Tweaking the Crysis SinglePlayer PC demo

Now that the so expected Crysis SP demo is available, I've already finished it but, until the game cames out, I'll replay and fine-tune it as much as possible.

Being one of the big "Vista & DirectX 10" showcases, I was eager to try it on my new gaming PC. But before giving details of how it went (at least initially), let me list my hardware:

  • Intel Core 2 Duo @ 3 GHz
  • 4 GB DDR2 Low Latency RAM (4x1GB)
  • 2x NVidia GForce 8800 Ultra (in SLI, a total of 1,5 GB DDR3 RAM) <- best suited card for DirectX10 available
  • 2x 250 GB SATA-II HDD (in RAID 0)
  • Liquid cooling in both the CPU and the graphic cards
  • Dell 30" monitor (max. resolution, 2560x1600)
  • The very latest NVidia drivers (31 oct., v169.04 beta)
  • Windows Vista Ultimate 64bits (fine-tunned and fully updated)

A freaking monster. Every game runs perfect and smooth at 2560x1600 with all options to maximum.

Every game... except Crysis :D

First of all, the 64 bits client crashed, so I had to play with 32 bits client (Crysis developers say 64bits brings 10%-15% performance increase).

The game auto-detected for me everything on "Very High" (maximum value). I left it.

I switched the resolution to 2560x1600, and started a new game...

And the game became a Slideshow! I don't think I got more than 5-6 FPS. Amazing achievement, morphing my bad-ass pc into a high-resolution 386 :D

Anyway, I switched down lot of details to "High", and the resolution to 1600x1200. Game goes fine and very smooth with that.

But I remembered that a similar problem happened me with Lost Planet under PC... DX10 version was laggy, but DX9 version runs very smooth. So I've been searching and reading some forums and websites, and this is my current configuration:

  • Running under DX9 (gives performance a very noticeable boost)
  • 64 bits client (seems that DX10 and the 64 client don't work well together)
  • All details to "Very High"
  • Resolution switched up to 2048x1536

And the game runs smooth, as it should.

To override DX10 under Vista (if you choose "High" settings the game still runs on DX10), follow this instructions:

  • Create a file called System.cfg on your Crysis folder.
  • Open it with notepad and add the following lines:
  • con_resticted=0 : Allows all console commands and tweaks
  • r_driver=dx9 : Forces DirectX9 renderer
  • Save, and enjoy the demo :)

I also have added the following parameter to my tweaks:

  • r_MotionBlur=0 : Disables the motion blur when turning around (I don't like it in a FPS game, too dizzy)


  • Except in one specific game, Bioshock, DirectX9 is actually noticeable faster than DirectX10 under the same hardware and OS. And visual differences are very small compared with the performance loss.
  • The game is highly customizable, but not easily.
  • Almost everything promised "just for DirectX 10" is available in DirectX 9: Destructible palm trees and buildings, high-quality shadows, shaders, effects, full HDR lighting... The differences are very subtle and anyone can live without them.
  • The game is so targeted to high-end PC it scares... I hope that lower detail-resolution combos go well with lower PC specs.
  • Apart from the "performance issues", the game is great... meeted my expectations. I can't wait for the full game to be released!

Tags: Gaming

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