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Upgrade Options For Battlefield 3

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 2, 2011 8:29:38 PM

i can't really run Battlefield 3 very well, and i am looking for my most cost-effective way to squeeze more performance out of the parts i currently have, and to have upgrade plans for the future.

Specs:
Intel E8400 Wolfdale @ 3.00 Ghz
Generic Lenovo OEM Motherboard (No Overclocking.)
2GB DDR2 800 Ram - prOMOS
XFX Geforce GTS 250 512mb @ 738mhz/1102Mhz @ 1.15v, fan set to 75%
Antec Earthwatts 750

so, mainly, i am looking for if i should upgrade CPU, Motherboard, and Ram or my GPU first.
i have noticed that battlefield 3 is very cpu oriented, and my motherboard supports up to a Q9650(?)
any ideas?
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December 2, 2011 8:55:32 PM

I would start with a GPU like GTX560Ti or HD6950!
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December 2, 2011 9:56:06 PM

Hm... well for about $50 you can get a new motherboard which supports overclocking. For another $30 you buy a CPU cooler and then you can get a fair bit more performance out of that CPU. Another $50 or so for 2gb more RAM. Roughly $130

On the other hand you could get a decent GPU now and later on buy a new CPU/mobo/RAM together. Depends on budget but on the lower end something like an i3 2100, H67 motherboard, and 4gb of Kingston ValuRAM would cost maybe a couple hundred.
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December 2, 2011 10:29:14 PM

For a game like BF3 a more powerful upgrade path would be to get a new GPU.The only problem is that your CPU will likely bottleneck anything that would play the game decently.

I agree with wolf, you should go the O.C.ing route to squeeze as much out of it as you can.If you can O.C. to 3.4ghz+ then you should be able to run a decent GPU like a GTX560ti or 6950.After you save up some more I would aim for a Ivy Bridge build.
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December 3, 2011 12:25:11 AM

thanks for a quick response! and this information is very helpful, as right now, i run bf3 at everything off/low, windowed.
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December 3, 2011 1:27:34 AM

BF3 is actually not that CPU demanding, its more of a graphics-based game according to a test Tom's did. It does require something in terms of the CPU, but you should be fine.

You would definitely want something like a 6950 or a 560Ti for BF3, they will really run the game well.
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December 3, 2011 2:32:15 AM

xplicitt said:
thanks for a quick response! and this information is very helpful, as right now, i run bf3 at everything off/low, windowed.

Weird...What resolution are you at.My GTX 275 runs this game on high with constant 30+ fps on all maps except caspian border.You should be able to run the game at least on medium.
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December 3, 2011 2:36:14 AM

Deemo13 said:
BF3 is actually not that CPU demanding, its more of a graphics-based game according to a test Tom's did. It does require something in terms of the CPU, but you should be fine.

You would definitely want something like a 6950 or a 560Ti for BF3, they will really run the game well.

The test Toms did was in the most LEAST demanding test scenario of that single player jet level which lacks explosions and fancy smoke effects.I have observed on my i7 870 that during intense explosions in multiplayer especially on caspian border the CPU usage shoots up on all of my CPU cores.So CPU does matter in BF3 and I say a quad core along with a good graphic card is a MUST to enjoy the game.
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December 3, 2011 3:27:25 AM

celpas said:
Weird...What resolution are you at.My GTX 275 runs this game on high with constant 30+ fps on all maps except caspian border.You should be able to run the game at least on medium.

How is it weird? He has a 250 which is not made for gaming while you have a 275 (Lol DX 10), so how can you compare?

I would say upgrade your gpu first to at least a 560ti. Don't waste money on your ram/cpu/mobo, because to be honest you are just wasting money on horribly outdated hardware. Save up for a new pc pretty much (Mobo/ram/cpu/probably everyhing).
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December 3, 2011 4:27:54 AM

+1 with brandondiep

just get a mid grade GPU now, and when money is good, say after tax returns treat yourself to an all new PC.
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December 3, 2011 4:50:21 AM

I hate to be the bringer of bad news but....

A gpu is a terrible upgrade path for you. If I am not mistaken your not even on the current pcie-standard with that MB. Even if you got a 6990 you would probably not even notice the difference because you are so badly limited by your cpu and only having 2 gigs of ram.

The other reason the gpu is a bad upgrade path for you is because there is NO WAY that psu is going to have the right output for a current 6950 or simular Nvidia card. Its just impossible. Most people are running under powered and dont even know it untill they upgrade to a good psu with a the right rails to support the gpu.

