Battlefield 4 is a first-person shooter video game developed by EA Digital Illusions CE (DICE) and published by Electronic Arts. It is a sequel to 2011’s Battlefield 3 and was released on October 29, 2013 in North America. Battlefield 4’s single-player Campaign takes place in 2020, six years after the events of its predecessor. Tensions between Russia and the United States have beem running at a record high. On top of this, China is also on the brink of war, as Admiral Chang, the main antagonist, plans to overthrow China’s current government; and, if successful, the Russians will have full support from the Chinese, bringing China into a war with the United States.
This game title uses the Frostbite 3 game engine and looks great. We tested Battlefield 4 with the Ultra graphics quality preset as most discrete desktop graphics cards can easily play with this IQ setting at 1080P and we still want to be able to push the higher-end cards down the road. We used FRAPS to benchmark each card with these settings on the Shanghai level.
Battlefield 4 runs beautifully on the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 graphics card and we were right around 50FPS during most of the gameplay. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 2GB reference card averaged 53.5 FPS and the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 760 4GB averaged 51.4 FPS. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 2GB has a 26.1MHz clock advantage, so we expected it to be ahead at 1080P as less than 2GB of frame buffer is being used.
Moving from a 1920×1080 screen resolution up to 2560×1600 dropped performance by nearly 40% and both cards were able to average just over 30 FPS. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 2GB reference card had a 1 FPS lead on average (31.4FPS versus 30.3FPS) thanks to what we suspect is the higher actual boost clock speeds on the GPU and nothing more than that. The Gigabyte GeForce GTX 760 4GB video card was right there, but it wasn’t able to put that extra frame buffer to good use.
At 3840×2160 we figured that we’d see the GeForce GTX 760 4GB video card easily take the lead, but BF4 must not use that much dedicated video card memory! The Gigabyte GeForce GTX 760 4GB averaged 16.4 FPS and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 2GB reference card was at 16.5 FPS. This is one of the hottest game titles out right now, so it is disappointing that doubling the frame buffer from 2GB to 4GB doesn’t translate into a better gaming experience.
We played through a couple maps on BF4 and we were able to get the memory usage up to 2997MB, so having 4GB of memory might help here and there. The bad news is that by the time you need more than 2GB of frame buffer the GPU doesn’t have the power needed to game at that resolution.