Far Cry 2 Hardware Performance Guide

Find out what kind of hardware you need to run Far Cry 2.

Computers wept openly when Crytek unleashed Crysis on the world. The game made the most powerful computers sputter and hiccup when trying to run the game at high image quality levels. Fortunately, Far Cry 2, based on Ubisoft Montreal's Dunia engine, is nowhere near as taxing. Aside from leaving behind the pleasant beaches of the Pacific for the savannahs of Africa, Far Cry 2 also includes a new DirectX 10 engine. Like other Cry games, Far Cry 2 has huge draw distances, lush forests, incredibly detailed shadows, and spectacular fire/heat effects. Running the game with maximum settings requires a modern computer, but you don't need a hulking beast of a machine to run the game well.

Far Cry 2 comes with a built-in test that has three different performance runs. You can find the test in the game folder's /bin directory. We found the short test to be the most consistent. To be on the safe side, we averaged the results of five runs for our final frame rate score.

Settings

A visually complex game such as Far Cry 2 has its fair share of quality settings that can slow down performance. We found two or three settings that you should adjust if you're looking for a little frame rate boost.

Video Cards

Like just about any other first-person shooter, Far Cry 2 loves a good GPU. We tested almost 20 video cards, ranging from the premium Radeon 4870X2 down to the aging GeForce 6800.

CPU

Far Cry 2 really likes processors. We dug into our pile of CPUs and pulled out Intel Core 2s, AMD Phenoms, and Pentium 4s to see how the game scales with CPU power.

Memory

Far Cry 2 requires 1GB of RAM to run in Windows XP and 2GB in Windows Vista, and our testing confirmed the requirements. Going below the required hardware will severely hamper performance.

Systems

Far Cry 2's minimum requirements consist of an anemic 3.2GHz Pentium 4, 1GB of RAM, and at least a GeForce 6800-class video card. We built a system matching the minimum specs in our test lab, but the actual Far Cry 2 test consistently crashed on the machine. However, in between crashes, the game ran just fine after we lowered all of the settings and reduced the resolution to the lowest setting. We built Ubisoft's recommended system with an Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz CPU, a GeForce 8600 GTS, and 2GB of RAM with Windows Vista 32-bit for the operating system. It wasn't the quickest machine, but it ran the game well at moderate resolutions and quality settings. Our high-end system packed with a 3.2GHz quad core and a Radeon 4870X2 was able to run Far Cry 2 at high resolution with the best image quality settings.

System Setup:

High-End System: Intel Core2 QX9650, eVGA 780i, 2GB Corsair XMS Memory (1GBx2), 750GB Seagate 7200.11 SATA Hard Disk Drive, Windows Vista 32-bit SP1. Graphics Card: Radeon 4870X2, beta Catalyst HotFix 70517.

Recommended System: Intel Core2 Duo E6600 2.4GHz, eVGA 680i, 2GB Corsair XMS Memory (1GBx2), 750GB Seagate 7200.11 SATA Hard Disk Drive, Windows Vista 32-bit SP1. Graphics Card: GeForce 8600 GTS, beta Nvidia ForceWare 180.42.

Settings

Far Cry 2 looks great, but at the same time, we're baffled by the number of quality settings the game offers beyond the basic "high." Most games have a single high quality setting, but Far Cry 2 manages to tack on "very high quality" and then "ultra high quality" for those discerning players that always demand ultra treatment.

Using the higher quality settings reduces performance significantly in DirectX 9, but increasing the quality level might be worth it because the game does look considerably better in very high quality than high quality. Going up to ultra didn't seem to be worth the performance hit. High quality and very high quality put up similar frame rates in DirectX 10. Ultra, on the other hand, takes a chomp out of frame rates without giving much in return. Interestingly enough, the game looked the same from high quality to ultra high quality in DirectX10. We didn't observe any visual differences between the two highest settings but you can judge for yourself in the comparison shots.

Our testing also revealed two key settings to watch for performance issues. As always, shadows sap performance the most--feel free to drop down to a lower level to recoup a few frames. Geometry also takes a heavy toll on performance. The game doesn't look all too bad with geometry set to low, but you do miss out on a few finishing touches such as vines hanging from trees.

System Setup: Intel Core 2 X6800, eVGA 680i, 2GB Corsair XMS Memory (1GB x 2), 750GB Seagate 7200.11 SATA Hard Disk Drive, Windows Vista SP1. Graphics Card: GeForce 9800 GTX, Nvidia ForceWare 180.42.

