Battlefield 4 Beta Performance: 16 Graphics Cards, Benchmarked

Test System And Graphics Hardware

We all know that graphics cards like the Radeon HD 7990 require a substantial amount of power, so XFX sent along its PRO850W 80 PLUS Bronze-certified power supply. This modular PSU employs a single +12 V rail rated for 70 A. XFX claims that this unit provides 850 W of continuous power (not peak) at 50 degrees Celsius (notably higher than the inside of most enclosures).

We've almost exclusively eliminated mechanical disks in the lab, preferring solid-state storage for eliminating I/O-related bottlenecks. Samsung sent all of our labs 256 GB 840 Pros, so we standardize on these exceptional SSDs.

As far as testing goes, we have to use Fraps in conjunction with a predefined path for 60 seconds of recording. We planned to use our FCAT tools to report frame rates for dual-GPU solutions like the Radeon HD 7990 and GeForce GTX 690, factoring out dropped and runt frames, but this turned out to be impossible. The frame overlay only works in 32-bit applications, and the Battlefield 4 multiplayer beta is 64-bit-only.


Test System
CPU
Intel Core i5-2550K (Sandy Bridge), Overclocked to 4.2 GHz @ 1.3 V
Motherboard
Asus P8Z77-V LX, LGA 1155, Chipset: Intel Z77M
Networking
On-Board Gigabit LAN controller
Memory
AMD Gamer Series Memory, 2 x 4 GB, 1866 MT/s, CL 9-9-9-24-1T
Graphics
GeForce 210 1 GB DDR3
GeForce GT 630 512 MB GDDR5
GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1 GB GDDR5
GeForce GTX 660 2 GB GDDR5
GeForce GTX 670 2 GB GDDR5
GeForce GTX 770 2 GB GDDR5
GeForce GTX Titan 6 GB GDDR5
GeForce GTX 690 4 GB GDDR5

Radeon HD 6450 512 MB GDDR5
Radeon HD 6670 512 MB DDR3
Radeon HD 7770 1 GB GDDR5
Radeon HD 7790 1 GB GDDR5
Radeon HD 7870 2 GB GDDR5
Radeon HD 7950 Boost 3 GB GDDR5
Radeon HD 7970 3 GB GDDR5
Radeon HD 7990 6 GB GDDR5
Hard Drive
Samsung 840 Pro, 256 GB SSD, SATA 6Gb/s
Power
XFX PRO850W, ATX12V, EPS12V
Software and Drivers
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 8 Pro x64
DirectX
DirectX 11
Graphics Drivers
AMD Catalyst 13.10 Beta 2, Nvidia GeForce 331.40 Beta
Benchmarks
Battlefield 4
Multiplayer beta
Custom THG Benchmark, 60-second Fraps run
Map: Siege of Shanghai, Game Type: Domination
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    Top Comments
  • corvetteguy1994
    My system is good to go!


    ****EDIT BY TOM'S HARDWARE****

    Sorry, corvetteguy, you're the first so I'm going to hijack your post to answer some common questions:

    - Why didn't you mention mantle?
    I probably *should* have mentioned it, but at this point it seems a little early. We don't know that much about it and we don't even know exactly when it arrives. Rest assured, when Mantle is rolled out we will cover it!

    - Why did you use a Titan in the CPU tests instead of the dual-GPU 690 or 7990?
    Dual-GPU performance can be tricky, and without FCAT working, I didn't want to report potential pie-in-the-sky FRAPS performance that is difficult to verify. Titan is the fastest single GPU card we have.

    - Why no FX-6000 CPU?
    We benched the FX-4170 and FX-8350. The FX-6000 will be in between, there wasn't a colossal spread so it seems pretty straightforward.

    - For the love of everything good and pure, why did you use IE?
    Haha! Lots of comments on this. I used it because it was there - remember, we clean install for our benchmarks, so unless the test involves browsers we don't bother investing time installing anything else. For the record I feel dirty and violated having opened the software, but you should all know that my personal PC has both Firefox and Chrome installed. :)

    Hope that clarifies things!

    - Don Woligroski

    ****END OF EDIT BY TOM'S HARDWARE****
    30
  • slomo4sho
    Any particular reason why only the 2500K was overclocked in the CPU benchmarks and why the FX-4170 was benchmarked in place of the 4300 or 6300?
    11
  • Other Comments
  • corvetteguy1994
    My system is good to go!


    ****EDIT BY TOM'S HARDWARE****

    Sorry, corvetteguy, you're the first so I'm going to hijack your post to answer some common questions:

    - Why didn't you mention mantle?
    I probably *should* have mentioned it, but at this point it seems a little early. We don't know that much about it and we don't even know exactly when it arrives. Rest assured, when Mantle is rolled out we will cover it!

    - Why did you use a Titan in the CPU tests instead of the dual-GPU 690 or 7990?
    Dual-GPU performance can be tricky, and without FCAT working, I didn't want to report potential pie-in-the-sky FRAPS performance that is difficult to verify. Titan is the fastest single GPU card we have.

    - Why no FX-6000 CPU?
    We benched the FX-4170 and FX-8350. The FX-6000 will be in between, there wasn't a colossal spread so it seems pretty straightforward.

    - For the love of everything good and pure, why did you use IE?
    Haha! Lots of comments on this. I used it because it was there - remember, we clean install for our benchmarks, so unless the test involves browsers we don't bother investing time installing anything else. For the record I feel dirty and violated having opened the software, but you should all know that my personal PC has both Firefox and Chrome installed. :)

    Hope that clarifies things!

