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Results: Battlefield 4 And Battlefield 3

System Builder Marathon, Q1 2014: The $750 Gaming PC

Battlefield 4

Last quarter, we cycled in the newest edition of EA’s Battlefield franchise. But of course, we're lacking the data for my $650 machine from two quarters ago. As a result, I'm going to call upon Battlefield 3 one more time for the sake of drawing a three-way comparison.

Signs of the Core i5-based machine's superiority disappear as I crank graphics quality up to the game's Ultra preset, where both rigs pack enough graphics muscle for playable frame rates at 1920x1080. Neither survives 4800x900 without reducing settings, however.

Battlefield 3

At the high resolutions we're most interested in, frame rates in our Battlefield 3 single-player test sequence are typically limited by graphics performance, and not by modern CPUs. To better reflect the graphics loads you'll experience in-game, we shoot for an average of about 45 frames per second as our target.

At our lowest settings, my current build's overclocked GeForce GTX 770 appears bottlenecked by the multiplier-locked Core i3 processor, whereas the $800 PC simply bumps up against the game’s maximum cap of 200 frames per second.

Even in stock form, my newest effort remains viable through Battlefield 3’s Ultra quality preset, including 4800x900. In comparison, the $650 machine’s GeForce GTX 760 required hefty overclocking to eke out playable frame rates in Surround.

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