Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Far Cry 3 Performance, Benchmarked

Far Cry 3 Performance, Benchmarked
By

The third installment of the Far Cry series is more impressive as a game (to us, at least) than its predecessor. But do you need really powerful hardware to enjoy it? We benchmark 15 different graphics cards and eight different CPUs to find out.

The Far Cry franchise enjoys a distinguished place in the history of PC gaming. At the beginning of 2004, while we were busy drooling over how awesome John Carmack's upcoming Doom 3 looked in its promotional screenshots, upstart game developer Crytek shipped its own first-person shooter several months ahead of id's offering and wowed jaded enthusiasts accustomed to dark, enclosed environments. Although Doom 3 went on to become a huge commercial success, I personally think that Far Cry was the better game by far. It defined what a open-world sandbox shooter could be. There's no right or wrong way to play the game; we could use stealth or run-and-gun as we saw fit.

Crytek was not involved in Far Cry 2, and the franchise was (man)handled by Ubisoft's Montreal development team. It was a sequel in name, but didn't have anything to do with its predecessor, aside from the fact that they both featured palm trees. The game received generally positive reviews, but several of the Tom's Hardware editors remember Far Cry 2 as being forgettable. I don't think any of us bothered to finish that one.

As a result, my expectations of Far Cry 3 were deliberately held in check, as I half-expected a lame cash-in on the franchise. Happily, I was wrong; Ubisoft managed to create something very special. It has the original Far Cry's lush island setting and open-world freedom combined with The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion's exploration and loot mechanics, Battlefield's outpost capturing, Just Cause 2's vehicle variety and flavor, and a handful of unique innovations, including a crafting system that doesn't make me want to gouge my eyes out and a tattoo-based skill mechanic.

A huge interactive intro does an impeccable job of establishing the character and encouraging you to identify with his plight. I won't spoil any of the details, but I will issue a warning: this is one of those games that you should avoid if you don't have much self-control. That's how addictive it is. Allow it to, and it'll eat up the hours you should probably be spending with your family...

...and that's only the single-player campaign. I avoided the competitive and co-op modes because our goal here is to measure PC hardware performance; that's really difficult in the variable world of multi-player gaming. So, let's have a look at the game's graphics and detail settings.

Ask a Category Expert

Create a new thread in the UK Article comments forum about this subject

Example: Notebook, Android, SSD hard drive

Display all 11 comments.
This thread is closed for comments
  • -1 Hide
    mactronix , 14 December 2012 14:27

    I really don't see how you can properly test performance if you are going to change the GPU's for the different settings.
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , 14 December 2012 16:02
    The good news for folks with AMD processors is that the FX-8350 is nearly as quick as Intel's Core i7-3960X (never mind the fact that the Core i3 costs $1050 less).

    The good news for folks with Intel processors is that the i3-2100 is nearly as quick as Intel's Core i7-3960X (never mind the fact that the Core i3 costs $1125 less).
  • 1 Hide
    tranzz , 14 December 2012 16:30
    @x86man

    Almost word for word you beat me to it
  • 0 Hide
    HEXiT , 14 December 2012 18:28
    i really did enjoy this title. 2 good endings made a fitting finale to a very well thought out single player campaign. defiantly 1 of the better titles of this year. i will go back and play this 1 again and next time i will likely take a much less rushed approach. overall i would say its a very good 8/10
  • -1 Hide
    bemused_fred , 15 December 2012 16:07
    "As far as 5760x1080 goes, forget about playing at Ultra quality with 4x MSAA. We're not sure that there's a rig out there able to deliver perfectly playable performance without some sort of compromise on detail settings."

    The GTX 690 would like a few words with you....
  • 0 Hide
    sam_p_lay , 15 December 2012 16:49
    bemused_fred"As far as 5760x1080 goes, forget about playing at Ultra quality with 4x MSAA. We're not sure that there's a rig out there able to deliver perfectly playable performance without some sort of compromise on detail settings."The GTX 690 would like a few words with you....


    Judging by the 15fps on the 7970, you'd be more than one GTX690 to make this playable! Alternatively, four GTX680s might do it... or just don't play 5760x1080 and Ultra :-)
  • 0 Hide
    deekosrsv , 17 December 2012 15:20
    This is where i get a little confused. I have two 5850's running in crossfire and can play this on Ultra @1080 perfectly well. I was thinking 'i'll have to upgrade for this title' but no? Are these cards punching well above their age/weight?? - would love feedback please.
    They are coupled to an i5-2500k, 8gb Ram and an SSD
  • 0 Hide
    Opaz1ka , 18 December 2012 23:37
    mactronixI really don't see how you can properly test performance if you are going to change the GPU's for the different settings.

    What?
  • 0 Hide
    joeh_87 , 5 January 2013 02:57
    Strange, Medium quality my 7850 + Phenom II x4 965 @ 3.7ghz gets me a 60fps avg @ 1920x1080 these report 47fps avg though not sure where these are tested in the game, nor what CPU they used with the GPU. I use Custom Settings everything maxed bar Post FX which is medium. Post FX higher adds motion blur and kills my FPS also. for one i hate Motion blur so don't mind it off even if i lose some other visuals.
  • 0 Hide
    MajinCry , 12 February 2013 21:30
    @Joeh

    Drivers.
  • 0 Hide
    skuds , 15 March 2013 19:35
    Well even stranger I am running it in ultra @1920x1080 with two gtx560 Ti in sli runs fine.