    - Don Woligroski

    ****END OF EDIT BY TOM'S HARDWARE****
    30
  • CaptainTom
    Looks about right. My 7970 @ 1165/1805 gets 50-60+ FPS. But no quad core i7's?
    5
  • itzsnypah
    Why did you use a Titan for the CPU benchmarks when you have the GTX 690 / HD7990 delivering ~30% more FPS?
    -15
  • slomo4sho
    Any particular reason why only the 2500K was overclocked in the CPU benchmarks and why the FX-4170 was benchmarked in place of the 4300 or 6300?
    11
  • BigMack70
    Would love to see some more detailed CPU benchmarks on a full 64 man conquest server once the game comes out... from some other data out there it looks possible that BF4 multiplayer is the first game to actually benefit from Hyperthreaded i7s over their i5 counterparts.

    In 64 man conquest games, doing a FRAPS benchmark of an entire 30 minute round, I got a minimum framerate of 42, average of 74, and max of 118 on my rig (4.8 GHz 2600k || 780 SLI @ 1100/1500 || 16GB DDR3 2133c11) at 1440p with all settings maxed and 120 fov.

    Also interesting to see 2GB cards struggling at high res on this game. I really didn't think we'd see that so soon, given that the 780/Titan/7950/7970 are the only cards yet released with >2GB standard memory.
    5
  • BigMack70
    Why would they mention Mantle in an article about beta performance?
    5
  • loops
    I have an 2500k and an 7870xt (7930). As long as I dont max out AA I tend to be able to play at 45-50 fps with a mix of high/ultra on 1080p/ 24" screen.

    But not matter what, each time that main building is blown up I loss at least 5 fps for the rest of the round and have big time fps/lag spikes.

    Imo you want an 7970/280x and a quad core to be able to play smooth.

    Also, I hear a lot about vram...what is the feed back on 2 gigs vs 3 ?
    2
  • smeezekitty
    I think they focused too much on the bottom end cards (6450, 210). I think anybody that has less than a 6670 probably won't be buying BF4.

    I also wish they tested a Radeon and Geforce card that would be considered equal to see how it performs by brand.
    -2
  • nevilence
    I have a 7770 and an i5, runs pretty clean on high, wouldnt want to bump up to ultra though, that would likely suck
    0
  • slomo4sho
    Anonymous said:
    Weird that there is absolutely no mention of Mantle when BF4 is going to be the first game to implement it.


    Considering that mantle wont be available until December, why would it be mentioned? Especially considering the fact that none of the "new" AMD GPUs were included in the benchmarks...
    4
  • jimmysmitty
    Anonymous said:
    Why did you use a Titan for the CPU benchmarks when you have the GTX 690 / HD7990 delivering ~30% more FPS?


    Because the whole purpose is to test the CPU, not the GPU so it wouldn't matter what GPU there was it was to show where the game stands on CPU cores which it looks like 2 cores 4 threads is not enough really.
    4
  • Kingpin007
    Come on. I have a FX-6100 @ 3.5Ghz and a Radeon 7850 2GB with 4 GB RAM and I get like 17-20 FPS at 1280x720 low detail preset... Its extremely frustrating.
    0
  • RooD
    No 780 benchmark, I'm sure it is around 55fps?
    2
  • jamger
    lol all that ''hd7990 sucks'' we had few months ago, and look what that thing can do, seems like the higher the ress the better and smooth it goes. i have to systems ATM and i cant even start the game. a i7 3930k + titan sli and a fx 3820 7970 cross both with windows 8 i dont see why i cant start it... it stays on loading screen and then gets stuck. im guessing its my OS? idk.
    -1
  • enewmen
    Anonymous said:
    I think they focused too much on the bottom end cards (6450, 210). I think anybody that has less than a 6670 probably won't be buying BF4.


    Happy to see low-end cards where tested. This at least gives me an idea on what notebooks are capable of.
    5
  • itzsnypah
    Anonymous said:
    Anonymous said:
    Why did you use a Titan for the CPU benchmarks when you have the GTX 690 / HD7990 delivering ~30% more FPS?


    Because the whole purpose is to test the CPU, not the GPU so it wouldn't matter what GPU there was it was to show where the game stands on CPU cores which it looks like 2 cores 4 threads is not enough really.


    Don explicitly stated the CPU test was GPU bound on the high end. Why would you create a GPU bottleneck in a CPU test?!?! The only thing it does is artificially limit the i5 and i7 making lesser chips look better in comparison.
    2
  • mayankleoboy1
    The CPU tests is interesting. I wonder what exactly is being processed on the CPU that needs so many cores. Is it something that can (and should) be done on the GPU, but is just being done on the CPU for the sake of "MOAR Multithreading" >

    Also, where are the Mantle tests ?
    -7
  • Narcissistic_Martyr
    I can't help but notice that there's no overclocked fx8350 benchmark in the CPU test and that at stock speeds the fx8350 has a better minimum than the i5 2500k. I don't want to allege bias or anything but it seems like the overclocked fx8350 benchmarks would be beneficial for comparison's sake.
    -4
  • CaptainTom
    I am just gonna ask something, and really here me out: Has Tomshardware gotten lazy?

    I mean no i7-4770K? No other CPU is overclocked? No FX-6300? Where are the phenoms? I would love to see the new i3-4340 benched because I think it could rival th weaker i5's. Other websites are doing these things, when did it start being ok for TH to stop?
    -1
  • Novuake
    Right I was thinking this game is not that intense until I hit the 1080p number, LOL, takes a massive hit. So the minimum card you need to be looking at for low resolution is the HD7750/7770.
    Lowest card for 1080p is the HD7950. Good thing that is a hotly contested segment at the moment. LOL

    WHY would you use Internet Explorer???

    4