Today's Hard|Forum Post
Today's Hard|Forum Post

Battlefield Hardline Performance Video Card Review

Battlefield Hardline has been released finally. We gather twelve video card comparisons and find out what you need to enjoy this game in multiplayer and campaign modes. We will look at multi-GPU scaling, D3D vs. Mantle, and VRAM usage to find out where the best money is spent to enjoy this new game.

Introduction

Battlefield Hardline has been in development, according to Visceral, "about a year before Dead Space 3 shipped," which would put it in the early 2012 timeframe. That means development started before Battlefield 4 was released in October of 2013. This game does share the same feel of BF4, so much that there is debate among gamers calling this just a "glorified DLC" rather than a full-game. The cost is that of a full-game, but there is debate that perhaps this "game" is overcharged for the content provided.

In June of 2014 the first beta of Battlefield Hardline went public, and gamers everywhere got to see firsthand what to expect out of this new game. The feedback was so overwhelming about the game that DICE announced the game would be delayed from the original October 2014 release, to now March 2015 in order to implement user feedback. This move was overwhelming popular that a developer and publisher would listen to feedback from its users and delay a game to implement them and make it a good game at launch.

A second open public beta of this game became available in early February of this year. During this second open public beta we got our hands dirty and evaluated performance on the supplied beta maps. Now that the final full-version of this game has been launched, we can take a look at how video cards stack up in this game in the campaign mode and multiplayer.

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Battlefield Hardline is a first-person shooter game developed by Visceral Games in collaboration with EA Digital Illusions CE and published by EA. This game deviates from the norm and has a completely different theme to it. At its heart this is a "cops and robber" game, with FPS style gameplay familiar to Battlefield gamers. Many new game modes are included, and there is even a small ten episode single-player campaign mode.

Frostbite 3 is the engine being used, same as is in Battlefield 4. Levolution technology is also included in BFH in every map. There are some large events, and sometimes several smaller events throughout each map.


Graphics Options

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The graphics options in this game are exactly the same as Battlefield 4's options. That is, there are global options to change between "Low," "Medium," "High," and "Ultra" or custom settings. You can individually change each option.

This game only supports 2X MSAA or 4X MSAA, just like Battlefield 4. There have been no improvements in further MSAA options or shader based AA options. You can chose to turn on Post AA in three different levels. This is just FXAA, shader based AA. It is a good option to use in case MSAA is too slow, or performance too slow and you need some good AA but with little performance hit.

Two ambient occlusion modes are supported, SSAO and HBAO. Unfortunately, NVIDIA's newer HBAO+ is not supported, which would perform better. There have been no advancements, at least as far as graphics options go to this new game.

For our testing today, we are going to find the highest playable settings, and then perform apples-to-apples testing. Only rarely did we need to change the in-game settings. For the most part, you will find "Ultra" settings are enabled across the board and then we just had to adjust the AA levels.

For our apples-to-apples tests we chose to use all "Ultra" settings with No Post AA, HBAO and then the appropriate level of MSAA. In all our testing we preferred to have MSAA up as high as possible, rather than Post AA since the game looks better. The Post AA option has the nasty texture blurriness we have come to expect from FXAA shader based rendering, so we used this option only when we had no other option.