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Will i3 2100 be enough for Battlefield 3 multiplayer?

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June 6, 2012 4:24:36 AM

I got some very good advice to help me start building a new system, but now I'm stuck on what CPU to get. Will an i3 2100 be good enough for multiplayer at high-ultra settings on BF3? I know its gonna heavily depend on the GPU, but with the right GPU will it be enough?

More about : 2100 battlefield multiplayer

a c 124 à CPUs
June 6, 2012 4:59:45 AM

A Core i3 2100 is a dual core processor, BF3 "Recommended System Requirements" calls for a quad core processor. Found here (minimum requirements rarely provide for an enjoyable gaming experience)
http://bf3blog.com/battlefield-3-system-requirements/
About the cheapest Intel 1155 quad core processor is the i5 2300, you would probably want to get that as newer games seem to be gearing toward using more and more cores.
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June 6, 2012 5:08:31 AM

BF3 multiplayer pretty much requires a four core CPU to play properly. You'll have I3 owners jump in here shortly screaming bloody murder but MP benchmarks have been done on B3 and it pretty much needs a four core. Single Player you only need a two core to get high frame rates.
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a c 78 à CPUs
June 6, 2012 5:52:58 AM

If you plan on doing a lot of BF3 Multiplayer, like everyone else said, i5 is the minimum buy-in.. If you can't afford it, go with a Phenom II 965 from Newegg, they're 119.99.
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Anonymous
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June 11, 2012 7:25:54 AM

palladin9479 said:
BF3 multiplayer pretty much requires a four core CPU to play properly. You'll have I3 owners jump in here shortly screaming bloody murder but MP benchmarks have been done on B3 and it pretty much needs a four core. Single Player you only need a two core to get high frame rates.

i am not going to disagree that an i5 is better but i would like to know where these MP benchmarks you speak of are at?

care to share? :) 
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a b à CPUs
June 11, 2012 7:55:22 AM

http://www.sweclockers.com/artikel/14650-prestandaanalys-battlefield-3/5#pagehead

Contrast those to all the single player timed loop demo's. BF3 as MP cranks up it's CPU utilization big time, lots more to do and track as you have 64 players running around all doing different things.

http://hardforum.com/showpost.php?p=1038216217&postcount=74

Someone showing the CPU utilization on BF3 MP, it definitely wants more then two cores, practically demands four and is capable of using more.

Whatever you do, if you care about MP in 64 player maps on BF3, do not get an I3. It has nothing to do graphics processing but rather how much stuff the game has to keep track of and how much physics math it must do for the destructible environment.
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Anonymous
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June 11, 2012 8:01:46 AM

not to be a wanker here. but comparing two different posts using completely different hardware is far short of benchmarking . . . especially when one of them isn't in my native language of english :) 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuZFOrnZkrE
pc specs: i3 2100, amd hd 6670, 4 gb ram, average fps 40-60 ,resolution 1440x900 and everything on medium settings
:lol: 
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a b à CPUs
June 11, 2012 8:26:40 AM

Anonymous said:
not to be a wanker here. but comparing two different posts using completely different hardware is far short of benchmarking . . . especially when one of them isn't in my native language of english :) 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuZFOrnZkrE
pc specs: i3 2100, amd hd 6670, 4 gb ram, average fps 40-60 ,resolution 1440x900 and everything on medium settings
:lol: 


Haha I KNEW you were gonna be one of the i3 posters.

First you need to understand what both those posts are saying, although you gave them a cursory glance. The first is benchmarks showing 64 player BF3 caspian, notable the pecking order of the CPUs. When you compare those to the "Single Player Timed Demos" done at review sites you get two different pictures. Namely when comparing a dual core to a quad core.

Second link is important not for any benchmark data but for the CPU utilization graphs, the thing you completely ignored. You can see that BF3 is actually using 5~6 of the cores present on a 8150 and really utilizing them. The point the poster was making was that in single player mode his 970BE was running just fine but when going into 64 player mode it started choking. The 8150 would be running the same as the 970 in single player mode, in 64 player map the 8150 would keep trucking as it's able to handle the higher thread count.

Now finally your "youtube" video. Right now I'm saying it, youtube videos are stupid for trying to show anything related to gaming FPS / performance. The encoding process destroys any difference in FPS during playback, you could of had a 100fps raw video material and it'll only playback at the flash video rate.