In this case It is warented to wait. Dont buy anything. Shop hard and shop smart. You can build a great gaming rig for about 600$ right now. AMD or Intel there is no difference at that price point. New chipsets and new sockets are on the way very soon and its looking like there is going to be some great deals in less then 6 monthes from now. 600ish$ can get you ultra settings at 1080 in bf3 atm.
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December 3, 2011 4:54:54 AM

jerzeygamer said:
I hate to be the bringer of bad news but....

A gpu is a terrible upgrade path for you. If I am not mistaken your not even on the current pcie-standard with that MB. Even if you got a 6990 you would probably not even notice the difference because you are so badly limited by your cpu and only having 2 gigs of ram.

The other reason the gpu is a bad upgrade path for you is because there is NO WAY that psu is going to have the right output for a current 6950 or simular Nvidia card. Its just impossible. Most people are running under powered and dont even know it untill they upgrade to a good psu with a the right rails to support the gpu.

In this case It is warented to wait. Dont buy anything. Shop hard and shop smart. You can build a great gaming rig for about 600$ right now. AMD or Intel there is no difference at that price point. New chipsets and new sockets are on the way very soon and its looking like there is going to be some great deals in less then 6 monthes from now. 600ish$ can get you ultra settings at 1080 in bf3 atm.


I disagree; I have been told that 2 6950's can run on my psu if I wanted. I assume that if 2 6950's can run on a good 750, that one can run on a bad one. I do agree with upgrading RAM. The upgrades are more to hold him over than anything else. And yes, you can build a very good gaming rig for about $600 or even less than that.
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December 3, 2011 5:17:57 AM

jerzeygamer said:
I hate to be the bringer of bad news but....

A gpu is a terrible upgrade path for you. If I am not mistaken your not even on the current pcie-standard with that MB. Even if you got a 6990 you would probably not even notice the difference because you are so badly limited by your cpu and only having 2 gigs of ram.

The other reason the gpu is a bad upgrade path for you is because there is NO WAY that psu is going to have the right output for a current 6950 or simular Nvidia card. Its just impossible. Most people are running under powered and dont even know it untill they upgrade to a good psu with a the right rails to support the gpu.

In this case It is warented to wait. Dont buy anything. Shop hard and shop smart. You can build a great gaming rig for about 600$ right now. AMD or Intel there is no difference at that price point. New chipsets and new sockets are on the way very soon and its looking like there is going to be some great deals in less then 6 monthes from now. 600ish$ can get you ultra settings at 1080 in bf3 atm.



Are you kidding? The Antec Earthwatts 750 is a pretty decent PSU and would have no problems running a 6950. AMD only recommends a 500W psu for them anyway, and the Earthwatts series was never underrated, and will power it without issue. Even if you buy a GPU now, if can be reused later. And a new GPU would be backwards compatible with your mobo, even if it is not current spec. GPU upgrade is the way to go if you are looking to upgrade at all.
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December 3, 2011 5:58:02 AM

It can be a 2000000000000000000000000000000000000000w psu but if it doesnt have the right power on the rail you need then it doesnt matter. The only Antec that actualy has the proper supply for a single 6950 is a http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... or better. I found out by actualy getting the specs and talking with AMD over the phone before I built anything. For anyone to say "you need 500w" they should probably stop giving out advice on PC building all together. Its not that simple and it never was. Its been years but builders consider a PSU based on a connection to connection supply not a total watt rating. So no by specs a 700-750ish comparable psu to the Antec Earthdung is not enough to power a 6950 properly.
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December 3, 2011 7:45:26 AM

Hmmmm this is a difficult situation you are in. Ideally I would say OC your cpu to 3.5GHz or higher, add another 2 gigs of RAM, and get a decent mid range video card such as a gtx 560ti. But it seems you can't OC your cpu so it's hard to tell just how good of a video card you could buy and not run into bottlenecking issues.

Honestly I kind of agree with Jerzey's suggestion: save up and build a new pc if you can. $600 can get you a pc with enough power for high settings in BF3, with maybe a few on medium.

If that isn't an option than I would start first with a new video card and another 2 gigs of RAM. Test it out and see if you can get medium settings on BF3. Just don't go overkill on the video card unless you plan on upgrading the CPU/platform in the near future. I would say a gtx 560ti would be the limit on what you should try.
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December 3, 2011 8:51:36 AM

jerzeygamer said:
It can be a 2000000000000000000000000000000000000000w psu but if it doesnt have the right power on the rail you need then it doesnt matter. The only Antec that actualy has the proper supply for a single 6950 is a http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... or better. I found out by actualy getting the specs and talking with AMD over the phone before I built anything. For anyone to say "you need 500w" they should probably stop giving out advice on PC building all together. Its not that simple and it never was. Its been years but builders consider a PSU based on a connection to connection supply not a total watt rating. So no by specs a 700-750ish comparable psu to the Antec Earthdung is not enough to power a 6950 properly.


