Building the Best PC for Crysis
Last updated: February 2016
Crysis is a first-person shooter developed by Crytek and released in November 2007. Built on the CryEngine2, Crysis immediately claimed the throne of "Most Demanding PC Game." In 2007 and 2008, it was the game everyone dreamed of playing when they built their new PC. Today, Crysis has since been surpassed by more demanding games, but it still looks quite impressive -- especially with mods.
This guide will help you understand how powerful of a PC you need to play Crysis.
What to Buy
At logicalincrements.com, we recommend hardware for PC builds. These PC builds cover a wide range of budgets that are sorted into tiers, starting with the Destitute and Poor tiers, to the Superb or Excellent tiers, and even Extremist and Monstrous. How good are these tiers in Crysis? Let's take a look at what hardware to buy in order to play WoW at a good framerate.
Note: These benchmarks for the original release of Crysis, and do not account for any mods. Most mods will make the game look better, but require even more powerful hardware.
|Good ($490)||Very Smooth||Playable||Playable||Borderline|
|Very Good ($530)||Very Smooth||Playable||Playable||Borderline|
|Great ($630)||Very Smooth||Smooth||Playable||Borderline|
|Superb ($750)||Very Smooth||Smooth||Playable||Borderline|
|Excellent ($1000)||Silky Smooth||Very Smooth||Smooth||Playable|
|Outstanding ($1100)||Silky Smooth||Very Smooth||Very Smooth||Playable|
|Exceptional ($1400)||Silky Smooth||Very Smooth||Very Smooth||Playable|
|Enthusiast ($1600)||Silky Smooth||Silky Smooth||Very Smooth||Smooth|
|Extremist ($2500)||Silky Smooth||Silky Smooth||Silky Smooth||Very Smooth|
|Monstrous ($3,500+)||Silky Smooth||Silky Smooth||Silky Smooth||Silky Smooth|
|Below 20 FPS||Unplayable||Jerky animation, "lag" and "stutter".|
|20-30 FPS||Borderline||Ok for some, too "laggy" for others. AKA "Cinematic".|
|30-45 FPS||Playable||Acceptable to most people. Not very good though!|
|45-60 FPS||Smooth||Fluid animation, no "lag".|
|60-90 FPS||Very Smooth||Very smooth is very smooth to almost everyone.|
|Above 90 FPS||Silky Smooth||Criminally smooth. For hardcore and professional players.|
Comparison to Crysis 2 and 3
After sifting through the benchmarks, it seems that Crysis 2 gets roughly 20%-30% better frame rates than Crysis. So if you can get ~50 FPS in Crysis, you will get ~60 FPS in Crysis 2 with the same settings. However, Crysis 2 uses a more updated game engine (CryEngine3, as opposed to CryEngine2), so it utilizes more than two CPU cores, and we still need to investigate further before we can say more about Crysis 2. A preliminary reading of Tom's Crysis 2 Direct X 11 article shows that you will see a significant drop in frame rate going from DX9 to DX11 in Crysis 2. If you play Crysis 2 with DX11, it might be almost as tough on hardware as Crysis 1. The high resolution texture pack will not have a significant impact on frame rates, as long as you have 1GB or more RAM on your graphics card.
Benchmarks for Crysis 3 show that it requires serious hardware. Judging by Tom's Crysis 3 Benchmarks, a machine that gets 60 FPS in Crysis may get as little as 20 FPS in Crysis 3!
A Note About Frame Rate (FPS)
Frames per second (FPS) measures the number of images your computer can produce every second. Higher frame rates mean that your screen will show more images per second, which means that you will see a smoother animation. Lower frame rates cause a game to appear to stutter, which is generally not enjoyable for the player.
For the purposes of our PC build guides, we recommend computers that will achieve 60 FPS in your game of choice. Some gamers are satisfied with frame rates as low as 30, but that depends largely on the gamer and the game.
For more information and animations explaining frame rate, please check out our Frame Rate page.