Graphics Comparison

DirectX 10 Quality Settings

Ultra High Very High High

DirectX 9 Quality Settings

Ultra High Very High High Medium Low

Shadows

Ultra High Very High High Medium Low

Textures

Ultra High Very High High Medium Low

More Graphics Comparisons

High Dynamic Range and Bloom

Bloom+HDR Bloom HDR No Bloom or HDR

Geometry

Ultra High Very High High Medium Low

Terrain

Ultra High Very High High Medium Low

Shading

High Medium Low

Video Cards

Far Cry 2 loves powerful video cards, but you won't need to run out and get the best one to have a great in-game experience. Mainstream video cards such as the GeForce 8800 GT and Radeon 4850 have more than enough juice in them to squeeze out acceptable frame rates at absurdly high resolutions with high-quality settings. Even older GPUs such as the GeForce 7900 GS and Radeon HD 2600 Pro run Far Cry 2 decently if you dial back the settings enough.

System Setup: Intel Core2 QX9770, eVGA 680i SLI, 2GB Corsair XMS Memory (1GBx2), 750GB Seagate 7200.11 SATA Hard Disk Drive, Windows Vista 32-bit SP1. Graphics Cards: GeForce 280 GTX, GeForce 260 GTX, GeForce 9800 GTX 512MB, GeForce 9600 GT 256MB, GeForce 8800 GT 512MB, GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB, GeForce 7900 GS 256MB, GeForce 7600 GT 256MB, GeForce 6800 128MB, Radeon HD 4870 X2, Radeon HD 4870, Radeon HD 4850, Radeon HD 4670, Radeon HD 3870 X2, Radeon HD 3870 512MB, Radeon HD 3850 512MB, Radeon HD 2900 XT 512MB, Radeon HD 2600 Pro 256MB, Radeon X1950 Pro 256MB. Graphics Drivers: beta Nvidia ForceWare 180.42, beta ATI Catalyst 70517.

CPU

Feel free to get the beefiest CPU you can find; Far Cry 2 will love it. However, don't feel pressured to buy the most expensive super-extreme-black-edition processors. You can easily reap most of the performance gains with a moderately priced processor such as a 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo.

System Setup: Intel Core 2 QX9770, Intel Core 2 X6800, Intel Core 2 Duo E6600, Intel Core2 E6320, Intel Pentium 4 3.8GHz, AMD Phenom X4 9600, AMD Phenom X3 8750, eVGA 680I, Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H, 2GB Corsair XMS Memory (1GB x 2), 750GB Seagate 7200.11 SATA Hard Disk Drive, Windows Vista 32-bit SP1. Graphics Card: GeForce 9800 GTX, Nvidia ForceWare 180.42

Memory

Running with the recommended 2GB of RAM is more than enough to handle the game. Jumping up to 3GB doesn't seem to add any performance. 1GB of RAM doesn't even meet the requirements for Windows Vista, but we wanted to see what would happen.

System Setup: Intel Core 2 X6800, eVGA 680i SLI, 3GB Corsair XMS Memory (2GBx2), 2GB Corsair XMS Memory (1GBx2), 1GB Corsair XMS Memory (512MBx2), 750GB Seagate 7200.11 SATA Hard Disk Drive, Windows Vista 32-bit SP1. Graphics Card: GeForce 9800 GTX, Nvidia ForceWare 180.42.

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Discussion

220 comments
antoniobandino
antoniobandino

Dude, Intel i5 at 3ghz, 8gb of ram and a Radeon 6850 (such a cheap setup...) can easily max this game at 1920x1200 and runs at a constant 70fps. Incredible how far GPU technology has come along!

mdrew93
mdrew93

Amazingly, and I don't know how, my old pc (specs below) with xp can run this. I think my gpu is the only thing that saves me. AMD Athlon 64 3000+ (required is 3500+) Ram: 512 MB (required is 1gb) GPU: MSI Nvidia 8500GT 512 mb (required 256 mb) It runs is acceptable with everything but realtree on low (realtree is on medium). Of course I usually play it on my dad's 2.7ghz dual core with 2gb of ram and about the same gpu as mine has, but it's impressive that mine can run it at all.

kimivenkat
kimivenkat

i have athlon X2 7750 black edition 3 ghz (oc) xfx gts 250 1gb ddr3 core edition 4gb ddr 2 800mhz ram i am running the game with ultra high . except shadow in very high, 1280 X 600 very nice graphics

nationmaster
nationmaster

Although i can run Far Cry 2 at ultra high, very high, high settings with 1680x1050 resolution, when i start the game, still appears "warning: your video card drivers are too old. please update your them". Intel Core2 Quad Q6600, GeForce 8800 GTS 512Mb, 4096 Mb RAM, Windows Vista 32-bit

Express_Diablos
Express_Diablos

I'm running the game at Very High and High settings at 1200x1048 screening with a Nivida 9400 GT card. 2.0 Intel Celeron processor, 2 gigs of ram, Windows XP, pretty big hard drive. So if you got that you can run the game just fine with a little lag here and there in area's.

