Testing Notes & Methodology

For testing the Battlefield 3 beta we lined up 18 graphics card configurations across all price ranges. The latest drivers were used for all cards which is important as both AMD and Nvidia released updated drivers specifically for this game.

Testing Battlefield 3 was somewhat of a nightmare due to the clumsy system used to find games which relies on an external web browser. Rather than feature an in-game finder Battlefield 3 beta cannot be accessed until the player has found and joined a game. This means it's not possible to change settings until the player is actively playing on a map.

We used Fraps to measure frame rates during a minute of gameplay from the multiplayer map Operation Metro. The performance was measured from the same spawn point each time following the same path while an average of three runs was recorded.

Battlefield 3 was tested at three resolutions: 1680x1050, 1920x1200 and 2560x1600. The game was tested using the Ultra and High quality presets which are meant to be the same for the beta, yet we found significant differences between the two.

When set to Ultra every setting is maxed out with the exception of anti-aliasing post which is set to medium. The anti-aliasing deferred settings is set to 4xMSAA while anisotropic filtering is set to 16x. Other quality settings such as texture, shadow, effects, mesh, terrain and terrain decoration are all set to Ultra.

The Ultra preset was extremely demanding, so we also tested using the High quality preset. This turned anti-aliasing deferred off and left the anti-aliasing post settings on medium. All other visual quality settings as detailed above are turned to high. We'll be looking for an average of 60fps for stutter-free gameplay.

Test System Specs
- Intel Core i7 2600K
- x2 4GB G.Skill DDR3 PC3-12800 (CAS 8-8-8-20)
- Asus P8P67 Deluxe (Intel P67)
- OCZ ZX Series 1250w
- Crucial RealSSD C300 256GB (SATA 6Gb/s)
- GeForce GTX 590 (3072MB)
- GeForce GTX 580 (1536MB) SLI
- GeForce GTX 580 (1536MB)
- GeForce GTX 570 (1280MB)
- GeForce GTX 560 Ti (1024MB)
- GeForce GTX 560 (1024MB)
- GeForce GTX 480 (1536MB)
- GeForce GTX 470 (1280MB)
- GeForce GTX 460 (1024MB)
- Radeon HD 6990 (4096MB)
- Radeon HD 6970 (2048MB) Crossfire
- Radeon HD 6970 (2048MB)
- Radeon HD 6950 (2048MB)
- Radeon HD 6870 (1024MB)
- Radeon HD 6850 (1024MB)
- Radeon HD 5870 (2048MB)
- Radeon HD 5830 (1024MB)
- Radeon HD 6790 (1024MB)
- Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
- Nvidia Forceware 285.38 Beta
- ATI Catalyst 11.10 Preview