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  1. #1

    Upgrade for Battlefield 3- System Specs

    This seems like it would belong here on the tech side of things so I thought I would ask here. If I do need an upgrade I guess more questions will follow so here goes...

    I'm currently running the BF3 beta and hit a little snag today. Operation Metro wasn't giving me any problems on High settings, so I assumed I could do around the same with Caspian Border since I've heard the Frostbite 2 engine is very optimised. I drop into the server and my framerate seems much slower. I'm pretty sure I can tell the difference between lag and framerate issues but there's a chance I could be wrong on that so that's why I'm asking here. I'm curious as to if my GPU is really that bad or if the issues I'm running into are because of the beta status of BF3 and the fact that Caspian may not be as optimized as the other maps.

    My current CPU is an Intel i7 870 quad core running at 2.9 gHz, and my GPU is an ATI Radeon HD 5750. I checked myself against the BF3 system requirements and met pretty much everything on the recommended side of things (except for my GPU). It's strange that they did not list a recommended CPU speed so I'm worried that my expensive christmas gift to the family is already in need of an expensive upgrade after one year. I'm cool with over-clocking, I just don't have an external cooling device and I'm at absolute ground zero when it comes to knowledge of overclocking.

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus duff's Avatar
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    The 5750 is getting on a bit to be honest. It's not a bad card, but its not a particuarly powerful one either. When I had one I could just about run Bad Company 2 on high with modest frame rates so I would expect low to mid is about as much as BF3 will run on that card. If you wanted a relatively cheap but big upgrade I suggest either a GTX 560 or 570 depending on your budget.

    As for your processor, I'm interested in the other replies, as I have the same one and am considering upgrading to a GTX 570 or 580 but was wondering if that processor will bottleneck a GPU like that considerably. I would guess the i7 860 remains a good unit, I certainly hope so as I only got it 1.5 years ago.
    Last edited by duff; 29-09-2011 at 10:23 PM.

  3. #3
    I asked on Toms Hardware about the life of the thing but it wasn't specifically about BF3 (which is pretty intense on the specs from what I've read) and this is what one guy had to say.

    "Since it's an i7 870 you still have some mileage left on it.I would suggest O.C.ing for improved performance and it should last you a while longer.Should last you about 2-3 years more."

    It sounded pretty nonchalant like he wasn't expecting me to need a cooling system for the oc'ing but then again I'm not to savvy with anything like that. I'm just curious if I'm being bottlenecked by the GPU or if I'm just in need of a general upgrade to play it. Even on the Low settings I was still getting some slowdown but my specs say I should be a little below recommended.

  4. #4
    Lesser Hivemind Node Kodeen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jp0249107 View Post
    It sounded pretty nonchalant like he wasn't expecting me to need a cooling system for the oc'ing but then again I'm not to savvy with anything like that.
    If you are using the stock CPU cooler, I would definitely recommend upgrading that if you plan on overclocking. Nothing crazy, just a beefier heatsink/fan just do it if you keep the overclocking to a reasonable limit (assuming the rest of your case is cooled well).

    As for the GPU, I don't really know anything about AMD's numbers so I can't suggest anything really. What does a 5750 compare to in the Nvidia world?

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus duff's Avatar
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    @ OP - I'm a little bit concerned about OCing too. I have no funds to replace it if it goes tits up so I won't be trying.

    Your GPU is about the equivalent of a 9800GTX on your rig. It is certainly the bottleneck. You will definitely get much better performance with a current 500 series card, what I'm wondering is if that performance will be considerably boosted by swapping the i7 for an i5 2500k (would also require a mobo change) or whether the difference would be too small to justify the cost.
    Last edited by duff; 29-09-2011 at 11:05 PM.

  6. #6
    Lesser Hivemind Node Kodeen's Avatar
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    Oh, wow, 9800-grade. Yes, definitely replace that. If you were buying Nvidia, I would suggest a 560 or 570. Should be fine for most games for a while while not costing too too much. 580 and 590 would probably be overkill unless you were running multiple monitors.

    Your CPU is probably fine. I wouldn't worry about it until after you upgrade the GPU and still notice some lag.

  7. #7
    You should be fine on the CPU front, as my i7 920 really isn't being stressed that much by the Beta. Granted, I have it OC'd to 3.66Ghz, but even while playing on Caspian Border I only seem to reach around 60% utilization across all 4 cores. If you want to overclock your CPU, I recommend you pick up a cheap aftermarket heatsink such as the CoolerMaster Hyper 212+. I was using one until just recently, and only got rid of it in favor of a closed-looped water-cooling solution (Corsair H60). It's a fantastic heatsink and should be fairly cheap.

    Now, your graphics card is definitely going to be a bottleneck. The 5750 was a decent card more than a year ago when it was released, but it was only really recommended to be used in a CrossFire config, as the performance of two 5750/70s was probably the best bang for your buck you could get back then. That's not the case today.

