Battlefield 3 Beta Performance Testing and Image Quality Evaluation - Day 1
Game Quality Settings Comparison
Even though we did all of our testing at the Ultra quality settings for our Day 1 results, we were curious to see how much of a difference in image quality we would see when switching between the various presets of Ultra, High, Medium and Low. One note here: switching between the quality settings requires a restart of the game client, meaning you have to exit the server you are playing on and either re-join or find another one. Also, if you want to change settings for some freaking reason you can only do it when you are "deployed", spawned and in the game. You cannot do it while you are dead - which makes absolutely no sense to me.
Even worse, if you are in the settings and you die (which will happen as yoareu standing still looking like a jackass), you get pushed OUT of the settings menu and nothing you did is saved. Pretty nice, huh? Oh well, we fought through all the pain of that to take the following screenshots.
(NVIDIA) BF3: Operation Metro - 1920x1200 - Ultra Settings - Click to Enlarge
(NVIDIA) BF3: Operation Metro - 1920x1200 - High Settings - Click to Enlarge
(NVIDIA) BF3: Operation Metro - 1920x1200 - Medium Settings - Click to Enlarge
(NVIDIA) BF3: Operation Metro - 1920x1200 - Low Settings - Click to Enlarge
Again, I did my best to line up in the exact spot each time but since it was a new server and game instance each time, there are some minor differences. The primary difference I see in all four of our images above is in the amount of antialiasing going on. The Low present doesn't have much of it and you see very hard edges on the shadows on the ground. After that, the differences appear to be in the shadow quality as well as detail anti-aliasing in the trees, the bench seats, etc.
I did make some basic animated images below to try to give you a better way to view the differences.
The gun barrel doesn't appear to change much though texture quality is a bit better on the High-Ultra side of things.
Again the Low quality setting is the one that really stands as being "bad" and even Medium makes a big jump over that.
This shot tells us a bit more about the quality scaling from Low to Ultra as you can see the foliage in the background increase as the quality setting does as well. Of course the shadows are the most obvious change.
The detail on the gazebo is definitely lost in the Low quality setting and we see a small but consistent increase in the distant object quality as we progress through Medium, High and Ultra.