Review Index:

Battlefield 3 Beta Performance Testing and Image Quality Evaluation - Day 1

Author: Ryan Shrout
Manufacturer: EA

Outdoor Operation Metro Testing

Update (9/29/11): We have new performance results for the GeForce GTX 460, Radeon HD 5850 and even the GeForce 9800 GT!  Be sure you find those on the last page of our article!

Easily a more GPU-taxing area in our early BF3 beta testing was the sections at the beginning and end of the map that take place outside in a larger, more open area.  I used the first section of this map for my testing that included a large body of water as well as lots of foliage and frequent explosions.  

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We used the same sets of cards for our testing here though I have to point out that we ran into some problems with the Radeon HD 6970 card consistently crashing in this area.  We tried two different HD 6970 cards and the problem repeated itself time and time again - though never in the subway parts of the map.  It would appear that AMD has some more work to do with its driver stability; though the HD 6950 and HD 6870 cards completed our testing without a hiccup.

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This is definitely more of a struggle for the GeForce cards as the GTX 560 Ti is barely able to keep over a 30 FPS mark while the GTX 580 only reaches as high as 42 frames per second with a minimum of just over 30.  The MARS II card was easily the best experience, and for a $1400 graphics card I guess it should be.

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In the outdoor section the Radeon HD 6950 isn't able to keep up with the GTX 570 or GTX 580 though it manages a capable 34 FPS.  The Radeon HD 6870 result shows us an average of about 27.8 FPS and comes in under the GTX 560 Ti.  It should go without saying that this game is going to be tough on graphics hardware and definitely so on these Ultra quality settings.  

September 30, 2011 | 01:52 PM - Posted by Natsumex (not verified)

How long is the beta going to be available :o

October 1, 2011 | 01:15 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

It runs through Oct 10th.

September 30, 2011 | 05:57 PM - Posted by Cody Templeton (not verified)

Ultra w/anti-aliasing in this game is pretty pointless IMO. It does so much post-processing there aren't many hard edges to soften... my AMD 955 w/stock 5850 gets well above 30fps outdoors, all ultra settings except for AA (which is turned off), and approaches 60 in the subway tunnels.

Performance on the big outdoor 64 player map is better than you would think, very comparable to outdoors on the Metro map, although it seems a lot buggier. I noticed many more problems with the destroyable buildings on that map, more stability issues, and occasional frame rate tanks with little rhyme or reason.

September 30, 2011 | 06:56 PM - Posted by Tomas K. (not verified)

Good article, nice testing.

Do you think i get normal frames on my system or is it a bit too low(outside)?:

i5 2500k @4.0ghz
corsair 2x2gb 1600
MSI GTX 570 Twin Frozr II/OC @750/1000

Min fps:34

Everything is set to max - Ultra, 4xAA etc. Resolution 1920x1080

October 1, 2011 | 12:00 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I used a dual geforce gt 540m with an Intel Core i7 2720QM (2.2GHz, turbo boost up to 3.1) and a 8Gb RAM and it passed 60 FPS

October 1, 2011 | 12:01 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I used a dual geforce gt 540m with an Intel Core i7 2720QM (2.2GHz, turbo boost up to 3.1) and a 8Gb RAM and it passed 60 FPS on ultra (1920 x 1080)

October 1, 2011 | 01:10 AM - Posted by Devil 2 U

I am currently running a system with an E6600 Core 2 and 2X EVGA GTX460s SC 1GB in SLI, overclocked. All set on the graphics front. However, I have been waiting for Bulldozer to build a new system. With the desktop part release pushing further into the future, it may take longer than planned to build a new rig. Therefore, I very well may be using this CPU and sys at the release of BF3.
I am also curious what other Core 2 CPU users, who have good GPUs, are finding in terms of performance. I am downloading the beta now (along with the NVidia beta driver), so I will report results tomorrow.

October 1, 2011 | 01:16 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Great, looking forward to hearing your results!

October 2, 2011 | 04:02 AM - Posted by Scott Michaud

When I was using that CPU for my Unreal Tournament 3 mods, I know it was bottlenecking my GTX 260 in that game. I believe I jumped from ~50FPS to ~90 in my level when going to a Core i7 920.

Not sure what type of luck you will have with it.

October 1, 2011 | 04:20 AM - Posted by MDMonster (not verified)

I get between 25-45fps on my GTS 450 at 1920x1080, and between 29-53fps in 1280x720fps. The rest of my computer consist of an AMD Athlon II x2 260 @3.2GHz, 8GB DDR3 1333MHz

October 1, 2011 | 04:21 AM - Posted by MDMonster (not verified)

ALso forgot to mention, I have it maxed with these frames.

