Battlefield 5 on Integrated Graphics? How it Plays on Different GPUs

The Battlefield series has always been renowned for its technical excellence and the recently released Battlefield V is not an exception, being one of the first games to support eye-catching Ray Tracing on the latest RTX cards.

But most people don't have or can't afford the highest-end GPUs. How does the game run on low-to-mid-range cards like the GTX 1050 Ti, GTX 1060 and GTX 1070? And can you even play it on integrated graphics? We ran tests on six PCs with different specs to find out.

Battlefield V runs on the same Frostbite Engine that powers the last Battlefront and Battlefield games, but with some extra flair and new features. The Frostbite Engine usually delivers stunning visuals with low GPU requirements but higher than average CPU usage. Here's how our test systems fared.

GPU
Best ResolutionSettingsFPS
Intel HD 620 (Dell XPS 13)-Crashes on Boot-
Athlon 200GE APU1280x720 (0.5 Internal)Low25-30
Nvidia MX150 (Xiaomi Pro)1280x720Low40
Nvidia GTX 1050Ti (MSI GL62M-7REX)1920x1080Low60
Nvidia GTX 1060 (Alienware 15 R3)1920x1080High60
Nvidia GTX 1070 (Alienware 15 R3)1920x1080Ultra60

Integrated GPUs: Runs on AMD Athlon

The modern iteration of the Frostbite engine tends not to be very kind to Intel HD GPUs, and Battlefield V is not the exception. I tried opening the game on a Dell XPS 13 9360 since its Intel Core i7-8550U and 8 GB of RAM should be enough for it, but the Intel UHD Graphics 620 caused it to crash immediately. Even after my best efforts, I could not get it to start.

AMD APUs are a different story. APUs on the Zen architecture use VEGA Graphics for their integrated GPUs which can lead to some phenomenal performance on cheap hardware.

The cheapest Zen APU is the $55 Athlon 200GE, a meagre dual-core with 3 compute units of VEGA graphics. After setting the game to the lowest settings, 720p and 50% internal resolution the Athlon manages to keep over 25 FPS on the worst conditions, and much better on slower moments.

There are a surprising number of effects, including reflections and TAA anti-aliasing, that are still enabled on the lowest settings and do not seem to be accessible on the configuration file or debug console. As a result, the game itself feels a bit like a blurrier version of the full game. It's still playable, though, as long as you are not trying to hit enemies very far from you.

Battlefield V can be very CPU-intensive so it is quite the surprise that the dual core, AMD Athlon 200GE processor can handle it.

Entry-Level GT 1030 / MX150 Graphics

Next, let's try the Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro laptop with an i5-8250U quad-core CPU, 8GB of RAM and Nvidia MX150 graphics. MX150 graphics (portable GT1030) is a dedicated GPU that is superior to any Intel HD graphics I have ever tried. However its aim is to provide extra power to some productivity tasks, not enable serious gaming.

Surprisingly, the GPU proves sufficient for Battlefield V at full 720p with the lowest settings. The actual performance is somewhere between 40 and 60 fps depending on the section of the map. Certain effects like fog will tax the GPU further while a lot of areas in the game are too much for the laptop i5, so both will constantly be close to full capacity.

The game can look pretty good in this state, but in certain weather conditions, the lightning makes for some unrealistic surfaces and environments. However, if you do not care about visuals and just want to experience the game on an average laptop with a dedicated GPU, an Nvidia GT 1030 / MX150 will absolutely server your needs.

GTX 1050 Ti: Step up to 1080p

The MSI GL62M-7REX with a Core i7-7700HQ CPU, 8GB of DDR4 RAM and a GTX 1050 Ti GPU with 4GB of VRAM is a category over our previous example. This is an entry-level gaming laptop with a lot more power, at least in theory.

In practice, we can conserve the same settings but jump to 1080 while maintaining mostly 60 fps. Again, this game still has a lot of effects on the lowest settings (which makes me wish for even lower graphical settings) and, in 1080, it can look pretty good. You can increase some of the settings to Normal, but switching the whole preset leads to under 60-fps performance.

While even the Core i7 CPU can cause some performance drops in unexpected moments you may also note the almost full RAM utilization. It also seems like 8GB of RAM is not enough for medium-to-high settings.

GTX 1060: Smooth 60 fps

Next, we tested on an Alienware 15 R3 with same CPU and RAM as the MSI GL62M but with a more-powerful, GTX 1060 GPU, which means we can now expect to run at high settings (and even a bit more) while maintaining enough powerful for 60 fps ... at least on the side of the GPU.

With this card and these settings, the technical excellence of Battlefield starts shining through, with amazing particle effects such as blowing leaves and reflections. With anything over Normal, this is one gorgeous game!

