Notebookcheck

Battlefield Hardline Benchmarked

Florian Glaser (translated by Vinay Pradhan), 03/24/2015

1, 2, Police. Hardline is a breath of fresh air for the Battlefield series: the single-player experience is radically different from that of the predecessors. Our focus will be on the hardware requirements of the new first-person shooter.

Battlefield Hardline Logo

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Game Engine

Unlike Battlefield 4Hardline was not developed by DICE. Visceral Games, the studio which delivered the Dead Space series, developed the majority of the new FPS. Although the series has changed developers, Hardline employs the same engine which made its predecessors a success: Frostbite 3.

In comparison to other ego shooters, the game is very detailed: characters, levels, etc. The effects are wonderful as well: whether it be water, particles, reflections or lighting. In fact, Hardline is a step ahead of the competition in almost every category. The only games which have a chance of standing their ground are Ryse: Son of Rome and Crysis 3.

Battlefield Hardline
Battlefield Hardline
Battlefield Hardline
Battlefield Hardline
Battlefield Hardline
Battlefield Hardline

Fans of the Frostbite 3 engine love its destroyable environment. Skirmishes will often result in broken windows and walls, which make firefights quite intense. This feature sets the Battlefield series apart from the rest of the commonplace games belonging to the action genre.

The Battlefield series has long been applauded for its jaw-dropping sounds and the latest installment carries on this proud tradition. The amazing sound system of Hardline promises to fully immerse the gamer in a way that few other competitors can. The cinematic cutscenes and explosive gameplay are brought to life by the realistic soundscape.  Sadly, the campaign of Hardline cannot match the standards set by the engine and sound system. At first, the story is quite interesting and the game has a lot of potential, but as we progress through the virtual world, we feel like the story becomes "worn out." All-in-all, the single-player campaign is neither a full-blown success nor a failure.

Battlefield Hardline
Battlefield Hardline
Battlefield Hardline
Battlefield Hardline
Battlefield Hardline
Battlefield Hardline

The graphics should satisfy most gamers. At first glance, the video options are almost identical to Battlefield 4. The left side offers controls for the resolution, the brightness, the field of view and special features, which are not to be found in most ego shooters (for example, a colorblind mode). The right side offers options to regulate around 10 graphics settings, which includes: Ambient Occlusion (SSAO, HBAO), Anti-aliasing (MSAA), textures, etc. Thanks to the 4 presets "Low," "Medium," "High" and "Ultra," the gamer can quickly find suitable game settings.

Battlefield Hardline
Battlefield Hardline
Battlefield Hardline
Battlefield Hardline
Battlefield Hardline
Battlefield Hardline

Annoying: according to the menu, most settings require a restart. This would not be quite so bad if the game would load faster on HDDs. Furthermore, the cutscenes are limited to 30 fps and cannot be skipped (harder to find suitable benchmark sequences).

The main flaw would be the lacking Fraps support. Here are the steps required to make the recording software work: open Notepad, type in "RenderDevice.PresentAsync 0" (without quotes) and save the file as "user.cfg" in the main directory of Hardline (file type: All Files, not .txt). After these tweaks, Fraps should run fine.

Battlefield Hardline
Battlefield Hardline
Battlefield Hardline
Battlefield Hardline
Battlefield Hardline
Battlefield Hardline

Benchmark

As previously mentioned, it was quite hard to find a suitable benchmark sequence which would be easy to run for our technical writers (when they check how well the game runs during their notebook reviews) and would deliver consistent results (multiplayer is not an option). In the end, we decided to use the start of the sixth campaign mission: "Out of Business." After a long cutscene, the player is sent to inspect a car dealership. Our benchmark runs a total of 30 seconds and leads up to the entrance of the building. To ensure consistent results, we followed the path of our companion (see video).

Results

Considering the great visuals of the game, the hardware requirements are quite reasonable. If you have an entry-level device, with a graphics card ranging from the HD Graphics 4600 up to GeForce GT 740M, then you can run the game at low details and a resolution of 1024x768 pixels. New all-rounder notebooks boasting graphics cards like the GeForce GT 750M and above will be able to run the game at the preset "Medium" and 1366x768 pixels.

For the FHD resolution of 1920x1,080 pixels and the "High" preset we recommend at least a GeForce GTX 850M/765M. It would be easier to run at these settings with a GTX 860M. Ultra details and 4x AA will require a high-end GPU such as the GeForce GTX 870M/GTX 780M or higher. The benchmark sequence runs at above 35 fps with these top-notch GPUs.

