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Need help to build cheapest possible PC to run BF3 on ULTRA

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September 28, 2011 6:47:31 AM

Hello. I know nothing about building computers. All I know is that I want to run Battlefield 3 on maxed out settings at 1920x1080 with a framerate that never dips below 30 fps, and that I want all this as cheap as possible. The PC's only purpose in life will be to run BF3 (and maybe Modern Warfare 3 and StarCraft II, but those shouldn't be any problem).

I've heard so many different things that I don't know what to believe. I have heard that a $1000 budget build can run BF3 maxed. I have heard that it will take two 580s (not sure what a 580 is except that it's a really expensive graphics card) to run BF3 maxed.

I've seen this spreadsheet () and I have no idea what it means. I just want to run BF3 on ultra maxed out at 1920x1080 with a framerate that never sinks below 30fps, at the cheapest possible cost.


Approximate Purchase Date: Between now and 25 October, or between now and Christmas depending on cost

Budget Range: AS CHEAP AS POSSIBLE. Again, I've heard everything from $1000 to $3000, so not sure what to believe.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Battlefield 3, Battlefield 3, Battlefield 3

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, speakers, monitor

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Whatever works

Country of Origin: I'm from California

Parts Preferences: no preference

Overclocking: no idea what this is, sounds dangerous

SLI or Crossfire: no idea what this is

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: Thanks a lot for your help and advice. Being a PC gamer is a really daunting task, I can't do it alone!
September 28, 2011 7:03:17 AM

The reason why what you hear varies greatly is because the game hasn't been released yet (obviously) and system requirement hasn't been announced.

Now apparently, a manager/producer of the studio that makes bf3 tweeted that 2x gtx580 is needed to max bf3. Even this isn't specific enough. The gpu power needed to max a game for 1080p vs 2500x1600 isn't even close. And since the tweet didn't specify what resolution he was talking about, people are left to guess. Is the tweeted pertaining to playing ultra using the most popular screen resolution (1080p)? Or it literally meant max as in ultra @ 2500x1600? We can only guess for now.
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September 28, 2011 7:31:57 AM

Ctrl + V

AMD bulldozer is out soon (2-3 weeks) wait until then, prices for CPU's will change across the board.
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September 28, 2011 2:33:11 PM

i would say a gtx 570 is enough for 1920x1080 ultra at more than 30 fps
use ur minds people how many people have those 2 gtx 580s very few that guy whom ur talkin about only said that if u run bfbc2 smoothly then u shouldnt worry about bf3 2 gtx 580 is like 1000$ the top selling is the gtx 460 so i would say ull need a single gtx 570 for ultra besides i heard that the 3430 was 1 of the cards being used in alpha trial
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September 28, 2011 4:33:16 PM

Quote:
The reason why what you hear varies greatly is because the game hasn't been released yet (obviously) and system requirement hasn't been announced.


System requirements have been released, but they are for low (minimum) and medium/high (recommended). Also, people are playing the beta and posting their results (see google doc linked in OP), but results seem to vary. Thanks for the feedback, though, guys!
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September 28, 2011 5:21:42 PM

To build a system to crush BF3 retail on Ultra or maximum settings is not a exercise in how cheaply you can do it. It is an exercise in decision making and parts selection while you carefully build a system to suit.

I think it is a no brainier that you can start with the unlocked i7 2600K Intel CPU. And yes I am one of those few folks who spent over a thousand on the video cards. Just don't ask me how many Peanut Butter and Jelly Sand-witches I had to endure to make it happen. I am not some obnoxious rich know nothing.

Crossfire People usually can do more for less. I would not use anything less than two or three 6990's My last two crossfire builds were moderately successful in BFBC2 using two 256 bit sapphires. I think it was the profile version 5 and CCC version 5 which ran the best with that game.

Raid your SSD's the more the better. Intel SATA or go with PCIe Drives. Like the Revo.

Memory? Fast. Nothing less than 2133 and nothing less than DDR3 (Dual channel) make sure you use a Quad channel matched kit for 4 dimms or two triple matched for 6 dims.

The next build I would have to do will either be a X79 motherboard or two Xeon (Old names, they are called something else now) server chips on one motherboard, again in a Server build instead of a ordinary PC.

And the best thing you have is the mind you have between the ears in Battle playing a game. Hit em where you aint and get em everyway you can. As soon they start to rage quit then you are a as they say it... "Winning!"
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September 28, 2011 6:15:51 PM

Quote:
To build a system to crush BF3 retail on Ultra or maximum settings is not a exercise in how cheaply you can do it. It is an exercise in decision making and parts selection while you carefully build a system to suit.


I posted this because after extensive googling, I found that BF3 PC build recommendations fell into two categories: the extreme budget build, which runs BF3 very well on low to medium graphics and appeals to the demographic that wants to be thrifty at the expense of quality, and the extreme spare-no-expenses build, which goes all-out and appeals to the demographic with unlimited funds.

