Crysis: DirectX 10 vs. DirectX 9

The Crysis demo looks fantastic under both Windows Vista and Windows XP, but which one has the edge?

Crysis, the poster child for modern PC gaming and DirectX 10, will arrive shortly. Crytek has tortured us for years with screenshots and short hands-on experiences showing off the game's wide-open world, with picturesque tropical battlegrounds, perfect for sipping Mai Tais or peppering random bad guys with automatic rifle fire. Crytek released the single-player demo late last week, and we set up a few test systems to see just how the game looks under Windows Vista compared to Windows XP. We also took some in-game benchmarks to see how the frame rates compare in DirectX 9 and DirectX 10.

It wouldn't be an exaggeration to claim that the environments in Crysis come mighty close to photo-realistic. The beaches, sky, and rocks all have a gritty, real-earth feel to them. Crytek took plant matter to a new realm--a botanist would have a field day in Crysis. The palm trees, shrubbery, and grass create the feeling of tropical jungle more so than any other game we've come across.

The game officially limits in-game settings to "high quality" in Windows XP, while Windows Vista gets an additional "very high quality" graphics setting. Crysis still looks good at high quality, but it's a noticeable step down from the very high quality settings. Some ingenious users managed to enable very high quality on the Crysis demo in Windows XP through a clever bit of configuration-file editing. The second image in each set of comparison shots demonstrate what the hacked very high quality settings look like in Windows XP.

As far as we can tell, the difference between very high quality in Windows XP and Windows Vista is quite subtle. We noticed some extra shadowing on the rocks in the Vista version, and while there are differences between the hacked XP shots and the Vista shots, we can't really say that one looks better. Developers have gotten very good at working around hardware limitations to fake great graphics, so we wouldn't be surprised if the DX9 effects were good enough to simulate the results of a more "accurate" DX10 shader.

Image Comparison

Mouse over image caption to change images.

Vista-Very High Quality XP-Very High Quality XP-High Quality

Vista-Very High Quality XP-Very High Quality XP-High Quality

Vista-Very High Quality XP-Very High Quality XP-High Quality

Vista-Very High Quality XP-Very High Quality XP-High Quality

Vista-Very High Quality XP-Very High Quality XP-High Quality

Vista-Very High Quality XP-Very High Quality XP-High Quality


Image Comparison Continued

Mouse over image caption to change images.

Vista-Very High Quality XP-Very High Quality XP-High Quality

Vista-Very High Quality XP-Very High Quality XP-High Quality

Vista-Very High Quality XP-Very High Quality XP-High Quality

Vista-Very High Quality XP-Very High Quality XP-High Quality

Vista-Very High Quality XP-Very High Quality XP-High Quality

Vista-Very High Quality XP-Very High Quality XP-High Quality

Crysis Demo Performance

Crysis will most definitely join our stable of benchmarks for a long time to come. The very high quality settings in Windows Vista thrashed our GeForce 8800 GTX when we tried running it at high resolutions. Frame rate performance kept doubling once we lowered the quality settings to high, medium, and low. The Vista version performed slightly slower than Windows XP at the same settings, but the difference was within three to five percent at the high and medium settings. The hacked very high quality settings under Windows XP were almost 20 percent faster than the Vista frame rates, but comparing frame rates between the two is pointless because it isn't an apples-to-apples comparison. The image differences between the two versions indicate that they don't have an identical workload.

System Setup: Intel Core 2 X6800, eVGA 680i, 2GB Corsair XMS Memory (1GBx2), 750GB Seagate 7200.10 SATA Hard Disk Drive, Windows XP Professional SP2, Windows Vista Ultimate 32-bit. Graphics Card: GeForce 8800 GTX 768MB. Graphics Driver: Nvidia ForceWare 169.04.

The demo isn't a final release of the game, and as such might not represent all the features that Crysis has to offer. The full game comes out the week of November 12, so be on the lookout for further updates.


