Image Quality ComparisonBefore we jump to the benchmark results lets just take a moment to investigate how the various settings impact visual quality. It should be noted that still images sometimes do not make justice to a game's graphics or in this case, it makes it hard to represent actual changes between high and lower quality settings.
Crysis has one of the most lively outdoor environments we have experienced in a game so far. This is one game where shaders and real-time shadows can make for a stunning visual difference. This reinforces our point above about the still images, however we still felt it was important to give you at least some data on how IQ compares between settings.
This first batch of screenshots were recorded in Windows Vista running DirectX10 at 1680x1050 with no anti-aliasing enabled.
Crysis looks truly amazing and while not even the GeForce 8800 GTX was able to deliver playable performance using the Very High preset, the High quality settings were very playable and still looked incredible. The very high quality setting shows a more realistic sky and water, and the trees also look more realistic at a distance.
Going from high to medium shows a more significant decline in visual quality. Everything looks worse, almost making Crysis look like the older Far Cry as a great deal of detail and texture quality is lost. Then going from medium to low completely changes the game, there is now no grass, the sky is a flat looking texture and the water is also plain as you can get.
These above comparison shots were taken at 1680x1050 and show the effects of enabling 2x and then 4x AA modes. The side of the mountains are quite jagged without AA enabled and this was really the only noticeable difference with the AA settings enabled.
Perhaps it is just me but I really struggled to spot any differences between DX9 and DX10 using the high quality settings. Therefore in the above comparison I have compared DX9 (High) to DX10 (Very High) though any improvements you may see in the very high quality settings cannot be enjoyed at this present point in time. The water-reflection detail is much better when using the DX10 very high quality setting and again the sky and trees in the distance look much more realistic.