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Battlefield 3: 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 on October 25, 2011.



Review: Playability (by Bartleby )

What is Battlefield 3? Game of the year? The best shooter? The best online action movie? I think the game has enough titles even without us, even before the release, the brainchild of EA Digital Illusions CE has earned more than 60 different awards! Battlefield 3 is a game that every connoisseur of the genre should play!



Even when the open beta test of the game began, it was hard to believe our eyes - we have not been pleased with such a number of innovations in one project for a long time. A real war is unfolding on the screen, not some kind of shooting with the goal of getting more frags, but really fighting. On every meter of the battlefield, every second, somewhere, something happens! Another grenade explodes, bullets whistle, piercing branches with a crunch and biting into the ground very close to our fortification, and somewhere in the distance, winking with the rays of the sun reflected from the optical sight, an enemy sniper hid, looking for someone's unsuccessfully protruding helmet. War on every meter, war on every meter! And this despite the fact that the technique appeared only in the last days of the test! And this despite the fact that the test almost all the time passed only on one map of the "Metro Operation"!



Despite the fact that the Battlefield series has always been focused on online, the third part could not do without a full-fledged single-player company. In fact, the single is a separate game, built on completely different techniques. The plot tells the story of another military conflict between the United States, Russia and the countries of the Middle East. It is difficult to go into details without the risk of leaving spoilers, so, perhaps, not a word about the plot further, you have to see everything for yourself. enhancing her visual style!



Multiplayer Battlefield 3 main highlight of the series! Such a cool and large-scale multiplayer mode simply does not exist and no one has had it, and now it has become even more beautiful! Now the battlefields can accommodate up to 64 people (32 in each side), armored vehicles and vehicles, tanks, helicopters and even planes!!! For even more realism, the Pron mode (lie down and crawl) has returned. Naturally, there is a pumping of the character, weapons and skills. All this is taken into account in the in-game social. Battleblog networks, all statistics of registered players are taken into account here. Added the ability to create a squad that would always fight side by side on the same server with your comrades.


We bring to your attention to evaluate a part of the Battlefield 3 game walkthrough in HD resolution, where you can see for yourself the quality of this product: 

Battlefield 3 left a very pleasant impression of the game. Seamlessly combining the features of real combat and arcade mode. Single company, coupled with multiplayer make the game a real hit!


Overview: Graphics

The game is based on the Frostbite 2.0 game engine, which was developed by DICE almost from scratch. Recall that Frostbite 2.0 was originally designed to work with DirectX 11, but DirectX 10 is also supported. DirectX 9 is not supported, so the Windows XP operating system is not suitable for the game. Particular attention from the developers was paid to the effects of DirectX 11, improved character animation and advanced physical effects.


The game uses hardware-based terrain tessellation, which allows more rendered triangles to be rendered at a high level of detail entirely on the GPU. Thus, the memory is used little, and the GPU itself turns low-resolution data into detailed realistic images. In a regular BF3 scene, 923 thousand triangles of the environment are drawn in tessellation. Without tessellation, there are only 101 thousand of them. The LOD algorithm (Level of Detail in Tessellation) is adaptive in screen space. Therefore, consistently high detail geometry is constantly used in the scene. The extra detail eliminates the obvious straight edges of the polygons, creating a more defined and natural scene, especially in the outlines against the sky. The detailing of landscape deformations, such as craters, is also improved. The LOD tessellation algorithm is continuous. Details change smoothly between levels as you move the viewpoint. Thus, there are no large jumps when switching between the levels of detail of the environment.

Low quality


Battlefield 3 looks pretty good even on low quality settings. The game uses the same real-time lighting engine for all graphics settings, so even on low quality settings, the game uses a ton of dynamic lighting, colors bounce and blend, and high dynamic range kicks in. But the picture, although realistic, is rather rough. There is a slight gradation of the shadows. Textures are blurry when not viewed up close (higher resolution is loaded when the picture becomes quite pale). And trees and grass look flat without the self-shadowing mechanism, which is implemented using the global occlusion mechanism. On low settings, the stair step of the fence can confuse. DICE and EA intentionally didn't remove the effects,

Medium quality


At medium settings, the accuracy and detail is much higher. The most important difference is that all the shadows are now softer and there are no jagged edges of the shadows due to the full shading of the pixels. Global occlusion is now used in the Screen Space Ambient Occlusion (SSAO) form. This means that trees and grass cast shadows on themselves, so they look more juicy. "Post anti-aliasing", i.e. anti-aliasing applied in post-processing using shaders, is now set to Low. In most of the scene, the jagged edges are eliminated, which makes the picture smoother.

