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Can You Play BF3 on Ultra with 560Ti SLI? NO Micro-Stutter

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February 4, 2012 8:04:03 PM

Hey guys got a couple questions for you concerning Battlefield 3 with Ultra settings...

My system consists of:
Phenom II X4 830 2.81Ghz (oc'ed to 3.40Ghz Phenom II X4 965 levels)
4GB DDR2 1066 RAM (Because I did upgrades on an older mobo)
2x WD Black 640MB in RAID 0 (fast enough I guess, don't want to shell out for SSD yet)
EVGA GTX 560Ti 1GB VRAM FPB (Bought this primarily for the price (230 after MIR) and LIFETIME warranty
Corsair TX 750W PSU
Windows 7 Pro 64-bit
Mobo: Asus M2N SLI Deluxe

Before I start I run a monitor with 1920x1200 resolution and I am currently playing the game on "High" preset with no issues with frame-rates between 30-60 and the average being somewhere in-between. I may get a small lag spike here or there but 90% of the time the game is smooth as silk on high settings for me.

The problem is I want to run the game on "Ultra" and I may have made the mistake of assuming the 560ti could do this or AT LEAST could certainly do this if paired up with a second card.

It wasn't until I had already made the purchase that I began to seriously research whether or not a 560Ti could max this game or not and it appears there was this unforeseen issue with not having enough VRAM and stuttering attributed to having to page memory to the HDD when the memory buffer is over-run by maxing the game out on Ultra

So even if I buy a second 560Ti I will likely have choppy performance - but with a puzzling-ly? high frame-rate along-side it?

Does anyone run two 560Ti's and play this game on Ultra preset (AA ON) or otherwise (AA off etc.) at at least 1920x1080 RES with no issues?

Alright, So ok the 560Ti probably isn't enough to handle Ultra for this game and - yeah I should just be happy my old rig can play this game on high with no issues to speak of... I just can't seem to live with the idea of not being able to "Max" the game... Since I bought my first high-end GPU, the 8800GTS 640MB for $460 back in January of 2007 I was able to max every game for nearly 5 years so having to step down to "high" with a pretty new - albeit "mid-range" GPU kind of stinks....

Next questions and very important one is this... Tom's hardware says a 570 will run this game at about 56 frames on ultra at 1680x1050... But they don't say whether on not the "micro stutter" issue I have been hearing about crops up as this card in stock form comes equipped with 1.25GB of VRAM - Not much more than my 1GB 560Ti. Think Caspian Border 64 players guys... 1080p NOT single player "Going Hunting". I do not care at all about the single player performance!

I am about to help my dad assemble a new computer for the purpose of playing this game on Ultra preset - BUT he runs at a lower resolution than me - currently 1680x1050. So according to the tom's article here:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/battlefield-3-graph...

Everything should be ok? Or does the game really need more than 1.25GB VRAM to run smoothly with no micro-stutter (paging) at 1680x1050 or 1920x1080?

I have heard many people say that the game requires graphics cards with 2GB of VRAM to run on Ultra... but even a stock GTX 580 only has 1.5GB. How much does this game actually need? Anyone out there maxing this game on a stock GTX 570 with 1.25GB VRAM? Or should we only consider the 2GB souped up version?

Also - yes I have heard the theory that the "micro-stutter" is an SLI / Crossfire issue... But I think this theory is incorrect and people with mid-range Crossfire setups are having a hard time accepting the reality that even though their GPUs are powerful the small amount of VRAM on their cards will NEVER allow them to play this game smoothly on ULTRA and can never be patched to work properly because it is not a "patchable" SLI or Crossfire issue.

The PC we will be building him will have either an i5 2500k or an i7 2600k, SSD, GTX 570 (stock or 2GB), 8-16GB 1600 DDR3 RAM, Win 7 Pro 64-bit etc.

OR we might wait for GTX 600 Kepler series cards to come out as well as Ivy bridge?

