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.

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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
    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 ∼22%
66.8 fps ∼33%
GeForce GTX 660M, 3610QM
Schenker XMG P502
14.9 fps ∼7%
34.8 fps ∼17%
53.4 fps ∼26%
77.7 fps ∼38%
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 ∼24%
75.4 fps ∼37%
109.9 fps ∼54%
GeForce GTX 675MX, 3610QM
Schenker XMG P502
23.9 fps ∼12%
53.2 fps ∼26%
80.1 fps ∼40%
109.1 fps ∼54%
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 ∼15%
69.7 fps ∼35%
91 fps ∼45%
111.1 fps ∼55%
Radeon HD 7970M, 3610QM
Schenker XMG P502
35.3 fps ∼18%
53.3 fps ∼26%
61.9 fps ∼31%
73.8 fps ∼37%
Radeon HD 8970M, 4700MQ
Schenker W503
37.7 fps ∼19%
57.4 fps ∼28%
67.4 fps ∼33%
80.7 fps ∼40%
GeForce GTX 780M, 4700MQ
Schenker W503
40 fps ∼20%
88.7 fps ∼44%
109.2 fps ∼54%
131.1 fps ∼65%
GeForce GTX 660 Ti, 3770K
Desktop-PC
42 fps ∼21%
90.4 fps ∼45%
107.2 fps ∼53%
126 fps ∼62%
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 ∼53%
Radeon R9 280X, 3770K
Desktop-PC
58.5 fps ∼29%
101.7 fps ∼50%
114.2 fps ∼57%
137.3 fps ∼68%

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

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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
 7*AMD Radeon RX Vega 64
199.954
2004
2005
139.55
76.45
 8NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
172
90.2
 13NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Desktop)
1502
72.42
 15NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
199.35
197.75
192.27
138.68
69.14
 18NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti
136
70
 22AMD Radeon R9 Fury
101
56
 23AMD Radeon R9 Nano
100
53.6
 24NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980
179.7
162.7
157.4
93.4
51
 25AMD Radeon RX 580 (Desktop)
197
187.7
183
87.6
47
 26NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
2002
2002
199.952
992
52.72
 28AMD Radeon R9 390X
198.3
189.3
172.4
89.7
49.9
 32AMD Radeon RX 480 (Desktop)
82
41.9
 33NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
185.76
171.156
154.96
99.17
47.62
 37NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti
171
147.9
136
89
 41NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970
199.8
199.7
195
88.62
45.32
 46AMD Radeon RX 470 (Desktop)
77
38.3
Pos      Model                                     Battlefield 4
lowmed.highultra4k
 51AMD Radeon R9 290X
783
46.6
 58NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
196.23
193.73
156.254
71.74
36.052
 61AMD Radeon R9 280X
137.3
114.2
101.7
58.5
 62AMD Radeon R9 380
194.3
176.1
148.9
59.5
25.3
 63NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960
198.8
193.2
147.5
58
 64NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook)
179.42
175.652
145.852
71.152
 66NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Desktop)
66
30.2
 67NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
198.83
178.13
134.154
56.654
27.1
 70NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680
153.62
138.852
114.752
57.452
32.4
 75AMD Radeon R9 M295X
105.2
93.4
89.2
39.9
21.7
 78NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Desktop)
54
24
 79NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook)
167.15
1355
116.85
51.55
19.5
 83AMD Radeon R7 370
185.64
166.33
131.09
52.89
 85NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M
166.92
137.352
112.13
46.23
 86NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950
199.7
176.7
123.4
48
23.4
