Battlefield 3 Performance: 30+ Graphics Cards, Benchmarked

Benchmark Results: AMD Graphics Cards, Post-Process And MSAA

In AMD’s Battlefield 3 documentation, the company makes a big deal about the difference between the Anti-Aliasing Post and Anti-Aliasing Deferred options, which toggle on and off Fast Approximate Anti-Aliasing and Multi-Sample Anti-Aliasing, respectively. Both features do different things, but have very disparate effects on performance.

It’s easy to see why AMD is so concerned with the use of Anti-Aliasing Deferred: it imparts a massive frame rate drop, which takes a card like the Radeon HD 6970 that might be playable at 2560x1600, or a Radeon HD 5850 at 1920x1080, and beats performance back quite a bit. Anti-Aliasing Post, on the other hand, though not always an effective approach, barely touches speed.

Perhaps more worrying for AMD is that, while the GeForce cards are also hit pretty hard by MSAA, the impact is far less detrimental. At no point does the addition of 4x MSAA take an Nvidia board from playable to unplayable (aside from maybe the GeForce GTX 285 at 1680x1050). AMD can’t say the same.

You’re at least safe turning Anti-Aliasing Post to High on AMD’s cards. Whether you want to mess with MSAA depends on how much performance you have “in reserve” to throw at eye candy.

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    Top Comments
  • Great review, thank you very much!
    20
  • sentinelsparkOkay how is the HD5850 better than the HD6850. The HD6850 has better memory clock speeds. I was able to play the game in 1080p and AAx2 and all but two on ultra high, and i was getting 35fps average. I am calling Bulls**t on this one.


    Believe it, friend. Why do you think we were so tweaked when Barts came out and AMD's naming sounded so deceptive? 5850 is faster than 6850, just like 5870 is faster than 6870!
    16
  • aznshinobiGreat read, lovely to see a wide assortment tested, specially my 5850. Thanks for taking the time Chris, I'm sure it must've taken FOREVER to bench and swap all those cards.


    Very welcome, glad you enjoyed it. Didn't take forever, just four very long days ;-)
    14
  • Other Comments
  • pffft. My HD 6870 handles Ultra maxed just fine!
    -24
  • Great review, thank you very much!
    20
  • great review. but I am curious if a gtx 560ti can run ultra on a playable fps? because I am about to buy one :D
    -1
  • nevermind my comment about 560 Ti, I see it in the benchmarks (high) but it is not on the main page list of cards (missed putting it there?) (yes, I used the search feature in my browser, no 560 to speak of)
    3
  • blah, I guess my first comment didnt come through, nevermind then! ha
    -2
  • Wow does it look good, I played the demo on Xbox did it ever look dumb
    3
  • sirus3020great review. but I am curious if a gtx 560ti can run ultra on a playable fps? because I am about to buy one


    Without any form of AA you can run it on ultra and get over 30fps on every map @ 1920x1080 easily (over 60 when close quarters). Depends on your cpu and if you OC your gpu though. i have mine at 940/2100 and its always above 40fps.
    3
  • AWESOME! thank you very much for this. looks like i wont have to upgrade my CPU then. i have HD4870 and i play this on medium settings but still i want the ultra settings. :)
    1
  • Great read, lovely to see a wide assortment tested, specially my 5850. Thanks for taking the time Chris, I'm sure it must've taken FOREVER to bench and swap all those cards.
    4
  • Frikkin' finally, now I can upgrade safely. :)
    1
  • looks like my e8500 and gtx 460 can pull through this game (hopefully)
    5
  • I run BF3 in 1920x1080 ultra MSAA4x with my X4 955+HD5770 and it works fine. Playable 30fps :D
    -1
  • running x fire 6950's and besting 78FPS avg fps on ultra, i5 2500k W/ Thank God no problems with multi GPU
    1
  • For anyone interested I get
    min - 21 Fps
    Max - 71 Fps
    Avg - 41.2 Fps
    Everything maxed at 1080P
    I7-2600k @ 4.3 + Sapphire 6950 2gb Flashed to 6970 with stock clocks 880 1250
    11
  • For anyone interested I get
    min - 21 Fps
    Max - 71 Fps
    Avg - 41.2 Fps
    Everything maxed at 1080P
    I7-2600k @ 4.3 + Sapphire 6950 2gb Flashed to 6970 with stock clocks 880 1250
    -14
  • Great article and I love that picture with a pile of graphics cards :D Just one obvious thing missing: WHERE ARE SLI 560 Tis??? I was kind of considering picking up a second card for this game... come on, I'm sick of Tom's ignoring that card so often.

    Though I think my 560 Ti still doesn't need a pair if I tone down the settings a tiny bit :) Good to see that. And yet I hear the game looks great... kudos to DICE for optimizing the game nicely!

    Also, 6950 kicked the 560 Ti nicely in this game :D

    P.S. So the FX 8150 now has a Phenom name tag on it? :)
    1
  • amk-aka-phantomGreat article and I love that picture with a pile of graphics cards Just one obvious thing missing: WHERE ARE SLI 560 Tis??? I was kind of considering picking up a second card for this game... come on, I'm sick of Tom's ignoring that card so often.Though I think my 560 Ti still doesn't need a pair if I tone down the settings a tiny bit Good to see that. And yet I hear the game looks great... kudos to DICE for optimizing the game nicely! Also, 6950 kicked the 560 Ti nicely in this game P.S. So the FX 8150 now has a Phenom name tag on it?


    I actually don't even have two 560 Tis to show you, unfortunately.

    Phenom? FX? Where? =)
    8
  • Hey Chris, quick question, did you notice any micro-stuttering with the 6870 cards in crossfire? (kind of like that previous article that was up on toms a while ago). The performance of 6870x2 seems amazing for the price, and am really tempted to pick another one up for my system.
    0
  • aznshinobiGreat read, lovely to see a wide assortment tested, specially my 5850. Thanks for taking the time Chris, I'm sure it must've taken FOREVER to bench and swap all those cards.


    Very welcome, glad you enjoyed it. Didn't take forever, just four very long days ;-)
    14
  • Okay how is the HD5850 better than the HD6850. The HD6850 has better memory clock speeds. I was able to play the game in 1080p and AAx2 and all but two on ultra high, and i was getting 35fps average. I am calling Bulls**t on this one.
    -10