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

Hardline is not very demanding on the CPU - at least in the campaign. In multiplayer, the CPU is required more. Overall, we find Frostbite 3 to be very well optimized. Other engines (Assassin's Creed Unity?) are far more demanding.

Note: owners of AMD GPUs can enjoy the Mantle API. We only use DirectX 11 to record the performance with Fraps.

Discussion
Battlefield Hardline
    1920x1080 Ultra Graphics Quality (DX11) AA:4x MS     1920x1080 High Graphics Quality (DX11)     1366x768 Medium Graphics Quality (DX11)     1024x768 Low Graphics Quality (DX11)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980, 3770K
Desktop-PC
92.9 (min: 84) fps ∼53%
129.7 (min: 118) fps ∼66%
167.4 (min: 156) fps ∼85%
182.5 (min: 168) fps ∼92%
AMD Radeon R9 290X, 4790K
Sapphire Radeon R9 290X Tri-X OC
84 (min: 74) fps ∼48%
122 (min: 112) fps ∼62%
179 (min: 149) fps ∼90%
176 (min: 147) fps ∼89%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
67 (min: 60) fps ∼38%
103.9 (min: 96) fps ∼53%
161.1 (min: 148) fps ∼81%
175 (min: 159) fps ∼88%
AMD Radeon R9 280X, 3770K
Desktop-PC
62 (min: 55) fps ∼35%
94.4 (min: 84) fps ∼48%
126.9 (min: 107) fps ∼64%
149.5 (min: 119) fps ∼75%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
51.4 (min: 45) fps ∼29%
83.4 (min: 77) fps ∼43%
146.2 (min: 134) fps ∼74%
169.8 (min: 150) fps ∼86%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
45.9 (min: 41) fps ∼26%
73 (min: 67) fps ∼37%
144.1 (min: 134) fps ∼73%
173 (min: 154) fps ∼87%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M, 4700MQ
Schenker W503
41.9 (min: 38) fps ∼24%
65.8 (min: 60) fps ∼34%
130.2 (min: 122) fps ∼66%
168.3 (min: 157) fps ∼85%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
36.4 (min: 33) fps ∼21%
59.3 (min: 54) fps ∼30%
124.7 (min: 117) fps ∼63%
163.2 (min: 150) fps ∼82%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770M, 4700MQ
Schenker W503
27.2 (min: 24) fps ∼15%
43.4 (min: 39) fps ∼22%
90.3 (min: 84) fps ∼46%
123.2 (min: 114) fps ∼62%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
26.5 (min: 23) fps ∼15%
44.5 (min: 40) fps ∼23%
96 (min: 88) fps ∼49%
133.1 (min: 125) fps ∼67%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M, 4340M
Schenker M504
20.8 (min: 15) fps ∼12%
34.8 (min: 31) fps ∼18%
82.9 (min: 75) fps ∼42%
114.7 (min: 106) fps ∼58%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M, 4700MQ
Schenker W503
20.7 (min: 18) fps ∼12%
34.2 (min: 31) fps ∼18%
72.4 (min: 68) fps ∼37%
100.6 (min: 92) fps ∼51%
NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M, 4702MQ
Schenker M503
11.9 (min: 10) fps ∼7%
19.6 (min: 17) fps ∼10%
42.3 (min: 38) fps ∼21%
60.6 (min: 55) fps ∼31%
Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200, 4750HQ
Schenker Technologies S413
8.6 (min: 6) fps ∼5%
17 (min: 13) fps ∼9%
38.7 (min: 29) fps ∼20%
54 (min: 39) fps ∼27%
NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M, 2637M
Acer Aspire M3-581TG
8.3 (min: 3) fps ∼5%
15.1 (min: 12) fps ∼8%
32.7 (min: 29) fps ∼17%
45 (min: 35) fps ∼23%
NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M, 4200M
HP Envy 15-j011sg
7.9 (min: 6) fps ∼4%
14.1 (min: 11) fps ∼7%
32.2 (min: 29) fps ∼16%
45 (min: 41) fps ∼23%
NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M, 4200M
MSI CX61-i572M
9.7 fps ∼5%
22 fps ∼11%
31.3 fps ∼16%
AMD Radeon HD 8650G, A10-5750M
Pumori Test Platform (A10-5750M)
5.1 (min: 3) fps ∼3%
9 (min: 7) fps ∼5%
21.1 (min: 18) fps ∼11%
30 (min: 25) fps ∼15%
NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M, 3720QM
Asus N56VM
5.5 (min: 4) fps ∼3%
8.9 (min: 7) fps ∼5%
18.5 (min: 15) fps ∼9%
29 (min: 23) fps ∼15%
Intel HD Graphics 4600, 4700MQ
Schenker W503
5.3 (min: 3) fps ∼3%
9.2 (min: 7) fps ∼5%
22.1 (min: 18) fps ∼11%
32.1 (min: 27) fps ∼16%
Intel Iris Graphics 5100, 4258U
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2013-10
5.9 (min: 4) fps ∼3%
9.2 (min: 7) fps ∼5%
23.6 (min: 20) fps ∼12%
31.9 (min: 28) fps ∼16%

