Gaming Video Cards for a Steal: The GeForce GTX 560 & Radeon HD 6870 at $150

Coming out in 2008, Crysis Warhead is the oldest game in our test suite, but it's still very demanding compared to some of the other games we tested.  It's also the only game in the suite which uses DirectX 10.  Maxing out quality settings at the resolution of 1920x1080, neither of the video cards are able to provide smooth gameplay.  We're looking for 30fps or above for the minimum framerate, and neither card is able to deliver.

When we drop from the enthusiast quality preset one step lower to gamer quality, Crysis Warhead becomes smooth and playable on both of the cards.  With the gamer quality preset, the 6870 was faster than the GTX 560 by 13.5%.

The built in benchmarking tool in HAWX 2 is basically a showcase of what DX11 tessellation can do.  The background scenery in the demo is a mountain range which was generated to have a more realistic look with the use of tessellation (whereas oddly enough, none of the airplanes look realistic).  There was some controversy with the HAWX 2 and it's implementation of tessellation around the time the demo was released, which caused big performance drops in Radeon GPUs.  But it seems like driver updates and patches have cleared up this discrepancy (or at least closed the performance gap).  With everything maxed, including enabling tessellation, both video cards are well into playable territory.  The GTX 560 beat the 6870 by 9.5%.