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.

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

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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
    1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:4x MS     1366x768 High Preset     1366x768 Medium Preset     1024x768 Low Preset
HD Graphics 4000, 3610QM
Schenker XMG P502
4.7 fps ∼2%
12.2 fps ∼6%
19.7 fps ∼10%
32.2 fps ∼16%
Radeon HD 7660G, A10-4600M, Samsung SSD 830 Series MZ-7PC0128D/EU
AMD Pumori Platform A10-4600M
5.2 (min: 4) fps ∼3%
13.4 (min: 6) fps ∼7%
20.9 (min: 12) fps ∼10%
27.9 (min: 11) fps ∼14%
HD Graphics 4600, 4702MQ
Schenker M503
5.5 fps ∼3%
15.3 fps ∼8%
24.8 fps ∼12%
36.6 fps ∼18%
GeForce GT 640M, 2637M, Lite-On LMT-256M3M
Acer Aspire M3-581TG
9.9 (min: 8) fps ∼5%
23.5 (min: 21) fps ∼12%
34.7 (min: 27) fps ∼17%
50.3 (min: 38) fps ∼25%
Iris Pro Graphics 5200, 4750HQ, Intel SSD 525 Series SSDMCEAC180B3
Schenker S413
9.7 (min: 6) fps ∼5%
28.5 (min: 24) fps ∼14%
45.5 (min: 37) fps ∼23%
62.9 (min: 49) fps ∼31%
GeForce GT 750M, 4702MQ
Schenker M503
11.2 fps ∼6%
28.7 fps ∼14%
45.4 fps ∼23%
66.8 fps ∼33%
GeForce GTX 660M, 3610QM
Schenker XMG P502
14.9 fps ∼7%
34.8 fps ∼17%
53.4 fps ∼27%
77.7 fps ∼39%
Radeon R7 250, 3770K
Desktop-PC
14.9 fps ∼7%
42.7 fps ∼21%
66.7 fps ∼33%
98.2 fps ∼49%
GeForce GTX 670MX, 3610QM
Schenker XMG P502
18.6 fps ∼9%
44.9 fps ∼22%
68.8 fps ∼34%
98.4 fps ∼49%
GeForce GTX 765M, 4700MQ
Schenker W503
19.7 fps ∼10%
49.4 fps ∼25%
75.4 fps ∼38%
109.9 fps ∼55%
GeForce GTX 675MX, 3610QM
Schenker XMG P502
23.9 fps ∼12%
53.2 fps ∼27%
80.1 fps ∼40%
109.1 fps ∼55%
GeForce GTX 770M, 4700MQ
Schenker W503
26.5 fps ∼13%
62.2 fps ∼31%
94.2 fps ∼47%
126.8 fps ∼63%
GeForce GTX 680M, 3610QM
Schenker XMG P502
31.1 fps ∼16%
69.7 fps ∼35%
91 fps ∼46%
111.1 fps ∼56%
Radeon HD 7970M, 3610QM
Schenker XMG P502
35.3 fps ∼18%
53.3 fps ∼27%
61.9 fps ∼31%
73.8 fps ∼37%
Radeon HD 8970M, 4700MQ
Schenker W503
37.7 fps ∼19%
57.4 fps ∼29%
67.4 fps ∼34%
80.7 fps ∼40%
GeForce GTX 780M, 4700MQ
Schenker W503
40 fps ∼20%
88.7 fps ∼44%
109.2 fps ∼55%
131.1 fps ∼66%
GeForce GTX 660 Ti, 3770K
Desktop-PC
42 fps ∼21%
90.4 fps ∼45%
107.2 fps ∼54%
126 fps ∼63%
GeForce GTX 680, 2600K, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV-0Z000
Desktop GTX 680, Intel Core i7-2600K
50.6 (min: 41) fps ∼25%
86 (min: 60) fps ∼43%
90 (min: 67) fps ∼45%
108 (min: 80) fps ∼54%
Radeon R9 280X, 3770K
Desktop-PC
58.5 fps ∼29%
101.7 fps ∼51%
114.2 fps ∼57%
137.3 fps ∼69%

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
4k
3840x2160
High Preset
 1NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti (Desktop)
200
117
 2NVIDIA Titan X Pascal
199.5
199.5
199.6
198.7
126.2
 6NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop)
200
200
200
176
90
 7NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
172
90.2
 11NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Desktop)
1502
72.42
 13NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
199.35
