Battlefield 1 Performance In DirectX 12: 29 Cards Tested


Battlefield 1 was a blast to play at launch and it remains immensely popular months later, thanks in part to an engaging single-player campaign, varied multi-player locations supporting up to 64 players, and plans to add new content through four downloadable expansions.

As far as performance goes, we’re impressed by the title’s scalability across varying hardware configurations. Most gamers can stick with the Low, Medium, High, and Ultra presets to dial in the best frame rate on their PCs. However, there’s a Custom option for fine-tuning, too.

Stretching back three generations of GPUs, it’s almost always possible to find some combination of settings that yields playable performance. Our data only turned up a handful of exceptions.

The lowest-end cards we tested were AMD’s Radeon HD 7790 and Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 760. The Radeon did struggle at the beginning of our benchmark sequence as its modest FX-8320-based platform struggled to keep up. But eventually, even the Medium preset proved playable at 1920x1080. The GeForce started much stronger, but seemingly ran out of memory partway through the test and fell to ~30 FPS. Battlefield’s official minimum requirements call for a 2GB GeForce GTX 660, but that’d only work at lower resolutions. FHD wants more.

At the other end of the spectrum, 3840x2160 and the Ultra preset are enough to keep a Titan X or GeForce GTX 1080 Ti between 50 and 60 FPS on a fairly high-end PC. AMD doesn’t even have a card capable of cutting through those settings smoothly (yet).

EA’s minimum CPU requirement is an FX-6350 or Core i5-6600K. Our data from the single-player campaign shows that Battlefield 1 needs at least four physical or logical cores. Beyond that, higher-end CPUs help mitigate frame time spikes better than the mainstream platform we tested. We also know from experience (though it’s significantly harder to illustrate using charts) that the multi-player experience is much more processor-intensive. So, if your primary attraction to the Battlefield franchise is squad play on big maps, direct more of your budget to a fast CPU.

Several other Frostbite 3-based games have launched since Battlefield 1 debuted, including Mass Effect: Andromeda. The engine is an important one to characterize, no doubt about it. And with those hundreds of benchmark runs under our belt and a better idea of what to expect from the hardware in our library, it’s time to get some actual game time in.

MORE: Best Graphics Cards

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Battlefield 1
Chris Angelini
Chris Angelini is an Editor Emeritus at Tom's Hardware US. He edits hardware reviews and covers high-profile CPU and GPU launches.
  • envy14tpe
    Wow. The amount of work in putting this together. Thanks, from all the BF1 gamers out there. You knocked my socks off, and are pushing me to upgrade my GPU.
  • computerguy72
    Nice article. Would have been interesting to see the 1080ti and the Ryzen 1800x mixed in there somewhere. I have a 7700k and a 980ti it would be good info to get some direction on where to take my hardware next. I'm sure other people might find that interesting too.
  • Achaios
    Good job, just remember that these "GPU showdowns" don't tell the whole story b/c cards are running at Stock, and there are GPU's that can get huge overclocks thus performing significantly better.

    Case in point: GTX 780TI

    The 780TI featured here runs at stock which was 875 MHz Base Clock and 928 MHz Boost Clock, whereas the 3rd party GPU's produced ran at 1150 MHz and boosted up to 1250-1300 MHz. We are talking about 30-35% more performance here for this card which you ain't seeing here at all.
  • xizel
    Great write up, just a shame you didnt use any i5 CPUS, i would of really liked to se how an i5 6600k competes with its 4 cores agains the HT i7s
  • Verrin
    Wow, impressive results from AMD here. You can really see that Radeon FineWine­™ tech in action.
  • And then you run in DX11 mode and it runs faster than DX12 across the board. Thanks for effort you put in this but rather pointless since DX12 has been nothing but pile of crap.
  • pokeman
    Why do my 680oc 2gb sli run this at 100hz 3440x1440? 2133 gskill, 4770k 4.2gz
  • NewbieGeek
    @XIZEL My i5 6600k @4.6ghz and rx 480 get 80-90 fps max settings on all 32 v 32 multiplayer maps with very few spikes either up or down.
  • ohim
    780Ti below a R9-290 3 years down the road ...
  • Jupiter-18
    Fascinating stuff! Love that you are still including the older models in your benchmarks, makes for great info for a budget gamer like myself! In fact, this may help me determine what goes in my budget build I'm working on right now, which I was going to have dual 290x (preferably 8gb if I can find them), but now might have something else.