Subject: General Tech | October 22, 2011 - 03:24 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: battlefield 3
You might be waiting for Battlefield 3; you might also not be waiting for Battlefield 3 because you played Operation Metro and did not get any chance to play Caspian Border. The Beta is now long gone and release is just days away. To generate excitement, DICE has released another trailer focusing on the diversity of the maps: day and night; air and ground; urban, open, and open urban? Stuff crumbles, stuff dies, and stuff plain gets blown up. Check it out.
Wake Island just will not be the same without randomly bombing narrow strips of land.
Also teased in the trailer is the Back to Karkand expansion pack showing the Battlefield 3 version of Strike at Karkand with much less yellow and much more debris. Not shown are the other three maps of the expansion: Wake Island, Sharqi Peninsula, and Gulf of Oman. Unlike Battlefield 2, however: Battlefield 3 will have a single-player campaign which received its own trailer.
I somehow feel this is Dangerously Close to Medal of Honor’s anti-brass theme.
While it looks like Battlefield 3 will be a worthy sequel to 2005’s Battlefield 2, I do fear that future iterations will take a turn similar to Call of Duty after the Call of Duty 4 inflection point. How do you feel? What do you want to know about Battlefield 3 the most?
Subject: General Tech | October 20, 2011 - 11:00 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: xbox, PC, gaming, ea, dice, bf3, battlefield 3
Battlefield 3 is nearing its October 25th release date and information about each platform's release is starting to pour in. One notable piece of information concerns the optional hard drive install for the Xbox 360 version of Battlefield 3. We reported earlier that the FPS would come on two DVDs for the Xbox 360, and a BF3 producer had been quoted in stating that the DVDs could be installed to the system to enable "optional high resolution textures." At the time, I had assumed that the optional install would merely boost the (already) HD (high definition) image; however, according to Shack News the game will be only standard definition without the hard drive installation.
The PC will always have HD resolutions available, assuming your rig can handle it.
Executive producer Partick Bach explains that Battlefield 3 is based around a streaming texture engine where the terrain, textures, and content are all streamed in, and is a new way of doing things on the console (though not the gaming industry as a whole). Unfortunately, it looks like the concern many gamers had in regards to the Xbox 360's DVD drive not being able to stream high quality textures fast enough have been realized. Both the PC and the Playstation 3 on the other hand, are able to stream the necessary HD textures from the hard drive (PC) and Blu-Ray disc (PS3).
Mr. Bach further explains that because there are so many Xbox 360s with either no hard drives or (nearly useless) 4 GB drives, the company had to develop the Xbox version such that even a system with no hard drive could at least play the game, even at the expense of image quality. "You could call it a 'standard-def' version for the 360 if you don't have a hard-drive." What is still unclear is what exactly he means by standard definition. Whether that means the game will be limited to a 480p resolution without the optional hard drive installation or high definition (720p+) resolutions with relatively lower resolution textures is not certain (though likely the later rather than the former, if I had to guess).
What this means for Xbox 360 gamers, in the end, is that the game will be quite a bit more expensive than previously thought if they want the full experience after factoring in the cost of an (outrageously priced) Microsoft hard drive. Are you planning on buying the Xbox version?
Subject: General Tech | October 10, 2011 - 03:46 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: pc gaming, ea, dice, bf3, battlefield 3
The Battlefield 3 beta is almost at a close, and the Xbox 360 version of the game will come on two discs, one for the single player and one for the multiplayer modes. It is not all bad news, however. DICE has revealed that the Xbox 360 version will have an optional high resolution texture pack available on the second game disc that will bump up the graphical quality.
GamerZines has quoted Battlefield 3 producer Patrick Liu as stating “There's a voluntary install on the 360. I think Rage did it as well where you can install content to stream higher res textures.” Further, he believes that Battlefield 3 is the best looking game (on the console).
The PC will have graphical settings (far) surpassing those of the Xbox 360 and PS3; however, it is not clear how the hierarchy will stack up from there. The PS3 may well also receive the high resolution texture pack included on the Blu-ray disc that will not need to be installed, but this has not yet been confirmed; therefore, how the Xbox 360 and PS3 will compare graphically remains to be seen.
Did you manage to get onto the Caspian Border map over the weekend? What are your thoughts on the graphics of Battlefield 3 on the PC and/or consoles?
Subject: General Tech | October 7, 2011 - 10:23 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: PC, gaming, caspian, bf3, beta, battlefield 3
The Battlefield 3 open beta is almost over; however, the full experience of a 64 player map with vehicles has not been accessible to the general public. Until now, that is. EA has announced that the once password protected Caspian map will be available this weekend to stress test the servers. To give you an idea of the map, PC Perspective was able to get onto one of the Caspian servers during our live stream.
