Notebookcheck

Battlefield 4 Benchmarked

Florian Glaser (translated by Ariana Brodsky), 11/13/2013

High-gloss and polished. Most gamers know that Battlefield 4 is a feast for the eyes. But what are its hardware demands like? We tested the single-player campaign with a variety of notebook graphics cards.

Battlefield 4 Logo

For the original German article, see here.

Graphics

Even though the Battlefield 3 graphics were stunning, its successor manages even more. BF 4 is one of the few PC titles to attain to the same graphics quality as Crysis 3, and in some places it even surpasses it. Alongside the tack-sharp textures, the effects are particularly jaw-dropping. Whether you're talking about light, shadows, water, smoke, snow or any other kind of particle: DICE deserves no criticism.

We must say, though, that the developers have perhaps overdone it a bit. If the player's character is blinded by the sun or some other reflective object and shot at from all directions (flying sparks, vision distortion, mud on the “camera”, etc.), you can hardly tell what's happening in the game. Destructible level elements contribute to the chaos, though they also make the atmosphere even more thrilling.

In general, the environments are chock-full of detail. DICE put a lot of effort into saturating the campaign with spirit. Speaking of environments: While some levels -- as per usual with ego-shooter games -- are built very linearly, in some scenes you get a surprising amount of freedom, which evokes the multi-player feeling. As our screenshots prove, the campaign certainly isn't short of impressive panoramas.

Low Settings
Low Settings
Medium Settings
Medium Settings
High Settings
High Settings
Ultra Settings
Ultra Settings

Unfortunately, being so young, the technology still has its problems. In our several hours of testing, we encountered a variety of issues. One time, the game complained of missing DirectX 9 files, even though everything was up-to-date. On another notebook, Origin supposedly wasn't correctly installed. Every now and then, in single player mode the game crashed -- despite the fact that we were using current (beta) drivers (desktop system with Radeon R9 280X and Windows 7 64 bit).

Also bothersome: Independent of the hardware we were using, we experienced intermittent jerking that wasn't always related to the frame rate. Even with powerful hardware, the title didn't always run fluidly. Depending on the system and graphics settings, some objects tended to flicker. We hope the developers are working on improvements in this area.

Battlefield 4
Battlefield 4
Battlefield 4
Battlefield 4
Battlefield 4
Battlefield 4

In terms of the graphics menu, there's nothing to complain about. Following BF 3's example, the action game offers a ton of options. The palette stretches from “A” for “Anti-Aliasing” to “W” for “Weapon DOF”. Beginners who aren't interested in messing around with the settings will be pleased with the four presets. A restart isn't required to adopt changes. Unlike other titles in its genre (did someone say Call of Duty?), Battlefield 4 is already attractive and fun at medium settings. And even at minimum details, the visuals certainly aren't ugly.

Battlefield 4
Battlefield 4
Battlefield 4
Battlefield 4
Battlefield 4
Battlefield 4

Benchmark

Our benchmark sequence stems from the “Shanghai” level. With the Fraps tool, we logged a car drive at the beginning of the mission that lasted around a minute and a half (see video). This multi-player sequence corresponds to the mid-level frame rate of single player mode (short test on a Conquest map).

Since the frame rate -- depending on the situation -- varied considerably, it's hard to make a general statement about the game's performance. An average of 40 fps should ensure that the game is rendered reasonably smoothly, though perhaps not perfectly.

Results

If you ignore the ultra-preset, the game's hardware hunger remains within reasonable limits. While the popular Intel HD Graphics 4000 and 4600 chips (HD 3000 doesn't work) prove to be essentially unusable, an inexpensive all-rounder model, like the GeForce GT 640M, can render the game fluidly at least at low graphics settings.

The medium settings level requires much more hardware power. At 1366 x 768 pixels, a GeForce GT 750M manages around 45 fps. You'll need a genuine high-end GPU for high details and 1366 x 768 pixels; the GeForce GT 670M(X) is the beginning of the line for rendering the game at those settings. On the Ultra preset, with 4x MSAA thrown in the mix, all current notebook graphics cards struggle. Only the GeForce GTX 780M can pull off the 40 fps in FullHD resolution.

Looking at the Radeon HD 8970M/7970M (normally on par with the GTX-680M) and the Radeon R9 280X desktop, it's clear that Battlefield 4 harmonizes better with AMD. That's unsurprising, as the graphics card giant had its finger in the pie during the game's development (keyword “Mantle”). At medium settings, the tides turn a little. The reason: AMD's Enduro technology costs a frame here and there.