197.75
192.27
138.68
69.14
 15NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti
136
70
 19AMD Radeon R9 Fury
101
56
 20AMD Radeon R9 Nano
100
53.6
 21NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980
179.7
162.7
157.4
93.4
51
 22AMD Radeon RX 580 (Desktop)
197
187.7
183
87.6
47
 23NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
2002
2002
199.952
992
52.72
 25AMD Radeon R9 390X
198.3
189.3
172.4
89.7
49.9
 29AMD Radeon RX 480 (Desktop)
82
41.9
 30NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
185.76
171.156
154.96
99.17
47.62
 33NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti
171
147.9
136
89
 37NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970
199.8
199.7
195
88.62
45.32
 42AMD Radeon RX 470 (Desktop)
77
38.3
 47AMD Radeon R9 290X
783
46.6
Pos      Model                                     Battlefield 4
lowmed.highultra4k
 54NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
196.23
193.73
156.254
71.74
36.052
 57AMD Radeon R9 280X
137.3
114.2
101.7
58.5
 58AMD Radeon R9 380
194.3
176.1
148.9
59.5
25.3
 59NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960
198.8
193.2
147.5
58
 60NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook)
179.42
175.652
145.852
71.152
 62NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Desktop)
66
30.2
 63NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
198.83
178.13
134.154
56.654
27.1
 66NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680
153.62
138.852
114.752
57.452
32.4
 71AMD Radeon R9 M295X
105.2
93.4
89.2
39.9
21.7
 74NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Desktop)
54
24
 75NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook)
160.44
139.354
120.554
51.754
 79AMD Radeon R7 370
185.64
166.33
131.09
52.89
 81NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M
166.92
137.352
112.13
46.23
 82NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950
199.7
176.7
123.4
48
23.4
 85NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti
126
107.2
90.4
42
 86NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760
176.4
141.7
104.6
49.3
 87NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M
131.1
109.2
88.7
40
 90AMD Radeon RX 460 (Desktop)
38.6
19.2
 92AMD Radeon HD 7870
91.6
76.5
68
43
 93NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
1563
1353
1043
43.13
21.52
Pos      Model                                     Battlefield 4
lowmed.highultra4k
 95NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M
1413
1193
90.94
36.64
 96AMD Radeon R9 M290X
93
81.6
73.9
38.7
 97AMD Radeon HD 8970M
1242
104.12
83.32
43.252
 103NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680M
111.1
91
69.7
31.1
 105AMD Radeon R9 M390
168
121
91
37.6
19.5
 107AMD Radeon HD 7970M
73.8
61.9
53.3
35.3
 111NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
1446
110.156
80.87
33.47
16.22
 112NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti
162.3
116.3
81.8
33.3
 120NVIDIA GeForce GT 1030 (Desktop)
166.22
109.652
772
31.952
