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Battlefield 3 killer?

By pingpongmury · 53 replies
Nov 16, 2011
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  1. My rig is getting old, (running AMD 5400BE and nvidia 8800GT).. The release of Battlefield 3 and all it's glory has prompted me to put together a new build.

    MB: ASUS Sabertooth 990X (or ASUS Crosshair V ?)
    CPU: AMD Phenom II x6 1090T Black-Edition 3.3GHz
    GPU: MSI GTX570 TwinFrozr III
    RAM: Recommendations? (DDR3)
    Storage: OCZ Vertex 3 120GB SSD
    PSU: Rosewill 650watt (i already have this, may need upgraded?)

    With everything the build is around $880 (with promo and rebate on Newegg), and would like to keep it under/around $1000.

    Also, is the SSD entirely necessary? Are there HDD options that are comparable at a lower price? (SSD listed is $150 with promo code). I have an external 1TB hard drive, so space isnt an issue, I'm looking for speed.

    Any recommendations to add, subtract, or substitute from the build would be VERY much appreciated.

  2. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,706   +172

    I also have a GTX 570 and it runs very nicely on ultra settings in BF3 :). That MSI one should overclock pretty high too.

    RAM is so cheap nowadays you should be able to get 8GB 1600Mhz for next to nothing.

    I run my OC GTX 570 and OC i7 920 on a 550w Corsair PSU so I think yours should be ok.

    I would really recommend the SSD, makes your whole system faster and snappier as well as the quicker game load times. 120GB should be enough for your OS/games/programs.
  3. DKRON

    DKRON TS Guru Posts: 568   +25

    If you need more memory then its best to get a 500GB WD or Seagate HDD and just run the OS and basic things on the SDD
  4. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +116

    If you want a Battlefield 3 killer, you need SLI/CF GPU's. I'd also spend a bit extra and get a new AMD FX-8120 8 core CPU. The price difference between that and the 1090T isn't much in the UK, so I suspect its even less in the US.

    As for an SSD, it makes a considerable difference to performance and everyday usage when using a computer. Its a bit redundant for gaming though, as the only time you'll see the benefit is when your loading levels up, and even then its only a second or two difference most of the time.

    TechSpot's Battlefield 3 guide (here) will give you an idea of the sort of framerates you should expect with a GTX570. At full HD (1920x) the GTX570 is far from a "killer". It will be playable though.

    As for RAM, go for 8GB of DDR3-1600 (at least) which is listed as compatible with the motherboard you decide to purchase.
  5. herpaderp

    herpaderp TS Booster Posts: 154

    Leeky's right about the multi-gpu setup required. Seeing as how just about any half decent quadcore makes 0 difference in BF3 performance, I think you'd be better off just sticking to a cheaper Phenom processor and putting extra money aside for say...2xGTX 570? The game showed that performance scaled pretty linearly, with the GTX 580 and HD 6970 getting almost exactly double the performance when in SLI/CF, so cheaper GTX 570s should net you around 100fps min/128fps max. To go this route though, a 750W+ PSU is required so that would be more money as well. A cheaper alternative (unless you're partial to nvidia) would be 2 x HD6950s, which will get you about 90fpsmin/120 max for $100-120 less.
  6. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,223   +163

    If you list the resolution you want to play at, I can give you an idea of where you need to be GPU wise with what settings. i can run benches from 1x 6970 thru 4x 6970's. I assume 'BF3 Killer' is refering to running at maximum settings?
  7. lipe123

    lipe123 TS Evangelist Posts: 718   +236

    I run 2x 560 Ti's with SLI and my BF3 runs pretty decent at 70-100 fps at 1920x1080

    I wouldnt bother with the "new" AMD chips, we sell pc's and we tested the A6 and A8 CPU's from AMD compared to the intel 2500K even the A8 doesnt even come close.

    The older 965Black has more "raw" performance than the new A8 when testing things like wprime/super pi.

    The SSD's really kick ***, also their prices scale very linear so you could buy 2 smaller ones and setup RAID 0 (if you dont have an intel storage controller you lose TRIM) to get some blazing speeds. There is software out there that will perform TRIM like features for you when the PC is idle so you wont lose all that performance.
  8. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +116

    From what I understand even Intel doesn't currently support TRIM with SSD's in RAID 0. Least not til the latest driver is released.

    Least that's the gist reading here. To be honest I can't say I even knew before reading that article.
  9. lipe123

    lipe123 TS Evangelist Posts: 718   +236

    Very true, its not working yet. But wont be long before it does.

    Even without TRIM support it takes months before the speed degrades and all you'd have to do is leave the machine on for a while and let the tools clear the free space on the drives to get the speed back.

    Or just grab one big drive and skip raid for a pretty fast and easy setup.
  10. ViPeRMiMiS

    ViPeRMiMiS TS Booster Posts: 86

    I guess you people with "SLI/CF" are joking right?
    I mean if you want to play a game on its highest settings then buy a GTX 560 Ti/HD 6950 and everything is done. Only people with a lot of money will CF/SLi their pc, I mean I got a GT 420 and it's perfect for everything on ULTRA with LOW Shadows and HIGH PostAA. What else you want? (The resolution is 1366X768) I will never pay 300+ more euros than this graphics card to increase shadows from "LOW" to "ULTRA", it's insane! The CPU is fine too with a Core i5-2300. Only people with a lot of money will buy an "Extreme" Intel processor = -close- to no one!
    So if you want real performance just get a good pc with 4GB DDR3 ram @ 1600mhz, Radeon hd 6950/GTX560 Ti /Core i5 2300 is good but Core i5 2500K is unlocked (if you want to OC)
  11. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,481   +44

    Here come another "thegeneral." I bet you think pci is still cool too huh?
  12. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,686   +350

    If that is the resolution that the OP is going to play at then yes. If they want to play on a 1920x1080 or 1920x1200 they need to be looking at a top end card or SLI/CF combo. Just think of the processing overhead. 1366x768 is 1049088 pixels per screen frame. 1920x1200 is over double that at 2304000 pixels! Even if we just go with a simple "it's double so it will work the card twice as hard" theory, that would most likely give you about half the FPS you see with your GT 420. I actually deliberately bought an i5 laptop with 1366x768 resolution screen as I knew that the mobile graphics card could drive games at that resolution without problem, and probably be able to run some future titles without problem too.

