Seriously, the last few Battlefield games have sucked so bad. That's just me of course, but I really didn't like Battlefield: Hardline, Battlefield V, or Battlefield 1.
I pumped some serious, serious time into Wake Island alone when DICE dropped the Battlefield 1942 demo back in the day and then onwards into hundreds of hours of Battlefield 1942. I was a huge fan of Battlefield: Bad Company 2 which was fantastic, and then Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Vietnam was a blast.
Battlefield 3 and Battlefield 4 each had their time in the light and I loved both of them, probably Battlefield 4 more bit it was many months after its launch where it was in its prime. Each of the Battlefield games has their unique feel, graphics, and additions to the franchise like physical destruction, Levolution, and more.
But now we have Battlefield 2042 -- it has been quite the ride, and as I said -- putting Battlefield V and Battlefield 1 to the side, Battlefield 2042 is a blast so far. I'm not going to judge the game until I'm a few weeks into the full retail release, but I thought I'd take a very early look at the performance of Battlefield 2042 and the current Open Beta.
I'm going to do things a little differently to normal, however, with some delicious 8K results of the Battlefield 2042 Open Beta before I pump out the 1080p, 1440p, and 4K results in the next couple of days. The 8K results are fascinating, as I'm really pushing the boundaries of VRAM at 8K in Battlefield 2042, where you'll need 12-16GB -- preferably 16GB of VRAM.
Battlefield 2042 Open Beta is by no means the final version and the performance and analysis of performance here is just playing around before the real game launches. Don't take any of this data to the grave, as things will change quite massively between now and the final release.
The big deal here will be the inclusion of NVIDIA DLSS technology, which will see 8K gaming at probably 60FPS or so on the GeForce RTX 3090, and maybe the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti or GeForce RTX 3080 depending on how much VRAM that Battlefield 2042 eats up at 8K with DLSS on.
For now, I'm running just 4 graphics cards through Battlefield 2042 Open Beta at 8K: NVIDIA's flagship GeForce RTX 3090 which has 24GB of ultra-fast GDDR6X memory, and AMD's flagship Radeon RX 6900 XT which has 16GB of GDDR6 memory and 128MB of Infinity Cache.
But I'm also running AMD's other RDNA 2-based cards with 16GB of GDDR6 memory, which include the Radeon RX 6800 XT and Radeon RX 6800 graphics cards. I've left out the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti (which has 12GB of GDDR6X) and the GeForce RTX 3080 (10GB of GDDR6X) for now, but I'll re-run these tests when Battlefield 2042 launches and include many more cards, both with and without DLSS enabled.
As you can see I'm running the Battlefield 2042 Open Beta at the full 8K resolution of 7680 x 4320, pumping away at 33 million pixels. Native 4K is around 8 million pixels in comparison. Crazy.
I've got the graphics preset on both the Medium and Ultra presets, and then I manually force TAA to Medium, as well as the high fidelity objects amount. I'm not using the dynamic resolution scaling at all, nor am I enabling NVIDIA Reflex. Also remember that Battlefield 2042 will be supporting NVIDIA DLSS but that is not available in the open beta.
I've got a VRAM consumption chart, where you will truly need 16GB of VRAM at least to run 8K without DLSS enabled. The 24GB of ultra-fast GDDR6X memory on the GeForce RTX 3090 is fine, as too is the 16GB of GDDR6 memory on the AMD Radeon RX 6800, Radeon RX 6800 XT, and Radeon RX 6900 XT graphics cards.
Test System Specs
ASUS has been a huge help for my GPU test beds with the latest ROG Strix 43-inch gaming monitors sitting in front of me for 80 hours or more per week, offering 43-inch 4K 120/144Hz greatness for my productivity, and gaming.
Not only do we have the ASUS ROG monitors, but ASUS ROG X570 Crosshair VIII HERO motherboards as well. AMD sent over the new Zen 3-powered Ryzen 9 5900X processor which gives us a 12-core, 24-thread beast of a CPU that handles 8K gaming perfectly.