Higher Resolution for Better Gaming
Resolution refers to the number of pixels on a screen. High resolution means more pixels and generally more space and detail, while low resolution means fewer pixels, and often less space. If you are using a typical (not high-end) laptop or an old screen, you likely have a low resolution. When comparing screens with a similar aspect ratio, it is always better to get a higher resolution screen. Higher resolution will always looks better, as you have more real estate and a sharper picture. The image below shows the difference in real estate between common resolutions.
For more information on resolutions, check our Screen Resolution page.
Crysis CPU and RAM Requirements
CPU: Being quite an old title, Crysis only utilizes dual cores. The game is more GPU dependant, so even a decent Pentium processor will be fine. The performance does depend on both architecture and a little on frequency. Faster clocked CPUs get slightly better performance, but new architectures run Crysis best.
RAM: Crysis officially recommends 2GB of RAM. You will definitely not be running Crysis on the Destitute tier, and every other tier from our parts guide has 4GB or more.
Considering Crysis is an older title, pretty much every Logical Increments tier has sufficient CPU power and RAM.
Logical Increments Tiers and How They Fare
Note: For consistency, we looked at benchmarks with high settings, as Crysis 1 does not have any presets. Please remember that you can get much better framerates if you turn down the settings to medium or low.
Using high graphical settings, these tiers cannot play Crysis at any resolution. Even at 1024x768, you are going to get something like 15 FPS. If you are going to be playing Crysis, you will need a better PC, or you will be turning your settings down to low. With low settings, you might be able to get frame rates in the 20s or 30s, depending on your resolution. Crysis is still a demanding game, and this tier does not cut it.
With a dedicated graphics card, your graphical power is much higher. With high settings, you can expect a frame rate in the upper 20s or lower 30s at lower resolutions. If you increase the resolution to 1080p while keeping the settings high, your FPS will dip below 20. To play Crysis enjoyably, you need something more powerful than this tier.
You can get borderline ~20 FPS on 1080p, or a playable ~35 FPS if the resolution is lower. This tier is still not good enough for Crysis.
At 1080p, you can get frame rate in the upper 20s, or in the lower 40s if you drop the resolution. Almost good enough, but not ideal.
The cheapest tier than can reasonably give you playable framerates in the lower 30’s at 1680x1050. We still recommend that you go for something that will at least give you smooth gameplay, and this tier is not it. - See more at: http://www.logicalincrements.com/games/crysis/#sthash.dzqfZsFp.dpuf
You can expect a playable 35 FPS at 1080p, and a frame rate in the 40s to 50s at 1600x900.
These are the first tiers that can play at a smooth 50 FPS at 1080p. If you want an enjoyable Crysis experience, then these are the tiers that you want to buy. If you crank up the resolution to 1440p, the frame rates dips to around 30 FPS.
This tier can give you a very smooth 60 FPS at 1080p.
Expect 60+ FPS at 1080p. Very playable rates at 1440p.
Very smooth frame rates at 1440p. Playable rates at 4K.
60+ FPS at 1440p. Smooth rates at 4K.
Very Smooth rates at 4K.
Silky Smooth at 4K. What more could you ask for?!
Today, even very cheap PCs can play Crysis. The question is, how well can you play it?
At 1600x900, we recommend the Fair or Good tier.
At 1080p, we recommend the Great tier.
At 1440p, we recommend the Outstanding tier.
At 4K, we recommend the Extremist tier.
The Falcon: I played nearly half the single player campaign of Crysis, but on a friend’s computer. I never got to finish it, and I did not touch Crysis 2. After buying a new PC, I never had time to go back and enjoy the game everyone else was talking about.
Orion: I enjoyed the first part of Crysis a lot -- sneaking around in the shadows, invisible, with a silenced gun. Once the aliens showed up it wasn’t as interesting to me. What I did play a whole lot of though, was Mechwarrior Living Legends. It’s a mod for Crysis that turns Crysis into the mech game I had been wanting since Mechwarrior 2. Now that Mechwarrior Online is out, MW:LL is less relevant, but it’s still a fantastic mod. Too bad those guys never got a Kickstarter project going to turn it into a full game.
Logical Increments helps more than a million PC builders each year with hardware recommendations for any budget.
- Techspot's Crysis 2 review
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