Far Cry 3 Video Card Performance and IQ Review

Far Cry 3 is here, and we take a full look at performance and image quality comparing several video cards. We will find out what it takes to run this beast of a game with each video card, how those compare, and look at performance with certain graphics features, and we compare image quality with those features on and off.

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Highest Playable Settings Continued

In the highest-playable settings below, we have found the overall best resolution and in-game settings for each video card. We found that we were able to have the highest in-game settings enabled, and that what mattered most were the AA settings, MSAA and Alpha to Coverage, as well as Ambient Occlusion level.


GTX 670 vs. HD 7950 Boost vs. GTX 660 Ti

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This comparison is interesting, because we found some distinct performance levels out of each video card. We certainly found where each video card fits in comparison to each other. Our big take away from this comparison was that the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti sits in-between the Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition and Radeon HD 7950 with Boost in this game. The GTX 660 Ti is faster than the 7870 GHz Edition slightly, but slower than the 7950 with Boost.

First let's start with the GeForce GTX 670. It has more ROPs than the GTX 660 Ti, and a wider memory bus, but it is clocked the same with the same CUDA core count. The higher ROP count and memory bandwidth allowed it to be playable at 1080p with 2X MSAA and Enhanced Alpha to Coverage and HDAO. This exactly matched the same gameplay settings we found also on the Radeon HD 7950 with Boost video card. In fact, the GTX 670 is just slightly faster than the 7950 Boost by 7%.

Even though the GTX 660 Ti has the same clock speeds as the GTX 670, and the same CUDA core count, its lesser memory bandwidth and ROP count means we had to back off on Alpha to Coverage. We found that we could have 2X MSAA enabled at 1080p, but we had to turn off Alpha to Coverage completely. In doing so this allowed 2X MSAA to be playable. Otherwise, with Enhanced Alpha to Coverage it was not playable at 2X MSAA. Therefore, the aliasing quality is slightly less than the GTX 670 and HD 7950, but still higher than the 7870 as you will see below.


GeForce GTX 660 Ti vs. Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition

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Compared to the Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition the GeForce GTX 660 Ti is faster in this game. We were able to run at 2X MSAA (without Alpha to Coverage) with the GTX 660 Ti. However, with the Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition we had to disable AA entirely to get enough playable performance.

We tried 2X MSAA without Alpha to Coverage, but it didn't have the performance for that. The GTX 660 Ti was the only card here to allow that setting. Again, we dabbled a bit in overclocking just to see if we could push a playable 2X MSAA out of the 7870. We found that if you can overclock it at least 200MHz, up to 1.2GHz, it is on the border of being playable with 2X MSAA, but without Alpha to Coverage. Overclocking seems to help quite a bit in this game.