Yes you bought an I3 thinking it was perfectly fine for "gaming" due to it's cheap price. And it is a great CPU for single player gaming. For multiplayer you got lied too, plain and simple. The conditions present in single player timed loop demos are not the same ones present on 64-player destructible maps.

Finally FPS is not the ultimate arbitrator for large scale MP battles. BF3 specifically is designed such that it will not wait to render a frame if some object calculations are not finished during MP battle. If your CPU can not keep up with everything going on you will still get stable frame rates, you simply won't see the guy who fragged you or will get lag while the wall explodes or the bullets fly.
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June 11, 2012 8:49:50 AM

Here is the link to the start of that entire thread on HardOCP.

http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1654043

Quote:
both FRAPs runs were timed benchmarks 5 min in length done on a FULL 64 player server on metro in conquest (you know how bad this meat grind fest is!!) i started the benchmark once i got to the famous choke point battles for B capture point and just played like i normally do from there and was in the middle of the grind both times rather than trying to get away/past the choke points.

first test i5-2500k with all 4 cores active, running an overclock of 4.2ghz
Frames
40855
Time (ms)
300000
Min
70
Max
201
Avg
136.183

second test i5-2500k with only 2 cores active and cpu downclocked to the minimum (3.4ghz no turbo mode)
Frames
19941
Time (ms)
300000
Min
32
Max
115
Avg
66.47



there you have it, half the frames were produced, my cpu use was maxed out during the 2nd test while during the first test my cpu use was very high but not 100% pegged. while the game was still very much playable it felt much slower than it did the first run, staying above 60 FPS all the time really is key to having the best multiplayer performance and your K/D Ratio will be better if you have higher frame rates not to mention the game is just more enjoyable

for those who are wondering why i have so much interest in this its because when i first got the game my system was a C2Q Q8200 overclocked to 2.8 ghz with 4gb of ram and 1 560 Ti, due to reviews on the net stating this game is not CPU depentant i bought another 560 Ti only to find out it was my CPU holding my GPU back even though it was a quad core. although i can no longer benchmark that CPU because i gave it to my brother i can tell you without a doubt that even my i5-2500k crippled down to basically what amounts to an i3 running at 3.4 ghz without HT the performance i experienced running that test above is still well above what my core 2 QUAD was giving me with the same 2 video cards in SLI.


Determination that was made

Quote:
this is true, what i'm trying to show here is that its not really a core count issue in this game that determines your minimum frame rates, its raw FPU performance of your CPU. the sandy bridge architecture is even with only 2 cores much faster than core 2 architecture in this department so people still using core 2 quad's like i was and being told that a quad core is a quad core and you just need a better video card, like i was lead to believe are wrong. in these tests even with my 2500k crippled to the max (the game won't run on 1 core so can't cripple it that far hehe) it still performed visibly better than my Q8200 at 2.8 ghz did by a large margin too. 64 player servers like i was in during these test would bring my C2Q to its knees and my frame rates would rarely get over 40 fps in heavy action.

if people want me to do an apples to apples run 2 vs 4 at the same speed i'm more than willing to do so but the performance difference will still be very large.


For BF3 MP you need tons of CPU power, we use the rule of thumb of getting a modern (SB/FX/PII) four core as that would have enough power to get you where you need to go, unless your running heavy SLI setups. Then you need a i5-2500K / i7-2600K / 8120 / 8150. Unlike every other game the review sites bench-marked, BF3 MP scales well with raw CPU power.
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Anonymous
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June 11, 2012 9:45:21 AM

palladin9479 said:
Haha I KNEW you were gonna be one of the i3 posters.

nope, wrong there. i just simply asked where you got multiplayer benchmarks. from my understanding, you cannot benchmark multiplayer because the results cannot be replicated.

palladin9479 said:
<sniped for just general purpose . .seriously its a bunch of bull . . .read the black not the white on a page. >
Now finally your "youtube" video. Right now I'm saying it, youtube videos are stupid for trying to show anything related to gaming FPS / performance. The encoding process destroys any difference in FPS during playback, you could of had a 100fps raw video material and it'll only playback at the flash video rate.

