Crysis 3 Beta Performance Analysis

Product: Crysis 3 Beta
Company: EA
Author: Sean Ridgeley
Editor: Charles Oliver
Date: February 7th, 2013

Frame time test, 99th/99.9th percentile test, conclusion

Frame time test

As mentioned, framerate reports alone only tell part of the story with the performance of any given game. To offer a deeper insight into how a game performs, testing frame time how long it takes for the GPU to deliver each frame is critical. To this end, FRAFS Bench Viewer software is used in conjunction with FRAPS for this test and the one following.

What you want in a graph like this is an end result that's mostly even and short in height across the board, thus indicating tight, consistent performance. Spikes are expected and do little to noticeably impact the player experience if they occur rarely. Long, chunky, block-shaped sections, however, depict major stuttering and uneven performance that does noticeably hinder the experience.

The graph shows frames in the Crysis 3 beta are often delivered at about 18ms or below -- though not lightning fast, this is a perfectly acceptable rate. Frames delivered above this figure are done so at consistent rates, with a only a few major spikes across the whole board. This is in line with my personal experience, which is to say strong, smooth performance, with no distracting stuttering.

99th / 99.9th percentile frame time test

Exploring frame time further, the 99th percentile test depicts the figure (in ms) at which 99% of frames were rendered. What you're looking for here is a consistent line that deviates only at the last 1% section of the graph, indicating consistent, low-latency frames.

The graph shows results are in line with the frame time tests, which is to say they're quite acceptable, if not as impressive as in some other titles. You can see here 99% of all frames were rendered below 22.38ms, well below the 60ms threshold (the point around which stuttering becomes very noticeable in many titles).

The 99.9th percentile frame, meanwhile, depicts the figure (in ms) at which all but 0.1% of frames were rendered faster than. Because the 99th and minimum framerate figures are identical and the 99th and 99.9th figures are somewhat far apart with respect to minimum framerate, it can be said performance drops and stutters in the Crysis 3 beta are isolated, extremely brief incidents tied to normal CryEngine 3 operations, as opposed to potentially distracting performance anomalies produced by poor optimization (as seen in some other titles).


Crysis 3, at this late stage, seems to be in considerably better shape performance-wise than its prequel Crysis 2, though as with every series entry, it will still push even very high-end systems hard.

Results in full multiplayer games are considerably lower on Very High settings than what you see in the testing here, so unless you have even more powerful hardware, it would be wise to drop down to the High preset, at which point you'll notice a major boost in smoothness. Of course, you can always fiddle with the settings individually for something closer to the ideal.

Crysis 3 launches February 19.