Battlefield 3

Its popularity aside, Battlefield 3 may be the most interesting game in our benchmark suite for a single reason: it’s the first AAA DX10+ game. It’s been 5 years since the launch of the first DX10 GPUs, and 3 whole process node shrinks later we’re finally to the point where games are using DX10’s functionality as a baseline rather than an addition. Not surprisingly BF3 is one of the best looking games in our suite, but as with past Battlefield games that beauty comes with a high performance cost.

The reduction in memory bandwidth and ROP throughput coming from the GTX 670 comes with roughly an 11% performance cost here, just about splitting the difference between the best and worst case scenarios.  This is important for the GTX 660 Ti since it means the card doesn’t surrender NVIDIA’s performance advantage in BF3. At 1920 with FXAA that means the GTX 660 Ti has a huge 30% performance lead over the 7950, and even the 7970 falls behind the GTX 660 Ti. The only real disappointment here is that 1920 with MSAA isn’t quite playable – 53fps means that framerates will bottom out in the mid-20s, which isn’t desirable.

Meanwhile the factory overclocked cards continue to up the ante, and ends up being another game that factory overclocks offer a decent improvement. Zotac tops the factory cards at 10%, followed by Gigabyte and EVGA. We’re once again seeing the impact of Zotac’s memory overclock, and how in memory bandwidth limited situations it’s more important than Gigabyte’s higher power target, though Gigabyte does come close.

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  • Ryan Smith - Thursday, August 16, 2012 - link

    Long story short, we were having CMS problems earlier so we were messing with the URL slugs. Not that the slugs actually matter, but it's been fixed. Reply
  • Belard - Thursday, August 16, 2012 - link

    Slugs are important for soil health. slimy and kind of icky looking... they are good to have. Reply
  • Natfly - Thursday, August 16, 2012 - link

    Not to mention search engine optimization Reply
  • Belard - Thursday, August 16, 2012 - link

    I see that.... oops. Reply
  • bhima - Thursday, August 16, 2012 - link

    You show $399, but the MSRP is $319. Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Sunday, August 19, 2012 - link

    A lot of em are going for $299, but why put anything in there but RELEASE PRICE on the chart - that way you can show the GTX570 at $349.
    Bias ? You decide.
    Reply
  • BoloMKXXVIII - Thursday, August 16, 2012 - link

    blanarahul, very insiteful comment.

    The GTX 660 Ti seems like a good "bang for your buck" card. NVidia should count itself lucky for having trouble keeping up with demand. My worry is they lose focus with the number of markets they are trying to fill. Something I am sure AMD will be watching for.
    Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Sunday, August 19, 2012 - link

    Yes nVidia sure loses focus - uhh... loses focus...sales GREAT - loses focus...
    Biased stupidity ?
    You decide.
    What it means ?
    No one knows.
    Reply
  • Galidou - Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - link

    They're not loosing focus, it's a new strategy and it must work wonders. Instead of releasing new products as quickly as possible and fill the market with all the parts from low to high-end performance, they get out the new higher-end parts and rely on their last gen cards to fill the holes.

    Clean out the shelves so dealers don't get stuck with older technology not selling. And at the same time, not taxing new fabrication process(28nm in this case) by needing alot more to fill demand in every way.
    Reply
  • Crazyeyeskillah - Thursday, August 16, 2012 - link

    If they had released this at 249$ they would have never been able to supply the demand. . .why not just go for the jugular of amd? Oh yeah balance and perceived value in the market, only hurts us really. Reply

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