It’s been twelve years since Crytek released its legendary first-person shooter, but the endearing meme that Crysis spawned remains relevant to this day – and not just for comedic purposes, it seems.
AMD released its Ryzen Threadripper 3990X last week to positive reception, but despite all of the rave reviews, an age-old question lingered: could the 64-core beast run Crysis? Linus Tech Tips was one of the few who accepted that challenge, and what he found was somewhat surprising.
It turns out that AMD’s multi-core monster can not only run Crysis, but it can do so without a discrete GPU. Yes, that’s right: the level of computing performance in the 3990X is high enough for the game to be rendered entirely in software.
This is pretty impressive, since CPUs are built for serial processing and rarely excel at games, which can easily involve millions of simultaneous operations. That’s where GPUs typically shine due to their proficiency in parallel processing, but as the 3990X shows, CPUs have gotten powerful enough to close the gap by a wee bit.
When Crysis debuted in 2007, the most powerful graphics card on the market was NVIDIA’s GeForce 8800 Ultra. The GPU had a core/shader clock of 612 MHz/1.5 GHz, 128 stream processors, and 768 MB of memory. It retailed for around $800.