You do know something about PSUs, but you did a minor mistake...
Antec Earthwatts 750 does deliver ALL the 750w through their 4* 12v rail if needed

I know that it would be better to have a single rail, but, according to my math, this PSU can't powerup single devices that alone requires 480+ W (its not the case of ANY graphics card I know)

BTW, as per OWN AMD website, Earthwatts EA-750W Green is certified EVEN for 2*HD 6970....
Link: http://support.amd.com/us/certified/power-supplies/Page...
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December 3, 2011 8:25:06 PM

jerzeygamer said:
It can be a 2000000000000000000000000000000000000000w psu but if it doesnt have the right power on the rail you need then it doesnt matter. The only Antec that actualy has the proper supply for a single 6950 is a http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... or better. I found out by actualy getting the specs and talking with AMD over the phone before I built anything. For anyone to say "you need 500w" they should probably stop giving out advice on PC building all together. Its not that simple and it never was. Its been years but builders consider a PSU based on a connection to connection supply not a total watt rating. So no by specs a 700-750ish comparable psu to the Antec Earthdung is not enough to power a 6950 properly.


I don't think you would really need 850W for one 6950. The Antec Earthwatts is a good PSU. Don't be fooled by the "Earth" part. Its sorta just like "we're going to save power when you don't need it, but its here just in case you do." Unless it is some stupid generic 750W PSU, a credible brand like Antec will generally deliver the rated power.

You are correct, it is the amount of amps needed on the 12V rail that determines a power supply. The Earthwatts is plenty. My friend has one powering 2 5870's right now and he has never had any problems.
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December 3, 2011 9:05:52 PM

Deemo13 said:
BF3 is actually not that CPU demanding, its more of a graphics-based game according to a test Tom's did. It does require something in terms of the CPU, but you should be fine.

You would definitely want something like a 6950 or a 560Ti for BF3, they will really run the game well.


BF3 single player, which Toms and almost everyone else benched isn't very cpu demanding, online multiplayer is very cpu demanding, nearly unplayable on a dual core. At least most would consider single digit minimums as unplayable.
http://www.sweclockers.com/artikel/14650-prestandaanalys-battlefield-3/5#pagehead

Early beta benchmarks showed a similar trend with dual core struggling to run the game.
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December 3, 2011 9:27:20 PM

i think some of you have the wrong idea, i'm not trying to make the ultimate wünder rig here, just something that can play bf3 with some eye candy, and still have a playable FPS.
@Celpas:
resolution i run at:
windowed, stretched to(last time i checked w/ bf3 console) approx. 1450*988, as i just strech the window after the game starts.

@Rage33: i just turned 16. heh, tax returns. funny.

@Deemo13:
Deemo13 said:
My friend has one powering 2 5870's right now and he has never had any problems.

Thats why i have this psu.
i also run two screens, but the game on one and ts3 and other things on the other.
screen 1: 19" Hanns-G, screen 2: samsung 22" w/ flickering issues at start,but that is a different topic.
screen 1: 1440*900, screen 2: 1680*1050

i am also thinking of getting a i5 760 to o/c the *** out of, if i find an appropriate motherboard.
also looking at this 560ti: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and a 1156 mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
due to: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/263201-30-latest-plat...
plus: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
and some of this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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December 3, 2011 9:54:04 PM

jerzeygamer said:
It can be a 2000000000000000000000000000000000000000w psu but if it doesnt have the right power on the rail you need then it doesnt matter. The only Antec that actualy has the proper supply for a single 6950 is a http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... or better. I found out by actualy getting the specs and talking with AMD over the phone before I built anything. For anyone to say "you need 500w" they should probably stop giving out advice on PC building all together. Its not that simple and it never was. Its been years but builders consider a PSU based on a connection to connection supply not a total watt rating. So no by specs a 700-750ish comparable psu to the Antec Earthdung is not enough to power a 6950 properly.