The EA representative noted that the beta may be prone to crashes and network issues, and that they are (likely) not indicative of the final product. They are currently experiencing a bug where users may be kicked from the server with a message indicating it was due to an administrator's actions. The representative noted that the message does not mean that the user was kicked by an administrator but rather was due to being dropped from the server (due to network issues). Starting Friday afternoon, PC players will be able to log onto the Caspian maps, which will be available until the end of the beta on Monday, October 10th.
Have you tried out the Caspian Battlefield 3 beta map yet?
Subject: General Tech | October 5, 2011 - 01:06 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: rage, gaming, battlefield 3
This has been a busy week for the gamer and the game reviewer as we have seen the (partial) release of two long awaited games. The first to arrive was the beta for Battlefield 3, delivered via a new delivery system called Origin which is like Steam only not as good. The beta has received good reviews for the gaming portion but the game browser and the entire process to just get into a game has not, as you can read about at The Tech Report. As reviewers we cannot just play a game however, it needs to be benchmarked for performance to ensure that you know what to expect in the way of framerates as well as how the image quality stacks up. At PC Perspective we've also made some recommendations on the best parts to buy depending on the resolution you wish to play at, which has sparked a slew of comments on our choices.
Then, the long anticipated Rage hit and proved worthy of it's name. Those who could manage to get past the many causes of the instant crash to desktop on launch were disappointed as to the quality of the Mega Textures that we were promised. This has caused upset in many places, [H]ard|OCP providing some unfiltered feed back here, which is being reflected on many other sites. Ryan went so far as to slow down game play so you can see the console-tastic texture fill rate as well as the incredibly limited graphics settings in his article on rage.
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- New Voxatron trailer shows off voxels, level editor, joy @ Ars Technica
- Ars at the Tokyo Game Show: the best titles from a world away
- Mass Effect 3 – Expo Preview @ Guru3D
- Gigabyte X58A-OC Intel X58 Motherboard Review @ ThinkComputers
- Migrating Your EA Games from Steam or Retail to Origin @ Techgage
- Nexus: The Jupiter Incident Sequel? Maybe @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Albion The Bridge: X Rebirth @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Gears of War 3 - Xbox 360 @ HEXUS
- Aliens Infestation Game Review (Nintendo DS) @ HardwareHeaven
- Dark Souls (XBOX 360) Review @ HardwareHeaven
If you have been visiting PC Perspective at all over the last week there is no doubt you have seen a lot of discussion about the currently running Battlefield 3 beta. We posted an article looking at performance of several different GPUs in the game and then followed it up with a look at older cards like the GeForce 9800 GT. We did a live stream of some PC Perspective staff playing BF3 with readers and fans, showed off and tested the locked Caspian Border map and even looked at multi-GPU scaling performance. It was a lot of testing and a lot of time, but now that we have completed it, we are ready to summarize our findings in a piece that many have been clamoring for - a Battlefield 3 system build guide.
The purpose of this article is simple: gather our many hours or testing and research and present the results in a way that simply says "here is the hardware we recommend." It is a the exact same philosophy that makes our PC Perspective Hardware Leaderboard so successful as it gives the reader all the information they need, all in one place.
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Graphics Cards | October 1, 2011 - 01:49 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: sli, gtx 570, gtx 460, bf3, battlefield 3
I know, we've been talking a lot about Battlefield 3 this week, but I have yet another set of numbers and results that I think you guys will want to see. Previously, all of our BF3 benchmarks have been run under the Ultra quality presets but it is obvious that not all GPUs or gamers are going to want to target the highest settings the game can accomplish. With that in mind I decided to test a couple of cards at Ultra, High, Medium and Low presets in order to guage how well the game scaled based on image quality.
For this round I wanted to use a high end card as well as an older, much more popular (and currently low cost) card; the result is tests on the GeForce GTX 570 1.25GB and the GeForce GTX 460 1GB reference platforms. We used the Operation Metro map and the initial outdoor section for our testing as it was the most strenuous in the beta thus far.
As a side note, if you want to see how the image quality actually changes from the Ultra, High, Medium and Low presets, check out this page of my previous performance article that included screenshots and even some animated GIFs as demonstration.
Here are the results:
On the more powerful GTX 570 you can see that BF3 scales pretty well from the Ultra settings through the Low options in even steps. By moving from Ultra down to High a gamer would see about 34% better performance and 22% better minimum frame rates. The jump to Medium gains another 41% while the move to Low gets another 25% on top of that. The gap between Low and Ultra is about ~2.3x.
The GTX 460 sees similar levels of performance grades though the move from Ultra to High only gains you about 28% and averages of 33.8 FPS or so. I would still consider that on the low side of a good game play experience and thus the move to Medium (which is 82% faster than Ultra) seems like the sweet spot for BF3.
I know we also had some requests for SLI scaling performance and, in particular, with the GTX 460 1GB cards. Since this card has been so incredibly popular we thought this would be the perfect candidate for the "SLI Upgrade Path" option and you can pick one up for $150 (or less with rebates). Let's see how well Battlefield 3 scales with multiple GPUs.