I happen to fall into the demographic in between - I don't want to "settle for less", but I also don't want to spend any more than I have to. Such precision probably requires a lot more information that just isn't available yet, as Sky03 has pointed out, so maybe I posted this too early, but I was hoping players' experiences from running the beta could point me in the right direction.

Thanks for all your suggestions. All that stuff you listed means nothing to me (I feel so stupid :[), but I'll look them all up for sure.
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September 28, 2011 7:22:54 PM

x Heavy said:
To build a system to crush BF3 retail on Ultra or maximum settings is not a exercise in how cheaply you can do it. It is an exercise in decision making and parts selection while you carefully build a system to suit.

I think it is a no brainier that you can start with the unlocked i7 2600K Intel CPU. And yes I am one of those few folks who spent over a thousand on the video cards. Just don't ask me how many Peanut Butter and Jelly Sand-witches I had to endure to make it happen. I am not some obnoxious rich know nothing.

Crossfire People usually can do more for less. I would not use anything less than two or three 6990's My last two crossfire builds were moderately successful in BFBC2 using two 256 bit sapphires. I think it was the profile version 5 and CCC version 5 which ran the best with that game.

Raid your SSD's the more the better. Intel SATA or go with PCIe Drives. Like the Revo.

Memory? Fast. Nothing less than 2133 and nothing less than DDR3 (Dual channel) make sure you use a Quad channel matched kit for 4 dimms or two triple matched for 6 dims.

The next build I would have to do will either be a X79 motherboard or two Xeon (Old names, they are called something else now) server chips on one motherboard, again in a Server build instead of a ordinary PC.

And the best thing you have is the mind you have between the ears in Battle playing a game. Hit em where you aint and get em everyway you can. As soon they start to rage quit then you are a as they say it... "Winning!"




I don't mean to offend you at all, but this is way overkill for even bf3. You are talking a future-proof game guzzling goliath with these specs, and it simply isnt needed for bf3, unless of course you are the type of person that must have 100+ fps in every game you play, ever, and is definitely not a budget pc, which is what this thread calls for.

Even so, "budget" and BF3 dont play well together. I just built a $2200 rig last month, and according to the google doc that you attached, it will be able to max out everything on BF3 with "playable" framerates on a 1920x1200 res monitor. When we talk about frame rates in games, a good frame rate to shoot for is 60 or above, as thats where the game runs the smoothest, and Ideally you dont want the frame rate to ever dip below 30, because then you get choppy gameplay and it ruins the aesthetics. So by "playable" as mentioned above, my setup will problably get frame rates between 30 and 60 in BF3.

my setup is as follows:
ASUS P8Z68 DELUXE Motherboard
8GB G.SKILL Ripjaws RAM @ 1600mhz
Intel i7 2600k processor @ 3.4ghz - overclocked to 4.5ghz
nVidia Geforce GTX580 Superclocked
Coolermaster Silent Pro GOLD 1200w power supply
60gb Crucial SSD
1TB Western Digital Hard Drive


If you want, you could use that as a good base to start your shopping. the i7 processor should be standard with anything you buy because if BF3 is anything like Bad Company 2 was, you are going to need all the Processing power u can get. You MIGHT be able to get away with an i5 if you are really looking towards budget. I'm an intel guy which is why I recommend Intel processors, but AMD is a pretty good bang for your buck, and you usually can get them for cheaper. Im sure someone with AMD knowledge could point you in that direction if you so desire.

the 1200watt power supply is way overkill for a budget pc, you could probably make do with a 700 or 750 watt one. My 1200watt is for upgrade ability.

Solid state drives are like magic. they turn load times and windows boot up times into a fraction of what they are on a regular hard drive, however they do not do much in terms of in-game play unless you don't have a lot of memory in your computer. If you can deal with slower load times, skip the solid state drive, as they are still fairly expensive for a fairly small drive.

Graphics...... I'm most knowledgeable about nVidia, the "580" you referenced in your post refers to the GeForce GTX580, which is one of nVidia's most powerful graphics cards on the market right now. they run about 500 bucks a pop depending on the manufacturer you get it from. If you want a little cheaper, the GTX 570 runs about 319 dollars, and really you could get 2 of them and have more graphics power than a single 580, for a little bit more money.
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September 30, 2011 12:46:04 AM

No offense taken.

You state that I build a "Future Proof" and that is exactly my philosophy.

Computer parts drop in price once or twice a year I take advantage of that. There is no such thing as Unlimited funds.

Upon further reflection, if a build was done at half the cost of my system and still run BF3 very well, I will be the first to salute you.

