Advice on upgrading to play BF3

Hey All,

I'm looking for some sound technical advice to upgrade my current pc to play bf3 at reasonable levels and looking at dual gtx 560 ti cards.

Would this be all I need to upgrade to or is there more required?

Would be grateful for your opinions and my current specs below;

[1] Area-51®

Processor: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E8400 3.00GHz 6MB Cache 1333MHz FSB
Processor Cooling : Alienware® Standard System Cooling
Power Supply: 750 Watt Alienware® Approved Multi-GPU Power Supply
Graphics Processor : Dual Graphics Card - Dual 512MB NVIDIA® GeForce® 9600 GT – Superclocked!
Memory: 4GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1066MHz - 2 x 2048MB
Motherboard: Alienware® Approved NVIDIA nForce 790i Ultra SLI
Includes PCI-Express 2.0, DDR3 Memory, and Support for Intel 1600 FSB
Operating System: Genuine Windows® Vista Home Premium - English
System Drive: Single Drive Configuration - 750GB SATA 3Gb/s 7200 RPM
Primary CD ROM/DVD ROM : 20X Dual Layer DVD±RW/CD-RW Writer
Enthusiast Essentials: Killer K1 Gaming Network Interface Card
Physics Processor : AGEIA PhysX™ Physics Processing Unit PCI-E

Thank you in advance for any assistance or advice you can give!
20 answers Last reply
More about advice upgrading play
  1. 560ti SLI would work, what resolution are you playing at?
    and a quad would b better, even if it hada slower clockspeed, q9450/9550/8400 whatever you can find as they are quite rare now.
  2. The E8400s OC really well, so I'd recommend bumping it up as much as you can, otherwise I'd imagine you'll be hitting a bottleneck there. Beyond that things look pretty good. Keep in mind the endless issues people are having with BF3. As of right now, a significant number of people are unable to run the game at max settings. Turning texture size up to Ultra causes a lot of crossfire/sli users to flicker and crash out of the game. So don't expect perfection. BF3 can be brutal, especially if you turn up the MSAA on top of the texture size.

    I don't have a lot of experience with Intel cpus so maybe someone with more knowledge can comment on that. I just know that with my rig I get betwee 40-80fps (Caspian Border being murderous and Operation Metro being a breeze). I get some stutter every once inawhile, too. But its not very bad at all.
  3. Thank you both for the advice/comments - I'm not very technical sadly so would not have much idea how to OC my E8400's but I will google it and see what I can do.

    In terms of resolution I am playing it at 1024x768 but the Campaign mode is quite painful to play and the multiplayer is quite 'strained' at times too but I would suspect my cards are the cause there? And playing it on low across the board.
  4. At lower resolutions, your CPU does more of the work. If you're going SLI, you should be playing at 1920x1080, that's where you'll see the biggest performance gains. Usually I'd tell you to turn up the resolution, but with .5Gb vram I wouldn't recommend that either.

    I would get the 560s, set them up, and then try to get your CPU going as fast as you can. If the performance gains aren't worth it, then its time to upgrade your CPU.
  5. Thank you SpamShadow - really appreciate the feedback!

    I'll get the cards this coming week and take it from there then.
  6. at that res a single 560ti would do, then you could buy another if/when you get a new monitor
  7. ^That's a good point, I'm assuming your monitor can go higher. What is the default resolution on your monitor?
  8. i was using a 1024x768 crt until 2 months ago, thing is crt's give me a headache, so on mondays i'd have an hour of ict with one, then an hour of as level ict after school with one and then id come home to my crt monitor -shudders- my new monitor feels like my eyes are being massaged by light. the moral of the story is crt monitors are awful and should all burn :)
  9. My monitor is a Dell 2408 WFP and the default res is 1920x1200.
  10. get two 560ti's and play at native res, may i ask y u were playing at such a low res
  11. If I'm honest im a technonoob - so i should play at the default res of my monitor then?

    But I'll invest in 2x cards then and look into what processor I can upgrade to if that doesn't do the trick - would I be right in thinking I need to look at what is compatible with my motherboard?
  12. yes if your cards can manage it you should always play at the native res of your monitor, you might have to reduce some of your other settings though. i think a core 2 quad is what you need, although for about £150 more than that you could get a new motherboard and a 2500k
  13. Quote:
    If I'm honest im a technonoob - so i should play at the default res of my monitor then?

    But I'll invest in 2x cards then and look into what processor I can upgrade to if that doesn't do the trick - would I be right in thinking I need to look at what is compatible with my motherboard?

    Before you stated you were playing at 1024x768 and of course 1920x1200 will look far better and much more clear.

    Only one 560ti will be fine if you want to play at 1920x1200 on BF3 medium-high graphic settings. If you want to play the game looking the best possible on ultra settings you will need 2x 560ti or one higher graphics card a gtx 580 or 590.
  14. im running a 470 (similar in performace to a 560ti) at 1080p and high is a bit ropey there, a 1200p monitor may push it over the edge of playibility
  15. I can't thank you all enough - didn't expect to get such great advice.

    Changed my res and much better :)

    Now to look at processors/motherboards and see what's what and within my immediate budget for this month of £500.
  16. 2500k and asus sabertooth plus either a 560ti or 6870, sorted. keep the ram
  17. that bundle would work really well as the cpu is already overclocked, there isnt a 6 core sandy bridge yet, so any 6 core you find would actually be slower in a lot of tasks
  18. Well I think I'll likely go for that then although the card is on order already now - the next fun part will be installing it all.

    This is the 6 core I was also looking at;

    But thanks again - I would have been a bit lost if not for yours, and the other posters, great 'straight to the point' advice.
  19. that 6 core is slower than the 4 core at anything not massively multithreaded. e.g. rendering, for gaming the 4 core is faster

    and glad i could help :)
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