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987 comments
02050muh
02050muh

f***ing buggy game....aerrrrrggggghhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

stevoiscrunk132
stevoiscrunk132

@ thesaad You can buy a decent sub-100 dollar card now (hd4650, hd4670, hd4770) that will run crysis at medium settings very well. If you dont mind paying around 130-150 you can get a dx11 card like an hd5750 or hd5770. I have a 5770 atm and i love it. I can crank crysis up to max settings under 1280*720 rez (w/out AA) and get around 30-35fps. If you want the same performance as an hd5770 but save some cash, you can get an hd4870 or hd4890; although, they dont have dx11 capabilities or eyefinity (multi monitor capabilities). Hope this helps :D P.S. This is only the ATI line-up of budget gamer cards. Nvidia carry cards comparable to the plethora that I mentioned. Unfortunately, I have not had enough experienced with them to comment on them. I believe they are a tad bit more expensive, but have physx capabilities that enhance gaming effects with compatible video games.

thesaad
thesaad

I have never played good PC games cause I always have a cheap [integrated] graphics card. I have a PC with 3 Gig RAM and AMD Dual Processor. I need to get my hand on a decent Graphics card. But being new to shopping for them I have no idea about how to efficiently compare them. Is there a detailed list of cards and their performance. And I obviously want to pay as little as possible, which mean that something like Crysis is out of the question, but maybe some other good game. Its really frustrating, my current card on this system can't even play Halo Demo smoothly. LOL.

nakedzombie69
nakedzombie69

i can run crysis on my x850 and it sure as hell doesnt have 512mb of memory.

sumedh7
sumedh7

gizmogazmo u r an idiot (apologies but u r an idiot) i would love to see u try, just try to run crysis with a 256mb card and u must be like a highschool dropout or something to even say that resolution makes no difference even my grandpa who doesn't even use a computer knows that resolution makes a difference if it didn't y do u thing sony and samsung r making 1080p tvs or some stellar computers ask yourself this: would u rather look in a foggy mirror or a clean one that is the difference in resolution (exaggeration) lisoway_69: nice little rant there not even gonna try to beat that gave him what he deserves and you were a 100% correct p.s. i would rather use an amd phenom II quad core than the intel due to better performance and lower price

covertgamer78
covertgamer78

I can't see any difference in the Vista Very-High Quality and the hacked XP Very-High Quality, none whatsoever. You might could argue the shaders are slightly more detailed in Vista, but to me that is only the light source moving.(sun)

lillitu
lillitu

lisoway_69 one thing you forgot to mention so people dont get confused is that only 64bit vista can go above 2-4 gig of ram. well in fact 4gig reads at 3.1gig. so if you have 32bit vista still stuck at same ram as xp with a more resource hungry OS. should put all the facts.

BenBenBen93
BenBenBen93

Now were in the era of 1920 x1200 + gaming with AA but this beast is still giving us a beating just get 2X4870X2 on it with i7 and 6GB DDR3 on the case and its nailed

mastodon_rock96
mastodon_rock96

Oh yeah and by the way 'Gizmogazmo'. Maplins rules! That's where I got my card.

mastodon_rock96
mastodon_rock96

Ha ha! On gamesforwindows.com they compare dx9 and 10. For dx10 they use character models from crysis, but for dx9 they use halo 1? As if that's as good as dx9 gets! Check it out I found it funny.