    When it comes to BF3, Nvidia cards do have an edge over AMD, though I suspect things will even out once we get more mature drivers. That being said, I recommend AMD due to their fantastic cost to performance ratio, as well as their energy efficiency. An excellent choice would be an HD 6950 2GB. They hover around $250 here in the US, so I would say around 180 - 190 for those of you across the way. Performance is slightly higher than a GTX 560 (can range anywhere from a 1% advantage to a 10% advantage depending on the game) and performs on-par with a GTX 570 in quite a few instances, while also remaining quite a bit cheaper than the 570. AMD/ATI's drivers have improved vastly, so don't be dissuaded by the nay-sayers. I have had absolutely zero issues with my HD 6950 2GB CrossFire setup.

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus duff's Avatar
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    TheOneKnownAsMe - Nice info thanks, I think I will hold off ocing my i7 860 and just pick up a gtx 570 or if I feel really giddy a 580. I'd prefer to stay on the Nvidia side as I've never had any trouble with them and they seem to reguarly have better drivers before AMD. Nice to know my processor won't be holding the rig back too much.

  9. #9
    Obscure Node
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    Just for reference I have an i7-950 at 3.7GHz (stock cooler) with 6GB of RAM and a GTX570 and I'm running the BF3 Beta @ 1920x1080 with everything maxed, 2xMSAA, 16xAF, all post processing effects on and I'm consistently getting between 58 and 64fps with the occasional drop to 50-52fps.

    If this build is as old as people believe it may be and Dice has done/will do any performance optimization at all to the final code this game is going to scream on anything above a GTX460. At this point given the texture detail one of the most important things to have is a generous amount of video memory (Which is why I say above a 460), especially if you will be running at higher resolutions (1920x1200 and above).
    Last edited by xGryfter; 02-10-2011 at 07:59 PM.

  10. #10
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus duff's Avatar
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    Awesome that sounds promising. Hopefully going from 3.7ghz to 2.8ghz clock speed wont be a big hit to performance.

  11. #11
    I'm playing with an AMD X4 955 at stock speed (Watercooled), 4GB of RAM, and an AMD HD4890, at 900MHz - I'm getting decent framerates on ultra.

  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus duff's Avatar
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    Alex - nice thats better than I expected. From what everyone says it sounds pretty well optimised.

    edit: you got any AA on?

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by duff View Post
    Alex - nice thats better than I expected. From what everyone says it sounds pretty well optimised.

    edit: you got any AA on?
    X16 AA, yes.

  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus duff's Avatar
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    @ OP - I did a little more research and it would seem getting a new processor isn't going to help you much.

    http://www.techspot.com/review/448-b...nce/page7.html

  15. #15
    Network Hub DarkNoghri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Bakke View Post
    I'm playing with an AMD X4 955 at stock speed (Watercooled), 4GB of RAM, and an AMD HD4890, at 900MHz - I'm getting decent framerates on ultra.
    What resolution are you running at? I've got an Athlon II x4 635 (I assume that's a Phenom II you're running?) paired with a 4850, and it's nearly unplayable, depending on resolution. Any resolution between 1280x800 and 1680x1050 gets about the same framerate on all low. It's usually an extremely jerky ~30 FPS on Caspian Border, with anything between 10 and 30 on Operation Metro. On all low.

    I'm beginning to really think I gimped my CPU by not upgrading the motherboard.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by DarkNoghri View Post
    What resolution are you running at? I've got an Athlon II x4 635 (I assume that's a Phenom II you're running?) paired with a 4850, and it's nearly unplayable, depending on resolution. Any resolution between 1280x800 and 1680x1050 gets about the same framerate on all low. It's usually an extremely jerky ~30 FPS on Caspian Border, with anything between 10 and 30 on Operation Metro. On all low.

    I'm beginning to really think I gimped my CPU by not upgrading the motherboard.
    4830s and '50s are really starting to show their age now. And yes, it's a Phenom II. I'm getting maybe 40 FPS on both maps?

    However, I turned everything down to medium for better FPS - up to 45 now, no stutters.

    1920x1080

  17. #17
    ah okay, I had basically given up anyways. I've upgraded the card to an HD 6870 and its given me a noticeable increase in performance on all my games. I'm not too concerned with running every game I have at max to begin with so the performance I'm getting out of it now should be more than enough to last me for a while.

  18. #18
    Network Hub Winstons's Avatar
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    Bit late to the party, but JP you were right to listen to the advice and not really bother with a new CPU. I played the beta fine on high settings at 1900*1080 (better at 1600 mind) with an old Intel E2200 2.2ghz (overclocked to 3.0ghz). I've just got a HD 6870 myself and I expect to be ably to the run game decently.
    Last edited by Winstons; 13-10-2011 at 08:10 PM.

  19. #19
    Network Hub The Tupper's Avatar
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    Hey, TheOneKnownAsMe, just an opaque personal question: does your name have anything to do with Zen at all? If it doesn't then this query will be meaningless, so ignore.

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