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Battlefield 3 Alpha: PC Performance Benchmarks for Graphics Cards and Processors




Genre: Action (Shooter) / 3D / 1st Person
Released: 2011
Developer: DICE
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Publisher in Russia: Electronic Arts

Battlefield 3 is a tactical first-person shooter video game developed by EA Digital Illusions CE and published by Electronic Arts. The game will be released for PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 platforms. Battlefield 3 is a direct sequel to Battlefield 2, which was released in 2005.


Unlike other big-budget games of the time, Battlefield 3's main gaming platform is PC, not game consoles. The PC version will have a maximum of 64 players per map, while the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 console versions will have a maximum of 24 players. Also, the PC version will have other advantages and differences compared to the console versions.

The game will be released in October 2011.


Overview: Graphics

For a whole month now, developers have not spoiled us with fresh products. And about the same amount of time is left before the opening of the autumn playing season. And at the moment, we present you the Battlefield 3 Alpha test, in which we will be able to get acquainted and determine the estimated performance of video cards when using Frostbite 2.0. At the moment of testing, the game has only basic settings, and the number of visual effects has been noticeably reduced, but this is more than enough for a multiplayer test for developers. You can check out his video below.


The Frostbite 2.0 game engine, according to the developers, is a completely new engine, not based on Frostbite 1.0 or Frostbite 1.5. According to DICE, the first version of Frostbite did not allow the studio to realize all its plans for Battlefield 3, so in parallel with the development of games on Frostbite 1.0, a separate team was allocated to work on Frostbite 2.0. According to DICE in February 2011, the Battlefield 3 development team has just begun to explore the technological potential of Frostbite 2.0.


Frostbite 2.0 was originally designed to work with DirectX 11, however DirectX 10 is also supported. DirectX 9 is not supported, so the Windows XP operating system is not suitable for the game. Old cards will definitely be out of work, and all those who tried to delay the transition to a new operating system will have to change their prejudices.


The minimum version of Microsoft Windows for the game is Windows Vista, but we believe that Windows 7 is the most optimal.

As a physical engine, as in previous versions of Frostbite, Havok Physics is used by the company of the same name. However, Havok's "Destruction" environmental destruction system has been upgraded to the third version. This version provided even larger and more precise destruction.


Destruction in Battlefield 3 Alpha is almost everything, but it also depends on the type of weapon used... According to DICE, in theory they could use Destruction 3.0 to simulate the destruction of a model of the Burj Khalifa skyscraper in the center of Dubai.


Next, we go directly to the video card tests themselves.


Review: Game resource intensive

All video cards were tested at maximum graphics quality by MSI Afterburner. The purpose of the test is to determine how video cards from different manufacturers behave under the same conditions. The minimum and average value of frames is taken as a performance indicator. Below is the configuration of our test systems.

Hardware configuration


AMD Phenom II X6 1100T BE 3.33@4 GHz product provided by AMD

AMD Phenom II X4 940 BE 3.0@3.7 GHz products provided by AMD

AMD Athlon II X4 620 2.6 GHz products provided by AMD

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550@ 4.25 GHz

Intel® Core™ i7-930@4.2 GHz

Intel Core i5-760 2.8@4.2 GHz


Gigabyte GA-MA785GT-UD3H products provided by AMD

Gigabyte GA-MA790GP-DS4H products provided by AMD

Maximus II Formula socket LGA 775 product provided by Asus

MSI X58 Eclipse Plus socket LGA1366 product provided by MSI

MSI P 55- GD 55 socket LGA 1156 product provided by MSI

MSI 790 FX - GD 70 socket AM3 product provided by MSI


GOODRAM PLAY 1600MHz (8-8-8-24) product provided by GOODRAM

GOODRAM Pro 2000MHz (8-8-8-29) product provided by GOODRAM

Video cards

GeForce 8800 GTS 512 MB
GeForce 8800 GTX 768 MB
EN 8800ULTRA 768 MB provided by Asus GeForce 9800 GT 512 MB GeForce 9800 GTX 512 MB GeForce GTS 250 1024 MB GeForce GTX 260 896 MB GeForce GTX 260 core 216 GeForce GTX 280 1024 MB GeForce GTX 275 896 MB GeForce GTX 285 1024 MB GeForce GTS 450 1024 MB provided by Inno3D GeForce GTX 460 768 MB provided by Leadtek GeForce GTX 460 1024 MB GeForce GTX 465 1024 MB Zotac GeForce GTX 470 1280 MB provided by Zotac