    Also you have to take into consideration that a lot of hardcore PC gamers don't like to have the FPS on a game drop below 40-60 FPS. Many people are happy with lower FPS and it is a very individual preference, but usually any discussions about running games at max settings are assuming that the person asking wants to have this 40-60 minimum.


    Not really true. I run 2 x 5850s which still give me performance about that of a GTX 580 on average. I had 1 5850 already, and £130 for a second or £399 for GTX 580 make it an easy decision for an upgrade. CF/SLI of top end graphics card is expensive and pretty much for people with lots of money or no other real expense outside of bread and water, but CF/SLI itself can offer cheap upgrade path if you have a PSU that can handle the extra load.
  13. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,706   +172

    You do realise 1920x1080/1200 is twice the number of pixels as 1366x768? Hence you need something that is twice as powerful? My GTX 570 runs BF3 at 50fps on a 1920x1080 monitor with ultra settings, which is still short of the 60fps optimum, so yes, there would be people who would want SLI setups.
  14. ViPeRMiMiS

    ViPeRMiMiS TS Booster Posts: 86

    I bet you think you have the money to use Quad SLi/CF on a GTX 590/HD 6990 and 32GB DDR3 Ram @ 2133Mhz with 512GB SSD and Core i7 990X.....
  15. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,686   +350

    Not quite...
    CPU: core i7 980x 4.6Ghz 1.44V(stable)
    Mobo: Asus Rampage 2 Extreme
    Mem: 12 Gb Dominator 1600
    Video: EVGA 580 sli aquagrafx water blocks
    HDD: 2x seagate 2TB HDD, 1xWD 1.5TB HDD
    Sound: X Fi
    OS: W7 ultimate x 64

    From supersmashbrada's system list.
  16. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,481   +44

    Why would I buy a 6990. I could just tri sli and run a 6990 into the floor. I also have 8x60gb vertex drives in raid 0 in an areca card.

    Anyway, if the op wants to "destroy" BF3 with any resolution above 1080 rez he will need sli/cf something to play at ultra
  17. ViPeRMiMiS

    ViPeRMiMiS TS Booster Posts: 86

    This is your pc?
  18. ViPeRMiMiS

    ViPeRMiMiS TS Booster Posts: 86

    Well ok , SLI and CF in my opinion should be used when these gpus get old to extend its time limits. and 50 fps is almost perfect. When I play games , 20 fps is quite fine and 30 fps seems perfect. When I get 60 fps I realise the difference though xD (although it does not impact gameplay). So "50 fps short" is nearly perfect and 30 fps although it is half from 60, it is perfect. So it won't be bad to use a "HIGH" setting wherever possible.
  19. lipe123

    lipe123 TS Evangelist Posts: 718   +236

    Something is off with your math there bud.

    1920X1080 = 2,073,600 pixels 1366x768 = 1,049,088 pixels

    So yes it is double, no one aims to get 20-30fps just to be able to barely play a game. SLI setups are there so that there is enough headroom that when lots of stuff happens in game your fps doesnt drop to unplayable levels.
    Also in FPS games 30fps = you die.
    Lastly SLI is often cheaper than buying a single monster card. Personally I have 2x 560 Ti and its cheaper than a single 580 that would be slower anyway.
  20. pingpongmury

    pingpongmury TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 94

    Thanks for the feedback, everyone. I have done a little more research and will most likely go with either unlocked 6950's in CF or ASUS' GTX 560-Ti TOP's in SLI.. The 6950s will also most likely be of the ASUS Direct CUII variety. I may even try to get my hands on a pair of 560-Ti 448's.
  21. ViPeRMiMiS

    ViPeRMiMiS TS Booster Posts: 86

    "Also in FPS games 30fps = you die"
    What do u mean?
  22. lipe123

    lipe123 TS Evangelist Posts: 718   +236

    Considered EVGA branded nvidia cards?

    They have top notch lifetime warranty and I RMA'ed a old card once with no problems. They also have a step up program so for example if you buy a regular 560 ti and want to get the 448 core one you just send the orig card back and pay the difference (if its 3 months from purchase)

    Enemy knows your position, tosses a smoke grenade near you, your fps drops to 15 and you have no idea whats going on and die. The big FPS headroom means you wont have problems like that :)
  23. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,706   +172

    It means that anything less than 30fps in a shooting game, you will get lag, can't react quickly enough and someone with better framerates will come around and shoot you in the head ;)

    I don't know what kind of games you play but I would say for shooting games 40fps in the minimum. Maybe for RPGs or adventure games 30fps is ok.
  24. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,706   +172

    Those are pretty good setups. I think the 560 Ti 448 SLI might be a bit of overkill though. Also to run that kind of SLI/CF setup you would need minimum a 750-800W PSU.
  25. ViPeRMiMiS

    ViPeRMiMiS TS Booster Posts: 86

    aaaaaa!!! I get 20-30 fps at battlefield 3 and have no problems at all. Thanks anyway :D

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