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I need a budget Graphics Card for Battlefield 3. Please Help.

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 5, 2012 11:51:58 AM

Hey all. I have a perfect build plan to run Battlefield 3 maxed with smooth frame rates.

Everything on my list is reasonably prices and I have some good bang for buck parts (a lot of it being thanks to people on these forums).

However, the thing that kills my list and makes my build expensive is my selection of a GeForce GTX 670 graphics card. I can't find one for anything less than $500 in Australia. With the GTX 670 in my build the total cost is pushing $1250.

Are there any cheaper Graphics Cards that will still allow me to run Battlefield 3 maxed with smooth frame rates? I would like to average at least 60FPS.

Also 2 more slightly off topic questions that will help me lower the cost of my build:

I currently have a OCZ ZT Series 750W PSU selected, if I drop to a 650 will it be enough?
Is the stock cooler that comes with the i5 3570k enough to keep it cool? If so, then I won't have to buy a custom CPU cooler.
June 5, 2012 12:00:30 PM

Gtx 570 is now 279.00 and averages about 57 fps maxed out.
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June 5, 2012 12:02:12 PM

steve695 said:
Hey all. I have a perfect build plan to run Battlefield 3 maxed with smooth frame rates.

Everything on my list is reasonably prices and I have some good bang for buck parts (a lot of it being thanks to people on these forums).

However, the thing that kills my list and makes my build expensive is my selection of a GeForce GTX 670 graphics card. I can't find one for anything less than $500 in Australia. With the GTX 670 in my build the total cost is pushing $1250.

Are there any cheaper Graphics Cards that will still allow me to run Battlefield 3 maxed with smooth frame rates? I would like to average at least 60FPS.

Also 2 more slightly off topic questions that will help me lower the cost of my build:

I currently have a OCZ ZT Series 750W PSU selected, if I drop to a 650 will it be enough?
Is the stock cooler that comes with the i5 3570k enough to keep it cool? If so, then I won't have to buy a custom CPU cooler.


If you are looking to get 60FPS in BF3 you will need to go with something like a GTX670 or 680.

I use a HD6950 on a 42 inch TV running it at 720p and i only peak around i think 35FPS with everything maxed out.

you may get stuck with getting an expensive card depending on your resolution and need for 60FPS

EDIT - or like brian said, if you can find a 570 that would be cheaper
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a c 235 U Graphics card
June 5, 2012 12:03:01 PM

AMD 7850, 6950 or 6970 will be enough. As will the Nvidia GTX 570. I would personally go with the AMD 7850 if it's reasonably priced in Australia. In the US its cheaper then the AMD 6970 with similar performance.

your intel stock cooler will do the job with the CPU at stock settings but it may get noisy (actually it will get noisy). some people don't mind the noise others do.

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June 5, 2012 12:04:17 PM

Sorry guys I forgot to mention that I will be playing on a 23 inch screen.
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a c 235 U Graphics card
June 5, 2012 12:04:47 PM

sscultima said:
If you are looking to get 60FPS in BF3 you will need to go with something like a GTX670 or 680.

I use a HD6950 on a 42 inch TV running it at 720p and i only peak around i think 35FPS with everything maxed out.

you may get stuck with getting an expensive card depending on your resolution and need for 60FPS

EDIT - or like brian said, if you can find a 570 that would be cheaper


35FPS at 720p is not what the AMD 6950 delivers in performance. you have something holding you back.
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a b U Graphics card
June 5, 2012 12:05:34 PM

it really depends on what resolution you are playing, if you are only at 1080p there are a lot of gpus that can handle bf3 at good framerate and costs less than the 670, the 560 ti and over... (560 ti 448core,480,570,580,7850,7870,7950,etc...)

yes a good 650w will be enough but a good one look over for some corsair models they have a good price on some places.

If a CPU comes with cooler, than it is enough... unless you are thinking in overclocking it, you will be ok with the stock cooler solution.
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a c 235 U Graphics card
June 5, 2012 12:06:02 PM

steve695 said:
Sorry guys I forgot to mention that I will be playing on a 23 inch screen.


size of the monitor makes no difference. resolution is what effects a video card in terms of performance with a monitor.
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June 5, 2012 12:08:23 PM

ct1615 said:
AMD 7850, 6950 or 6970 will be enough. As will the Nvidia GTX 570. I would personally go with the AMD 7850 if it's reasonably priced in Australia. In the US its cheaper then the AMD 6970 with similar performance.

your intel stock cooler will do the job with the CPU at stock settings but it may get noisy (actually it will get noisy). some people don't mind the noise others do.


Thanks for that chart, I assume the number is Frames Per Second? Do you know if that chart was tested at max settings?
Also I think a 23 inch screen runs on a slightly higher resolution but that is a good guide line.
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June 5, 2012 12:10:23 PM

ct1615 said:
size of the monitor makes no difference. resolution is what effects a video card in terms of performance with a monitor.


What resolution is required for a 23 inch screen nicely?
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June 5, 2012 12:12:49 PM

ricardois said:
it really depends on what resolution you are playing, if you are only at 1080p there are a lot of gpus that can handle bf3 at good framerate and costs less than the 670, the 560 ti and over... (560 ti 448core,480,570,580,7850,7870,7950,etc...)

yes a good 650w will be enough but a good one look over for some corsair models they have a good price on some places.

