The premium-class dual-chip products pass the test successfully. The superiority of the GeForce GTX 590 may be due not only to its more advanced tessellation unit but also to the close partnership between EA and Nvidia. AMD’s solution is not very far behind, yet you may have unpleasant slowdowns even on a Radeon HD 6990 at the Full-HD resolution.
The fastest single-chip graphics cards seem to belong to different product categories: the GeForce GTX 580 is 30% faster than the Radeon HD 6970. Although the top-end GPUs from both AMD and Nvidia are packed with cutting-edge technologies, the extra load in the latest version of Crysis 2 does not allow them to deliver a high frame rate even at 1920x1080, let alone 2560x1600. Following the notorious tradition established by the previous Crysis, you have to lower the graphics quality settings in order to make the game playable.
Now we’ve got a game that suggests that the current generation of performance-mainstream solutions calls for replacement. You can’t get smooth gameplay with them. Anyway, we can name the winner which is the GeForce GTX 570. It beats the three products from AMD as well as the GeForce GTX 560 Ti. The average advantage of the GTX 570 over the GTX 560 Ti is 20%.
The Radeon HD 6950 is the only AMD product to compete with the GTX 560 Ti, the gap between them narrowing from 10% to zero at high resolutions, yet both graphics cards are disappointingly slow. The more affordable Radeon HD 6850 is inferior to the rest of the tested cards and cannot give you more than 30 fps at the maximum graphics quality settings.
This test was not meant to ridicule these mainstream category products, yet their performance is indeed ludicrously low in Crysis 2. You just can’t play the game normally using a GeForce GTX 550 Ti or Radeon HD 5770. It’s hard to tell which card is the better because both fail this test completely.
Although we didn’t test a GeForce GT 530, the results of its predecessor GeForce GT 430 are quite illustrative. The new generation of Nvidia’s low-end graphics cards doesn’t push the performance bar much higher, as opposed to the Radeon HD 6670, for example. Like in the previous years, playing Crysis 2 on affordable graphics cards is hardly an option.