and as much as you do not want to lend it any credibility; its much more relevant then using two different posts with completely different hardware. as a matter of fact, has a i3 2100 used in either of your examples?
no.
palladin9479 said:

Yes you bought an I3 thinking it was perfectly find for "gaming" due to it's cheap price. And it is a great CPU for single player gaming. For multiplayer you got lied too, plain and simple.


ah there you go making assumptions again :non:  let me put it to you this way. i did not buy an i3 to game with. shocking, huh? but there are folks that do other things with their box then game. i knew exactly what i was buying when i bought it. well that isn't 100% true, i was pretty surprised that it does much better than i thought to begin with.

to get back to the BF3 MP benchmarking; what you did was show what is already known, BF3 makes use of more than 2 cores. as far as providing any benchmarks to back up your claim your failed there.

on a side note: a few eeks ago a guy asked for help with the lag he had with an i3 clarkdale that was overclocked like crazy. he was lagging in BF3MP while multi tasking and there were an onslought of people like yourself telling him he needed a quad core. funny thing is, 4 more gigs of RAM solved his problem.

bottom line is, if you want to have your subjective opinion, great. but don't spread ignorance by claiming to have objective, measurable and replicable benchmarks when all you have are a few posts that take a line of logic a mile long to come close to backing your claim.

ok?

meanwhile, i'll still be looking for how much degradation in frame rate there is between an i3 and i5 in BF3MP shown in a measurable manner.

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Anonymous
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June 11, 2012 9:56:43 AM

Quote:
I can tell from the video that it is smooth, however, larger maps such as Damavand Peak and Gulf of Oman, will bring the i3 down to a crawl in comparison to a quad core.

Do not make me have to test this theory, as i will surely prove it to you.
I just have no energy right now to mess around ;) 

No need for bickering, the i3 is still a capable CPU for multiplayer.


i bet you can't!

:lol: 
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a b à CPUs
June 12, 2012 12:54:25 AM

i3 users across the net have been pissed ever since it came out that Multiplayer Games don't behave the same as Single Player Timed Loop Demos. All those graphics showing an i3 in the same league as a i5 / i7 were only valid for campaign mode. Enter into 64 player maps and everything changes, even 32 player maps can have issues on a dual core. HT doesn't help BF3 much, originally it actually hurt the game as it was programmed for access to four separate cores. They've since patched it so that HT no longer cause's stuttering but still HT won't help much. People have taken i7's and disabled two cores just to demonstrate how much BF3 needs a four core minimum for multiplayer.

For the youtube video's, their crap period. Anyone who's done encoding knows that frames get generated during the compression / encoding process and the codec's themselves smooth out the material to a stable frame rate. Any stuttering would be greatly diminished during the encoding process due to stabilization, motion compensation and motion blur effects being applied. How else do you thing we get stable fluid movies / videos are 29.9 FPS [NTSC]. Only way to use a video is if you uploaded the raw dump itself prior to compression / encoding. It would be a large file, stupidly large, but it would also be the only way to reproduce what your system actually was displaying.

To OP:
No an i3 is not what you want if your going to be player BF3. Get an i5-2400 at a minimum, preferably the 2500K. Since IB is out you can also chose to get one of those i5's. BF3 actually scales well with more CPU power, i5 has literally 2x as much CPU power as a i3, no contest here.
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Anonymous
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June 12, 2012 1:34:57 AM

palladin9479 said:
i3 users across the net have been pissed ever since ( blah blah blah blah . . .)

To OP:
No an i3 is not what you want if your going to be player BF3. Get an i5-2400 at a minimum, preferably the 2500K. Since IB is out you can also chose to get one of those i5's. BF3 actually scales well with more CPU power, i5 has literally 2x as much CPU power as a i3, no contest here.


oh?
from the same thread you posted a link for:
http://hardforum.com/showpost.php?p=1038124964&postcoun...
Quote:
The best player in my clan, and MVP in most rounds we play, plays on a e5200 overclocked to 2.6ghz and a 9600gs overclocked by about 20% at lowest settings and resolution...so you should be more than good to get in the game.


so what line of crap are you going to conjure up to dispute that? :lol: 

honestly, just stop. i am not disagreeing with the spirit of your claim that an i5 would be better. but you are failing at providing any credible FACTS to such . . . well you did purely by accident but you completely overlooked it.

why don't you try to find it?
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June 12, 2012 1:46:05 AM

Coming from an i3 owner that upgraded to i5. Save yourself the time and cash and buy an i5. I bought an i3 2100 and less than a month later upgraded to an i5 2400.

