Battlefield 3 Performance: 30+ Graphics Cards, Benchmarked

Benchmark Results: AMD Graphics Cards, CrossFire

The most frustrating part of putting this comparison together was spending a full day troubleshooting AMD’s multi-GPU issues. After swapping out power supplies, graphics cards, SSDs, fresh Windows installations, and motherboard slots, there was simply no rhyme or reason to the number of problems that prevented me from running a dual-GPU card or two single-GPU boards. Then came the idea to trade out memory kits, which actually ended up ameliorating some of my woes. Instead of crashing upon launching the game, CrossFire-based setups crashed when I changed settings at the end of the run or when I’d load up a level.

After a long night of restarting Battlefield 3 after every resolution change, I finally had results for four different card combinations: two 6990s (quad-GPU, yay), 6970s, 6950s, and 6870s.

The Radeon HD 6990s are absolute beasts, pegging this game at its 200 FPS limit at 1680x1050 and 1920x1080. It naturally scales poorly at those resolutions because it simply cannot go any faster. At 2560x1600, however, two additional GPUs contribute an extra 90%.

Scaling amongst the other cards ranges from 83% to 97%, which is really quite phenomenal given the issues AMD encountered pre-Radeon HD 6000 series. With performance in its favour, the company now needs to hammer out the stability/reliability issues currently plaguing its drivers in Battlefield 3. It’s validating that at least some of our own readers are experiencing CrossFire-oriented issues as well, though I also know plenty of you are running CrossFire configurations problem-free.

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  • mad tech
    Kudos to BF3 for a real dx11 game at last :)
  • Morgifier
    Wow, such a comprehensive test - I was worried that after all the testing during the beta that most sites had already exhausted this title.

    I run an E5200 @ 3.66GHz (333x11) and this game absolutely red-lines my CPU, so am quite surprised by your CPU results.

    Thanks Tom's and a big cheers to Chris.

    Frag you later.
  • ps3hacker12
    works great on my 2500K/GTS 450 setup on mid-high settings at 1900P.
  • Anonymous
    I'm running BF3 on an i7 930@4Ghz, 10GB ddr3@1540mhz, GTX460@850mhz, 7200rpm hdd. 1920x1080 with everything as high as it goes.
    Getting between 38 and 87fps.
    Actually got some of the best frames on Going Hunting! :D

    Thought I would share...
  • yasir siddiqui
    wonderful Graphics.
  • tamati
    Hmmm I'm runnng on i7 930@4.2 Shz, 6GB Ram, 128 SSD and two ATI 5870s in crossfire and averaging less than 30 frames on ultra - which drops to 8 fps in certain scenarios - WTF!!! I can only get to 40 fps if I drop all settings to medium - *#$%@*! Checked and it looks like both cards are working and under load during the game. Took an hour mucking around with installing lastest drivers etc... thinking I may need to do a complete wipe and reinstall :-( Unless anyone else has a better solution? Ideas anyone?
  • gnomio
    I think Tom is biased towards nvidia. Why do they always go first.....
    JUST KIDDING. Very good review and some excellent testing. Great job guys keep it up