Can it run Crysis? How gaming PCs have changed since 2007 - MrLiambi's blog


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Monday 9 May 2022

Can it run Crysis? How gaming PCs have changed since 2007

In 2007, Crytek solidified its name in the gaming industry with the launch of the very first Crysis. A game that was designed to push the boundaries and promised to be so forward-facing that no gaming PC would be able to run it on max settings for years to come. 

That promise quickly went on to become a meme, with many a gaming machine being put under that microscope in the years that followed. The ultimate test - sure it looks nice and it's powerful, but can it run Crysis?

2007 was a big year for tech elsewhere too, with Apple launching the first iPhone and Intel rolling out the highly praised Core 2 Quad Q6600. That processor was declared to be "the most impressive piece of silicon the world has ever seen" by Anandtech at the time.

Fast-forward over 13 years and now we have Crysis Remastered, a re-imagining of the original game, but for newer hardware. In an era where 8K gaming is on the horizon and ray tracing and beautiful visuals are very much the norm, it only makes sense to have a game that pushes the limits. It seems it does that so well that even the new RTX 3080 can't hit 30FPS in 4K.

To celebrate we worked with Intel, MSI, Corsair, WD_Black and more to put together two machines and run the two games side by side. The fun part is one of those machines was built using 2007 specs - mostly. The results were interesting and the project was a heck of a lot of fun.

The beige 2007 machine

Intel sent the parts to enable us to build a machine with a fairly cutting edge specification, at least for 2007. Those included an incredible collection of bits that filled us with nostalgia:

  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 CPU (8M Cache, 2.40 GHz, 1066 MHz FSB)
  • Intel DP45SG Motherboard (LGA775)
  • 8GB DDR3 Desktop RAM (4X2GB) 10600U 1333MHz
  • Nvidia GTS 8800 512MB GDDR3
  • Cooler Master Hyper TX3 EVO cooler
  • WD Green 240GB 2.5-inch SSD
  • Windows 7 64-bit install CD and key
  • Corsair CX450M

The keen-eyed reader may spot a few inconsistencies here. Windows 7 wasn't released until 2009, but trying to get a copy of Windows XP would have been a mission. You probably didn't have 2.5-inch SSD in your gaming machine back in 2007 either. We certainly didn't. 

Embracing the inconsistencies, we bought a beige PC case for £10 off eBay, snapped up a floppy disk drive, just for the giggles and even broke out an NZXT ambient RGB lighting kit too, just to really set off the nit-pickers. 

Then set about building and installing. The result is a nifty, oddly new machine with what feels like ancient specs by today's standards and one that's just about capable of running Crysis. 

collection: 2020 build

The modern alternative - with RGB delights


For the remastered version, we built something much more up-to-date. With help from Corsair, MSI, WD_Black and Intel we put together a machine featuring these much more pleasing specs:


Not just a lot more RGB but also a lot more power too. Where the Core 2 Quad Q6600 CPU was the pleaser of its day, the Intel Core i7-10700K is perhaps the modern gaming equivalent.

Paired with the other gear in here, including the MSI GeForce RTX 2070 Super, this machine should be able to make light work of Crysis Remastered. Even with the Can it Run Crysis graphics settings turned on. 

Or can it?

Can it run Crysis?

The original Crysis was a thing of beauty at the time. Crysis Remastered's new meme-tastic graphics settings push that glory even further, with insane view distances, HDR, ray tracing and more besides. 

To push it to the limit, we turned everything to maximum and ran the "Can it run Crysis" mode on a 4K screen with HDR turned on. The results? Somewhere between 20 and 25 FPS. 

It seems that even reasonably cutting edge hardware can't run Crysis with a decent FPS count with these settings turned on. But that is where the fun lies. 

The conclusion here isn't that you need an RTX 3090 in order to run Crysis, but that the remastered game still pushes limits just like the original. It's also fun seeing just how far you can push your machine, then sitting back and daydreaming about upgrading. 

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