|Battlefield 3 Beta: PC Hardware Tested|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Games|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Saturday, 01 October 2011|
Battlefield 3 Beta: Hardware Requirements Tested
Very recently, EA and Dice released an open beta for Battlefield 3. Preceeding this release was the announcement of minimum and recommended system requirements. Since the beta is now open to the public, Benchmark Reviews uses high-end PC hardware to take a closer look at what gamers should expect to be real-world computer system hardware requirements for their CPU and RAM components.
Here are the minimum and recommended computer system requirements for the upcoming Battlefield 3 video game, as published by Electronic Arts:
Minimum System Requirements
Recommended System Requirements
Benchmark Reviews has tested memory consumption using the following computer system:
Intel X58-Express Test System
Battlefield 3 Beta was configured with 'Ultra' video settings. Based on the high-end gaming system above, here are the processor and memory usage statistics we recorded:
Considering our tests used the ultra-powerful NVIDIA GeForce GTX 590 video card, it's rather astonishing to find that so much CPU resources have been tapped by Battlefield 3. The Intel Core i7-930 processor is no slouch, it has four physical cores and eight virtual processor cores all running at 2.80 GHz. Yet, when simply spawning or in the middle of a fire-fight the CPU generally wavered between 40-50% usage across all eight cores. Memory usage was also quite high, requiring 1070 MB to simply open the game, and reaching nearly 1.7 GB during action play. If you're running a dual-core processor with a lower-end graphics card, don't expect to enjoy high-quality video settings unless you like slow frame rates.
Of course, there are also the support applications to take into consideration: EA's Origin interface, which then launches the web browser of choice for Battlelog. The CPU demand is almost non-existent for both applications, but memory usage piles on. In our testing Origin used up to 74 MB of RAM, while Battlelog's memory consumption reached over 100 MB with some browsers. Our testing did not use browser extensions, so your usage may actually be higher - especially if you have other browser tabs open.
In summary, while it's possible to play Battlefield 3 with maximum settings, but it's more likely your computer system will require some compromise to ensure fluid video frame rates. Gaming consoles, which offer DirectX 9 level graphics, will never reach the same graphics quality of PC, and beta performance for PS3 and XBOX360 has been rather disappointing thus far. If you want BF3 with all the bells and whistles, plan to upgrade that aging video card while adding some system memory.
EDITOR'S NOTE: For this article Benchmark Reviews did not go into detail regarding graphics performance, simply because the beta version of BF3 does not apply some video settings that will be activated in the final retail version. We've noticed that the difference between 'Low' and 'Ultra' video quality settings in BF3 beta with our GeForce GTX 590 were very small, leading us to suspect that anti-aliasing and other settings are not being applied once adjusted. The frame rates taken at several static spawn points were:
Benchmark Reviews will test and publish GPU-based video graphics quality performance results when the retail version of Battlefield 3 becomes available, and all video graphics quality settings are activated. From our initial observations however, it appears that graphics card requirements are substantially more demanding then what is needed for Battlefield: Bad Company 2, so be prepared to upgrade.
UPDATE 03 October 2011: NVIDIA has recently published their own Battlefield 3 beta performance guide using a special beta release with full-version graphics. Read more here: http://www.geforce.com/Optimize/Guides/battlefield-3-beta-performance-guide
UPDATE 10 October 2011: EA Has ended the Battlefield 3 Beta program. The full version of the game will be released October 25th.
Are you playing Battlefield 3 beta? Share your thoughts on this article with your game name below.