Battlefield 3 – Single GPU Cards

Battlefield 3 (DirectX 11)


Battlefield 3™ leaps ahead of its time with the power of Frostbite 2, DICE's new cutting-edge game engine. This state-of-the-art technology is the foundation on which Battlefield 3 is built, delivering enhanced visual quality, a grand sense of scale, massive destruction, dynamic audio and character animation utilizing ANT technology as seen in the latest EA SPORTS™ games.

Frostbite 2 now enables deferred shading, dynamic global illumination and new streaming architecture. Sounds like tech talk? Play the game and experience the difference!

Frame Rating: High End GPUs Benchmarked at 4K Resolutions - Graphics Cards 41

Frame Rating: High End GPUs Benchmarked at 4K Resolutions - Graphics Cards 42

Frame Rating: High End GPUs Benchmarked at 4K Resolutions - Graphics Cards 43

Our Settings for Battlefield 3

Here is our testing run through the game, for your reference.

We are only using single GPUs here so we see very little change from the FRAPS reported results and the observed frame rates found from using our Frame Rating system.  Clearly the GTX Titan is the best single GPU option for 4K gaming but at twice the cost.  We were able to play BF3 over 30 FPS consistently at Ultra settings while the other cards struggled to stay over 20 FPS.  Of those under $500 options, the HD 7970 GHz Edition from AMD is looking the best with the 2GB and 4GB versions of the GTX 680 very evenly matched.

Frame times in general are pretty good at 4K resolutions with the 2GB GTX 680 the lone outlier with some noticeable and significant spikes and jumps in performance.  The fact that the 4GB variant does not exhibit that problem tells us that the 2GB frame buffer is just not enough to keep up 3840×2160 at these settings.

The Titan is averaging something around 35 FPS at Ultra settings at 4K resolutions – pretty nice!  The Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition is well behind at 27 FPS followed by the GTX 680 cards at just under 25 FPS.

Both the Titan and the HD 7970 have the best / lowest frame time variance with the GTX 680 2GB coming in last.  It is interesting to see the added frame buffer of the 4GB GTX 680 making a noticeable difference in potential stutter.


The Radeon HD 7970s in CrossFire have the same runt frame problems in our 4K testing as they did at 19×10 and 25×14 resulting in a much lower observed frame rates.  A pair of Titans in SLI are doing well at keeping the frame rate near or above the 60 FPS mark and the GTX 680 4GB cards in SLI can almost hit 50 FPS. 

The orange mess is still representing the current status of CrossFire scaling with high amounts of runt frames that do not add to animation smoothness.  The GTX Titans in SLI have a very narrow and smooth band of frame times.  The GTX 680 4GB frame times are also noticeably tighter and doesn't exhibit nearly as many spikes in frame times as the 2GB models do. 

A pair of Titan cards are averaging about 63 FPS while the GTX 680s are hitting 47-48 FPS.  The Radeon HD 7970s are way down there at under 30 FPS thanks to the runt frame issue…

Frame time variance picks up very quickly on the HD 7970s in CrossFire at about the 70th percentile and the 2GB version of the GTX 680 ratchets up at the 80th.  I find it very interesting that the GT 680 4GB cards from EVGA in SLI mode exhibit much less potential stutter than the 2GB cards, in line with the GTX Titans.


Looking for native 4K captures of our Battlefield 3 gameplay?  Have fun!

Download the MP4 (350MB)

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