 121NVIDIA GeForce MX150 (Laptop GT 1030)
116.052
77.552
44.82
23.252
 126NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770M
126.8
94.2
64.952
27.152
 128NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
136.154
1026
72.758
28.858
 134NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675MX
109.1
80.1
53.2
23.9
 136NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M
110.87
78.67
57.527
23.57
10.9
 139AMD Radeon R9 M385X
66.8
56.1
52.5
26.2
 140NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M
104.86
81.17
56.49
20.49
 143AMD Radeon R9 M280X
42.2
33
28.6
21.3
 149NVIDIA GeForce 945M
111.9
78.3
54.4
21.6
 150NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M
125.582
97.262
70.312
28.152
 175AMD Radeon R9 M370X
97.1
59
41.5
16.6
Pos      Model                                     Battlefield 4
lowmed.highultra4k
 176NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670MX
98.4
68.8
44.9
18.6
 178NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760M
100.852
68.72
46.752
18.82
 186AMD Radeon HD 8870M
46.7
39.1
35.3
15.1
 197AMD Radeon R7 250
98.2
66.7
42.7
14.9
 198NVIDIA GeForce GT 755M
57.3
41.1
17.9
 199NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M
77.7
53.4
34.8
14.9
 200NVIDIA GeForce 845M
56.4
37
27.1
10.9
 201AMD Radeon HD 8850M
40.7
30.6
 203AMD Radeon R9 M265X
98
63.82
42.42
16.252
 213NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M
65.073
45.43
30.13
123
 217NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
67.410
44.311
31.211
12.110
 220NVIDIA GeForce 940M
61.084
40.354
28.154
11.892
 221NVIDIA GeForce 930MX
66.6
46.4
30.9
11.9
 224AMD Radeon R9 M375
43.8
30.6
11.9
 225AMD Radeon R7 M445
74.3
49.6
32.7
11.7
 227AMD Radeon R7 M370
68
46.7
33.2
12.8
 231NVIDIA GeForce 840M
64.12
43.82
29.052
11.2
 233NVIDIA GeForce GT 745M
45.8
28.9
11.2
 236*AMD Radeon R7 (Bristol Ridge)
30.754
21.754
14.454
5.63
 237AMD Radeon R7 512 Cores (Kaveri Desktop)
62
45.8
30.4
11.1
Pos      Model                                     Battlefield 4
lowmed.highultra4k
 238Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200
62.9
45.5
28.5
9.7
3.9
 240NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M
49.75
33.95
21.95
8.13
 242NVIDIA GeForce 930M
57.652
39.452
26.62
 243*Intel Iris Graphics 550
59.852
38.452
27.82
8.92
 245NVIDIA GeForce 830M
54.3
36.8
25.6
9.5
 247Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640
51.72
35.852
26.952
9.052
 248NVIDIA GeForce 920MX
54.5
37.8
26
11
 249Intel Iris Graphics 540
47.42
31.752
21.352
10.4
 255NVIDIA GeForce GT 735M
48.4
33
23.2
 257NVIDIA GeForce 825M
51.2
34.7
24.7
 266AMD Radeon R7 M260X
48.5
32.6
22.6
8.2
 269NVIDIA GeForce GT 730M
52.5
34.6
24.2
9.1
 273AMD Radeon HD 8750M
49.152
35.452
25.22
8.1
 276AMD Radeon R7 M265
34.482
26.42
26.7
 280NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M
50.3
34.7
23.5
9.9
 281AMD Radeon R7 (Carrizo)
31.62
24.32
16.252
5.62
 282AMD Radeon R7 (Kaveri)
19.92
172
6.2
4.9
 284*AMD Radeon R7 M460
59.4
38
23.9
7.8
 287AMD Radeon R7 M360
