Battlefield 4 beta: Console vs Mid-range PC

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battlefield 4 bta on pc

The PC version is graphically superior even on middle-range hardware, with lighting one of the key differences compared to current generation consoles.

UPDATE: I’ve included some screenshots below so that gamers can better compare some key differences.

Here at Gamer Thumb, we’ve put together a brief comparison between a mid-range PC and a PS3 to see how well each handles the Battlefield 4 beta.

It’s already a given that you’ll grab BF4 for PC if you own a high-end machine: it looks amazing.

Therefore, the purpose of this comparison is to help those who are tossing up between the console and PC versions for fear that there mightn’t be much difference without some expensive PC hardware.

This is important because nearly every demonstration we’ve seen to date is running on PC or next-gen hardware: until now we’ve had no way of assessing BF4’s visual merits for PC gamers who can’t afford to upgrade.

Our test PC was an MSI GE60 gaming laptop featuring:

– Intel Core i7 4700MQ;

-Nvidia GT750M GPU with 2GB DDR5 RAM;

-750GB 7200RPM HDD

-8GB DDR3 RAM

We ran the demo on High settings (one notch below Ultra, the highest available) and at 1600×900, given 1920 was a little too choppy for our liking.

Here’s our video comparison of gameplay:

 

>>GAMEPLAY: Read our impressions of both the PS3 and PC betas

 

Main differences:

Lighting

Even on the laptop we saw the power of a more modern GPU capable of producing realistic lighting effects. The sun flared as it should, light beamed through into dark rooms, and shadows looked more natural, too.

Dust

When the skyscraper goes down, it covers the landscape in dust.  On the PS3, it looks like the map’s original textures haven’t rendered properly.  Yet on PC, it looks natural, and there’s a much better looking haze in the air, too.

Water

Definitely no competition here: BF4’s water looks and moves more naturally on PC.

Texture resolution

To be honest, I thought the PS3 did an admirable job of reproducing a modern game on 2007 vintage hardware.  But the textures are still a bother. I’m hoping this is because the beta simply doesn’t come with them in order to keep the download small.  For comparison’s sake, the BF4 beta on PS3 was around about a 2GB download. On PC, it was 5.5GB.

Gameplay considerations

Visuals aside, both games played extremely well. But you’ll be itching to enjoy the 64-player matches in the PC version if you’re a true Battlefield aficionado.

And when you bear in mind that the PC version ran buttery smooth on a  gaming laptop with close to this number of players and a larger scale map, perhaps it’s worth considering the platform for your Battlefield 4 future.

Having said that, the next generation of consoles is just over a month away.  They, too, will have buttery smooth frame rates and 64-player battles, so the question now is: how keen are you to play an inferior version of BF4 on your PS3 or Xbox 360?

That dull blue texture on the right is water. The PS3 just can't produce the stunning water effects seen in the PC version.

That dull blue texture on the right is water. The PS3 just can’t produce the stunning water effects seen in the PC version.

Even through the haze, you can clearly see that the PC version is capable of producing better water effects on mid-range hardware.

Even through the haze, you can clearly see that the PC version is capable of producing better water effects on mid-range hardware.

Heading up the escalator in the PS3 beta. Not quite as pretty.

Heading up the escalator in the PS3 beta. Not quite as pretty.

 

Heading up the escalator in the PC version. texture quality and lighting is excellent.

Heading up the escalator in the PC version. texture quality and lighting is excellent.

 

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  • Matt

    Buttery smooth my ass…

    • MyBodyIsReady

      I dunno about PC but it’s a freaking slide-show when that Skyscraper comes down on PS3.

    • GamerThumb

      PC is smoother, but YouTube conversion means the vid is limited to around 30fps. Console is pretty average by all accounts.

      • Mini

        the beta is kind of choppy. Random fps drops. That’s probably why Matt made that comment.

  • travis1987

    everybody writes articles to fit their own agendas this agenda is “PC is best don’t buy the console version” my advice is, just get what you feel would be best for you, then you can judge for yourselves, i will be honest, i couldn’t see a major difference, so there ya go

    • travis1987

      sure, if you are made of money, then you can game at those settings but consoles are good at what they do, and they completely annihilate PC games with their exclusives.

      ps you state that if you just buy games for graphics you are sad, then you mention better graphics settings on PC, which is it son?

      • Mircea

        they annihilate pc with exclusives?… name 10.. and except god of war, and uncharted maybe, they suck… and buying a pc isn’t that much more expensive… in the end, u actually save money considering all the steam sales

        • travis1987

          dude, i love PC gaming also, but better games come out for consoles more frequently, PC’s have way more power but have no exclusives to show for it, multiplats do look better on PC though, always

  • Craig

    Fail video is fail

  • Jin

    I like how every video that i come across never just shows the gameplay but just compares ps4 to PC. when can i just have some plain HD direct feed of the gameplay. yeah we get it PC is powerful. Morons

  • Vulcanproject

    Pretty damn mediocre visuals IMO, even if it is better on the very modest laptop specs (a 750M is slower than a freaking 3 and a half year old desktop GTX460.) Also turn on vsync next time.