If a CPU comes with cooler, than it is enough... unless you are thinking in overclocking it, you will be ok with the stock cooler solution.


Thanks for this info.

So a Radeon HD 7850 should do the trick?

Ok I will try and find a Bronze Certified 650W from Corsair.
I am not going to over clock unless I need to.
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a c 235 U Graphics card
June 5, 2012 12:31:45 PM

steve695 said:
What resolution is required for a 23 inch screen nicely?


most 23" monitors are 1080p
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a c 235 U Graphics card
June 5, 2012 12:33:45 PM

steve695 said:
Thanks for that chart, I assume the number is Frames Per Second? Do you know if that chart was tested at max settings?
Also I think a 23 inch screen runs on a slightly higher resolution but that is a good guide line.


smaller bars are minimum Frame Per Second, larger bars are average FPS

the game was tested at 1050p, highest quality, AF maxed out
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June 5, 2012 4:35:54 PM

No it won't. The chart above is for "High" quality. Maxed out on BF3 means in game settings on "Ultra" quality. BF3 goes: Low - Medium - High - Ultra

A GTX 570 will give you about 50 fps on Ultra according to Toms tests. Other site test say diffrently with different cards. I currently run a 5850 1GB and I can play on High with decent results, but opt for Medium smoothest play. I'm waiting for my GTX 670 FTW to arrive on Thursday. Money wise, the 7850 or gtx 570 might be the best bang for buck. The next step up in cards tends to come with a substantial bump in price. i.e. the 7870 is in the $300's as a next step up.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/battlefield-3-graph...

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June 5, 2012 4:42:35 PM

ct1615 said:
35FPS at 720p is not what the AMD 6950 delivers in performance. you have something holding you back.


i know, i have not taken the time to look into it, never usually play BF3, so im not even worried about it. plays smooth, no stuttering anyway.
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a c 198 U Graphics card
June 5, 2012 10:34:47 PM

ct1615 said:
35FPS at 720p is not what the AMD 6950 delivers in performance. you have something holding you back.


I was going to mention this too. My 6950 that is overclocked a tad runs BF3 at 55-60 at 1920x1080. Something else is the problem there.

For the OP, anything above a 6950 should be perfectly fine for it. A 570 would be optimal. And a good 650W will run anything except maybe the ultra high end dual-gpu graphics cards.
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June 5, 2012 11:07:53 PM

Ok, what brand of the 570 should I go with?

It is much more affordable than the 670.

Thanks for the help everyone. It seems to be a toss up between Nvidia and AMD.
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a b U Graphics card
June 5, 2012 11:08:39 PM

Or you could buy my 560ti for $150 and Ill get myself a 670 if you live on the Gold Coast :p  hehe

But seriously, I'm thinking myself of upgrading to a 670 but you are right, $500 just seems a bit pricey when a $280 570 can do the job. I'm just a bit worried the 1.25GB of VRAM will not be enough?
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June 5, 2012 11:14:29 PM

pezonator said:
Or you could buy my 560ti for $150 and Ill get myself a 670 if you live on the Gold Coast :p  hehe

But seriously, I'm thinking myself of upgrading to a 670 but you are right, $500 just seems a bit pricey when a $280 570 can do the job. I'm just a bit worried the 1.25GB of VRAM will not be enough?


I'm in Victoria :p 

Yeah the cost of the 670 just kills the price of my overall build. The rest is reasonably priced and a total of around $750 including optic drives. ASRock Z77 Extreme 4 Mobo, Intel 3570k, G.Skill 8GB Memory, OCZ Technology Power Supply. I have no problem with the cost of anything there, but add the GTX 670 and it's overkill.

So if I go with a GTX 570 I won't have any worries?
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a b U Graphics card
June 5, 2012 11:26:30 PM

Yep, GTX 570 will do you wonders :)  EVGA is usually the brand with the best customer service, but I don't know how it is in Australia.
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a c 235 U Graphics card
June 5, 2012 11:28:40 PM

steve695 said:
Ok, what brand of the 570 should I go with?

It is much more affordable than the 670.

Thanks for the help everyone. It seems to be a toss up between Nvidia and AMD.


evga, asus, msi, all the brands are fine. go with the one that offers the features you want be it price, non-stock cooler, free game, better warranty, etc.,
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June 5, 2012 11:32:08 PM

Don't ever be worried about VRAM if your playing on 1080p or under then 1GB is fine. YOu only need more than that during multi-monitor set-ups or at resolutions such as 2560x1440 or 2560x1600. Hope I can help, also I have the 6950 and average 40-50FPS on Ultra @1080p
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June 5, 2012 11:32:50 PM

Okay thanks guys.
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August 29, 2012 9:56:14 PM

I also have that issue. I was planning on getting an HIS Radeon 7850 2GB, how well would that do with maxed out settings on BF3?
I might do dual monitors too, how well would that work? (One's a 20" AOC monitor 1600x900 resolution, the other a 19" Sylvania HDTV 1080p via HDMI cable)
Here's the link if you need details.
http://www.microcenter.com/product/387843/H785QN2G2M_Ra...
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