DICE's recommended hardware list for Battlefield 4 includes quad-core Intel CPUs and hexa-core AMD processors, suggesting optimizations for threading that we typically don't see from games. So, let's see how different CPUs and architectures handle the game:
While we see a clear performance drop from the FX-4170 and Core i3-3220, frame rates remain comfortably above 40 FPS. That's great new, though if you own a GeForce GTX Titan, you probably wouldn't be enthused about that 20 FPS-drop attributable to too-slow of a CPU. This beautifully illustrates the importance of balance in a gaming PC build.
There's a noticeable speed-up going from FX-4170 at 4.2 GHz to the FX-8350 at 4 GHz. Although AMD doesn't fare as well as the Core i5s and i7s, we can at least speculate that Battlefield 4 does get some utility from a six- or eight-core CPU that you don't see from a quad-core chip.
It's also interesting that Sandy Bridge-E delivers the best minimum frame rate, despite a relatively slow operating frequency. That has to be attributable to lots of L3 cache or core count. Why the bunch-up around 74 FPS on average? That's the GeForce GTX Titan bottlenecking performance. We'd need a dual-GPU configuration to push Battlefield 4's frame rate higher.
The lower-end processors certainly encounter spikes in frame time latency. But keep in mind that this is the Ultra preset, and that a less demanding setting would likely help smooth some of those out.
****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****
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.
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 ?
I also wish they tested a Radeon and Geforce card that would be considered equal to see how it performs by brand.
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...