    Even maxed it doesn’t seem up to a great deal. Not that it matters, fixing the gameplay problems should be their primary concern at this point.

  • Saad Nawaz

    200 dollar pc will be unable to even play this game!!!good job ps3!!!

  • lesrima88

    stupid article

  • WOLF581

    you only can fool little kids with this fun base article.THE MAIN DIFFERENCE HERE IS THAT YOU COMPARE PS3 A 2005 HARDWARE WITH MODERN PCS. BACK IN 2005 THERE WAS NOT EITHER I7CORE OR GPU WITH DDR5 RAM YOU NAIVE BOY. IF YOU WANT TO BE HONEST WITH YOUR SELF COMPARE THE PS3 VERSION WITH A MID RANGE PC THAT WAS BUILD BACK IN 2005 YOU PC-FUN-BENCHMARK-ZOMBIE. OR COMPARE YOUR TODAYS MID RANGE PC WITH THE PS4 VERSION …………….NOW GO OPEN YOUR PS3 AND CONTINUE PLAY GTAV…….

    • me

      kid you are retarded. PS3 was released in November 11, 2006. Almost 2007. Il prove you this : you can easily build a Quad core rig with Q6600 (rls date January 2007) + 8800GTX released in Nov 2006!! and you will still be able to run BF4 with medium to High settings at 720p. And it will still look better than PS3. People still have this rig combination and are running BF4 with it ! fucking idiot!!

      • WOLF581

        YES LATE 2006 AND I HAVE BOUGHT IT ON RELEASE DATE FIRST THE PC Y R SAYING WITH THESE SETTINGS CAN RUN BF4 WITH AROUND 15 FPS Y IDIOT AND YOU DIDNT TELL US THE PRICE FOOL PLUS BUILD A PC BEFORE THE RELEASE DATE OF PS3 RETARTED IDIOT

        • Mircea

          are u retarted? like have u actually read what u wrote?

  • S1ghk0mantiz

    “The PS3 just can’t produce the stunning water effects seen in the PC version.”

    HAHA SOmeone has never played GTAV on PS3 haha

    • GamerThumb

      If you see the screenshots above, it’s clearly in reference to the two versions of BF4, not GTAV :-)

      One would only have to point to the plethora of PS3 exclusives to show just how beautiful games can look on the console. But that’s not the point of this article.

      • S1ghk0mantiz

        Your comment is clearly in reference to what the PS3 can or can’t handle and you clearly missed the point of mine ;)

  • Ogun22

    that video at 720p doesnt do what a mid range pc can do much less a high end PC. I have a corei5 2500k, ausus gtx 660, and 16gb of ram on a 7200 rpm drive and my mid range and high end graphics at the BF4 medium and auto(which is almost high) look better than anything on that video.

  • Jack Slater

    Really…
    I’m a ps3 fan, and stopped playing games on computer after my first HD console, the x360, which died like a shit, rrod power(thanks, microsoft liars).it was 2006.

    I love playing on consoles, and I’m really happy with what could be done on the ps3, games like god of war, uncharted, killzone 3, the last of us, are good examples of developers maxing out the system.

    But come on…

    A game like battlefield, you play it for the huge maps it has, with dozens of players, and most important, you play it for the gorgeous ,almost photorealistic graphics. With each iteration, cities, buildings, soldiers, everything become more and more realistic, and it’s just fantastic, to be able to enjoy such amazing graphics, like we’re watching a live feed on TV, from irak or syria. It’s almost that realistic.

    After the average graphics of battlefield 3, on my ps3(I grabbed it when it was free with PS+), I was like ‘shit, it’s a pity to not be able to play it with perfect textures, lights, etc’.
    And now, I see they are doing it again. Of course,with more than 120 million ps3/x360 consoles out there, it makes sense to release the game on those systems, and expect 10-20 million sales. But honestly, I just wish they didn’t use all the resources on those versions, and instead, concentrate and maxxing out the ps4 and xbox one.with all the resources used on current gen, they could have used them, and instead, concentrate on next gen and PCs, create more levels, bigger story, more everything, and optimize the 3 versions so it looks perfect, or even more. Often, games could look 20-40% better, if there was more resources, a few extra months, like 6-9 months, etc. It could be the case, if they only did next gen and PC.

    I watch the ps3 videos, and once again, I say ‘shit, I want to play it on the ps4, with great graphics, instead of a bf3 copy/paste’. They shouldn’t have done it for current gen. People will just miss a huge important, maybe the most important: graphics. This game is meant to be played on a system where a gamer can say wow, it’s photorealistic. On the ps3, no more photorealism. OK, the maps are big, many players, big buildings. That’s the only thing left. The gorgeous photorealistic buildings and cities, are gone.
    It’s a pity to play the game with low textures, everything blurred, etc. Ps3 or x360, the same.

    I’m happy for the PC guys, who will be able to play it as it should be played, with amazing graphics. For the console gamers who will get it for current gen, well… EA says ‘thank you guys’.