 90NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti
126
107.2
90.4
42
 91NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760
176.4
141.7
104.6
49.3
 92NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M
131.1
109.2
88.7
40
 95AMD Radeon RX 460 (Desktop)
38.6
19.2
 97AMD Radeon HD 7870
91.6
76.5
68
43
Pos      Model                                     Battlefield 4
lowmed.highultra4k
 98NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
1563
1353
1043
43.13
21.52
 100NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M
1413
1193
90.94
36.64
 101AMD Radeon R9 M290X
93
81.6
73.9
38.7
 102AMD Radeon HD 8970M
1242
104.12
83.32
43.252
 108NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680M
111.1
91
69.7
31.1
 110AMD Radeon R9 M390
168
121
91
37.6
19.5
 112AMD Radeon HD 7970M
73.8
61.9
53.3
35.3
 116NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
1446
110.156
80.87
33.47
16.22
 117NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti
162.3
116.3
81.8
33.3
 125NVIDIA GeForce GT 1030 (Desktop)
166.22
109.652
772
31.952
 126NVIDIA GeForce MX150
116.052
77.552
44.82
23.252
 132NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770M
126.8
94.2
64.952
27.152
 135NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
136.154
1026
72.758
28.858
 141NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675MX
109.1
80.1
53.2
23.9
 143NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M
110.87
78.67
57.527
23.57
10.9
 146AMD Radeon R9 M385X
66.8
56.1
52.5
26.2
 147NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M
104.86
81.17
56.49
20.49
 150AMD Radeon R9 M280X
42.2
33
28.6
21.3
 156NVIDIA GeForce 945M
111.9
78.3
54.4
21.6
 157NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M
125.582
97.262
70.312
28.152
Pos      Model                                     Battlefield 4
lowmed.highultra4k
 182AMD Radeon R9 M370X
97.1
59
41.5
16.6
 183NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670MX
98.4
68.8
44.9
18.6
 185NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760M
100.852
68.72
46.752
18.82
 193AMD Radeon HD 8870M
46.7
39.1
35.3
15.1
 204AMD Radeon R7 250
98.2
66.7
42.7
14.9
 205NVIDIA GeForce GT 755M
57.3
41.1
17.9
 206NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M
77.7
53.4
34.8
14.9
 207NVIDIA GeForce 845M
56.4
37
27.1
10.9
 208AMD Radeon HD 8850M
40.7
30.6
 210AMD Radeon R9 M265X
98
63.82
42.42
16.252
 220NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M
65.073
45.43
30.13
123
 224NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
67.410
44.311
31.211
12.110
 227NVIDIA GeForce 940M
61.084
40.354
28.154
11.892
 228NVIDIA GeForce 930MX
66.6
46.4
30.9
11.9
 231AMD Radeon R9 M375
43.8
30.6
11.9
 232AMD Radeon R7 M445
74.3
49.6
32.7
11.7
 234AMD Radeon R7 M370
68
46.7
33.2
12.8
 238NVIDIA GeForce 840M
64.12
43.82
29.052
11.2
 240NVIDIA GeForce GT 745M
45.8
28.9
11.2
 243*AMD Radeon R7 (Bristol Ridge)
30.754
21.754
14.454
5.63
Pos      Model                                     Battlefield 4
lowmed.highultra4k
 244AMD Radeon R7 512 Cores (Kaveri Desktop)
62
45.8
30.4
11.1
 245Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200
62.9
45.5
28.5
9.7
3.9
 247NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M
49.75
33.95
21.95
8.13
 249NVIDIA GeForce 930M
57.652
39.452
26.62
 250*Intel Iris Graphics 550
59.852
38.452
27.82
8.92
 252NVIDIA GeForce 830M
54.3
36.8
25.6
9.5
 254Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640
51.72
35.852
26.952
9.052
 255NVIDIA GeForce 920MX
54.5
37.8
26
11
 256Intel Iris Graphics 540
