Re: Crysis and 8800GT
I play @ 1152x852, then I use this option on my monitor that makes it wide screen-esque, kind of shortens the picture, but pushes the pixels closer together so it looks like im gaming at 1280x960
Playing the regular game with the mod above, I'm usually always above 30fps, max details in-game, except that harbor level where your on the boat - holy Lord, that dips to like 17fps. But other than that level, everything is extremely playable.
Ihad a lot of hitching in this game and in gears of war, even after the cpu and video card were installed that are in my sig, the raptor hard drive took all that hitching away. So if he's building a new rig, I'd suggest a raptor, even if he cant afford to upgrade everything, grab a slower processor and use that money toward a raptor. I'm sold on these raptors. Or that new hitachi 32mb cache 320gb hard drive. That thing is insanely fast too.
Mods are a different story, some run way better than the original game crytek made, some run insanely horrible, like that urbanwar mod with all those polygons/rocks.
Mods are hit and miss, but as far as the regular game goes, upgrading from my old e6400/8800gts 320mb/250wd hd 8mb cache to whats in my sig, I'm extremely happy with the results. Gears of War, UT3, Bioshock, StrangleHold, Blacksite Area 51. Every game I have installed plays @ my monitors max res 1600x1200 and either 8xaf or 16xaf depending on the game. All fluid.
Crysis is the only game I own that wont run @ 1600x1200 - so that either says something about the detail of cry2 engine or the sloppiness of the optimizing of it.
Maybe a bit of both.
If I had to do it again, I wouldnt change one part, I'm thoroughly happy. Even with Crysis, it's very playable now, I can actually enjoy it. =)
Now mind you, if I just play crysis with all options @ high, with no mods, the game is perfect, even the harbor level and I'm able to put the resolution up to 1280x960, but personally, I'm too spoiled with the very high mod.