My last build was a retail 400 dollar motherboard at something like 110 and I grabbed one and crossfired it with 300 dollars worth of 5770's on sale and so on. It did well enough against the super computers in the Clan across several games. However like all things it's time to look to the future.

In the back of my Classroom there is a 1 Megabyte hard drive almost as big as a Antec 900 Case in volume and weighs almost as much. The power and what was necessary in those days was Plaid and Ludicrous when you consider SSD's doing the job now.

I am actually attempting to make do with a Corsair Professional Modular Silver 750 watt. It seems to be doing well; thankfully.

The other consideration is resolution. I am a old man and anything much beyond 1280 by 1024 I think it is on a 24 inch monitor is pretty much too "Tiny" I shoot much better in real life than I would ever do with a very high resolution war game without standing still so long that snipers take me out.

I am happy to see budget builds, I done them and I am also interested in monsters. Some of which are and should be held as a Community sort of trophy that celebrates gaming or something. Some years ago Nvidia built a 4 video card rig that was around 20,000 dollars if memory serves. I have long since lost the link but at the time...

The 1200 dollars I put into the MSI's video cards are going to be tested in time. Will it last a year? Certainly. Will it make it two? Hmm. THinking back on all 12 or so of my builds video cards with the exception of the Ti4600 lasted around 3 years at most for me. The Ti4600 was a awesome standout that made it 8 years before burning up.

Last night I ran the BF3 (Actually early this morning) Beta and it did well knowing what to expect with the forums filled with issues being reported hopefully to be fixed prior to retail release. The temperatures though... whew.
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October 10, 2011 10:39:51 AM

hmm, with 2 Gb of ram, 5 yeard old dual core CPU 2.0GHz , and 5 year old GeForce GTS 8800, BF 3 beta was barely playable for me on low-low graphic details,with a lot of twitching and flashing , and i couldnt play Caspian border at all.
I upgraded, for start, my PC with adding 8 GB ram and intel pentium i5 2500k quadcore 3.3GHz + new mainboard of course, using the old graphic card.

So right now i play BF3 beta, with 8800 GTS card, i5 quad core and 8 GB ram, on medium/high settings, on best resolution. Dident see fps rate, it was probably small, but the game ran smoothly, and it was enjoyable to play.

I guess for this game is better to have better CPU than graphic card.


Other than that, i believe u can run BF3 on high/ultra with AMD quad black edition, some gtx 560 ti graph card and 4 GB of ram.
AMD black edition quad is like best buy to get high gaming performance, it is almost 2 times cheaper than some i5 intel quads , and its performance isn't that bad at all, + even mainboards for AMDs are 2 times cheaper than ones for intel.

1k usd PC? Case filled with nothing but goodness in it (without LCD)
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October 25, 2011 3:12:48 PM

Hey brother i Run this and run the game MAXXED NO ISSUES lol


GTX 580
EVGA FTW-3 MOBO
12gb g.skill ripjaw ram 1600mhz
i7-950
1200w Corsair
H70 Corsair cpu cooler

i also run my fan at 80% for GPU and never goes above 55C

also no over clocking what so ever my man and there ya go i paid 1400 to build this bad boy be wise and you can build a boss for great Deals its all name brand and runs anything Flawless remember proper cooling is HUGE DUBSTEP4LIFE !!!!!
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October 25, 2011 3:13:45 PM

Never go below 60FPS also
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October 25, 2011 3:15:28 PM

I'm certain that's not the cheapest possible build for BF3 though.
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October 26, 2011 11:04:55 PM

rimaxo14 said:
Hey brother i Run this and run the game MAXXED NO ISSUES lol


GTX 580
EVGA FTW-3 MOBO
12gb g.skill ripjaw ram 1600mhz
i7-950
1200w Corsair
H70 Corsair cpu cooler

i also run my fan at 80% for GPU and never goes above 55C

also no over clocking what so ever my man and there ya go i paid 1400 to build this bad boy be wise and you can build a boss for great Deals its all name brand and runs anything Flawless remember proper cooling is HUGE DUBSTEP4LIFE !!!!!


And what resolution do you run it at?
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Anonymous
July 9, 2012 2:46:43 PM

Guys listen!
why buy an intel i7 when you can buy intel i5 for 100$ less and you get almost the same performance in games. (This has been proved!)

Also the best GFX will be the GTX570. because of its price and hardcore performane. And believe me, I know beacause I have one and I play battlefield3 all maxed out!

8gb corsair vengeance 1600mhz will be more than enough.

asus p8z68-V LX is cheap and you can overclock the CPU and the GPU if you want with the z68 chipset.

And a 650watt power supply will be enough to handle this ba.d boy! you need 550 watt power is enough but if you overclock or add a liquid cooler than the extra 100watts will be necessary.

THATS ALL FOLKS! everythin will cost about 780$! not bad right?
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September 1, 2012 2:34:47 PM
!