by Rob Williams on July 10, 2008 in NVIDIA-Based GPU
With so many options on the market right now, what makes the GTX 280 a good choice for anyone? The fact that it is the highest-performing card out there sure helps, but it’s still not for everyone. To join this club, you better hope you have one massive resolution to push.
Each graph for our benchmarking results are labeled with the resolution that the game was played at, while omitting secondary settings such as Anti-Aliasing, Anisotropic Filtering, texture quality, et cetera. To view all specific settings that we used, please refer to our testing methodology page, where screenshots show the exact settings used.
It’s not often that a game comes along that truly pushes our hardware to the utmost limit. Crysis is one of those few games, and that will be the case for at least the next year. Don’t believe me? Boot up your top-end machine, max out your resolution and set the graphics to “Very High”. I guarantee tears will be shed within a few seconds of loading a level.
The level we chose here is Onslaught, also known as level five. We begin out in a tunnel, but what’s important is that we are in control of a tank. What could be more fun? Our run through consists of leaving the tunnel and hitting the other side of the battlefield, killing six or seven enemy tanks along the way.
It goes without saying that any level in Crysis would make for a great benchmark, but this one in particular is gorgeous. Using the “Medium” settings, the game looks spectacular and is playable on all of our graphic cards, so we stick with it. Throughout the level, there is much foliage and trees and also large view-distances. Explosions from the tanks is also a visual treat, making this one level I don’t mind playing over and over, and over.
Settings: Due to the intensiveness of the game, no AA is used at any resolution, and the secondary settings are all left to Medium.
As with most high-end GPUs, the excelling-point is to be seen at the highest of resolutions. There are no two-ways about it… the GTX 260 or GTX 280 are not for those running low resolutions. It simply doesn’t make sense. You will indeed see increases, but it’s actually more cost-effective to simply by a 24″ monitor and pick up a ~$200 GPU.
Back to the GTX 280. At our 1920×1200 setting, rather noticeable differences were seen over the GTX, but the gap widened much further at 2560×1600. This chart proves just how beefy this game is, because even with this state-of-the-art GPU, we can still only manage 40FPS at “Medium” settings. There might be a reason for that 3-way SLI GTX 280 setup after all…