GeForce GTX 480 1536 MB
GeForce GTX 560Ti 1024 MB
GeForce GTX 570 1280 MB
Zotac GeForce GTX 580AMP! 1536 mb product provided by Zotac
Radeon HD 3870 512 mb product provided by Zotac
Radeon HD 4750 512 mb
EAH 4770 512 mb product provided by Asus Radeon HD 4830 512 mb Radeon HD 4850 1024 mb MSI Radeon HD 4870 512 mb product provided by MSI MSI Radeon HD 4890 1024 mb Product provided by MSI / AMD EAH 5750 FORMULA 1024 MB Product provided by Asus

MSI Radeon HD 5770 HAWK 1024 MB Product provided by MSI Radeon HD 5830 1024 MB Radeon HD 5850 1024 MB Product provided by AMD Radeon HD 5870 1024 MB and Eyefinity 2048 MB Product provided by XFX / AMD Radeon HD 6850 1024 MB Product provided by AMD Radeon HD 6870 1024 MB Radeon HD 6950 2048 MB products provided by AMD / XFX Radeon HD 6970 2048 MB products provided by AMD / XFX Radeon HD 6990 4096 MB

products provided by AMD

multimedia equipment

3D monitor LG W2363D

Monitor LG E2750

3D Vision Kit product provided by Nvidia

Power supplies, cases, cooling systems

Chenbro PC61731 enclosures product provided by Syntex

Seasonic X-850 Seasonic X-660 Seasonic X-760 depending on booth - products

provided by Syntex

CPU Cooler GlacialTech Siberia product provided by It-Labs

System software and drivers

operating system

Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate Edition x64 _


DirectX 11

Platform driver

Intel INF Chipset Update Utility

Graphics driver

Nvidia GeForce / ION Driver Release 275.50

AMD Catalyst 11.7

Less productive video cards up to the level of GeForce GTS 450 and Radeon HD 4870 are tested based on Core 2 Quad Q9550 and Phenom II X4 940 BE processors, depending on the resource intensity of the game, and more productive ones based on more powerful solutions. Overclocked versions of video cards presented by sponsors were equated to conventional counterparts by reducing their clock speeds.


Our video cards were tested at resolutions of 1920x1080 in DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 modes at the maximum quality settings (high) allowed by the game. NVIDIA 3D Vision and AMD Eyefinity technologies have not been tested at resolution. At the moment, Frostbite 2.0 does not support Cross Fire and SLI technologies, which, of course, will be fixed in the future both by the game developers and by newer drivers. The test was conducted not in the most resource-intensive place. Servers with a zero number of people were selected for testing, since in this case it was simply impossible to repeat the same type of testing elements.

Testing at maximum quality settings 1920x1080 DirectX 10


And although in this case MSI Afterburner showed the presence of DirectX 11, we know that the hardware data of the card cannot support it. Therefore, in this case, libraries common for both DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 were used. Let's say right away that the game is very picky about the amount of video memory, so using cards with a capacity of less than 768 megabytes is impractical. At Full HD resolution, the minimum level of performance will be provided by the Radeon HD 4870 or GeForce GTS 250, which is very good. The FPS limit of 25 frames can bypass video cards like the Radeon HD 4890 or GeForce GTX 260 core 216 ..

Testing at maximum quality settings 1920x1080 DirectX 11


The minimum level of performance in DirectX 11 mode can be provided by Radeon HD 5750 or GeForce GTS 450 video cards. The   FPS limit of 25 frames can be bypassed by video cards of the Radeon HD 5830 or GeForce GTX 460 level. , the optimization process will be polished for a long time, but all the graphics accelerators presented in the tests were able to adequately prove themselves.

Processor dependency testing


We tested processor dependence on 10 models of basic configurations, which are the most relevant today. The processor dependence test was carried out at a resolution of 640x480 with low graphics quality settings.

Testing at high quality settings 640x480


As we can see, the performance of dual-core models in Battlefield 3 Alpha is downright deplorable. Developers should pay attention to Hyper-threading optimization. But let's not jump to conclusions. Firstly, this is just an alpha version, and secondly, multiplayer has always given a more serious load than a single.

There will be no ratings in this case. Battlefield 3 Alpha is primarily a test salvo for fixing online bugs. Our goal was to determine how Frostbite 2.0 would perform on modern hardware. The result turned out to be quite acceptable, almost all of our tested video cards will be able to show an acceptable level of performance, although some optimization for dual-core processor models will not hurt. We are waiting for the beta test and, of course, the full-fledged game, which will be released very soon!