BF3 tears cores apart. Get a quad core.
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June 12, 2012 2:02:37 AM

chayes said:
Coming from an i3 owner that upgraded to i5. Save yourself the time and cash and buy an i5. I bought an i3 2100 and less than a month later upgraded to an i5 2400.

BF3 tears cores apart. Get a quad core.



I keep telling people this, yet they refuse to listen. i3 is fine in single player mode, for multiplayer get an i5 and don't look back (or one of the AMD derivatives if you really want).
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a c 105 à CPUs
June 12, 2012 3:02:37 AM

how does a chart showing the phenom II x2 struggling at BF3 prove the i3-2100 can't handle it? i've yet to see any independent review stating it can't other then fan boys waving their flags.
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June 12, 2012 3:03:41 AM

The main reason reviewers don't use multiplayer in their benchmarks (especially BF3) is due to the simple fact that activity is unpredictable and inconsistent.

It simply isn't proper for them to show results that are so easily miscalculated, and therefore dismissible.

In single player you can have almost the same thing happen each time in a specific scene.
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June 12, 2012 3:21:28 AM

ct1615 said:
how does a chart showing the phenom II x2 struggling at BF3 prove the i3-2100 can't handle it? i've yet to see any independent review stating it can't other then fan boys waving their flags.


Quote:
first test i5-2500k with all 4 cores active, running an overclock of 4.2ghz
Frames
40855
Time (ms)
300000
Min
70
Max
201
Avg
136.183

second test i5-2500k with only 2 cores active and cpu downclocked to the minimum (3.4ghz no turbo mode)
Frames
19941
Time (ms)
300000
Min
32
Max
115
Avg
66.47


The chart was to show the pecking order and comparison between i5 / i7 / PII 970~980 / BD. The second was to show how much BF3 needs a quad core. When put together it paints a picture no i3 owner wants to see or even hear. If a BD can be in the same general block as a i5/i7 on BF3 multiplayer, and the i5/i7 is significantly head of the i3, then logic states a BD would also be significantly ahead of a i3. It also goes to demonstrate that if your going to do multiplayer then do i5 or above, do not use single player looped time demo benchmarks to determine your multiplayer experience.
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Anonymous
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June 12, 2012 3:31:55 AM

ct1615 said:
how does a chart showing the phenom II x2 struggling at BF3 prove the i3-2100 can't handle it? i've yet to see any independent review stating it can't other then fan boys waving their flags.

that would be fine and dandy but that is comparing apples to oranges and short changing the sandy bridge architecture:
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/97?vs=289
because a similarly clocked PIIx2 is pwnd by an i3.

its not about flag waving; is there anywhere i stated an i3 is fine for 64 player map in BF3?
no.
its about someone making claims stating specific source(s) and only being able to cite ambiguous postings.
Raidur said:
The main reason reviewers don't use multiplayer in their benchmarks (especially BF3) is due to the simple fact that activity is unpredictable and inconsistent.

It simply isn't proper for them to show results that are so easily miscalculated, and therefore dismissible.

In single player you can have almost the same thing happen each time in a specific scene.


DING! DING! DING!

thank you, that is all i was stating. :) 
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a c 105 à CPUs
June 12, 2012 3:35:36 AM

palladin9479 said:


The chart was to show the pecking order and comparison between i5 / i7 / PII 970~980 / BD. The second was to show how much BF3 needs a quad core. When put together it paints a picture no i3 owner wants to see or even hear. If a BD can be in the same general block as a i5/i7 on BF3 multiplayer, and the i5/i7 is significantly head of the i3, then logic states a BD would also be significantly ahead of a i3. It also goes to demonstrate that if your going to do multiplayer then do i5 or above, do not use single player looped time demo benchmarks to determine your multiplayer experience.


1. you linked a post on another web site from some guy named "frito". that is not and will never be an independent review.

