BF3 on a budget

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BF3 on a budget

Postposted on Sun Dec 25, 2011 10:38 am

I don't make much money, and most of it has to go towards college. However, I just can't sit here and not play BF3 for much longer. I refuse to play on the 360. I played BF2 with a mouse and keyboard, and that's how I'm going to play this one.

So here's the deal: what is the cheapest possible system that will play BF3? I have never been too terribly concerned with graphics. Even on the lowest settings it looks better than it does on a console, so that's fine with me. I just want to be able to play comfortably at 1080. The only other game I would be playing is CoH, and besides that it's just porn and school work. I would prefer a small, portable system so an itx build that fits into something like the Silverstone SG05 would be ideal.

My first tought is obviously an i3 and a 6850, but could I go lower than that without making the game unplayable? Would a 6770 handle the game decently? What about one of the SB based non-HT Pentiums? Could I even go the Llano/6670 route?

Any input is appreciated, and I hope everyone is having a great holiday.
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Re: BF3 on a budget

Postposted on Sun Dec 25, 2011 11:13 am

You're probably going to want a micro-ATX system.

Have you looked at some of the components discussed in these threads?
viewtopic.php?f=33&t=79184
viewtopic.php?f=33&t=79204

Do you have any parts left over from your old PC that you can re-use?
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Re: BF3 on a budget

Postposted on Sun Dec 25, 2011 11:41 am

The only thing I have is a monitor. I have looked through that thread, but I still can't tell how low is too low. Even on its lowest settings, there must be a minimum at which the game will become a slideshow.
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Re: BF3 on a budget

Postposted on Sun Dec 25, 2011 11:44 am

See if you can find benchmarks from anyone running it with a Sandy Bridge Pentium G850 and a Radeon HD6850.

What do you think of some of these components?

$88 Intel Pentium G850 dual-core 2.9 GHz LGA1155 processor w/ HSF
or $120 Intel Core i3-2120 hyperthreading dual-core 3.3 GHz LGA1155 processor w/HSF
$65 -13 combo BioStar H61MU3 Micro-ATX LGA1155 motherboard w/ USB3, only 2 DIMM slots, no SATA3
or $115 -30 combo Gigabyte GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3 LGA1155 motherboard w/ USB3, 4 DIMM slots, SATA3
$35 2x4 GiB PC3-10666 Corsair CT2KIT51264BD1339 (DDR3-1333, CAS 9, 1.35 V) memory
$140 -15MIR Sapphire Radeon HD6850 1GB graphics card
$70 500 GB Hitachi HDS721050CLA362 hard-drive
$17 DVD burner
$30 Cheap Micro-ATX case
$45 Antec Earthwatts EA-380D power supply
or $47 -10MIR Corsair CX430 V2
or $40 -10MIR CoolerMaster RS-460-PSAR-J3
$18 cheap USB keyboard and mouse
$100 Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit OEM
or student price Microsoft Windows 7 64-bit
i7-4770K, H70, Gryphon Z87, 16 GiB, R9-290, SSD, 2 HD, Blu-ray, SB ZX, TJ08-E, SS-660XP², 3007WFP+2001FP, RK-9000BR, MX518
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Re: BF3 on a budget

Postposted on Sun Dec 25, 2011 1:20 pm

I'm thinking more along the lines of this:

CM Micro ATX Case + 400w PS = $75
Asus 760G AM3+ = $60
XFX Radeon HD 6770 = $110
AMD Athlon II X3 445 = $75
Pareema 4GB DDR3 1333 = $17
Hitachi 500GB HDD = $70
Logitech K200 = $22
Logitech G400 = $35
LG DVD Burner = $17

What do you think? Total comes to $480 before shipping. Its not much, but there is the possibility of unlocking that Athlon to a quad, and I can always drop in a Bulldozer or even the next gen Bulldozer provided they stick to AM3+. I can also add another 6770 later or just replace it. I can get a copy if Win 7 for free from a friend so that's not a problem.
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Re: BF3 on a budget

Postposted on Sun Dec 25, 2011 3:11 pm

I'd be tempted to scour ebay in the next week. There must be a load of people who received new hardware, or money for new hardware today and will likely be casting off their old gear.
If you can get your hands on something like a Core2 Quad + motherboard for $100 you're pretty much set. You'll probably find people casting off old GTX 460's and 5850's for next to nothing too.

If performance/dollar is your primary concern, then used > new. The coming fortnight is probably the best opportunity of the year to get a good used deal.

