Low End PC Performance Guide: Battlefield 3


For our benchmarking process, we used FRAPS to measure the frames per second from the “Operation Shadowbreaker” mission. The video below is the benchmarking sequence we used.






We didn’t bother benchmarking at Ultra preset as the results were already too low at High preset. We also didn’t have a DirectX 11 capable card to set everything at Ultra.

At 1280×1024 resolution, the results are all low and slow to be playable. Actually, in all of the line graphs, almost every frames were below 30. The fastest was at Low preset at 1024×768 with 27fps average. There are some people who can tolerate this, and we gave this a shot to be more playable by tweaking and overclocking.



The game’s configuration file can be found in “My Documents\Battlefield 3\settings” and open the file “PROF_SAVE_profile” with WordPad. We apply the following settings:

GstRender.AmbientOcclusion 0
GstRender.AnisotropicFilter 0
GstRender.AntiAliasingDeferred 0
GstRender.AntiAliasingPost 0
GstRender.Brightness 0.500000
GstRender.Contrast 0.500000
GstRender.EffectsQuality 0
GstRender.Enlighten 0
GstRender.FieldOfView 10.000000
GstRender.FullscreenEnabled 1
GstRender.FullscreenScreen 0
GstRender.MeshQuality 0
GstRender.MeshQualityOld 0.700000
GstRender.MotionBlur 0.500000
GstRender.MotionBlurEnabled 0
GstRender.OverallGraphicsQuality 5
GstRender.ResolutionHeight 768
GstRender.ResolutionHertz 1114637337
GstRender.ResolutionWidth 1024
GstRender.ScreenSafeAreaHeight 0.950000
GstRender.ScreenSafeAreaWidth 0.950000
GstRender.ShaderQuality 2.000000
GstRender.ShadowQuality 0
GstRender.StereoConvergence 1.000000
GstRender.Stereoscopy 0
GstRender.TerrainQuality 0
GstRender.TextureQuality 0
GstRender.TransparentShadows 0
GstRender.UndergrowthQuality 0
GstRender.VSync 0
You can also type the following in notepad and save it as “User.cfg” and copy it to the Battlefield 3 game folder. These commands will be loaded automatically when a level is loaded. The commands can also be entered in game console (`).

RenderDevice.ForceRenderAheadLimit 8
RenderDevice.TripleBufferingEnable 0
GameTime.MaxVariableFps 90

We also managed the 3D settings of Battlefield 3 in NVIDIA Control Panel.

Nvidia Settings 1

Nvidia Settings 1

Nvidia Settings 2

Nvidia Settings 2


As for overclocking, we overclocked both the GPU and the CPU to juice more frames out of these components. As mentioned earlier, the video is a Green Edition of 9600GT which basically a downclocked version of the original 9600GT and it doesn’t need 6-pin power connector.

Overclocked CPU

Overclocked GPU



With the combination of tweaking and overclocking we gained 9fps on the average and 6fps on the minimum. Looking at the line graph, the performance gain is evident – most of the frames per second are above 30 – compared to the stock performance.The game is now completely playable , at least at 1024×768. Playing it at higher resolution or preset quality will negate these improvements. You can also do this on midrange or high end system to get more frames and make the gameplay smoother.



 Although Battlefield 3 will technically run on its minimum requirements, it was slow and will even frustrate you especially when you are playing online. This is a fast-paced shooting game and you don’t wanna play this anywhere below 30fps. Lucky for you if you know how to overclock and get around with configuration files; these will definitely give a boost in performance. But ultimately, the minimum requirement is practically invalid and you will definitely need upgrades or buy a new system if your current system is identical to the minimum requirements.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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