BF3 Tweaks and optimisation

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BF3 Tweaks and optimisation

Postby MADWyvern » 11 Jan 2012, 01:00

Battlefield 3 does a good job of scaling for the hardware of any pc from the high-end gaming monster to the low end pc of the yonder-years, I've been looking at how to optimise pc's for BF3 and here are my findings:

My setup:
CPU Core i7 950 (OC @ 4ghz)
RAM 6gb DDR3-1600
Mobo Sabertooth x58
HDD SDD -Vertex3 120g - 2 seagate barracuda 7200 500gb - 1TB backup drive
GPU Zotac GTX460 AMP!

For a full guide on tweaking your PC http://www.tweakguides.com and BF3 specifically http://www.geforce.com/Optimize/Guides/battlefield-3-tweak-guide

For my pc the perfect setup is as follows:
Texture HIGH (this loads about 300mb of textures into the GPU memory)
Shadows LOW
Effects Quality MED (LOW to MED is the biggest difference in quality ,use low if intensive battles make you lag/stutter)
Mesh Quality MED (If you have a good stable FPS edge this up to high - this effects how well items are rendered at greater distance)
Terrain Quality & Terrain Decoration - Both set to medium, they have low impact on FPS -put ot high if you have the fps to spare.
Anti-alias deffered OFF (this has a huge impact on FPS)
Anti-alias post HIGH (if AA post is off your going to need this on high to compensate, it is also low impact)
Motion Blur OFF (This is another high impact low reward setting)
Anisotropic Filter 16x (put this as high as possible -play between this and ambient occlusion, Aniso' has less impact)
Ambient Occlusion SSAO (this does have a large impact on FPS, but also is a big factor on image quality, use SSAO if you can. OFF if struggling for fps, and HBAO if you have lots of fps to spare)

Do not use vertical sync and cap your fps to 60 - this effectively rapes your fps and HALVES it!
BF3 does have a tendency to make giant fps leaps from 30fps to 170fps - this is unfortunate as you GPU and CPU struggle to keep up with what resources are going to be needed for the next moment, and you will experience jerkiness.
To prevent this without turning on V-sync you can write a small text file for the BF3 config which will be loaded automatically when you run BF3. Each command needs to be on a separate line.

The 2 commands I have are:

GameTime.MaxVariableFPS 70 - this caps my fps at 70, preventing the massive fps spikes on the GPU without using V-Sync. this has NO IMPACT on fps at all, so it is a very good setting to use, you can change 70 to whatever figure you are comfortable with.

Render.DrawFPS 1 - This displays my FPS in the top right hand corner of the screen, because i like to keep my eye on things, and it makes it very easy to SEE what is causing low FPS and respond accordingly. Ie: if i see a fps drop when lots of explosions or smoke is on the screen, I would turn down Effects Quality and so on...

If you are considering buying a new GPU you should give serious consideration to more onboard RAM over the next level of GPU. A GTX570 (phantom) with 1280mb of RAM would not easily out perform a GTX460ti (phantom) with 2048mb of RAM which costs about £60 less- This is because BF3 likes t have a lot of vRam to load the textures into, and the second you move textures from the gfxcard ram to the system ram you start to get punished. - Don't take this as gospel, you will want to do your own research before committing yourself to a card, have a look at other peoples performance reviews and see what settings you prefer in game, Actually load the game with the settings you would LIKE to use, and see what performance other people get from their hardware.

As for Sound
If you have 5.1 use Home Cinema
If stereo headphones use Hi-Fi
You can try War Tapes, this has greater depth to the sound but at the cost to accurately portraying direction.

Hope this helps.

Please post your pc config and settings for others to see!
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MADWyvern
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Re: BF3 Tweaks and optimisation

Postby MADWyvern » 11 Jan 2012, 01:10

ALSO
If you have a low amount of RAM (less than 4gb) AND you use Win7, there is a facility on the OS called READYBOOST.
Get a decent memory card or flash media drive over 1gb in size (quality is defined by the class number - class 2 or better is sufficient)

Plug the memory card into the pc and open the drive properties, enable readyboost.

This means that when you pc is running out of RAM it will use the flash drive as vRam, INSTEAD of resorting to the HDD which is infinitely slower. This gives you a relatively cheap and effective way to compliment your system ram and avoid massive slowdowns due to using the HDD.

Also you will get better results if using a USB3.0 drive and stick over USB2.0

------------------------------

OVERCLOCKING
I found that using speedstep caused BF3 to jerk around a bit due to the cpu speeding up and slowing down depending on the intensity of the scene being rendered - As I overclock my cpu to 4 or 4.2 ghz I turn OFF speedstep for playing BF3, YES this comes at teh cost of increased electricity bills and a hotter room, but hey, its winter at the moment so at least I am warm!
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Re: BF3 Tweaks and optimisation

Postby MADWyvern » 28 Jan 2012, 01:59

Field of View comparison

To calculate your monitors ideal FOV (based on its size and aspect ration) go here:
http://www.rjdown.co.uk/projects/bfbc2/fovcalculator.php

An example image I made to demonstrate the difference in the FOV from 60 to 90 (on a 1920x1200 monitor - 16:10 Ratio)
Image

As you can see; Thats a WHOLE LOTTA SCREEN missing with a fov of 60.
Benefits of lower FOV = easier to aim accurately, objects appear larger/closer/fatter.
Benefits of higher FOV = See more of the map, less likely to miss the guy 3 meters in front of you at 50 degrees, which would be pretty dumb!

Bear in mind the:
FOV of 90 had 52 FPS
FOV of 60 had 60 FPS - look at it as a 14% decrease in fps for twice the view. (but remember that with a higher FOV you are always likely to render MORE effects)
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