lisoway_69
lisoway_69

Did Gizmogazmo just say that all the vRAM you need to play all games is 256MB??? Lawl. "Hi guys just to let you know im studying computer science and at the top of my class; so i know what im talking about; without having to sound immensely arrogant. i would like to say 3 things which you will find 100% essential; so take account;" Did you just learn how to put together a Computer in High School? Your whole post is laughable. If its a secondary course its even worse. I'm sorry to be this rude, but most things that you said were biased and not thought out. First of all, unless your using a 12" (Exaggeration) monitor your not going to get away with most games using only 256MB vRAM. If your getting a computer new, pre or custom built, your most likely going to be getting something around the 20" range as they are becoming quite affordable. I run at 1680x1050 ("Rediculous resolution" of course)because if not, whats the point of running the game very high when its so pixelated that its not worth running it. (Another exaggeration... Yet what is the point of running it 'Very High' in that situation...) I don't even want to continue ranting about 'know it alls' today... Aswell, people complaining about vista... How much of a hypocrite can you be... If your buying a new computer to play games like Crysis on, your dumb enough to stick with XP because what? You think DX10 sucks? Or because Vista takes an extra 512MB RAM to run the OS? Did you know you can run a program in DX 9 on Vista if you want. Ohh scary I know... And most XP computers are capped at 2-4GB of RAM anyway. Ram is so cheap these days, why not stock up and get your self some overkill. Six GB should do your for anything forever. Wait, whats that you want duo core? Why not Intel 2 Quad Core for a bit of spice with your dinner? Aswell, you forget that Vista is the new OS. Soon games with be optimized for Vista and will actually use all that glossy RAM and all those nice Intel 2 processors. Of course Vista has bugs, but nothing like what it used to be. Its actually fairly good these days, and alot safer. Vista is a system meant to be kept and the computer upgraded upon along with the gaming industry. Not thrown out every 2 years and a new one bought. Why not 'splurge', buy yourself a good computer with Vista. Then keep it. Upgrade it and take the money and the trips to the dump you saved and buy me a large case for my computer :D I recommend, if your custom making a computer... A Large case, excessive cooling, and a Nvidia motherboard (Preferred) or a ATI Crossfire compatible Motherboard. Once you get all that, and a graphics card of choice. (Of course quality and serious consideration is needed here...) Then you show it all off to all your friends on a 24", monitor. Once the new demands on systems for PC Gaming is made... Go SLI or Crossfire... The monitor is probably the biggest hit on your PC. Big resolutions bog down computers tons. Unless you have the graphics card to handle it, don't whine about Vista and DX 10 ruining gaming. Or, if you actually feeling like doing something for yourself, learn a little something about .config files... Might actually *gasp* do something good. Stock XP DX 9 and Vista DX 10 DO NOT look the same... Lol, it takes a fair bit of .config file magic to make it look the same way as it does on a nice '22"VistaDX10VeryHighCrysis Jungle'. And yes, yes... Thats all one word. Sorry to be such a.. Uhh... Jerkk.. For lack of a better uncensored term. But people being ignorant of the future and some good new things, because they are too lazy to go learn about them... Well... Piss me off. Things are still developing... If you think some multi-million dollar companies are just going to let 'Crap' operating systems and components become their Signature products... Well you get the idea. Things will be improved on. DX10 is not the best yet. Its better to plan for the future anyway... *Hmm wish I did that with everything else in my life...* These shots are also from the demo... :|

jemlay
jemlay

@KingRoyW - Crysis is NOT a DX10 game. It's a DX9 game that uses DX10 extensions. To date, 3DMark Vantage is the only pure DX10 application.

KingRoyW
KingRoyW

To answer you Munkyman, I wanted to know if there were any games that looked significantly better in dx10 compared to dx9, which would make vista look more attractive. Crysis is meant to be one of these, but people got smart and found out dx9 could do the dx10 graphics. So pretty much all games graphics are the same in dx9 and dx10, unless someone disagrees? Don't forget in the last pic, XP has a dead Korean in the water. The more dead Koreans in my game, the better!

Munkyman587
Munkyman587

king, why are you even making threads in pc hardware discussion asking if you should get vista when you wrote comments like these?

KingRoyW
KingRoyW

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

KingRoyW
KingRoyW

.... Yeh, the only thing I see different is that the radar dish moved... but nothing else really. Is dx10 just a scam to get people to buy vista? Its the only good thing about it, next to the cheap flashy interface.

hamadatoon
hamadatoon

relly. we dont need to run all games on Vista in 1600 by 1200 ris. its very good to run games like Crysis on XP SP2 in 1024 by 800 on very High Quality. for me . I have beat the game yasterday. using ( XP SP3 - 7300GTS - 2 giga ram - Core2dou 1.87 GHz) in 800 by 600 in Low quality .

mazin-95
mazin-95

There isn't MUCH different between very high XP and bery high VISTA

Gizmogazmo
Gizmogazmo

by the way guys who have high spec computers and cant put the graphics very high; well thats probably because youre putting it at rediculous resoloutions which dont make any big difference except to put enormous strain on your computers for s******t reason. i myself use 1024 - 768 pixel resoloution. oh and you should be no less then 1 gb ram for optimum gaming experiences.