Battlefield 4
    1024x768 Low Preset     1366x768 Medium Preset     1366x768 High Preset     1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:4x MS
HD Graphics 4000, 3610QM
Schenker XMG P502
32.2 fps ∼16%
19.7 fps ∼10%
12.2 fps ∼6%
4.7 fps ∼5%
Radeon HD 7660G, A10-4600M, Samsung SSD 830 Series MZ-7PC0128D/EU
AMD Pumori Platform A10-4600M
27.9 (min: 11) fps ∼14%
20.9 (min: 12) fps ∼11%
13.4 (min: 6) fps ∼7%
5.2 (min: 4) fps ∼5%
HD Graphics 4600, 4702MQ
Schenker M503
36.6 fps ∼18%
24.8 fps ∼12%
15.3 fps ∼8%
5.5 fps ∼5%
GeForce GT 640M, 2637M, Lite-On LMT-256M3M
Acer Aspire M3-581TG
50.3 (min: 38) fps ∼25%
34.7 (min: 27) fps ∼17%
23.5 (min: 21) fps ∼12%
9.9 (min: 8) fps ∼9%
Iris Pro Graphics 5200, 4750HQ, Intel SSD 525 Series SSDMCEAC180B3
Schenker S413
62.9 (min: 49) fps ∼31%
45.5 (min: 37) fps ∼23%
28.5 (min: 24) fps ∼14%
9.7 (min: 6) fps ∼9%
GeForce GT 750M, 4702MQ
Schenker M503
66.8 fps ∼33%
45.4 fps ∼23%
28.7 fps ∼15%
11.2 fps ∼11%
GeForce GTX 660M, 3610QM
Schenker XMG P502
77.7 fps ∼39%
53.4 fps ∼27%
34.8 fps ∼18%
14.9 fps ∼14%
Radeon R7 250, 3770K
Desktop-PC
98.2 fps ∼49%
66.7 fps ∼34%
42.7 fps ∼22%
14.9 fps ∼14%
GeForce GTX 670MX, 3610QM
Schenker XMG P502
98.4 fps ∼49%
68.8 fps ∼35%
44.9 fps ∼23%
18.6 fps ∼18%
GeForce GTX 765M, 4700MQ
Schenker W503
109.9 fps ∼55%
75.4 fps ∼38%
49.4 fps ∼25%
19.7 fps ∼19%
GeForce GTX 675MX, 3610QM
Schenker XMG P502
109.1 fps ∼55%
80.1 fps ∼40%
53.2 fps ∼27%
23.9 fps ∼23%
GeForce GTX 770M, 4700MQ
Schenker W503
126.8 fps ∼63%
94.2 fps ∼47%
62.2 fps ∼32%
26.5 fps ∼25%
GeForce GTX 680M, 3610QM
Schenker XMG P502
111.1 fps ∼56%
91 fps ∼46%
69.7 fps ∼35%
31.1 fps ∼30%
Radeon HD 7970M, 3610QM
Schenker XMG P502
73.8 fps ∼37%
61.9 fps ∼31%
53.3 fps ∼27%
35.3 fps ∼34%
Radeon HD 8970M, 4700MQ
Schenker W503
80.7 fps ∼40%
67.4 fps ∼34%
57.4 fps ∼29%
37.7 fps ∼36%
GeForce GTX 780M, 4700MQ
Schenker W503
131.1 fps ∼66%
109.2 fps ∼55%
88.7 fps ∼45%
40 fps ∼38%
GeForce GTX 660 Ti, 3770K
Desktop-PC
126 fps ∼63%
107.2 fps ∼54%
90.4 fps ∼46%
42 fps ∼40%
GeForce GTX 680, 2600K, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV-0Z000
Desktop GTX 680, Intel Core i7-2600K
108 (min: 80) fps ∼54%
90 (min: 67) fps ∼45%
86 (min: 60) fps ∼44%
50.6 (min: 41) fps ∼49%
Radeon R9 280X, 3770K
Desktop-PC
137.3 fps ∼69%
114.2 fps ∼57%
101.7 fps ∼52%
58.5 fps ∼56%

Verdict

Despites various inconsistencies, we are duly impressed with the Frostbite 3 engine. Technology gurus who expect state-of-the-art visuals won't be disappointed. In terms of gameplay, the single-player mode didn't have us on the edge of our seats. The usual army pathos, crude story, cliché characters and uninspired machine gun shootings fail to amaze us. But as a little snack between multi-player games, the campaign is plenty of fun.

