How to Make Battlefield 3 Run Faster
If you are reading this then I am assuming you got Battlefield 3 / BF3 Beta for the PC and it's not running great on your computer, am i right ? Battlefield 3 is a very spec hungry game, they have used the latest engine with high resolution graphics, lighting and all the rest of it and top whack the computer needs a very fast computer in order to run the game at Ultra level but all this shouldn't mean that you can't play it on your 2 to 5 year old PC with reasonably good graphics.
Wether you like it or not just because you shelled out thousands for a PC two or three years ago doesn't mean your computer is still capable of playing games in the highest settings. PC Games move very quickly and so do PC's so this guide is written for those of you who want to play Battlefield 3 on the PC but don't want to go out and buy a new graphics card or computer...or at least not before sampling the game first.
Graphics Settings to suit your PC
Every PC gamer in the world knows what its like to "want" to set your game to at least somewhere near the highest graphics but in all honesty the graphics can look great at average settings compared to that of the PS3 or Xbox 360 quite easily and the only reason most of the time that you do feel like the graphics are lacking is because you originally set the graphic or resolution to higher settings in first place but realised your computer wasn't handing it too well.
Optimal Performance for Battlefield 3
If you are going to be playing Battlefield 3, especially online it is absolutley essential that you get the game running fast enough to not have to experience slow down more commonly known as lower frame rate or FPS, its all good having your settings set high but if your graphics are teraing and your getting pauses of slow down then your not really experiencing the gameplay of BF3 as its supposed to be.
The First thing - One of the first thing you should do but probably wont like to do is go into the Battlefield 3 settings then video and bring down your resolution, my recommendation for a good 2 to 3 year old computer is to set it to 1280 by 720 resolution, this is equivelent to the Xbox 360 and PS3's 720p which is still considered HD. This may seem quite "blocky" at first but resolution consumes one of the biggest graphical resources in a game so you are instantly allowing your graphics card more resources for rendering other graphics such as large moving objects like the vechicles, affects and lighting etc, so this is my first recommendation so knock it down and lfor now put all your other settings on medium and see how it plays. Don't fool yourself into beleiving the game runs well, give it a chance where you can see lots going on on-screen at once. If the game runs perfectly then my first recommendation would be to (if possible) turn on your V-Sync or Vertical Sync, this stops any tearing on screen but can also take upa lot of resouces slowing things down by quite a considerable amount so try it with and without and make your own judgment if you can handle it off or not.
So if the game runs perfectly now and i mean by not juddering or pausing when running around and rockets flying then you can start looking into pegging it up a little bit by knocking up certain parts to high (not ultra) so do so firstly with textures then maybe effects but i wouldn't bother with things like shadows as its not something you are going to notice much.
Other key parts to think about are
High Res & Low Detail or Lower Res and High Detail ?
Overall i would advise you just tweak it to what you think runs best, remember when playing online that if you are playing the game in high settings and your computer cannot handle it it will affect your gaming because you will be getting slow down or graphics lag so your shooting yourself in the foot really - either way enjoy this amazing beautiful game on your PC.
How to make BF3 run better on PC
Buy the Game for your PC or Console
Battlefield 3 Ultra Settings
Here you can see BF3 running in ultra high settings
Tell us what format you will be using
what format will you be playing BF3 on ?
BF3 vs MW3
The biggest question since VHS or Betamax which do you think is the betamax and which is the BF3
which do you prefer Modern Warfare 3 or Battlefield 3
BF3 Tweaking for Performance
Virtual V Sync with Virtu
As i mentioned and people have commented turning off v-sync can make a huge difference on performance when it comes to Battlefield 3 but with a recent computer i purchased i noticed an awesome piece of software that can help run the performance of your game whilst at the same time enabled a virtual version of v-sync & virtualisation to increase the overall FPS if your game, i myself was quite astonished by how much difference this made to Battlefield 3.
The software itself is called Virtu MVP by a company called Lucid Logix, it works by using both your discrete graphics card (in my case Radeon 7850) and your onboard graphics (HD 4000) at the same time (kind of like cross fire or Sli) and uses both cards to power the game and run it smoothly, i recently tested it out and was blown away by how much difference it made, it allowed me to turn up my settings on my computer to ultra settings making the game look and run beautifully, well worth checking out.
The software only works with a range of the newer boards such as the Z77 but is well worth getting hold of one for your new build wether you are building a new pc for purpose built gaming or general use it will increase those much needed FPS to make the game run great.
How to Check Performance
Obviously you can tell a performance drop by screen tearing, graphical lag and general slow down. And as well as using the built in FPS display there is also another great way of monitoring how the game is running because it isn't always initially obvious by simply looking at your screen.
I highly recommend installing a neat little program for your PC called FRAP's found here http://www.fraps.com/ a very useful program when testing any games it is designed for showing the performance as well as benchmarking your average FPS in game to give you a more accurate read out during Battlefield specifically.
Simply download and run FRAPS on your PC and enable in game and try to go from a calm area when no-one is shooting to a hectic area with vehicles, explosions and action. You will notice the FPS or Frames Per Second drops dramatically, don't worry that's normal but its more the average FPS you are watching. Play the game for around 2-3 minutes and use this as a way of testing what your machine is capable of. You realitically want the FPS to be around 35-45 FPS but a higher 50-60 FPS is recommmended for online gaming and more fluid gameplay so alter your graphics accordingly using the details explained above until you hit the sweet spot.
Let us know by commenting what FPS you are getting and at what settings, it may help give other players an idea of what to expect with similar builds.
Enjoy your game of BF3 awesomeness :)
Please feel free to comment on what ive said i love to hear feedback