2. the chart shows the comparison between the i5 / i7 / phenom II x2/4/6. nothing more and nothing else. nowhere did i see the i3. it paints no picture beyond that. techspot did in fact do a multiplayer run

i have no doubt the i5 performs better then the i3 (it should). what i don't know is how the i3 performs and have yet to see any independent statement on it.
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a c 105 à CPUs
June 12, 2012 3:38:48 AM

Anonymous said:
that would be fine and dandy but that is comparing apples to oranges and short changing the sandy bridge architecture:
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/97?vs=289
because a similarly clocked PIIx2 is pwnd by an i3.



that is my whole point. i see phenom II x2 struggles, i know the i3 is a much better CPU. so how does that equal the i3 struggles like some of these people are stating?
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Anonymous
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June 12, 2012 3:52:58 AM

ct1615 said:
that is my whole point. i see phenom II x2 struggles, i know the i3 is a much better CPU. so how does that equal the i3 struggles like some of these people are stating?

oh. yeah. i misread your post. my bad.
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a c 127 à CPUs
June 12, 2012 4:16:23 AM

Quote:
Seriously... i only have to downclock my i5 and switch 2 cores off, behave looniam!
:D 


But thats not quite the same as a i3 2120 though. Now if you have a i7 2600/2700K do the same and you have the near same thing as the i3-2120 has SMT. Sure its not always helpful but to truly replicate the CPU you have to match it in every possible aspect, not just some.

As for the linked benchmark, I honestly can say that you cannot use that as a Phenom II is much weaker than a Sandy Bridge Core i CPU. The only way to truly represent it is by having that CPU in the charts as well and tested.

As for SMT, it may help as in the linked foreign charts, the 2600K did better than the 2500K and the only advantage is really the SMT as 100MHz shouldn't help that much.

And multiplayer can be very unpredictable. I have had people with very similar systems to some of my older configs having issues with performance in some games I did not have. Its never a 100% with it so its hard to say that any benchmarks done in multiplayer are what another person will get.
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June 12, 2012 4:29:21 AM

jimmysmitty said:
But thats not quite the same as a i3 2120 though. Now if you have a i7 2600/2700K do the same and you have the near same thing as the i3-2120 has SMT. Sure its not always helpful but to truly replicate the CPU you have to match it in every possible aspect, not just some.

As for the linked benchmark, I honestly can say that you cannot use that as a Phenom II is much weaker than a Sandy Bridge Core i CPU. The only way to truly represent it is by having that CPU in the charts as well and tested.

As for SMT, it may help as in the linked foreign charts, the 2600K did better than the 2500K and the only advantage is really the SMT as 100MHz should help that much.

And multiplayer can be very unpredictable. I have had people with very similar systems to some of my older configs having issues with performance in some games I did not have. Its never a 100% with it so its hard to say that any benchmarks done in multiplayer are what another person will get.


Initially BF3 had some serious issues with HT enabled, stuttering and such. They eventually patched it so as to even things out a bit. Otherwise HT does little for BF3, its too demanding on the FPU. Also you'll note that the setup frito (and others on that forum) used for testing was SLI'd 560's.

Quote:
Intel Core i5-2500k (sandy bridge)
8 GB DDR3 1600
2x 560 Ti's in SLI (im not testing video card performance here, just showing what none of the reviewers across the net are showing and that is your CPU's performance is key to good frame rates in multiplayer in this game)


There are multiple tests shown throughout that thread and across that forum. Your having enthusiasts do it because tech sites are only doing single player timed loop demos for benchmarks which are not indicative of multiplayer performance.

People can do mental gymnastics all they want, the belief that BF3 was a game that only used 1~2 cores and that the i3 performed the same as the i5/i7/BD/ect has been proven false. BF3 requires a four core* to do multiplayer on large maps, and why would you play BF3 if not for big battles. Hopefully toms will one day do an article about it, try to get some performance numbers.

The difference between i3/i5/i7 is more then just HT / core counts, there is a different amount of cache. i3 only has 3MB, i5 has 6MB, i7 had 8MB. Regardless of the number of cores you shut down you still have the extra cache for the small increase it provides.