High quality


This is what Battlefield 3 is supposed to look like. Added an extra layer of architectural detail to the beautiful Parisian buildings in the Metro level. Windows and columns are now rendered with real geometry, and they cast shadows on themselves thanks to global shading. In general, objects and structures look more voluminous. Textures also look sharper thanks to 16x anisotropic filtering. The game just looks really nice.

Ultra high quality


In ultra high quality, everything looks better than in high quality, but soft, not hard. The most obvious advantage is the 4x MSAA setting. At lower settings, anti-aliasing was controlled by a post-processor shader (FXAA), which, despite its power, could miss some details. For example, at high quality settings, fences and thin lines draw a sliding pattern if you walk past them. In ultra high quality, adding 4x MSAA to the already effective FXAA eliminates most of these effects and moiré.


At low quality, there is no shadow filtering, which causes jagged and hard edges. In medium quality, the edges of the shadows are smoother. In high and ultra high quality, the shadow map resolution is higher, resulting in more detailed and softer shadows. In high and ultra high quality settings, there is HBAO, i.e. horizon-bound global shading is a self-shadowing mechanism developed by NVIDIA and used today in various games.


One of the most obvious differences between quality settings is the level of detail. In low quality, the written text on the signs and walls can hardly be read. At medium quality, the text becomes readable. Even details such as screws are rendered in high quality. Ultra-high quality includes 4x MSAA anti-aliasing, which eliminates frustrating artifacts in fences and fine lines.


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.

Test configuration

test stands

Benchmark #1 based on the Intel Socket 1366 platform

Test Bench #2 Based on the AMD Soket AM2 Platform

Test Bench #3 Based on AMD Socket AM3 Platform

Test Bench #4 Based on AMD Socket AM3 Platform

Test Bench #5 Based on AMD Socket AM3 Platform

Testbed #6 based on the Intel Socket 775 platform

Testbed #7 based on the Intel Socket 1156 platform

multimedia equipment

3D monitor LG W2363D

Monitor LG E2750

Dell U3010 monitor product provided by AMD

3D Vision Kit product provided by Nvidia

Software configuration

operating system

Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate Edition x64 SP1

Graphics driver

Nvidia GeForce/ION Driver Release 285.62

AMD Catalyst 11.10 ver 3

Monitoring program

MSI Afterburner v 2.2.0 beta 8

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. Due to the fact that our test stand was replenished with new models, we, alas, had to part with some game cards. Now the minimum level of tested solutions falls on video cards of the GeForce GTS 250 and Radeon HD 4770 level.


Our video cards were tested at a resolution of 1920x1080 at various graphics quality settings, as well as at a resolution of 2560x1600 at high and maximum settings. NVIDIA 3D Vision technology has not been tested and will be added to the game at a later date. AMD Eyefinity works without any problems, and the only obstacle when using it is the rather large amount of video memory consumed. The efficiency of SLI and Cross Fire was perfected even before the release of the game, but still Cross Fire has one drawback - it works effectively in almost all resolutions, with the exception of 2560x1600. Most likely the problem lies in the drivers and will be fixed as soon as possible.


Video cards with hardware support for DirectX 10 and 11 were tested in general this time. The difference in the settings is the non-adjustable "terrain quality", whose position on the previous generation maps is inactive and is set to low settings by default. It is possible that some settings also work "not at full strength", so the performance of cards with DirectX 10 support is slightly higher than that of similar new generation cards.

Testing at minimum quality settings 1920x1080


At low quality settings, all our tested video cards turned out to be quite playable. A sufficient level of performance at this resolution in the game will be shown by the Radeon HD 4770 or GeForce GTS 250. Modern two-chip flagships have come up against the performance of our overclocked Core i 7 930.

Testing at medium quality settings 1920x1080


With medium graphics quality settings, the minimum level of video card performance remained almost the same, namely the Radeon HD 4770 or GeForce GTS 250. But only owners of Radeon HD 5770 or GeForce GTX 550Ti cards can comfortably play. Of the old generation video cards, the Radeon HD 4870 or GeForce GTX 260 will be able to feel comfortable, but it is worth remembering that not all modern graphic effects will be available to their owners.

Testing at high quality settings 1920x1080


At high graphics quality settings, the Radeon HD 4870 or GeForce GTX 260 from the old generation and the Radeon HD 5770 or GeForce GTX 550 Ti from the new one will already show the minimum performance. The most comfortable performance will be provided by cards of the level Radeon HD 4890 or GeForce GTX 260 core 216, and Radeon HD 6790 or GeForce GTX 460 768 MB.