In terms of performance, the game mostly keeps it close to the 60 FPS with occasional drops to around 50 FPS. Given that the drops happen in a similar manner as the last setup it is either likely a lack of RAM or of CPU power (or both).

Still, if you are willing to turn the fps counter off, the drops would only be really noticeable in very specific places and the absolutely beautiful experience of this game can be fully enjoyed.

What happens if we get more RAM and a better CPU as well?

GTX 1070 + 16GB of RAM: Smooth Sailing at 1080p

Our most powerful testbed, the Alienware 15 R3 has improvements on every front: CPU, RAM and GPU.

With the slightly better Intel Core i7-7820HQ and double the RAM we can finally expect a very stable 60 FPS, and the high-end GTX 1070 easily delivers the max settings, except for ray tracing, at 1080p.

Even without RTX this game is astonishing on its visuals and playing it at a perfect 60 FPS is very much a worthy experience.

If you unlock the framerate, you can reach averages closer to 70-80, but once again the CPU can become a problem, so aiming for 90 fps will require something faster.

If you push for 4K you can reach about 40-50 fps on the lowest settings. So it is again a matter of priorities!

Bottom Line

Battlefield 5 is a powerful game that can run in a large variety of dedicated GPUs (or powerful integrated AMD ones). Its GPU usage is very optimized so you can get the best out of whatever you have. CPU usage is higher than average, and if playing with higher settings, you will need a powerful chip to maintain a stable framerate (such as an Intel Core i7-7820HQ), and preferably more than 8GB of RAM.

An integrated VEGA GPU is enough to play on a low-resolution scale, while a low-end dedicated MX150 (GT 1030) is enough for full 720p / 60 fps and a GTX 1050 Ti can handle 1080p / 60 fps, at least on the lowest settings.

For higher settings, the GTX 1060 offers 1080p / 60 fps with some space to spare, and the mighty GTX 1070 can max out the game on 1080, even reaching 70-80 fps or averaging closer to 40 fps at 4K resolution.

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  • Jack_1055
    Why? Just why? This article has no place in this Online Tech Magazine. No one plays these games on integrated graphics? Is this the very best you can come up with? Really? This is the quality of Tom's Hardware? You've lowered your standards to writing about how well a game plays on integrated graphics. With all the news and new tech coming out you can't find one good thing to write about concerning enthusiast hardware? Ever since Tom left this online magazine, which used to be for enthusiast gamers and hardware people, has gone downhill into a spiraling mess of "what can we think of to write because we don't have the collective thought of a common house fly". If this is the quality we can expect and the level of enthusiasm for "hardware" that is geared towards an enthusiast crowd then maybe you should hire new writers. Maybe try your hand at hiring some younger more enthusiastic writers who deal with hardware in the enthusiast space. This is is garbage. I know I am not the only one who's become disappointed at the level of quality of this site, I just am one of the few who will voice their opinion. Running a AAA title on integrated graphics should never be an article written about ...period.
  • iankphone
    Not everybody has PCMR 1337 rigs. People game on laptops all the time. Now folks know the bar for the current frostbite implementation.

    But that's a big wall of text and run-on sentences ya got going there. Good job. We all know how you feel. Good on you.
  • Rogue Leader
    Anonymous said:
    Why? Just why? This article has no place in this Online Tech Magazine. No one plays these games on integrated graphics? Is this the very best you can come up with? Really? This is the quality of Tom's Hardware? You've lowered your standards to writing about how well a game plays on integrated graphics. With all the news and new tech coming out you can't find one good thing to write about concerning enthusiast hardware? Ever since Tom left this online magazine, which used to be for enthusiast gamers and hardware people, has gone downhill into a spiraling mess of "what can we think of to write because we don't have the collective thought of a common house fly". If this is the quality we can expect and the level of enthusiasm for "hardware" that is geared towards an enthusiast crowd then maybe you should hire new writers. Maybe try your hand at hiring some younger more enthusiastic writers who deal with hardware in the enthusiast space. This is is garbage. I know I am not the only one who's become disappointed at the level of quality of this site, I just am one of the few who will voice their opinion. Running a AAA title on integrated graphics should never be an article written about ...period.


    Woah boys look out.



    has arrived.

    I found the article very interesting. Even though i do have a monster gaming rig, I also play games on the go on my laptop sometimes. Oh and then theres all those folks who cant drop $3k on a gaming rig.