*Note*
When I mention "four core" I'm referring to newer designs not to old C2 CPUs. This game needs as much total CPU horsepower as you can toss at it, and seeing how I doubt any 5Ghz+ i3's will exist your best path lies in adding horizontal computing power. Just so happens that BF3 scales very well with additional cores and will actually attempt to utilize everything it can.
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a c 140 à CPUs
June 12, 2012 5:14:28 AM

Anonymous said:
funny thing is, 4 more gigs of RAM solved his problem.

For people who leave stuff open in the background while gaming, 8GB RAM is a nice amount to have today. When I started lagging in WoW-Cataclysm, upgrading from 4GB to 8GB fixed my lag too. Many people here seem to pin performance issues on the CPU or GPU when they are actually "HDD lag" problems that can be fixed by adding RAM so Windows can keep game files in the disk cache and use the swapfile less.

More RAM has been my answer to nearly all my performance issues except for MP3 playback on my 486 and h264 playback on my P4, the only two times where I had to upgrade specifically due to needing more processing power. All my other upgrades were primarily motivated by running out of RAM expansion slots and was also a secondary reason in my two exceptions.
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a c 127 à CPUs
June 13, 2012 4:02:09 AM

Quote:
I have no HDD lag issues, although my system is setup for the task of gaming..

RAID-0 1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3's... they are really rapid, and the Crucial M4 as my OS drive.

I suppose not everyone can do this, but it is a cheap way of gaining a fast system..


Same thing except I have a Intel X-25M (got it for free so no complaining) as my OS drive and two older but still fast Seagates in RAID0. I do want to upgrade to some newer 1TB HDDs for my RAID0 for a bit more space and speed but I am happy with that for now.
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July 1, 2012 7:55:00 AM

C12Friedman said:
A Core i3 2100 is a dual core processor, BF3 "Recommended System Requirements" calls for a quad core processor. Found here (minimum requirements rarely provide for an enjoyable gaming experience)
http://bf3blog.com/battlefield-3-system-requirements/
About the cheapest Intel 1155 quad core processor is the i5 2300, you would probably want to get that as newer games seem to be gearing toward using more and more cores.

but i have a i3 550 and when enter to system requeriments lab in bf3 recommend is quad core-cpu and says you have intel core i3 550 PASS sorry for my bad english
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July 2, 2012 11:27:33 AM

Have not read everything, as a bunch of guys here are full of k@rk.

I have an I3 - 8 gigs of ram, and a 9600GT.....running on windows 7....AND A 40" screen
( Yes i know.....a 9600 from the dinosaur age )

My PERSONAL EXPERIENCE, the I3 works just fine. I have no lag, this includes larger maps....

These guys saying an I3 will not suffice.....clearly have not used an I3.

IN SHORT - YES, THE I5 IS FASTER, but....the I3 is plenty powerful enough to run BF3.

If you on a tight budget, dont let these guys con you into spending more money than you have,
the I3 is a sweet processor ( the last of the i3's) and from person exp., with the right card and enough ram,
she will run like a beaut.

If you got cash to spend tho, go for the i5, or, maybe just save up a little more and make all the i5 guys drool by getting an i7 :p 
Then you can come back here and talk about how rubbish the i5 is :p 
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August 2, 2012 8:29:12 PM

So true. People complain BF4 lags, while recording the game with fraps, who writes the output to the same disk as the game gets his data from...doh! They cry, i need faster cpu!

No, you need another disk dude! Or a recording program, who does not write UNCOMPRESSED data....lol.
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January 10, 2013 11:21:10 PM

I have used an i3 2100 on BF3 for a while now. Even when playing Conquest Large on Bandar Desert, which I do frequently, I get solid frame rates. You would definitely get better performance out of an i5, but if you don't want to spend the cash, you can still enjoy the game with an i3.
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July 18, 2013 6:55:01 PM

Sitting on a 7ik Ivy Bridge and 12 Gb Ram I can say that no map so far have even blinked in dislike. However, my 13 year old daughter have proven pretty skilled in the game and once she realized that we do not need to take turns at the wheel but can actually meet on the battlefield she's been on to me heavily about getting her own copy of the game for her i3 6-8-ish Gb ram -puter. Not sure that I want my behind whipped by my daughter but as long as she's happy i guess it's ok...

Reading a gazillion posts about i3 or not i3 I Think i'll get her a copy for her ... i3. ;) 
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