hash94
hash94

i wonder what if someone run far cry 2 on Alienware Alx X58 it will max out sooo sooooo easy think!

voodoochild815
voodoochild815

this game runs like a champ... and it looks as good if not better then its console counterpart on even the lowest settings

grootelaar
grootelaar

hope fully those videocards will not cost you a high power bill in the future

chrisda
chrisda

@ Hoplite32....A Radeon 9600 GT??? Last time i checked, ATI and Nvidia weren't cross-breeding

chrisda
chrisda

@ will952....HUGE difference, thats the amount of memory dedicated to graphics, the more the merrier

teetsaar
teetsaar

Kids these days, all about showin' off their system'!

core_DEVOUR
core_DEVOUR

can i run it on my: core2duo t5800 intel gma4500mhd 2gig of ram?

will952
will952

btw is there much difference between a 9800gt 512mb and a 9800 gt 1024mb?

will952
will952

red bars= fps(frames per second) for good performance u want 25+ fps

GAS30U5
GAS30U5

sorry, noob here, but can someone explain to me how the red bars work?

jvsexy
jvsexy

hi,ive got a 9800 GTX 512mb - there isnt ANY difference between Ultra High & Very High. Ultra high will also slowdown your performance. Playing this game on High settings also looks really gorgeous. Also play with atleast 2GB RAM. Cheeers :)

shaunwongwk
shaunwongwk

Well, i can max out every setting except shadows and geometry, each at medium and very high respectively and i get and average of 37 FPS. Im running the game on a E6300 @ 1.86Ghz and An XFX 8800GT 512 Mb. By the way, are shadows more CPU or GPU bound? Turning up the shadows on max just slaughters my rig especially areas that have long draw distances

lazee_paras
lazee_paras

Hi i've got an ASUS EAH 3450 for trial. Both Far Cry 2 and Crysis are playable. Is this card ok or should i get some other card.

icepop4who
icepop4who

@Stephen_1979 I hope you're talking about DirectX 9 "max" on Windows XP, because DirectX 10 very high in Crysis is by far the most demanding rendering in any game.

-SallaD-
-SallaD-

At the higher end of the scale, Far Cry 2's settings only change draw distances. Performance get's killed for little improvements in graphical quality. I run between High and Very High, prefering the higher fps over draw distances(for when I play on "infamous"). Unlike any other game to date, grass, I noticed, is still rendered very well at HUGE distances no matter what settings you run. Considering 90% of the map is grass, I can live without full detail trees... Anyone noticed how smooth shadow edges are in this game? 8800GTX (768MB), 64x2 5200+ @ 2.6GHz (stock), Vista Premium (32 bit), 2GB 800MHz RAM. Viewsonic VX1932WM (2ms gtg 1440x900).

stephen_1979
stephen_1979

I found Far Cry 2 harder to run on max settings than Crysis on max settings which runs fine on my PC. To get Far Cry to run smoothly I turned down the shadows and geometry setting from 'ultra high' to 'very high' which makes no noticeable difference to the graphics quality but it gave a big boost to the frame rate. Q6600 @ 2.4GHz, 512MB 8800GTS OC, 4GB RAM.

keatman
keatman

This is my personal preference: I feel the game is better without the shadows, seriously. Well, it is because shadows make things dark and hard to spot, especially the enemies (under Low Shadow Setting). Damn! I had a hard time locating those jerks because of the shadows from the trees or other things and I got a migraine after the 1st time played this game. I hate to admit it, the visual is still good although there is no shadow. I dont know, mayb is my GPU, 8600GT. The game runs smoothly with mostly medium settings and a lil of high settings.

broca
broca

@soccerdude84: I think GS mixed up the images for quality comparisons cos unless i'm blind I can only see a slight difference between low and ultra high! :P

broca
broca

It'll run a lot better than Crysis because it's a million miles away from Crysis' quality. Boring game too.. Drive here... Drive there...

IxEmoKidIx
IxEmoKidIx

I have Asus Geforce 4550 and it works just fine. Tho, I'm going to buy 1 GB more RAM, I have 1 , gonna have 2. Then I think it's a bit lesser lag. And when I first started the game, the computer automatic took the settings to High/Very High and 3 things on low.

trezachiel
trezachiel

this is it? this is useless. lol. three results.

soccerdude84
soccerdude84

they also don't have comparisons for very high or ultra high for the shading setting, and no comparisons for fire, real trees, ambient, vegetation, or post fx, guess I'll have to wait for tweakguides to make a guide for this

soccerdude84
soccerdude84

also, it seems that HDR alone doesn't make a difference unless you add bloom as well, strange, usually you can't have both at the same time

soccerdude84
soccerdude84

Am I the only one not seeing a difference in the textures? maybe the images didn't load right for me.