    Sorry we all are not as 1337 as you.
  • mossberg
    Take your elitism elsewhere. Snobs like you are what holds back PC gaming. Not everyone can afford a high end rig. This article gives a good range of graphics capability. The masses can get an idea of what kind of performance to expect, or what they need to be targeting, to get the performance they want. While you are at it, take an English 101 class, and learn how to structure sentences, and paragraphs.
  • Lutfij
    Pass the PCMR after shave balm...I'm getting a rash from the first comment.
  • shovelroud
    Geesh, such negativity...
    I thought the article was fine and would have liked to see more integrated graphics tested(Ryzen 2200G, 2400G), but realise that the writer probably only has access to limited hardware.

    I have an old but decent gaming rig but also have another "work" machine which I often let visiting friends or relatives use for playing co-op with me. I also build PCs for relatives/friends who like to do occasional light gaming, most of them can't or won't pony up for a decent GPU so they get the integrated option.

    It's good to know what will or won't run on the integrated GPUs so if they ask, "hey that Battlefield V game looks alright, can I play it on my machine?" - I can give them an answer.
  • maestro0428
    Not a bad article in my opinion. There are a lot of people playing on lowend gpus. Just because this write up wasn't aimed at me, doesn't make it garbage.
  • tkalowsky
    Is it paid advertisement from NVIDIA???
  • antimatter.web
    How could you right this article and omit ryzen 3 2200g and 5 2400g, the most sophisticated and popular integrated graphics currently available?
  • mitch074
    I agree with antimatter.web - eventhough these APUs have around the same rendering performance as a GT1030 DDR5, results depend wildly upon the game. I would guess the 2500G (with dual-channel DDR4 3000) to be somewhere between a 1030 and a 1050, but it would be nice to have actual results from the only worthy integrated graphics out there today - because while the Athlon results are nice and surprisingly good, if an APU could play this game at 1080p with current-get console graphics properly, then I know a few people who'd think a dedicated, inexpensive SFF PC could actually replace a console.
  • ET3D
    Like others, I'm disappointed that recent articles with iGPU results all show the 200GE and not, at the very least, the 2200G.
  • dhananjay.g.joshi
    Should have included Ryzen 5 2400G as well
  • stephen.hanson
    I agree with the sentiment that Ryzen 2200G and 2400G should have been in this list. Very short sighted.
  • salgado18
    Should have included Intel Iris GPU (640, 650 or 655).

    But I guess, like SHOVELSHROUD said, the writer was probably limited to the hardware available.

    Maybe a deeper dive into integrated GPU performance would be nice? Using desktops should make it easier, since these GPUs are similar to mobile, and switching one CPU is easier than getting an entire new system.
  • average joe
    I built a gaming potato with a 2200G and old 250 GB SSD i had in a drawer. I think I paid 150 for and board on a Newegg combo deal. Sadly, I dropped about another 99 for 8 gigs of ram but went for 3200 crucial thinking i might over clock it a scosh. I have a beast of a system for a main PC with xeon 1230 cpu in it thats getting long in the tooth. after i put this system together i was astonished how peppy it was even before overclocking it. out of curiosity i benchmarked it vs my main system and sure enough it was 8% faster with cards up to a 970/1060. Overclocking it would make it even quicker. I dont use it as my gaming machine though because my xeon still will mutithread the piss out of that thing and feeds a 1080 range card a bit better. I'm sure there's probably more micro-stutter as well. My next chip will probably still be intel though as an I3 would probably have been 30% faster for the extra 30 dollars.
  • spdragoo
    EA tends to lock up your Origins account if it detects "too many hardware changes" (which probably also includes logging into your Origins account on multiple PCs)...& from reviews I've seen here at TH & on Techspot, EA's Customer Support people can be very reluctant about unlocking said accounts. But by all means, if you want TH's reviewers to review every single possible hardware combination (both DIY & prebuilt systems), & on every single model of laptop available out there, then by all means send your checks to TH so that the reviewers can buy another copy of BF5 to satisfy your testing urges...or simply work through the simple inference chain: Athlon 200GE only has a Vega 3, vs. the 2200G's Vega 8 & 2400G's Vega 11; the Vega 8 is roughly comparable to the RX 540, with the Vega 11 roughly comparable to the RX 550; the RX 550 & GT 1030 are on the same tier(see https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gpu-hierarchy,4388.html); so assuming the CPUs are roughly comparable you should expect the 2200G & 2400G to have similar performance to a GT 1030-equipped system.
  • Gillerer
    I found the article interesting, although I don't play on a laptop, but a few years old mid-range desktop.

    One set of people that might also be interested in this kind of content are people who do have a monster gaming rig, but would maybe also consider gaming on trips using a lower-spec, more balanced laptop. For those people, the results would be interesting, although one would suppose they'd also be interested in 120/144 Hz results for the higher end - meaning how low would the settings need to go in order to feed a fast gaming panel.