47.42
31.752
21.352
10.4
 262NVIDIA GeForce GT 735M
48.4
33
23.2
 264NVIDIA GeForce 825M
51.2
34.7
24.7
 273AMD Radeon R7 M260X
48.5
32.6
22.6
8.2
 276NVIDIA GeForce GT 730M
52.5
34.6
24.2
9.1
 280AMD Radeon HD 8750M
49.152
35.452
25.22
8.1
 283AMD Radeon R7 M265
34.482
26.42
26.7
 287NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M
50.3
34.7
23.5
9.9
 288AMD Radeon R7 (Carrizo)
31.62
24.32
16.252
5.62
 289AMD Radeon R7 (Kaveri)
19.92
172
6.2
4.9
 291*AMD Radeon R7 M460
59.4
38
23.9
7.8
 294AMD Radeon R7 M360
45.73
34.53
21.93
7.13
Pos      Model                                     Battlefield 4
lowmed.highultra4k
 296NVIDIA GeForce 920M
51.4
35.1
24.5
9.6
 300AMD Radeon R7 M440
51.42
37.22
23.52
7.852
 306AMD Radeon R7 M260
21.52
15.82
10.152
3.352
 314Intel HD Graphics 530
42.73
29.93
20.43
6.23
 317AMD Radeon R5 (Bristol Ridge)
35.8
24.3
18.2
7
 318Intel UHD Graphics 620
42.42
33.82
21.452
5.7
 319Intel HD Graphics 620
34.9528
26.528
17.928
6.223
 320AMD Radeon R6 (Carrizo)
25.352
17.152
11.22
5.4
 328AMD Radeon HD 8670D
52.4
37
23.6
7.9
 351Intel HD Graphics 5600
46.9
30.9
18.6
6
 352AMD Radeon HD 8570D
37
26.5
17.8
6.2
 357AMD Radeon HD 8670M
33.6
24.8
17.1
 359AMD Radeon HD 7660D
41.9
30.1
19.6
7
 377AMD Radeon HD 8650G
27.72
19.952
17.1
5.6
 382NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
32.52
21.1
14.8
6.3
 383AMD Radeon HD 7560D
35.8
25
16.9
5.9
 386AMD Radeon R5 M330
40.53
29.13
193
6.42
 387AMD Radeon R5 M430
42.9
29.9
19.1
 388AMD Radeon R5 M255
51.3
36.2
24.7
7.8
 390NVIDIA GeForce 910M
33.7
24.6
18.6
7.3
Pos      Model                                     Battlefield 4
lowmed.highultra4k
 391NVIDIA GeForce 820M
38.8
26.3
18.7
 393Intel HD Graphics 520
33.429
24.829
15.9528
517
 394Intel Iris Graphics 6100
35.1
26.8
17.2
6.4
 395NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M
30.4
21.4
15.2
 398AMD Radeon R5 M240
26.8
22.4
17.7
 399*AMD Radeon R5 M320
28.5
21.7
 400AMD Radeon R5 M230
38.6
26.1
17.4
 407Intel HD Graphics 6000
32
22.2
15.6
5.6
 410Intel Iris Graphics 5100
36.1
26.1
15.3
5.7
 415Intel HD Graphics 4600
36.6
24.8
15.3
5.5
 417Intel HD Graphics 5500
24.23
15.23
10.33
42
 424*Intel HD Graphics 615
30.34
19.054
17.954
 426AMD Radeon R5 (Kaveri)
16.5
12
9.2
 429NVIDIA GeForce 710M
40.1
26.5
16.5
 430AMD Radeon HD 7660G
32.152
23.42
14.92
5.352
 433Intel HD Graphics 5000
28.6
19.9
13.3
 449AMD Radeon HD 8550G
33.6
23.5
16.6
5.3
 458AMD Radeon HD 8470D
35.2
24.6
16.5
5.2
 465Intel HD Graphics 515
24.718
16.948
11.428
4.35
 466Intel HD Graphics 4400
225
155
9
Pos      Model                                     Battlefield 4
lowmed.highultra4k
 468*Intel HD Graphics 510
33.4
22.5
15.9
 497Intel HD Graphics 5300
15.2
11.6
7.5
 499*Intel HD Graphics 505
192
14.352
8.92
 507AMD Radeon HD 7480D
26.5
18.4
12.7
3.9
 508Intel HD Graphics 4000
32.2
19.7
12.2
4.7
 516AMD Radeon R5 (Beema/Carrizo-L)
21.92
15.852
10.52
 517AMD Radeon R4 (Beema)
18.6
12.7
8.8
3.3
 518AMD Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema)
20.2
14.7
10.1
 520Intel HD Graphics 4200
15.9
10.1
6.6
2.5
 529AMD Radeon HD 8450G
28
19.6
14.5
4.6
 533AMD Radeon HD 8400
20.9
 546AMD Radeon HD 8350G
25.8
18.2
13.1
 547AMD Radeon HD 8330
18.9
 569Intel HD Graphics 405 (Braswell)
16.5
12.5
8.3
 571Intel HD Graphics 400 (Braswell)
16.2
12.3
7.9
 580Intel HD Graphics (Haswell)
20.32
14.12
11.8
3.9
 601Intel HD Graphics (Cherry Trail)
13.3
 603AMD Radeon HD 8280
15.9
11.7
 637AMD Radeon HD 8210
9.9
 682Intel 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: 2018-05-15)