Currently we're stuck on doing anything because I can't give him a straight up answer as to - will a single stock 570 run the game maxed on Ultra with no micro stutter... and OK assuming it does but games only get MORE demanding from here on out - will he very quickly be obsolete and SOL the moment a new game comes out with similar but more demanding specs?
a c 88 U Graphics card
February 4, 2012 8:40:00 PM

Hey there , as a 560ti SLI owner and BF3 player I can only tell you from my own experience.
I run the game at ultra settings with no MSAA and AA on.
The best way to achieve Ultra is to have the optimal hardware for the game.

I've overclocked an older intel cpu QX9650 to 4Ghz.
Increased my ram from 4GB to 8GB which made a huge difference and alleviated the stuttering caused by exceeding the 1gb vram of the 560ti.
Installed BF3 on an SSD which really helps with loading maps and also with write speeds within the game , it made the game even smoother using an SSD over my Velociraptor. Theres an article somewhere on Tom's about SSD performance with BF3.
I overclocked and bumped my fan speeds up on my 560ti's to push the performance further as BF3 is very gpu reliant.
Turned off any unessesary programs in the backround.

Don't experience microstutter and I believe it happens more with lower end cards.

Now if I was running a newer chipset like an i7 2600K I would believe I would be able to play the game with much better performance than my old QX9650.

If you are really concerned about the vram , you can always get the 2gb versions of the 560ti and SLI them.

If you are not in a real hurry you can always wait for the new 600 series kepler cards and Ivy bridge to come out....but as it stands I'm running BF3 at Ultra with 560ti SLI even with MSAA and AA on , but I prefer to turn off MSAA as the game runs smoother without it.

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a c 228 U Graphics card
February 4, 2012 8:44:05 PM

Micro stutter is a problem mostly on < $200 cards and affects AMD cards to a much greater extend than nVidia according to the THG article here:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-stut...

Ya might wanna also see the followup where some alleged flaws are pointed out n the above review

http://www.extremetech.com/computing/93908-understandin...

My son runs twin 560 Ti's @ 980 Mhz in BF3 and it performs just fine in single player mode on ultra with latest drivers. In multi player mode however, he has to drop down to high settings. Historically, lag in muti player in multi player has been attributed more to the CPU . OTOH, I have seen peeps post that with their twin 580's and twin 7970's the problem is non existent....I dunno if this is true or they just don't wanna admit that their rig can't handle it. :) 

We tried running the cards at 900Mhz, 950 Mhz and 1020 MHz and there really was no discernable change in BF3 performance in multi player....whether that confirms a CPU issue or a memory issue, I can't say as I just haven't spend enough time playing with it.
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February 5, 2012 4:07:53 AM

JackNaylor:

What I am hearing you say is: You can run the game on ultra on single player but have to revert to high settings under multi-player - even with SLI'ed 560Ti's?

I can run the game in multi-player just fine on high settings with just one 560Ti even with my "crappy" Phenom II X4 830. It sure is no Core i7 2600k but it seems to do just fine... It is depressing however to hear that you can't play on ultra even with two of these cards...

Meanwhile it's a slightly different story from you monsta: You say you can run the game on ultra but you disable AA and Post processing FXAA - a story I have heard from other users on other forums as well -- but you feel that your other substantial hardware upgrades are to account for this? (8GB RAM, SSD, Etc.).

I also tried overclocking my EVGA 560Ti -- I have the FPB version which provides a mild (3%) OC to the card from stock form. (850Mhz core and 2052(4104) mem.) but I had no noticeable increase in performance while playing online. I tried pushing all the way to 950Mhz core on stock voltage but experienced noticeable artifacting in the game (but passed 30 mins of EVGA OC scanner with no errors) immediately. I also tried backing down to just 900Mhz but still got some artifacting here and there and performance was more choppy. going back to my stock factory OC settings (3% FPB OC) made everything run smooth again.
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