with the dev console commands.

Advanced Graphics Options

Beyond messing around with basic presets, Crysis 3 allows you to fully configure your graphics options. You may wish to consider lowering your resolution in addition to tweaking any of the advanced settings if you experience a low framerate at the Low or Medium presets.

Game Effects: This setting determines how long corpses remain in the world. Moderate performance hit.
Object: This setting determines the quality of all objects in the game. Moderate performance hit.
Particles: This setting changes the quality of the particle effects, such as bullet fire and sparks. Moderate performance hit.
Post Processing: Changes the quality and quantity of post processing used. Heavy performance hit.
Shading: Determines the quality of the shaders. Moderate performance hit.
Shadows: Determines shadow quality. The higher the setting, the more realistic shadows look. Heavy performance hit.
Water: This setting determines the quality of the water, including ripple effects and splashes. Setting this to “Very High” causes liquid surfaces to be heavily tessellated. Moderate performance hit.
Anisotropic Filtering: Determines the quality of the texture filtering. Minor performance hit.
Motion Blur Amount: This setting is best set to “low” unless you like the feeling of speed while simultaneously hurting the game’s performance. Heavy performance hit.
Lens Flares: As the name suggests, leaving it on makes the game look like a J.J. Abrams movie. Turning it off removes much of the game’s cinematic elements. Minor performance hit.

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