WOW!
Even the +12 volt wattage is more than AMD themselves recommend for running the card!
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December 3, 2011 10:15:42 PM

jerzeygamer knows absolutely nothing about a psu so ignore his nonsense I have seen this user say similar crap on several threads now; polluting them with false info

if you are taking advice from AMD customer service over then phone then you sir are the idiot and should be ashamed of being so ignorant and stubborn
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December 3, 2011 10:19:33 PM

@ OP do not spend money on old intel platforms when SB is such a valid option as of right now
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December 4, 2011 2:22:01 AM

xplicitt said:
i think some of you have the wrong idea, i'm not trying to make the ultimate wünder rig here, just something that can play bf3 with some eye candy, and still have a playable FPS.
@Celpas:
resolution i run at:
windowed, stretched to(last time i checked w/ bf3 console) approx. 1450*988, as i just strech the window after the game starts.

@Rage33: i just turned 16. heh, tax returns. funny.

@Deemo13:
Thats why i have this psu.
i also run two screens, but the game on one and ts3 and other things on the other.
screen 1: 19" Hanns-G, screen 2: samsung 22" w/ flickering issues at start,but that is a different topic.
screen 1: 1440*900, screen 2: 1680*1050

i am also thinking of getting a i5 760 to o/c the *** out of, if i find an appropriate motherboard.
also looking at this 560ti: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and a 1156 mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
due to: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/263201-30-latest-plat...
plus: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
and some of this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I don't recommend getting an i5 760 right now unless you can get it for a killer deal. Sandy Bridge CPUs are just way better, and the mobos are similar prices.

Here's a PC I recently built someone, parts cost just under $1000 with all the rebates I found.

Case: Zalman Z9 Plus with fan controller
CPU: Intel i5 2500k
CPU Cooler: Zalman CNPS9900 MAX
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z68M-D2H-B3
RAM: 2x4GB (8GB total) GSKILL 1333mhz
HDD: 500GB Seagate Barracuda 7200rpm
GPU: eVGA GTX 560 Ti
PSU: Corsair Builder Series CX600 V2
Optical: LG Super-Multi DVD/RW with Lightscribe
OS: Windows 7 64bit

Not sure what OS you're using, but if you have Win 7 64 bit you'd save $110, -$20 if you have a DVD, -$80 for the PSU, -$100 for the HDD, -$40 for the CPU cooler... puts you under $600 at that point. Going with lower end CPU and GPU though, you could probably save another $200.
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December 5, 2011 2:02:32 AM

xplicitt said:
i think some of you have the wrong idea, i'm not trying to make the ultimate wünder rig here, just something that can play bf3 with some eye candy, and still have a playable FPS.
@Celpas:
resolution i run at:
windowed, stretched to(last time i checked w/ bf3 console) approx. 1450*988, as i just strech the window after the game starts.

@Rage33: i just turned 16. heh, tax returns. funny.


@Deemo13:
Thats why i have this psu.
i also run two screens, but the game on one and ts3 and other things on the other.
screen 1: 19" Hanns-G, screen 2: samsung 22" w/ flickering issues at start,but that is a different topic.
screen 1: 1440*900, screen 2: 1680*1050

i am also thinking of getting a i5 760 to o/c the *** out of, if i find an appropriate motherboard.
also looking at this 560ti: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and a 1156 mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
due to: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/263201-30-latest-plat...
plus: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
and some of this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



ha ha good copy.......... disregard
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December 5, 2011 8:57:53 AM

loneninja said:
BF3 single player, which Toms and almost everyone else benched isn't very cpu demanding, online multiplayer is very cpu demanding, nearly unplayable on a dual core. At least most would consider single digit minimums as unplayable.
http://www.sweclockers.com/artikel/14650-prestandaanalys-battlefield-3/5#pagehead

Early beta benchmarks showed a similar trend with dual core struggling to run the game.

Its actually the ONLY game I know which actually stresses my i7 with all its 8 cored glory.But amazingly unlike other titles there simply isnt ANY lag when all smoke effects are taking place.Really amazing.Hats off to DICE for building a truly optimised PC Game

@Xpicitt.If its anything lower than 1920X0180 then even a gtx 460 will play battlefield 3 really well at high setting.The ultra setting is just a luxury IMO.All it does is enable 4XMSAA which nearly every site said was clearly inferior to FXAA and if you enable ultra it will STILL cripple the 560 ti as DICE themselves stated that it takes GTX 580 SLI to completely max bf3.Considering your CPU and low resolution I suggest you go for the 460 and overclock it to hell and play bf3 near max without MSAA.Just note that 560 ti wont offer much improvement over 460 as both cant access the ultra setting

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/battlefield-3-graph...
"Two GTX 570s should handle Ultra quality with aplomb at 1920x1080"
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