Test Systems

Four of our test systems are from Schenker Technologies (mysn.de):

  • W504 (Core i7-4700MQ, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GTX 860M, GTX 870M, GTX 880M, GTX 970M, GTX 980M, Radeon R9 M290X)
  • W503 (Core i7-4700MQ, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GTX 765M, GTX 770M, GTX 780M)
  • M504 (Core i5-4340M, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GTX 850M)
  • M503 (Core i7-4702MQ, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GT 750M)

These notebooks run Windows 7 (64-bit).

Three test systems were provided by Nvidia:

Intel adds one more:

  • Schenker S413 (Core i7-4750HQ, 8 GB DDR3, Iris Pro Graphics 5200)

The desktop PCs use CPUs/APUs from Intel and AMD, SSDs from Micron, Intel and Samsung, motherboards from Intel and Asus and graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD.

GPU drivers: Nvidia 347.88, AMD 14.12, Intel 15.36.18.64.4156

Overview

Show Restrictions
Pos      Model                                     Battlefield Hardline
 Battlefield Hardline (2015)
low
1024x768
Low Graphics Quality (DX11)
med.
1366x768
Medium Graphics Quality (DX11)
high
1920x1080
High Graphics Quality (DX11)
ultra
1920x1080
Ultra Graphics Quality (DX11)
4x MSAA
 6NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop)
198.4
197.9
195.4
176.1
 8NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
79
46.2
 10NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti
116
 13AMD Radeon R9 Nano
105
 14NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980
182.5
167.4
129.7
92.9
 15NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
174.252
171.152
153.22
98.952
 18AMD Radeon R9 390X
169.5
162.8
128.2
92.2
 19NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M SLI
163.1
155
122.82
99.52
 22AMD Radeon RX 480
115
86
 25NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970
176
171.1
129.1
78.4
 31AMD Radeon R9 290X
176
179
122
84
 33NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M SLI
105.2
71.9
 38NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
170.72
161.52
101.44
68.84
 40AMD Radeon R9 280X
149.5
126.9
94.4
62
 41AMD Radeon R9 380
183.4
181.9
92.6
61.4
 42NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960
163.1
157.2
95.8
58.3
 45NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
169.83
1433
83.55
53.45
 48NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680
173
152
85
54
 54AMD Radeon R9 M295X
110.3
94.3
58.4
38.9
Pos      Model                                     Battlefield Hardline
lowmed.highultra
 58NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook)
91.8
89.7
79.8
52.6
 61AMD Radeon R7 370
104.87
104.16
68.2
42.54
 63NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M
173
144.1
73
45.9
 64NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950
92
91.2
77
47.3
 68NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M
168.3
130.2
65.8
41.9
 69NVIDIA Quadro K5100M
184.5
145.5
58.9
37.7
 74NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
1303
1193
61.93
39.13
 75NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M
163.2
124.7
59.3
36.4
 87*AMD Radeon R9 M390
161
138
56
36.8
 92NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
144.39
108.6510
50.611
31.910
 98NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770M
123.2
90.3
43.4
27.2
 99NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
133.1
96
44.5
26.5
 108NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M
109.63
111.73
36.554
22.93
 110AMD Radeon R9 M385X
60.5
39.7
25.8
 111NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M
116.652
84.352
35.852
212
 113AMD Radeon R9 M280X
41.3