Hoplite32
Hoplite32

Surprisingly the game runs fine on my old XP with a Radeon 9600 GT; so long as it's on the lowest possible graphics settings. The crashes are infrequent and gameplay is smooth, until TOO many bullets start to fly, but even then it's hardly noticable.

IMaBIOHAZARD
IMaBIOHAZARD

definitely worth buying BEFORE it drops; not for the MP tho, that's sorta average.

Dimitriov
Dimitriov

The MP videos i've seen looked alright, not really that much in the way of FPS MP games coming out except maybe the next call of duty but correct me if I'm wrong, I'd say this is a game that might be worth buying after the price drops.

Anteares
Anteares

this means that the graphics are better than the game(heard the MP was dedcent though). Anyways, the single player stinks to high heaven. Don't be woooed by the 'system requirements' into throwing your money away.

jp-gnr
jp-gnr

mmm.. in my opinion theyre comparing 2 different (too diferent) hardware configurations as they have a 8600gts form nvidia in the (recommended system) and a 4870x2 (high end sys) , lets be fair and compare either ati or nvidia on both configurations, also i noticed a lack of info on both system ram configurations , because i dunno if they are comparing 2gb ddr3 with 2gb ddr2 .

Black_Kill3r
Black_Kill3r

Seems my crappy pc will run Farcry 2 at 1280/800 no problem !!!

project590
project590

Now i got my new com and i can´t get farcry2 running cos always when I try to run it it wont except my serial!!Why?new game and never used???Manual unlock ...same thing???help please:-(But my new com runs nicely though):-) starting to overclock it...runs nicely 3.65GHz maby more when i got to know more my new bios settings

skywarp001
skywarp001

im getting my 4870x2 on saterday. Prepare to own all who opose

ChaoSXDemon
ChaoSXDemon

God, ATI 4870X2 is a joke. Why would anyone use a cross-fire -.- I'm just using a 4870 and it's silky smooth under 1680X1050 with 8x AA and V-syc. :) Specs: Intel Core2 Duo E8400 @ 3.0 GHz 6Mb L2 Cache; ATI Radeon HIS HD 4870; 2X2Gb Mushkin 1066 MHz RAM; 500 Gb Westerndigital 7200.11 SATA HDD;

ecw1983
ecw1983

UH oh, Guys look at the console wars going on in the L4D hand on comments

Jonfen
Jonfen

As far as I know, there are no such restrictions, Draker. I am running the game on medium settings, with HDR and Bloom effects myself.

Draker696
Draker696

I gotta give these guys a credit for making the game look great on low settings. And is it possible to have HDR and Bloom on medium settings? Or does it have restrictions like crysis?

sangoanuta
sangoanuta

Very funny to see that DX10 was hyped up for nothing... It didn't introduce anything good or worth mentioning in the gaming universe. Another missed shot from MS.

Eothein
Eothein

My PC is a 2.8 GHZ Pentium 4 Processor, a 9600GT, 2.5 gigs of RAM and it laps this game up at the highest settings, although I do play at 1024x768 due to my 14 inch monitor, but still this game plays extremely smoothly and my specs don't even match the minimum as stated on the box, talk about excellent scaling.

BontraXenderKyl
BontraXenderKyl

I'm glad as well that FarCry2 is less heavier than Crysis Warhead

c-monemmers
c-monemmers

I played crysis warhead, and my new computer just couldn't handle the game on high graphics. I'm glad the game is less heavy then crysis, because i'm planning to buy it... sweet sweet fire

GhostyMcboo
GhostyMcboo

I love how low looks great. That is a huge plus in my opinion. Ultra high I'm sure looks better while the game is running, but if these shots are accurate I would happily swap frame rate for "Ultra High" anyday if it looks that good on lower graphics settings. I'm one of these gamers who can't afford a rig that should be taxed by Hydro companies. Anyone from Quebec knows how much Quebec Hydro is anyways.... ;)

RICKY1001
RICKY1001

Farcry is running well on my pc under vista operating system with all settings to high. My system 1.)Amd Phenom 8450 2.)hybrid Crossfirex with Ati hd 3450 3.)Corsair(2Gb)Ram

GreyMarine
GreyMarine

Is this game able to run on 256MB graphic card?

jogunther
jogunther

Yeah man, my overclocked 7600 GTX has lost its kick and its time to say goodbye.

homsar57
homsar57

Well my EVGA 7600gt has lasted through many games over the years, and it did its job running battlefield 2 and Half life 2 back when those were the benchmarks. But it looks like I've met my match here, *sigh* at least I've got a girlfriend to help me through this little heartache. Core 2 Duo 1.8ghz Nvidia 7600gt 2gigs DDR2 Ram (Laptop xP)