Earlier this month we tested graphics performance in Battlefield V covering a massive range of graphics cards at 1080p, 1440p and 4K. We also looked at real-time ray tracing performance. For those tests we used the single player campaign to measure performance as it's easy to record accurate data and visually the single and multiplayer portions of the game are much the same. However, there's a big difference in CPU demand between the two modes, and 64-player multiplayer really puts the hurt on lower-end processors.
For testing CPU performance we are using Battlefield V's 64-player Conquest mode, which creates a number of challenges for accurate testing, but nonetheless we threw ourselves at the task. Fluctuation between runs can be quite large compared to our Battlefield V single player GPU benchmark, which often delivers the same average frame rates and 1% low results over and over again.
With high-end hardware a deviation of more than a few frames is rare, though testing with multiplayer we were often seeing up to a ~10 fps difference for the average frame rate. We neglected extreme outliers and tested many more times than usual to try and report the most accurate performance possible, so results presented on this article are based on an average of 6 runs, rather than 3.
If you've got 30 players close out in front, the frame rates will be much lower than if the action is taking place well off in the distance, so making sure the same sort of stuff was going on around the player character for each pass was a serious challenge and very time consuming. For the test we used the Narvik map in the 64-player Conquest mode for about 60 second on each run.
For the majority of the benchmarks we we're using DirectX 11 as it provides more consistent frame time performance. We know plenty of players are claiming DX12 is fixed and is even better than DX11, but unless you're using a low-end CPU DX11 does offer a better experience. To get that discussion out of the way however, here are the DX12 numbers for those interested. We're not discussing these results in detail as our focus will be on the slightly better performing DX11.
Now, here are all the CPUs re-tested using the DX11 API and as you can see Ryzen cops a bit of a pounding under these test conditions. The Core i5-8400 is roughly on par with the Ryzen 7 2700X, while the older 7700K is faster. Beyond that we see processors such as the 8600K, 8700K, 9600K and so on all easily beating the best AMD has to offer. With well over 60 fps on a consistent basis, Ryzen was able to provide smooth performance regardless, but we'll move on to some more favorable testing in a moment.
It's interesting to see the once mighty Core i5-7600K struggling here. The Ryzen 5 2400G was comparable to the 7600K and that's not something we often see, if ever. Then we see the Ryzen 3 2200G comfortably beating the Core i3-7350K and Pentium G5400. Basically anything dual-core is going to get destroyed by the 2200G quad-core, even if they have Hyper-Threading.
So a decent showing from AMD at the low-end, but not great at the high-end. That said, if you're not using an RTX 2080 Ti at 1080p, with ray tracing disabled, what does Ryzen have to offer?
Here is a comparison between the Ryzen 7 2700X and Core i9-9900K. At the top of the graph we see the previous RTX 2080 Ti result at 1080p and here the Intel CPU offered a 16% performance boost for the average frame rate and 18% for the 1% low, so a decent performance advantage offered by Intel.
Switching to the RTX 2080 didn't change much and we are still mostly CPU bound at 1080p. Here the 9900K was 11% faster for the average frame rate and 15% faster for the frame time result. So for those seeking maximum performance at 1080p the 9900K seems like the way to go.
However if you're using a more mid-range GPU like the RTX 2070 then it appears you'll receive a similar level of performance with either the 2700X or 9900K. Here the Intel CPU was 2% faster for the average frame rate and 5% faster for the 1% low which is a negligible difference.
Using any GPU that's slower than the RTX 2070 will see no difference between these two CPUs at 1080p using the ultra quality settings and we see that to be the case with the GTX 1070. But what if you want to game at 1440p and that resolution certainly seems more fitting for all four GPUs tested here.
As we become GPU limited, at 1440p we see very little difference between the 2700X and 9900K using the GTX 1070, RTX 2070 and even the RTX 2080. The 9900K still offered a superior gaming experience at 1440p when using the RTX 2080 Ti, here it was 13% faster on average with a 21% greater frame time result.
Now assuming you purchased the 2080 Ti for smooth 4K gaming, it appears the choice of CPU doesn't matter all that much when comparing high-end AMD and Intel chips on this game. Even with the RTX 2080 Ti both CPUs enabled the same level of performance, hitting around 80 fps on average with a 1% low of 65 fps.
Battlefield V is playable on quad-cores but you can expect frequent frame dips, resulting in less consistent frame rates. For the most part, we've found that the older Core i5-7600K has been hanging in there pretty well with AAA titles released in 2018, but for the multiplayer portion of Battlefield V you will want to avoid the big 64-player battles.
This also means for smooth consistent gameplay the Core i3 range along with the quad-core Ryzen CPUs are a write off. Of course, if you're willing to accept regular stuttering and dips below 60fps then you can still make do with these processors.
If we were building a PC exclusively to play Battlefield V at the highest possible frame rates with nothing else in mind, we'd probably get the Core i5-8600K. However for just $10 more, the Ryzen 7 2700 gives you a better upgrade path down the line, comes with a cooler and it is a better value for overall computing. Using an RTX 2070 or slower using the ultra quality settings, you will be GPU bound and it won't really matter which processor you use. Alternatively, if you're running on high or even medium settings for maximum frame rates, then you will start to see a larger benefit of going with the higher clocked, lower latency Intel CPU.
Overall, we think Ryzen looks a bit disappointing at 1080p where the game is not GPU limited, though given the clock speed deficit, it's impressive the 2700X is just 15% slower than the 9900K. Keep in mind that both AMD and Intel CPUs can be overclocked for greater performance and memory timings can be manually tuned, which is beneficial on both platforms. Generally speaking, AMD does better with memory tuning, while Intel gains more from core overclocking.
- Intel Core i9-9900K on Amazon, Newegg
- Intel Core i5-8600K on Amazon, Newegg
- Intel Z390 motherboards on Amazon, Newegg
- AMD Ryzen 7 2700X on Amazon, Newegg
- AMD Ryzen 5 2600 on Amazon, Newegg
- AMD X470 motherboards on Amazon