Crysis on the Alienware m9750

A few people have e-mailed in to ask me how the m9750 I have on loan from the kind folks at Alienware handles Crysis. Given that I'm on a bit of a gaming bender as of late, I'm happy to oblige.

A few people have e-mailed in to ask me how the m9750 I have on loan from the kind folks at Alienware handles Crysis.  Given that I'm on a bit of a gaming bender as of late, I'm happy to oblige.

Crysis on the Alienware m9750
Check out the complete screenshot gallery here.

I don't have a full copy of Crysis (and to be honest I don't want it before Christmas because I won't get anything done ... but it is on my wish list and if I'm good I hope that Santa will bring it for me) but I do have the download of the demo.  Bear this in mind as you read this post as there could well be differences between the demo and the final release.

Anyway, last night I loaded the Crysis demo onto the m9750 and my quad-core Vista 64-bit rig and compared the difference. 


Crysis on the Alienware m9750
ows Experience Index

Here's the Windows Experience Index (WEI) score for both systems:

Alienware m9750

  • Processor: 5.2
  • Memory (RAM): 4.7
  • Graphics: 5.9
  • Gaming graphics: 5.8
  • Primary hard disk: 5.4

My quad-core system:

  • Processor: 5.9
  • Memory (RAM): 5.6
  • Graphics: 5.9
  • Gaming graphics: 5.5
  • Primary hard disk: 5.9

Crysis on the Alienware m9750
Both systems exceed the game's requirements of a base requirement WEI score of 3.0 and a recommended score of 5.0.

Of significance here is that the m9750 scores 0.3 higher than my system when it comes to gaming graphics.  Will this make a difference to the outcome of this test?


OK, let the gaming begin!

Within minutes of starting to play Crysis, two differences became apparent.  First, the m9750 might have met its match with Crysis because both the gameplay and in-game video playback wasn't anywhere near as smooth as what my quad-core system could deliver.  This was backed up by data I gathered using Fraps.  The high, low and average frames per second score for a 10 minute gaming session with both systems set to identical settings (1024 x 768, medium quality graphics running fullscreen) is shown below:

High Low Average
m9750 24 8 17
Quad-core 38 22 32
The ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT powered quad-core system whips the dual 512MB nVIDIA GeForce Go 7950 GTX cards in the m9750 (both systems are running the absolute latest drivers).  This surprised me given that the m9750 should be more powerful and able to handle the graphics workload easier.  I'm also surprised because of the prominent "nVIDIA: The way it's meant to be played" ad that features at the beginning of the game. 

The second thing that became quite clear was that Crysis was far more stable and reliable on my quad-core system than it was on the Alienware rig.  In fact, it was hard to get 10 minutes of gameplay on the m9750 without having a crash (and yes, I was rebooting between each crash). 

I also noticed an odd but on the Alienware rig; that shadows weren't being rendered correctly.  The image below shows this clearly - where's the gun in the shadow? 

Crysis on the Alienware m9750

All shadows seemed to be rendered correctly on my ATI-powered quad-core system.


Maybe having dual 512MB NVIDIA GeForce 8700M cards in the m9750 would come in handy to play Crysis, especially given that they support DirectX 10.



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