October 1, 2011 | 03:29 PM - Posted by pc master (not verified)

hmmm very interesting indeed running an skv 9800 slrdram with dual cooled cores at 9.7699 ghz ultra high mood i have noticed that after shooting an enemy to approximately 20% health... there seem to be pop stains on the characters pants around the buttox area...a detail that would have gone unoticed if ur not running maximus titan 7.29 mercess shader buffer.

October 1, 2011 | 03:31 PM - Posted by pc master (not verified)

i meant to say poop stains.

October 2, 2011 | 01:12 AM - Posted by cstinson4 (not verified)

I have a late 2010 MBP running Windows 7 x64, i7 processor, 2.66GHz, and 4GB RAM, and have the NVIDIA GT M330 graphics card. I've put my computer on performance mode, downloaded the 285.38 drivers, and turned all the graphics settings on low in the beta, but I'm still getting pretty choppy gameplay. Does anyone know a fix to this because I've heard of people getting smooth gameplay with the same system as me. Thanks!

October 2, 2011 | 06:48 AM - Posted by Scott (not verified)

Hey, right now i have an old intel core 2 duo overclocked to 2.56 ghz and an nvidia gtx 260m. I can run that on low-medium with a decent frame rate. I will be getting a new computer before the year ends and was wondering how this would do. Intel Core i5 2500k @3.3ghz---nVidia gtx 560 2gb

October 3, 2011 | 07:00 PM - Posted by durjoy184 (not verified)

if ur planning to get a 560ti...then ull find its test results on this site

and i too have almost the same config as u ..except i got a 6870 which is a lil lower than the 560ti...

ive oc'd my 2500k to 4.7ghz..and i get 50-60 fps out @ ultra and 4xAA and i have a 4GB ram @ 1600mhz long as ur planning to overclock..ull be fine :)

October 3, 2011 | 03:55 AM - Posted by Deafty (not verified)

Any results from overclocked e8400's with 4890 VGA
I'm @4.2Ghz and debating crossfire or Gtx 570,..
CPU upgrade to follow next year with IVY Bridge.

October 4, 2011 | 06:07 AM - Posted by Anas (not verified)

Great review you made Ryan thank you.
just to mention, I have XFX HD 6970 and I did not face the issue you mentioned regard the crash outside in metro! yes I face this on first day of releasing public beta but then everything went smooth. I play on 1080p. if you want some result regard this card on outside you are welcome. but keep in mind the max resolution is 1080p.

October 5, 2011 | 09:25 AM - Posted by Troy (not verified)

I've been running the BF3 beta on a GTX 460 1GB MSI Hawk, slightly OC'ed to 850/1700/2000, a I5 2600k @ 4.3, and 8gb ddr 1600, and I get a average of 50-65 inside, and 40-50 outside. On 1920.. That's of course with only light AA on, but still..

October 8, 2011 | 01:05 PM - Posted by Yuri (not verified)

Hello, exelent review, but i have a question, i have the EVGA 460 2win card, do you think that i will be able to play this monster game in ultra setings with good frame rates, mi CPUits I7 920 OC to 3.4, 6 gbram 1726mhrz.

October 8, 2011 | 01:06 PM - Posted by Yuri (not verified)

Hello, exelent review, but i have a question, i have the EVGA 460 2win card, do you think that i will be able to play this monster game in ultra setings with good frame rates, mi CPUits I7 920 OC to 3.4, 6 gbram 1726mhrz.

October 22, 2011 | 05:34 PM - Posted by Edu (not verified)

Great review!
Detail: I think the last screen about nvidia and ati quality images are exchanged.
I'm assuming this because the ATI images are better.

October 25, 2011 | 01:51 PM - Posted by Danny (not verified)

I have a geforce 460 and battlefield 3 runs very smooth. however, doesnt quite look like the textures are as good as BC2. I have a quad-core phenom II 965 OC up a hair to 3.7Ghz, 8GB RAM, and running at 1920X1080. Im sure it must be my graphics card that is limiting my texture and detail. any detailed advice on getting the quality better in settings would be greatly appreciated.just a temporary fix til I upgrade in a couple months. Thanks.


November 2, 2011 | 03:19 AM - Posted by Jono (not verified)


Proccesor - Intel® Core™ i7-2630QM
• 2 GHz

Chipset - intel HM65

Memory Standard - 8GB 1333 MHz DDR3 (2 X 4 GB)

Graphics (worried!!) - ATI Radeon HD 6630 (1GB GDDR3)


June 26, 2012 | 03:57 PM - Posted by Anony (not verified)

amd looks much better and realistic to me

June 26, 2012 | 04:01 PM - Posted by Anony (not verified)

and amd much more detail defenatly

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