At the Ultra quality settings we saw a 60% scaling capability by adding in a second GTX 460 at stock speeds while at High settings we see that rate increases to 84%! That is pretty impressive and for the cost investment of a second GPU it looks like you are going to see better than average scaling. Considering this is with the first driver release and with a beta version of the game, I can only see multi-GPU scaling rates going up as the full retail release hits.
With these results and some others we have done through the week we are ready to put together our Battlefield 3 system build guide. Stay tuned!
Subject: Graphics Cards | September 30, 2011 - 08:28 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: caspian, bf3, battlefield 3
Battlefield 3 is all the rage (but when RAGE comes out, maybe it will be) for PC gamers right now as you can tell from our various articles on the subject. They have been very well received but as is usually the case, our readers wanted more. We are still working on our planned system guide but we needed some more data (currently being gathered) and I wanted to pass on some results from the Caspian Border map of the beta.
If you are looking for it today, don't bother - EA removed it. And even when it was online since the 27th it has been password locked. Luckily for us we were able to "find" the password online and jump in to do some quick benchmarking though not as much as we wanted thanks to the removal of the map. All I was able to grab was performance on the ASUS MARS II dual GTX 580 card and the GeForce GTX 580 reference card.
What is interesting is that because that map was for 64 players (rather than the 32 players of the Operation Metro map) and that it included a MUCH larger open space, we were worried that it would require a lot more GPU horsepower or memory than the map everyone is playing on today. While we can't say for 100% certainty because we haven't tested as many cards, it looks like there is only a minimal impact on performance for the client:
So you can see from those results that the Caspian Border map didn't vary much from the performance on the Operation Metro map with those two graphics cards. I am still curious if cards with 1GB of memory might see some more noticeable changes but until the map goes live again, I won't be able to check.
Finally, just because the map was seen by so few and is no longer available, I have included a host of screenshots from the map below, all you have to do is click to open up the full news post to access them. Enjoy!
Here is a video of us playing on the Caspian Border map during our PCPer Live! sessions this week!
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Graphics Cards | September 29, 2011 - 06:51 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: radeon, pcper live, nvidia, geforce, bf3, battlefield 3, amd
Look, there isn't any football on tonight, so what else are you going to do? Rather than watch a rerun of Seinfeld, why not stop by here at http://pcper.com/live to hang out and not only watch us play some Battlefield 3 but also participate yourself by calling in on Skype, using Google+ Hangouts or even just chatting on our IRC server (welcome back to 1998, amiright?).
We are going to start the show at 10:30pm EST and plan on running until midnight at least, but it all depends on participation levels from YOU!
What all do we have on the agenda? Well, it is going to be pretty informal as we are still getting our feet wet with this whole "live" thing but here is what we are planning:
- Watch Ryan and Ken get destroyed over and over in Battlefield 3 and watch as we attempt to sneak our way into the password protected Caspian levels with vehicles, 64 players and a new game type (oh my!).
- Skype call ins from readers and gamers that want to talk about BF3 and their experiences with the game so far. How does it run on your hardware? Discussion like this will help others that might not have the beta figure out what they might want to upgrade in the near future. (Be prepared to give us your Skype handle in the chat so we can call you!)
- Trying some group games via our PC Perspective Platoon, the Fragging Frogs! (Head over and apply to join or become a fan!) You can also find me on EA Origin or in the Battlelog system as "ryanshrout".
- We will discuss our brainstorming sessions for what hardware we will recommend for certain gaming resolutions and specific image quality settings in a future article...all live!
- Maybe some surprise guests from the PC Perspective staff and beyond...??
We will be streaming the festivities live on our Justin.tv channel (embedded below) and will have a chat widget here as well for those of you that would rather use IRC than the integrated Justin.tv chat.
In short, we are planning on having a good time playing some games and talking hardware so if you are into that, then I think you should be sure to stop by and say hello!! Let us know in the comments if you have anything else you want to see or any more ideas for our live show. Thanks!!!
Subject: Graphics Cards | September 29, 2011 - 05:54 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: bf3, battlefield 3, nvidia, amd, geforce, radeon, gtx 460, hd 5850, 9800 gt
I just wanted to drop a quick note here on the home page to let you know that we haven't been just playing around on Battlefield 3 all day - instead we have been playing around on BF3 all day in order to bring you some more information about performance in the game! Earlier this afternoon I updated my Battlefield 3 Beta Performance article with a new page that focuses on results from the GeForce GTX 460 1GB, the AMD Radeon HD 5850 1GB and the GeForce 9800 GT 512MB card for those of you that are really behind the curve in the upgrade cycle.
What's this? The Caspian map? Performance results soon!
I would recommend you check out that new content to see where you hardware might fall and hopefully over the weekend we are going to be putitng together a system guide similar to our own Hardware Leaderboard but targetted at the BF3 gaming experience. Stay tuned!!