Although we thought Battlefield Hardline showed superb graphics and smooth gameplay when we benchmarked it during last month's week-long public beta, the pre-launch build didn't quite display Battlefield 4's wow-factor.

The good news, of course, was that Hardline could be played on fairly modest hardware using the ultra-quality pre-set, which enables 4xMSAA and allows 60fps+ at 1080p with either the GeForce GTX 770 or Radeon R9 280X.

Developed by Visceral Games and published by EA, the retail version Battlefield Hardline is now available and we are back to rerun all the beta tests along with others to see how the frame rates have changed from beta to retail.

Before we get to the benchmarks, it's worth noting a problem plaguing Nvidia users. Thankfully we only ran into it once while testing, though our tests probably don't run long enough for this bug to really rear its ugly head.

Tens of thousands of Nvidia users say that after a match or two their game crashes to the desktop giving a DirectX error message. The issue seems to be with the latest GeForce 347.88 drivers and so far there is no fix.

Testing Methodology

We used the latest AMD and Nvidia drivers on 26 DirectX 11 graphics card configurations covering most price ranges. Our test rig was outfitted with the Intel Core i7-5960X to remove CPU bottlenecks that could influence high-end GPU scores.

We used Fraps to record 60 seconds of gameplay for benchmarking but it will be a little tricky to test Battlefield Hardline because it's an online multiplayer game. In the past we have avoided such tests as generating accurate results is difficult because reproducing the same test repeatedly is a challenge. It's particularly difficult in games that have random respawn points such as Battlefield 4. (To enable Fraps, you have to hit the ~ key and type the following into the console: RenderDevice.PresentAsync 0.)

Hardline is a little easier as you can select a deploy point on the map, so we benchmarked using the 'Bank Job' map as a member of the police force and deployed in the same location. Moreover, we joined the same server which always had just a few players who didn't interfere with our testing -- this seemed preferable to joining completely empty servers.

We tested using 1366x768, 1920x1080 and 2560x1600 resolutions using the 'ultra' quality preset which sets anti-aliasing to 4xMSAA and uses HBAO ambient occlusion.

Test System Specs

  • Intel Core i7-5960X(3.00GHz)
  • x4 4GB Kingston Predator DDR4-2400 (CAS 12-13-13-24)
  • Asrock X99 Extreme6 (Intel X99)
  • Silverstone Strider Series (700w)
  • Crucial MX200 1TB (SATA 6Gb/s)
  • Gigabyte Radeon R9 290X (4096MB)
  • Gigabyte Radeon R9 290 (4096MB)
  • Gigabyte Radeon R9 285 (2048MB)
  • Gigabyte Radeon R9 280X (3072MB)
  • HIS Radeon R9 270X (2048MB)
  • HIS Radeon R9 270 (2048MB)
  • HIS Radeon R7 265 (2048MB)
  • HIS Radeon HD 7970 GHz (3072MB)
  • HIS Radeon HD 7970 (3072MB)
  • HIS Radeon HD 7950 (3072MB)
  • HIS Radeon HD 7870 (2048MB)
  • HIS Radeon HD 7850 (2048MB)
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan X (12288MB)
  • Gigabyte GeForce GTX 980 (4096MB)
  • Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 (3584+512MB)
  • Gigabyte GeForce GTX 960 (2048MB)
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan (6144MB)
  • Gigabyte GeForce GTX 780 Ti (3072MB)
  • Gigabyte GeForce GTX 780 (3072MB)
  • Gigabyte GeForce GTX 770 (2048MB)
  • Palit GeForce GTX 760 (2048MB)
  • Gigabyte GeForce GTX 750 Ti (2048MB)
  • Gainward GeForce GTX 680 (2048MB)
  • Gainward GeForce GTX 660 Ti (2048MB)
  • Gainward GeForce GTX 660 (2048MB)
  • Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit
  • Nvidia GeForce 347.88 WHQL
  • AMD Catalyst 14.12 Omega