Battlefield 4: We'll See You On The Battlefield!
The Battlefield franchise is back and better-looking than ever. No matter how you slice it, this is an iterative release. But that's the way a lot of franchise fans want to see things happen. However you felt about Battlefield 3, you'll probably feel the same way about Battlefield 4.
You don't need a monster graphics subsystem to play it, but low-end cards like the Radeon HD 6450 and GeForce 210 just aren't fast enough. At least spend the money on a Radeon HD 6570/6670 DDR3 or GeForce GT 630 GDDR5 to play this game using low details at 1280x720. Higher resolutions necessitate a Radeon HD 7770 or GeForce GTX 650, and that'd only be for 1680x1050.
If you really want to step up to Battlefield 4 at its High detail preset, the GeForce GTX 650 Ti or Radeon HD 7850 should be sufficient for 1680x1050. More enthusiasts have 1080p displays though, and we're recommending a $200 Radeon HD 7870 or $180 GeForce GTX 660. For those of you who just caught Angelini's AMD Radeon R9 280X, R9 270X, And R7 260X: Old GPUs, New Names, make that an R9 270X for at least $200.
How about the most hardcore enthusiasts? The demanding Ultra preset compels you go go with a Radeon HD 7970/R9 280X or GeForce GTX 670/760 at 1920x1080. Stepping up to QHD means you don't want anything less than a 7970 or GTX 680/770, though an even faster graphics subsystem is recommended.
The good news is that a fairly inexpensive Core i3 or FX-4000-series CPU could be fast enough to handle the High preset without capping graphics performance. If you want to play at the Ultra preset, grab a Core i5 or FX-6000-class processor at the very least. Of course, we realize the irony: nobody with a $1000 GeForce GTX Titan goes cheap on a mid-range CPU. Chances are good that if you want to enjoy Battlefield 4 in its full glory, you're doing it on a beast of a machine. More power to you!
This game doesn't need the best of the best for playable performance, but it does want a capable gaming machine. We look forward to the commercial release at the end of the month, at which point we'll be revisiting it.