FWIW, BF3 runs really very nicely at 1920x1080 on medium on my "spare" C2Q and 768MB GTX 460. If you're prepared to run at 720p (as the consoles do anyway) you can really crank up the detail and still get silky-smooth framerates.
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Re: BF3 on a budget

Postposted on Sun Dec 25, 2011 9:45 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:I'd be tempted to scour ebay in the next week. There must be a load of people who received new hardware, or money for new hardware today and will likely be casting off their old gear.
If you can get your hands on something like a Core2 Quad + motherboard for $100 you're pretty much set. You'll probably find people casting off old GTX 460's and 5850's for next to nothing too.

If performance/dollar is your primary concern, then used > new. The coming fortnight is probably the best opportunity of the year to get a good used deal.

FWIW, BF3 runs really very nicely at 1920x1080 on medium on my "spare" C2Q and 768MB GTX 460. If you're prepared to run at 720p (as the consoles do anyway) you can really crank up the detail and still get silky-smooth framerates.

Doesn't seem to be much on there right now. I did find a pretty solid system on CL for $400, but I'm not sure how much I trust that.
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Re: BF3 on a budget

Postposted on Sun Dec 25, 2011 11:55 pm

That celeron seems to slaughter anything AMD has in its price range.

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cpus/2 ... ocessor/12

(tests with 6850)
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Re: BF3 on a budget

Postposted on Mon Dec 26, 2011 1:44 am

Couple of important "system requirements", taken from my personal experience:

BF3 is CPU-thread bottlenecked. You MUST have at least 4 threads capability to get smooth gameplay, and to get any benefit from a decent GPU. Intel i5-i7, AMD x4, Sandy-bridge-based Core i3 (which has 2 physical cores but also hyperthreading so 4 total threads), and even the older Core 2 Quad will work.

Once you get the CPU out of the way, you can start with any mid-range GPU and scale from there. BF3 has plenty of ways to cut back on graphics so you can get smooth gameplay.

I'm currently getting by with a Core 2 Quad @ 2.9 GHz and a Radeon 6850. I went from a Core 2 duo @ 4.0 GHz "down" to this current Quad at 2.9 and the difference was pretty-much night and day (going from 20-30 fps to 40-60 / smooth), with the same GPU.

Despite the 4 cores, CPU is constantly near 100% across all cores, so I know it's barely enough, and I tend to increase the graphics settings as much as possible for better visuals. Still not enough to handle full quality though.
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Re: BF3 on a budget

Postposted on Tue Dec 27, 2011 9:46 am

Today's shell shocker at Newegg:
$255 -30MIR with free shipping:

AMD Athlon II X3 450 triple-core 3.2 GHz socket-AM3 processor
BioStar A880G+ micro-ATX socket-AM3 motherboard
2x2 GiB G.Skill F3-10600CL9S-4GBNT (DDR3-1333, CAS 9, 1.5 V) memory
integrated graphics
500 GB Seagate ST500DM002 7200 rpm hard-drive
no optical drive
cheap ATX mid-tower case
cheap ATX power supply (25 A on the +12 V rail)
no operating system
i7-4770K, H70, Gryphon Z87, 16 GiB, R9-290, SSD, 2 HD, Blu-ray, SB ZX, TJ08-E, SS-660XP², 3007WFP+2001FP, RK-9000BR, MX518
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Re: BF3 on a budget

Postposted on Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:23 am

JDL is correct, to run the game decently you need quad core and 4gb of ram. I went from an AMD x720 with the forth core unlocked at 3.2ghz to a phenom x6 1090T and saw a performance increase. BF3 will use 2gb of ram by itself.

@OP have you made any decisions yet?
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Re: BF3 on a budget

Postposted on Thu Dec 29, 2011 11:46 am

JustAnEngineer wrote:Today's shell shocker at Newegg:
$255 -30MIR with free shipping:

AMD Athlon II X3 450 triple-core 3.2 GHz socket-AM3 processor
BioStar A880G+ micro-ATX socket-AM3 motherboard
2x2 GiB G.Skill F3-10600CL9S-4GBNT (DDR3-1333, CAS 9, 1.5 V) memory
integrated graphics
500 GB Seagate ST500DM002 7200 rpm hard-drive
no optical drive
cheap ATX mid-tower case
cheap ATX power supply (25 A on the +12 V rail)
no operating system


Damn, I wish I wasn't too busy with family to read that post.

That said, I think I have once again made the decision to wait. I got the 360 version for Christmas and that's enough to hold me over until I can afford a better system.
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