PowerColor Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card

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, none of the video cards are able to provide perfectly smooth gameplay, but the 7850 was awfully close.  The minimum framerate was just a touch under 30fps, so with a bit of overclocking it should be 'playable' with maxed out quality settings.

When we drop from the enthusiast quality preset one step lower to gamer quality, Crysis Warhead becomes perfectly smooth and playable on the Radeon HD 7850.  Another workable alternative is switching to 2xFSAA, but keeping Enthusiast quality settings.

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, the Radeon HD 7850 achieves high framerates.