Battlefield 4
Battlefield 4
Battlefield 4
Battlefield 4
Battlefield 4
Battlefield 4

Test Systems

Our four most important test devices are courtesy of Schenker Technologies (mysn.de):

  • W503 (Core i7-4700MQ, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GTX 765M, GTX 770M, GTX 780M, Radeon HD 8970M & HD Graphics 4600)
  • M503 (Core i7-4702MQ, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GT 750M & HD Graphics 4600)
  • XMG P502 (Core i7-3610QM, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GTX 660M, GTX 670MX, GTX 675MX, GTX 680M, Radeon HD 7970M & HD Graphics 4000)
  • Xesia M501 (Core i7-2630QM, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GT 630M & HD Graphics 3000)

A further thank you goes to Micron for providing the 480 GB Crucial M500, on which Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit is installed.

GPU drivers used: Nvidia 331.65, AMD 13.11 Beta 8, Intel 9.18.10.3257 and 9.17.10.3223

From left to right: Schenker Xesia M501, M503, XMG P502 & W503
From left to right: Schenker Xesia M501, M503, XMG P502 & W503

Overview

Show Restrictions
Pos      Model                                     Battlefield 4
 Battlefield 4 (2013)
low
1024x768
Low Preset
med.
1366x768
Medium Preset
high
1366x768
High Preset
ultra
1920x1080
Ultra Preset
4x MSAA
 2NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980
179.7
162.7
157.4
93.4
 3NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M SLI
199.6
199
196.6
104.3
 4NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti
171
147.9
136
89
 5NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M SLI
194.4
179.3
155.8
84.5
 7AMD Radeon R9 M290X Crossfire
152.4
132.2
120.6
77.2
 11AMD Radeon R9 290X
783
 12NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
184.62
171.22
155.13
72.63
 13AMD Radeon R9 280X
137.3
114.2
101.7
58.5
 14NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
199.252
181.352
134.652
552
 15NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M SLI
172.5
153
120.8
49.7
 16NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680
108
90
86
50.6
 21NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760
176.4
141.7
104.6
49.3
 22NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M
166.92
137.352
112.13
46.23
 23NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti
126
107.2
90.4
42
 25NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M
131.1
109.2
88.7
40
 26NVIDIA Quadro K5100M
169.65
122.64
89.51
36.5
 28AMD Radeon HD 7870
91.6
76.5
68
43
 29NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
153.7
126.6
95.1
39.1
 30NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M
1413
1193
90.94
36.64
Pos      Model                                     Battlefield 4
lowmed.highultra
 31AMD Radeon R9 M290X
93
81.6
73.9
38.7
 32AMD Radeon HD 8970M
80.7
67.4
57.4
37.7
 36NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680M
111.1
91
69.7
31.1
 37NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M SLI
181.1
136.9
101.9
40.3
 40AMD Radeon HD 7970M
73.8
61.9
53.3
35.3
 41NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti
162.3
116.3
81.8
33.3
 48NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770M
126.8
94.2
64.952
27.152
 49NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
136.154
1026
71.87
28.87
 52NVIDIA GeForce GT 755M SLI
95.1
71
31.9
 55NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675MX
109.1
80.1
53.2
23.9
 58NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M
104.86
81.17
56.49
20.49
 63NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M
125.582
97.262
70.312
28.152
 81NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670MX
98.4
68.8
44.9
18.6
 83NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760M
100.852
68.72
46.752
18.82
 89AMD Radeon HD 8870M
46.7
39.1
35.3
15.1
 100AMD Radeon R7 250
98.2
66.7
42.7
14.9
 101NVIDIA GeForce GT 755M
57.3
41.1
17.9
 103NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M
77.7
53.4
34.8
14.9
 105AMD Radeon HD 8850M
40.7
30.6
 106*AMD Radeon R9 M265X
63.3
42.7
16.5
Pos      Model                                     Battlefield 4
lowmed.highultra
 114NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M
65.073
45.43
30.13
123
 117NVIDIA GeForce 840M
64.12
43.82
29.052
11.2
 118AMD Radeon R7 M275DX