Sabrent has been a gigantic help as well, providing kick ass Rocket 4 Plus and RocketQ NVMe PCIe M.2 SSDs -- with wicked-fast PCIe 4.0 storage with a huge 4TB in capacity -- as well as a huge 8TB SSD to store all of the games installed, and we all know how crazy big games are getting.
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900X (buy from Amazon)
- Motherboard: ASUS ROG X570 Crosshair VIII HERO (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: CoolerMaster MasterLiquid ML360R RGB (buy from Amazon)
- RAM: G.SKILL Trident Z NEO RGB 32GB (4x8GB) (F4-3600C18Q-32GTZN) (buy from Amazon)
- SSD: Sabrent 4TB Rocket 4 Plus NVMe PCIe 4.0 M.2 2280 (buy from Amazon)
- PSU: be quiet! Dark Power Pro 11 1200W (buy from Amazon)
- Case: InWin X-Frame 2.0
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Professional x64 (buy from Amazon)
- Monitor: ASUS ROG Swift PG43UQ (buy from Amazon)
Benchmarks - 8K @ Ultra
8K at Ultra is just absolutely punishing for every part of silicon in your gaming PC, with the best of the best in the GeForce RTX 3090 being reduced to just 27.8FPS average. AMD's best Radeon RX 6900 XT graphics card performs worse, with just 21.9FPS average.
We still see the Radeon RX 6800 not performing too far behind the flagship Radeon RX 6900 XT, with the RX 6800 hitting 17.9FPS average. Unplayable.
Benchmarks - 8K @ Medium
33FPS average is a bit better, with the GeForce RTX 3090 the only card pushing above the 30FPS ceiling in the Battlefield 2042 Open Beta. AMD's best RDNA 2 silicon in the Radeon RX 6900 XT manages 25FPS average, pretty much matching the Radeon RX 6800 XT -- not that you'd tell the difference between 0.5FPS or not.
The Radeon RX 6800 continues to do well here thanks to its 16GB of GDDR6 memory, with 23FPS average at 8K on the Medium preset.
Benchmarks - 4K @ Ultra
I thought I'd include some 4K results to give some context, with the GeForce RTX 3090 in a very playable 77FPS average at 4K on the Ultra preset. AMD isn't much further behind, with the Radeon RX 6900 XT reaching 72FPS average, while the Radeon RX 6800 XT managed 67FPS average.
AMD's Radeon RX 6800 was much lower on the benchmark totem pole at 4K Ultra, with 57FPS average.
8K Needs Lots of VRAM + Final Thoughts
EA DICE has crafted a beautiful game with Battlefield 2042, with it being the best-looking Battlefield game to date, and that's in its open beta form. We should expect to see a decent upgrade in graphics and performance with the full release, as well as the addition of ray tracing and NVIDIA DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) technology support.
8K is harsh on every graphics card and in every game, which is why I ran it at not just the your-system-can't-handle-this Ultra preset but the Medium preset in the Battlefield 2042 Open Beta, too. VRAM usage is pretty crazy, with 14.5GB+ of VRAM being used when native 8K is being run with the Ultra graphics preset.
Battlefield 2042 Open Beta is still hard to run and chews through your VRAM framebuffer on the Medium preset, with around 12-13GB of VRAM being used, while 4K on the Ultra preset is still eating up 9.5-10GB+ of VRAM. NVIDIA ships its GeForce RTX 3080 with 10GB of VRAM, and the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti with 12GB of VRAM... so we're hitting the border here.
Remember that the final release of Battlefield 2042 will have DLSS support, so you'll be able to enjoy 8K gaming with less VRAM being used, and 4K on Ultra without as much VRAM being eaten up. These numbers will be lower with DLSS, so I'll be re-running -- and running many more graphics cards through Battlefield 2042 when it officially launches.
Battlefield 2042 is one of the best-looking games of the year and that's in its open beta form, with ray tracing and DLSS we should expect it to look and run even better than the state it's in now. I'll be interested to see if we can push 8K 60FPS with the GeForce RTX 3090 using DLSS.