BattleField 4 is the poster child for the next generation of consoles. With a relative dearth of AAA titles it has fallen to DICE to wow us with the latest iteration of their first person squad shooter.
As much as we might champion the cause of the PC Gaming Master Race™ we're very aware that in these financially difficult times ever more companies are developing primarily for the console market, and then porting to the PC. Sadly the graphical capabilities of consoles have long been far behind that of the PC and so we've been stuck with games which didn't take full advantage of the tremendous hardware available to us.
With both the Playstation 4 and the Xbox One sporting relatively powerful GPUs, games are finally looking as good as we'd hoped and this could only be good for PC gamers. Thankfully BattleField 4, whilst a bit bug-ridden to play, looks the business and has been released on all major formats, so it's the perfect opportunity for us to bring together the top three graphics cards from both AMD and nVidia and see which ones give us the best performance.
For our testing we'll be running on our LGA2011 rig that we usually use for graphics testing, which consists of the following :
Intel Core i7-3960X @ 4.6GHz
ASUS Rampage IV Extreme
Corsair Dominator Platinum
Corsair Neutron GTX
Windows 7 x64
To this we'll be running the reference versions at reference clocks of the AMD R9 270X, 280X, 290 and 290X, and the nVidia GTX770, GTX780 and GTX780Ti . There is no doubt that the Frostbite 3 engine looks the business, with good texture detail and some excellent anti-aliasing and lighting effects. DUring all tests the game was sex to maximum settings at 2560x1440 resolution.
R9 270X R9 290
R9 290X GTX770
We were expecting the AMD cards to perform better, especially as so much focus and optimisation in development will have gone towards that particular architecture. To some degree this is true with both the 290 and 290X out-performing the GTX780 and the 280X bettering the GTX770 by 5 FPS average.
There isn't much surprise at the top and bottom of the chart though, with the GTX780Ti maintaining its role as the fastest card around but the most surprising result to us was the 270X with its relatively small price tag putting out those kind of FPS numbers with the game both maxed AND in 2560x1440.
So there you go. If you wondered how BattleField 4 would perform on your system, or which graphics card you should upgrade to, hopefully this will help. Everything but the 270 handles it smoothly at this ridiculously high resolution and level of detail. A reduction down to 1080P will enable even the 270 to perform well, which shows that as good as the very latest consoles are, PCs will always have plenty of power to spare.
The performance award has to go to the graph leader here the GTX780 Ti
Gold award deserves to go to the R9 290 the performance for the price puts the 290X to shame.
The VFM award has to go to the 270X, even with the high res and max details it still put out some awesome numbers, a simple resolution drop to 1920x1080 would make a massive difference and we all know if you have a £140 GPU you wont be running a high resolution monitor like this.
Are you enjoying playing BF4? Did these results surprise you? Let us know in the OC3D Forums.