48.1
41.2
32.9
13
 120NVIDIA GeForce GT 745M
45.8
28.9
11.2
 123AMD Radeon R7 in A10-7850K APU (Kaveri)
62
45.8
30.4
11.1
 124Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200
62.9
45.5
28.5
9.7
 126NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M
49.75
33.95
21.95
8.13
 127NVIDIA GeForce 830M
54.3
36.8
25.6
9.5
 131NVIDIA GeForce GT 735M
48.4
33
23.2
 133NVIDIA GeForce 825M
51.2
34.7
24.7
 144AMD Radeon HD 8550G + HD 8750M Dual Graphics
50.3
39.1
26.1
 145NVIDIA GeForce GT 730M
52.5
34.6
24.2
9.1
 149AMD Radeon HD 8750M
49.152
35.452
25.22
8.1
 151AMD Radeon R7 M265
34.482
26.42
26.7
 155NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M
50.3
34.7
23.5
9.9
 156*AMD Radeon R7 (Kaveri)
23.3
20.5
 167AMD Radeon R7 M260
21.52
15.82
10.152
3.352
 176AMD Radeon HD 8670D
52.4
37
23.6
7.9
 198AMD Radeon HD 8570D
37
26.5
17.8
6.2
 200AMD Radeon HD 8650G + HD 8570M Dual Graphics
35.1
24.5
15.8
Pos      Model                                     Battlefield 4
lowmed.highultra
 203AMD Radeon HD 8670M
33.6
24.8
17.1
 204AMD Radeon R6 M255DX
34.2
21.9
16.5
 205AMD Radeon HD 7660D
41.9
30.1
19.6
7
 223AMD Radeon HD 8650G
27.72
19.952
17.1
5.6
 228NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
32.52
21.1
14.8
6.3
 229AMD Radeon HD 7560D
35.8
25
16.9
5.9
 233NVIDIA GeForce 820M
38.8
26.3
18.7
 235NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M
30.4
21.4
15.2
 237AMD Radeon R5 M240
26.8
22.4
17.7
 238Intel Iris Graphics 5100
36.1
26.1
15.3
5.7
 239AMD Radeon R5 M230
38.6
26.1
17.4
 250Intel HD Graphics 4600
36.6
24.8
15.3
5.5
 252*Intel HD Graphics 5500
20.8
15.2
10.3
3.7
 253AMD Radeon R5 (Kaveri)
16.5
12
9.2
 256NVIDIA GeForce 710M
40.1
26.5
16.5
 257AMD Radeon HD 7660G
32.152
23.42
14.92
5.352
 260Intel HD Graphics 5000
28.6
19.9
13.3
 276AMD Radeon HD 8550G
33.6
23.5
16.6
5.3
 286AMD Radeon HD 8470D
35.2
24.6
16.5
5.2
 290Intel HD Graphics 4400
225
155
9
Pos      Model                                     Battlefield 4
lowmed.highultra
 319Intel HD Graphics 5300
15.2
11.6
7.5
 327AMD Radeon HD 7480D
26.5
18.4
12.7
3.9
 328Intel HD Graphics 4000
32.2
19.7
12.2
4.7
 332AMD Radeon R5 (Beema)
21.3
15.5
10.4
 333AMD Radeon R4 (Beema)
18.6
12.7
8.8
3.3
 334Intel HD Graphics 4200
15.9
10.1
6.6
2.5
 342AMD Radeon HD 8450G
28
19.6
14.5
4.6
 346AMD Radeon HD 8400
20.9
 357AMD Radeon HD 8350G
25.8
18.2
13.1
 358AMD Radeon HD 8330
18.9
 361AMD Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema)
20.2
14.7
10.1
 386Intel HD Graphics (Haswell)
12.8
10
 406AMD Radeon HD 8280
15.9
11.7
 441AMD Radeon HD 8210
9.9
 483Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail)
7.3
* Smaller values are better. / * Approximate position

 

Legend
5Stutters – This game is very likely to stutter and have poor frame rates. Based on all known benchmarks using the specified graphical settings, average frame rates are expected to fall below 25fps
May Stutter – This graphics card has not been explicitly tested on this game. Based on interpolated information from surrounding graphics cards of similar performance levels, stutters and poor frame rates are expected.
30Fluent – Based on all known benchmarks using the specified graphical settings, this game should run at or above 25fps
40Fluent – Based on all known benchmarks using the specified graphical settings, this game should run at or above 35fps
May Run Fluently – This graphics card has not been explicitly tested on this game. Based on interpolated information from surrounding graphics cards of similar performance levels, fluent frame rates are expected.
123Uncertain – This graphics card experienced unexpected performance issues during testing for this game. A slower card may be able to achieve better and more consistent frame rates than this particular GPU running the same benchmark scene.
Uncertain – This graphics card has not been explicitly tested on this game and no reliable interpolation can be made based on the performances of surrounding cards of the same class or family.
The value in the fields displays the average frame rate of all values in the database. Move your cursor over the value to see individual results.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Battlefield 4 Benchmarked
Author: Florian Glaser, 2013-11-13 (Update: 2013-11-13)