45.73
34.53
21.93
7.13
 289NVIDIA GeForce 920M
51.4
35.1
24.5
9.6
Pos      Model                                     Battlefield 4
lowmed.highultra4k
 293AMD Radeon R7 M440
51.42
37.22
23.52
7.852
 299AMD Radeon R7 M260
21.52
15.82
10.152
3.352
 307Intel HD Graphics 530
42.73
29.93
20.43
6.23
 310AMD Radeon R5 (Bristol Ridge)
35.8
24.3
18.2
7
 312Intel HD Graphics 620
34.9528
26.528
17.928
6.223
 313AMD Radeon R6 (Carrizo)
25.352
17.152
11.22
5.4
 321AMD Radeon HD 8670D
52.4
37
23.6
7.9
 344Intel HD Graphics 5600
46.9
30.9
18.6
6
 345AMD Radeon HD 8570D
37
26.5
17.8
6.2
 350AMD Radeon HD 8670M
33.6
24.8
17.1
 352AMD Radeon HD 7660D
41.9
30.1
19.6
7
 370AMD Radeon HD 8650G
27.72
19.952
17.1
5.6
 375NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
32.52
21.1
14.8
6.3
 376AMD Radeon HD 7560D
35.8
25
16.9
5.9
 379AMD Radeon R5 M330
40.53
29.13
193
6.42
 380AMD Radeon R5 M430
42.9
29.9
19.1
 381AMD Radeon R5 M255
51.3
36.2
24.7
7.8
 383NVIDIA GeForce 910M
33.7
24.6
18.6
7.3
 384NVIDIA GeForce 820M
38.8
26.3
18.7
 386Intel HD Graphics 520
33.429
24.829
15.9528
517
Pos      Model                                     Battlefield 4
lowmed.highultra4k
 387Intel Iris Graphics 6100
35.1
26.8
17.2
6.4
 388NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M
30.4
21.4
15.2
 391AMD Radeon R5 M240
26.8
22.4
17.7
 392*AMD Radeon R5 M320
28.5
21.7
 393AMD Radeon R5 M230
38.6
26.1
17.4
 400Intel HD Graphics 6000
32
22.2
15.6
5.6
 403Intel Iris Graphics 5100
36.1
26.1
15.3
5.7
 408Intel HD Graphics 4600
36.6
24.8
15.3
5.5
 410Intel HD Graphics 5500
24.23
15.23
10.33
42
 415*Intel HD Graphics 615
30.34
19.054
17.954
 417AMD Radeon R5 (Kaveri)
16.5
12
9.2
 420NVIDIA GeForce 710M
40.1
26.5
16.5
 421AMD Radeon HD 7660G
32.152
23.42
14.92
5.352
 424Intel HD Graphics 5000
28.6
19.9
13.3
 440AMD Radeon HD 8550G
33.6
23.5
16.6
5.3
 449AMD Radeon HD 8470D
35.2
24.6
16.5
5.2
 456Intel HD Graphics 515
24.718
16.948
11.428
4.35
 457Intel HD Graphics 4400
225
155
9
 459*Intel HD Graphics 510
33.4
22.5
15.9
 488Intel HD Graphics 5300
15.2
11.6
7.5
Pos      Model                                     Battlefield 4
lowmed.highultra4k
 490*Intel HD Graphics 505
192
14.352
8.92
 498AMD Radeon HD 7480D
26.5
18.4
12.7
3.9
 499Intel HD Graphics 4000
32.2
19.7
12.2
4.7
 507AMD Radeon R5 (Beema/Carrizo-L)
21.92
15.852
10.52
 508AMD Radeon R4 (Beema)
18.6
12.7
8.8
3.3
 509AMD Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema)
20.2
14.7
10.1
 511Intel HD Graphics 4200
15.9
10.1
6.6
2.5
 520AMD Radeon HD 8450G
28
19.6
14.5
4.6
 524AMD Radeon HD 8400
20.9
 536AMD Radeon HD 8350G
25.8
18.2
13.1
 537AMD Radeon HD 8330
18.9
 559Intel HD Graphics 405 (Braswell)
16.5
12.5
8.3
 561Intel HD Graphics 400 (Braswell)
16.2
12.3
7.9
 570Intel HD Graphics (Haswell)
20.32
14.12
11.8
3.9
 591Intel HD Graphics (Cherry Trail)
13.3
 593AMD Radeon HD 8280
15.9
11.7
 627AMD Radeon HD 8210
9.9
 671Intel 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
Florian Glaser, 2013-11-13 (Update: 2013-11-13)