Gizmogazmo
Gizmogazmo

Hi guys just to let you know im studying computer science and at the top of my class; so i know what im talking about; without having to sound immensely arrogant. i would like to say 3 things which you will find 100% essential; so take account; 1- the highest specs that you will need in 100% of games is 256mb graphics card with considerable features; 3.0 shader quality and so on. 3.4 ghz processing power with considerable cacheing size. a sound card that can hold its own; hd ones are great but you should also check the specs which should be of considerable standard. last and not least get a considerable motherboard to hold all these components or youre f****d; you should really get them in bundles; motherboard with free processer and ram or graphics card. oh yeah and considerable external products; a case preferablly large, and moniter, speakers, keyboard, mouse; doesnt have to be anything really amazing just has to hold its own. the internal products are what really count. 2- you can get a top notch computer for 500 quid you just have to know where to shop and how to put the parts togeather or you can pay a bit extra to pay someone in a private computer store to put it togeather; and if they f****k up the parts then their responsible and have to pay up with cash or by giving you the same parts again if not a bit extra for all the trouble or you can do it yourself but trust me make sure youre no amature or youre just going to cause enormous grief but its generally quite easy to put it all togeather, installing the motherboard and processer are the only slightly more difficult bits but even then its quite easy. AND MAKE SURE YOU GET A GOOD OPERATING SYSTEM WINDOWS XP IS BETTER THEN WINDOWS VISTA BECAUSE WIN VISTA HAS TOO MANY BUGS BUT THEN ALSO DID WIN XP WHEN IT FIRST CAME OUT SO I WOULD WAIT A FEW YEARS UNTIL THEY FIX THE BUGS WITH THE OP SYSTEM THEN YOU CAN CONSIDER GETTING IT. DX10 IS TEMPTING WITH VISTA BUT ITS NOT GOING TO PRODUCE AMAZING VISUALS UNTIL SOME FEW YEARS DOWN THE LINE AS DEVELOPERS NEED TO KNOW THE LIMITS OF THIS 3D ENHANCER SOFTWARE AND HOW BEST TO USE ITS FEATURES SO GO FOR XP. 3- look around and compare prices even at second hand stores. i myself shop at pc world, maplins and second hand stores and put it all togeather. but i would go to maplins to get fantastic deals for instance top notch graphics cards cost 70 - 80 quid and top notch processers cost 70 -160 quid and top notch motherboards cost 50 -120 usually with thrown in top notch processers and ram, so thats great but honestly look around as the rest of youre money can go towards other things you want. just remember you can even get things from your relatives if they dont want old moniters, keyboards or mouses; but you should really accept older external products like these as internal power is more powerful then external as that is the power of a pc in general.

bane6667
bane6667

i have an awesome comp but i found out the video card is old to no end so when i get a new video card ill play this on very high

bfme2j26
bfme2j26

yeah I just bought a new radeon 4870 so I'll probably see how this dx 10 thing on XP goes. Maybe I'll actually get playable FPS on very high...

CaptainDingo
CaptainDingo

"not to mention 9 out of the 10 computers we fix are XP not VISTA" It ever occur to you that the reason for that is because 9 out of 10 people are still using XP due to Vista's failure to be compliant with many aspects of older games? I've got a friend who was boned out of voice chat in Chaos Theory co-op because his microphone configuration button is grayed out, which turned out to be a side effect of Vista. Just one of many little things that Vista has ruined for you if you actually like to play older games occasionally. Not everyone plays the cutting edge DirectX10 enabled games. Especially since Crysis is the only one, and to be honest with you, I think the game looks great on mostly medium and some high settings, and from the looks of this comparison, there's no reason to upgrade to Vista unless you want the game to run slower. So much for Microsoft's claim that DirectX10 is faster than ever.

jeremey9905
jeremey9905

loooks to me like this representation amounts to nothing at all, but that it apears that not for sure though that, havent played the game, there is a day light change proces in the game and that may be the difference. other words it goes from light to day in the game.

lil_luz_10
lil_luz_10

Why do I see very little difference?

ldiego08
ldiego08

@tiranno My PC is a Core2Duo E6600 @ 2GB RAM plus XFX 8800GT AE 512MB, I can run this at high with no anti-aliasing at 1152 x 864 (CRT Monitor) I guess you should sell the 8600 since I used to have one GTS overclocked n' lagged even at medium settings.

Cryser-Skyper
Cryser-Skyper

I dont get is it possible to have DX10 on a Windows XP.But about the comparisons-Vista Very High Quality and XP Very High Quality are completly the same.But Vista requires a more powerful PC and that would cause games to lag more,so I prefer XP more over Windows Vista

redanal
redanal

And for that between Vista vs Xp I tried every version of Xp(Crystal, black edition, 2007 edition, 2008 edition, sp1, sp2 and s3) and I triek vista versions(home, ultimate and ultimate sp1 x32 and x64) and I gota say that Vista Ultimate Service pack 1 x64 or x86 is the best operating system I have ever had, in 2 months i haven't had even 1 virus or spyware, evey game works just fine, looking better than xp, style, MOST STABLE windows ever, no problem for a drivers, you don't even need to install drivers for motherboard or gpu... and much more. Somebody just don't like vista but I tell you that Vista is much better than any version of xp!!!

plm3d_basic
plm3d_basic

There is no dx10 on xp. There's a hack that lets you play very high on xp though.