Testing at maximum quality settings 1920x1080


At maximum graphics quality settings, cards with video memory less than 896 MB will no longer be able to show comfortable performance, so the GeForce GTX 460 768 MB turned out to be unsuitable in this mode. Cards with hardware support for DirectX 10 this time backed down, completely yielding to their receivers, even though some technologies are simply not available for them. But let's get back to determining the optimal video cards - a decent level of performance in the game will be shown by the Radeon HD 6870 or GeForce GTX 460. More or less comfortable performance will be provided by cards of the Radeon HD 6970 or GeForce GTX 480 or GeForce GTX 570 level. Thus, the recommended Radeon HD 6950 or GeForce GTX 560 (most likely Ti) do not live up to comfortable performance in the game at maximum settings, but they are quite capable of providing sufficient. As we can see, for the maximum quality settings, an upgrade to new video cards is simply inevitable...


Further, as you can see, our tests include a resolution of 2560x1600, in which video cards can truly open up to all their 100%. The performance level for this resolution was taken for video cards from the middle class and higher, since it makes no sense to test less productive models at this resolution, as you can see for yourself below...

Testing at high quality settings 2560x1600


At high graphics quality settings at a resolution of 2560x1600, the minimum level of performance in the game will be shown by Radeon HD 5850 or GeForce GTX 560 cards. More comfortable performance will already be provided by cards of the Radeon HD 5870 or GeForce GTX 480 level. As we said earlier, the dual-chip flagship Radeon HD 6990 has problems with drivers, so its performance is slightly lower than expected.

Testing at maximum quality settings 2560x1600


At maximum graphics quality settings at a resolution of 2560x1600, cards with video memory less than 1280 megabytes are unable to stably reproduce a game picture. The only one that could provide smooth playability was the GeForce GTX 590. The GeForce GTX 580 is also able to stay afloat, but very noticeable FPS drops will be inevitable...

Of all the generalized joint performance tests, so far NVIDIA cards seem to be preferable for the game, thanks to many optimizations in the drivers and close cooperation with the developers from the DICE team. This is especially true for ultra-high settings, where you simply need the latest generation GeForce GTX graphics card. Plus, soon the developers will add a patch with support for stereoscopic 3D, which has a 3D Vision Ready rating, which means that its implementation will be of the highest quality, which will add even more realism to everything that happens.

Also, do not forget about the superiority of the PC version of the game over its console counterparts, where you can enjoy the graphics of the next generation of consoles , having also at your disposal ultra-high quality graphics and any resolution!

Testing with AMD Eyefinity Technology


All our video cards were tested at maximum quality settings on three FuLL HD monitors combined thanks to Eyefinity technology at a resolution of 5760x1200. The technology works fine, but video memory for maximum quality will require at least 2 gigabytes on board. As we can see, all the main interface elements are located on the main monitor, so you will not experience any inconvenience when playing in this mode. At this resolution, the Radeon HD 6990 works like a charm, revealing the full potential of its two heads.

Testing at maximum quality settings using AMD Eyefinity technology on three monitors at a resolution of 5760x1200 high quality


The minimum that is required for tolerable playability in Eyefinity mode at high settings is a Radeon HD 6970-level video card. For comfortable playability in this mode, video accelerators of the Radeon HD 6990 level and higher are required.

Testing at maximum quality settings using AMD Eyefinity technology on three monitors at a resolution of 5760x1200 maximum quality


The minimum that is required for tolerable playability in Eyefinity mode at maximum is a video card of the Radeon HD 6990 level. For comfortable playability in this mode, two similar two-headed monsters are most likely required.

Processor dependency testing


We tested processor dependence on 10 models of basic configurations, which are the most relevant today. The test was carried out in those places where the value of the video card for the game is minimal and its load was less than 99%, this time at a resolution of 640x480 with low quality settings. Of course, the CPU usage in multiplayer mode is much higher, especially on maps with 64 players, but it is not possible to give even approximate results in this case due to the inability to duplicate similar situations.

Testing at minimum quality settings 640x480


As we can see, a single player will require a productive model of a dual-core processor. For multiplayer games, it is more appropriate to use four-core models of new generations of CPUs. As we can see, the game is very responsive to a higher number of processor cores, as a result of which the tested AMD Phenom II X6 1100T pulled ahead. Hyper-Threading technology has not found support in the full version...