It’s been a big year for PC gaming with plenty of blockbuster releases including GTA V, The Witcher 3, Fallout 4 and Project CARS, but there was one more game on everyone’s radar since its first teaser videos were unveiled by EA in 2013.
Star Wars Battlefront has been met with tremendous anticipation. Its 5-day open beta attracted a staggering 9.5 million players across all platforms, who were willing to download over 8GB of game content, making it EA’s largest beta test ever.
Although this is the third release in the Star Wars Battlefront series, it is not considered a sequel to the previous games but a reboot. This means unlike past Battlefront entries, this title does not have its own story and instead reinterprets the stories and battles presented in the original trilogy.
Star Wars Battlefront PC gameplay on max settings
But how does it play? Read Kotaku’s Star Wars Battlefront review here.
The game has the option to switch at will between first-person mode and third-person mode, much like the previous entries in the series. Instead of a single-player campaign, the game features a set of co-op missions that can be played alone, online, or on split-screen mode. An offline split-screen mode is also be available.
But the purpose of this article is not to explore or judge Battlefront’s gameplay — which has received mixed reactions — it’s the game’s amazing visuals that got us here in the first place.
Star Wars Battlefront was built on top of the Frostbite 3.0 engine, the same engine used by Battlefield 4, Hardline and Dragon Age: Inquisition, and yet this is the most stunning example we have seen yet.
The game features Photogrammetry to deliver real Star Wars props into the gaming environment, resulting in a highly realistic look and feel. PC games can enjoy high resolution textures and impressive visual effects making Battlefront a new benchmark for testing the latest PC hardware.
Our test rig was outfitted with an Intel Core i7-6700K to remove bottlenecks that could influence high-end GPU scores. Using Fraps we recorded 60 seconds of gameplay from the training mission on Endor titled ‘Chase’. The benchmark begins once the Stormtrooper has mounted the speeder bike and takes pursuit. The same path was taken each time and based on an average of three runs we found that this delivered very accurate results.
We chose the Ewok planet of Endor (Tana) for testing as it was more graphically demanding than scenes that took place on Hoth or Tatooine, for example. We also found the ‘Chase’ mission to be more demanding than the battle on Endor.
Battlefront was tested at three resolutions: 1920x1080, 2560x1440 and 3840x2160 using the ultra quality preset. This means FXAA High was the anti-aliasing method used, while all other options such as ambient occlusion, textures and lighting were set to ‘ultra’ as well.
- Intel Core i7-6700K (4.00GHz)
- 4GBx4 Kingston Predator DDR4-2400 (CAS 12-13-13-24)
- Asrock Z170 Extreme7+ (Intel Z170)
- Silverstone Strider Series (700w)
- Crucial MX200 1TB (SATA 6Gb/s)
- Radeon R9 Fury X (4096MB)
- Radeon R9 390X (8192MB)
- Radeon R9 390 (8192MB)
- Radeon R9 380X (4096MB)
- Radeon R9 380 (2048MB)
- Radeon R9 290X (4096MB)
- Radeon R9 290 (4096MB)
- Radeon R9 285 (2048MB)
- Radeon R9 280X (3072MB)
- Radeon R9 270X (2048MB)
- Radeon HD 7970 GHz (3072MB)
- Radeon HD 7970 (3072MB)
- Radeon HD 7950 Boost (3072MB)
- Radeon HD 7950 (3072MB)
- Radeon HD 7870 (2048MB)
- GeForce GTX Titan (6144MB)
- GeForce GTX 980 Ti (6144MB)
- GeForce GTX 980 (4096MB)
- GeForce GTX 970 (4096MB)
- GeForce GTX 960 (2048MB)
- GeForce GTX 950 (2048MB)
- GeForce GTX 780 Ti (3072MB)
- GeForce GTX 780 (3072MB)
- GeForce GTX 770 (2048MB)
- GeForce GTX 760 (2048MB)
- GeForce GTX 750 Ti (2048MB)
- GeForce GTX 680 (2048MB)
- GeForce GTX 660 Ti (2048MB)
- Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
- Nvidia GeForce 359.00 WHQL
- AMD Catalyst 15.11.1 Beta
Because of the busy battles and fast paced action, Star Wars Battlefront is a game ideally played with an average 60fps for smooth, lag-free gameplay. With that in mind, at 1080p we recommend at least a Radeon R9 380 or GeForce GTX 960 to make that happen. AMD came out with their $200 GPU delivering 60fps, while the GTX 960 averaged 55fps.
Many GPUs were able to average between 50 to 60fps, including some oldies like the GeForce GTX 680, 760, 770 and 780. On AMD’s side, the Radeon HD 7950, 7970 and R9 285 managed to pass.
For silky smooth gameplay, the GeForce GTX 970 or the Radeon R9 390 were both able to deliver over 80fps on average.
Moving up to 1440p we find that most mid-range graphics cards will deliver somewhat laggy performance with all the bells and whistles turned on. Graphics cards such as the Radeon R9 270X or GeForce GTX 960, for example, and even the R9 280X and GTX 780 Ti will struggle to deliver smooth gameplay at this resolution using the ultra quality settings.
Ideally gamers will want something no slower than a GeForce GTX 970 or Radeon R9 290.
Gaming at 4K requires some serious GPU power and so far there isn’t a single GPU that is up to the task. Star Wars Battlefront proved to be extremely demanding at 4K and even the mighty GeForce GTX 980 Ti and Radeon R9 Fury X struggled to deliver perfectly smooth gameplay.
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Steven Walton is a writer at TechSpot. TechSpot is a computer technology publication serving PC enthusiasts, gamers and IT pros since 1998.