So by now most people know that the Battlefield 4 Open Beta (BF4OB) is here. Is it another Crysis, or is the performance actually reasonable for those of us without godlike PCs?
If you wanted to get involved these are the minimum requirements that you’d need to take part in the Battlefield 4 Open Beta, according to the official Battlefield 4 page:
Minimum system requirements for the Beta
OS – The BF4 Beta requires a 64-bit version of Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8 (the full version of Battlefield 4 will also support 32-bit operating systems.)
PROCESSOR – ATHLON X2 2.8 GHZ/CORE 2 DUO 2.4 GHZ
MEMORY – 4 GB
GRAPHICS CARD – AMD RADEON HD 3870/NVIDIA GEFORCE 8800
GRAPHICS MEMORY – 512 MB
HARD DRIVE – 1,6 GB (approx.)
How do these specs hold up? Well, I think EA were really underestimating what you’ll need to run this game, or at very least, to run the beta. Here are the specs for my PC:
OS – Windows 7 64-bit
PROCESSOR – Core i3 530
MEMORY – Was 4 GB yesterday, is 8 GB today
GRAPHICS CARD – AMD RADEON HD 7770
GRAPHICS MEMORY – 1 gig
HARD DRIVE – More than enough
Let me just say that if you’re trying to run the beta with 4 gigs of RAM: good luck. When I was running 4 gigs of RAM, most of the time the game crashed during load. The rapid flashing of the blue light on the front of my pc meant one thing: my hard drive was thrashing like crazy. For those of you who don’t know what thrashing is, it’s when your hard drive starts doing overtime because your system has run out of memory (RAM) and has now resorted to using virtual memory (which is basically reserved space on the hard drive). One the couple of occasions it did load up, again, the hard drive thrashing made it unplayable. The moment I tried to change any settings the game would just give me the finger and close. So for all intents and purposes, the open beta for Battlefield 4 was unplayable on 4 gigs of RAM.
I was thinking to myself today “What’s are the chances that I’ll buy this game when it’s officially released? The chances are pretty good, so I decided to try and resolve any potential issues with the game before it was released. The first thing I did was go out and buy another 4 gigs of RAM. This put the total amount of RAM in my system at 8 gigs. Regardless of whether or not I actually buy Battlefield 4, I knew from my attempts to run the beta that my system was usually using 1.5 to 2 gigs of memory without even running any games, so I only had about 2 to 2.5 gigs to spare for any games (BF4 or otherwise). While this may not be a problem now, there are other games that are coming out soon that also require a minimum of 4 gigs of RAM (which means the game probably wants more). Also, there’s been an increase in RAM prices recently, and rumours are flying around that there may be another increase, so I’d rather get it now while it’s still relatively cheap.
4 more gigs of RAM later, the BF4OB works. So if you are thinking about playing BF4, you’re going to need at least 6 gigs of RAM if the open beta is anything to go by. Most of the time, with BF4OB running, the total usage of my system was about 5.5 gigs of RAM. Sometimes that number shot up to 6.5.
And how’s the rest of my PC holding up? Unfortunately, my PC was never cutting edge, but it’s really starting to show it’s age now. Despite this, with everything set to medium at 1920×1080, the BF4OB is still very playable, with my frame rate sitting at about 30 fps in large open areas with about 50 players on the server and action on screen. With some tweaking, and of course the release of the final fully optimised version of the game, I guessing this number will go up a little bit. I’m also expecting performance will be even better when Dice release their Mantle version of the game (Mantle is designed to run better on newer ATI cards).
So if you have a minimum spec machine, I got bad news for you, this game (in its current form) will basically be unplayable. If you’re a bit above minimum spec like I am, you might have to make some compromises but it should run.