    • WOLF581

      Consoles are for games and pcs r for benchmarks and eating cash machines.
      i m playing games since 1985
      i have play all systems amiga,commodore,amstrad cpc 464+xt 1640,nes,snes,md,psx,dreamcast,ps2,xbox,ps3,360 i have bought it all plus i have 3 pcs 1 build in 2004 ,one in 2008 and one in 2012.

      FIRST the games you can play on consoles pc gamers can play only in their dreams games like gow,uncharted,halo (and dont tell me the shitty converzation pc get after years and no halo4) mario,zelda,starfox,doa,infamous,kilzone and many many more just cant be found on pcs.
      plus pc gamers have to waiiiit for gtav,street fighter ,mortal kombat etc.OH and mention the fiascos with the drivers of their video cards games like rage just couldnt played on launch day on amd video card because of their shitty drivers or the last tomb raider pc funs wait after release date for drivers for the game to run above 30 fps.PLUS dont mention so many other problems with drivers,windows,conflicts with other programs ,blue screens every now and then etc
      And how about the price YOU CANT BUILD A PC WITH 400 EUROS THE PRICE OF A PS4 AND PLAY THESE GAMES WITH THESE GRAPHICS YOU PC RETARDED KIDS.
      Bottom line pc fun boys r idiots how spend their money on expensive cards and all day just perform benchmarks JUST TO PROVE HOW GOOD THEIR PC IS.
      BUT ANYONE WHO JUST WANT TO PLAY THE BEST GAMES IN THE WORLD WITH VERY GOOD GRAPHICS AT A VERY REASONABLE PRICE WITH A PUSH OF A BUTTON THEN JUST GO GET XBOX-ONE,PS4,WII U AND LET THE IDIOTS RUN FRAPS AND DO BENCHMARKS ALLDAY LONG INSTEAD OF PLAYING THE BEST GAMES IN THE WORLD,PHEW I FORGOT I MUST RETURN TO MY GTAV OK LETS OPEN MY PC OH SHIT I FORGOT I CANT PLAY IT ON MY EXPENSIVE PC ON ULTRA HIGH SETTINGS BECAUSE ITS NOT OUT YET OHH SHIT I CANT WAIT I LL HAVE TO OPEN MY PS3 AGAIN HAHAHAHAHAHA

      • Jack Slater

        Just in case you didn’t read and understand what I wrote…
        I’m not a PC gamer, I love playing on consoles,and nothing will make me go back to computers(for gaming).
        I have like +100 games on my ps3, and I’m a huge huge Sony fan. Why you’re assuming I’m a PC master race, or PC elitist, or whatever?

        The whole point is that it’s a pity to have a game and engine that can output photorealistic cities and humans with perfect textures, at ultra high resolutions, and be ‘forced’ to play it on console(ps3,x360), with low textures and low everything.
        The guys that have a nice computer will really benefit from those amazing graphics and engine. Gamers with current gen consoles will be happy to play it, just without the photorealism.

        It’s not a PC vs consoles discussion.

        Don’t understand why you mad like a crazy, trying to defend I don’t know what and why.I’m sure everybody understood what I wrote, excepting you.
        Calm down, take one minute, get some fresh air, and reread it. You will see you overreacted without any reason :)

        • WOLF581

          i have read your article yes and its very unfair to compare bf4 of ps3,360 with todays pcs more ram more power.Its pointless to point the obvious !.
          Why you dont build a pc with 200 euros the price of a ps3 and then re check it ?
          Anyone that have money can spend them to buy a pc ok but pcs r not for games only for specific genres.
          When ps4 is out i love to see you compare fifa 14 with the pc version because if you haven’t know IGNITE engine is only for consoles right now.
          Its a pity for such a beautiful game with so large fun base the owners of high end pcs still play it with current gen engine !!!!

          So Compare the ps4,xboxone versions when they launch in 2 months AND dont forget to compare them to 400 euros pcs not a 1000 euros
          And dont pity the owners of ps3,360 for bf4 because they have play the last 7 years a bunch of games the pc owners just cant (last of us 10/10,uncharted,gow,kilzone,etc) and in 2 months the gamer that wants photorealistic graphics will go and get his next gen console.
          As for the gamer who remain in current gen this means that he is happy or he has no money right now.
          You dont write for 8 years old we all know that if you spend money pcs r supperior BUT with NO games like consoles period.

  • Mircea

    this is stupid, why is pc being compared to the ps3… of course it is superior graphics wise, it has always been that way, since the consoles came out… they should have compared ps4 with pc

  • d33g33

    I think perhaps people are getting a little carried away. I know its the internet, but share your opinion in a calm and controlled manner. Pretend the person is actually face to face with you. It’s clear that a PC will have more processing power than a now dated gaming console. I think what GamerThumb was trying to point out is that the console is really showing its age and while you can no way build a PC at the cost of a console you could afford something like a new GPU. in saying that, a console will outlast a PC in regards of ‘usability’ after a few years. Consoles certainly have their place, their great success reflects this but if you want all the fruit and don’t mind throwing down a bit of cash a PC is certainly the way to go :)