KINGYoungKING
KINGYoungKING

Dumb Asses U Can Download DX. 10 On Win. XP I Have It.

-Sauron-
-Sauron-

I play on very high, windows xp I don't like vista very much and theres almost no difference between the two screenshots.

orcsblade
orcsblade

almost no difference with vista and xp at very high

troyrae
troyrae

LOL, i like the way some people have turned this into a vista vs xp battle, Being a Computer Tech, I'd have to say Vista is a far better oparating system, Its more stable and more sucure, There hasn't been a peice of hardwere that vista hasn't been able to load drivers for that i've found yet!! execpt once i put a 5 year old TV tuner card in and it didnt like it, so after about a week of playing round with it i took it out!! the hardwere was obsilite, not to mention 9 out of the 10 computers we fix are XP not VISTA, every one that i know that has Actually installed VISTA on there comp has keeped it and not looked back, I personally use VISTA 64 home pream, and like it, if i didn't think it was better I would have gone back to XP straght away!!!, I play CRYSIS on very high at 1280x1080,,, Vista 64, AMD 6400+, 4gig ddr 800, HD3870x2, gose well :-)

_HAV0C_
_HAV0C_

there is little to no difference between xp and vista what so ever. you tell people that buying vista to replace xp is pointless, they just dont listen

Smiley451
Smiley451

i have windows right now, and i'm not buying vista for this. there's no difference between them, and vista has some instability to it anyway. Tiranno, if i were you, i'd keep whatever OS i have (cuz there's no difference). and only buy another video card after testing the game with your single.

Ares_hot
Ares_hot

Well, it's barely any differense, i can run this game on very high on everything and the computer doesn't ever slow down :). World in Conflict too. =). It's kickass.

bangell99
bangell99

I'm not gonna get Vista just for DX10. XP is a much better OS, and I couldn't run at very high settings anyway! :P

zimmbot
zimmbot

Dx10 would be a little better I have a 9800GX2 which can run it no sweet but with a 8600gt it would probably run better on Dx9 dont bother with vista though its a wast of time for the little difference in graphics

tiranno
tiranno

Someone could tell me if my PC can run it in High Quality?? Which is better, DX 9 or DX10?? It's a Core 2 Duo E8500, 2GB memory, GeForce 8600GT, Motherboard ASUS P5N-E-SLI. If not do you think that I should buy 2 GeForce 8600GT to use SLI?? I haven't seen much diference between XP and Vista, I use XP should I use Vista??

Corey496
Corey496

I have an AMD Phenom Quad-Core 9850 BE, an Nvidia GEforce 9800 GX2, 4GB OCZ Platinum 800mhz memory and I can run Crysis on Very High with framerates about 30-35 per second! Pretty good I think!

13ozzy
13ozzy

But i wonna say that vista has better textures and a bit better shadows...(sometimes)

13ozzy
13ozzy

I cant really see that much of a difference between vista and xp, i personally prefer Vista.

Douken
Douken

Bleh DX10... XP+Crysis+ Natural MOD 2.0 = Godness

monty_4256
monty_4256

lol, vista has it's perks though, like not having to hack the game... should have better performance when service pack comes round, XP performed rubbish when it was first released with windows 2000 being the prefered choice for gaming

is0lati0n
is0lati0n

DX10 is obviously the better.

bignice12
bignice12

lol Mchief8 you are so gullible that was an april fools joke.

redguard117
redguard117

The DX 10 graphics are slightly better with shadows, water, and creating a "puffy" effect in the clouds, but besides that there isn't much difference. Between Very high and high, however, there's a huge difference. However, DX 10 adds some motion blur. In all the other sites I've looked at, Vista drops frame rates by usually 20 frames or more. I wonder why this didn't happen with the Gamespot tests. Even an Nvidia 9800 GX2 in quad sli can't play Crysis at over 25 frames per second on very high settings (for reference, Tomb Raider: Anniversary is at over 400 frames per second on the same system).

MChief8
MChief8

jocarl1215 not even NASA can run this came at maximum settings.