36.5
30.8
19.8
 118NVIDIA GeForce 945M
117.8
89.8
32.3
20.4
 119NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M
100.6
72.4
34.2
20.7
 141NVIDIA Quadro K3100M
115.9
83.4
33.6
21.9
 143AMD Radeon R9 M370X
103.2
67.3
27.6
18.5
Pos      Model                                     Battlefield Hardline
lowmed.highultra
 168NVIDIA GeForce 845M
50.7
32.2
14
9.3
 180NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M
60.6
42.3
19.6
11.9
 182NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
64.6
56.5
 183NVIDIA Quadro K1100M
63.6
43.9
17.3
11
 184NVIDIA GeForce 940M
59.35
46.36
17.756
10.554
 187AMD Radeon R9 M375
59.3
43.5
17.7
 190AMD Radeon R7 M370
72.4
52.5
19.4
12.8
 194NVIDIA GeForce 840M
71.7
50.2
18
10.7
 199*AMD Radeon R7 (Bristol Ridge)
37.7
32.1
12.9
 201Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200
50.92
36.42
162
8.62
 202AMD Radeon R7 384 Cores (Kaveri Desktop)
54
37.1
15
9.5
 203NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M
45
32.2
14.1
7.9
 204NVIDIA GeForce 930M
58.752
432
16.92
 207NVIDIA GeForce 830M
58.552
41.32
15.92
9.452
 208*NVIDIA GeForce 920MX
65.1
44.6
15.6
 210Intel Iris Graphics 540
59
50
19.5
10.4
 226AMD Radeon R7 M260X
48.5
34.2
12.1
7.8
 235AMD Radeon R7 M270
47.352
34.252
14.652
9.32
 236AMD Radeon R7 M265
53.3
42
17.3
10.8
 240NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M
45
32.7
15.1
8.3
Pos      Model                                     Battlefield Hardline
lowmed.highultra
 241AMD Radeon R7 (Kaveri)
31.9
20.6
10.3
7
 242AMD Radeon R8 M365DX
26.6
19.9
11.6
8.8
 246AMD Radeon R7 M360
33.6
29.9
12.5
7.4
 248*AMD Radeon R7 (Carrizo)
37.152
26.72
8.452
6
 251AMD Radeon R8 M445DX
37.7
29.3
14
8.3
 258AMD Radeon R7 M340
39.6
31.7
13
7.9
 259NVIDIA GeForce 920M
42.23
303
12.73
7.33
 260AMD Radeon R6 M340DX
47.6
33
10.1
6.4
 263Intel HD Graphics 530
46.652
32.12
12.852
7.1
 266AMD Radeon R7 M260
49.3
34.7
11.6
 267AMD Radeon R5 (Bristol Ridge)
22.8
12.8
 269*Intel HD Graphics 620
43.4
31.1
11.6
 270AMD Radeon R6 (Carrizo)
34.5
22.4
8.2
5.5
 301Intel HD Graphics 5600
37.8
26.8
10.8
6
 327AMD Radeon HD 8650G
30
21.1
9
5.1
 332NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
29
18.5
8.9
5.5
 335AMD Radeon R5 M335
47.6
33.2
10.2
6.3
 336*AMD Radeon R5 M430
45.8
31.4
 337AMD Radeon R5 M330
37.5
26.4
9
 338AMD Radeon R5 M255
51.2
45.6
13.3
8.1
Pos      Model                                     Battlefield Hardline
lowmed.highultra
 340NVIDIA GeForce 910M
7.9
7.6
6.1
5.9
 342Intel HD Graphics 520
425
27.95
10.15
5.43
 343Intel Iris Graphics 6100
42.52
26.52
9.42
5.5
 344NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M
31.3
22
9.7
 346AMD Radeon R5 M240
45.1
32.8
 355Intel HD Graphics 6000
35.3
26.9
9.1
 358Intel Iris Graphics 5100
31.9
23.6
9.2
5.9
 363Intel HD Graphics 4600
30.952
21.72
9.552
5.3
 365Intel HD Graphics 5500
24.84
19.73
8.13
3.92
 367*Intel HD Graphics 615
19.7
15.5
 376Intel HD Graphics 5000
20.8
15.1
7
4.3
 408Intel HD Graphics 515
242
19.32
7.552
4.1
 409Intel HD Graphics 4400
29.3
20.7
 410*Intel HD Graphics 510
31.5
22.2
 439Intel HD Graphics 5300
15.3
11
5
3.1
 440*Intel HD Graphics 505
7.3
6.9
 449Intel HD Graphics 4000
21.2
 454*Intel HD Graphics (Broadwell)
23.9
16.4
 457AMD Radeon R5 (Beema/Carrizo-L)
24.3
17.3
 458AMD Radeon R4 (Beema)
21.6
14.6
Pos      Model                                     Battlefield Hardline
lowmed.highultra
 485AMD Radeon HD 8350G
18.7
11.8
 486AMD Radeon HD 8330
15.3
9.1
 507Intel HD Graphics (Braswell)
13.2
8.7
 517Intel HD Graphics (Haswell)
15.9
11.2
 553*AMD Radeon R2 (Mullins/Beema/Carrizo-L)
22.4
15.6
 618Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail)