Note, I have edited, added, updated to this post since original post date of 10-14-13. Starting with Battlefield 4’s Beta to game release console commands, graphic settings, pc performance and overall game review.
Other than the Beta itself, I have narrowed the big performance issue down with BF4 that I myself and many others have been experiencing. From adjusting all settings and still low frames and stuttering, and reading the BF4 forum on performance problems, there was a pattern I began to see. Those like me with Windows 7 had the low frames, and stuttering. With Windows 7 started out with 10-20 fps, through adjusting settings improved to 30-50 but still stuttering bad. Those with Windows 8 were reporting higher frames for the most part, and smoother gameplay.
I installed Windows 8 Enterprise edition (90 day trial) on a second spare hard drive. Installed the hardware drivers, Nvidia 331.40 Beta driver, Origin and Battlefield 4 Beta. With Windows 8 after installing, game auto set my game setting between Ultra and High, WITH HBAO Occlusion on. And to my surprise, 62-95 FPS and smooth as butter. I running a AMD FX-8350 8 core at 4.4 Ghz, with a Asus GTX 660 TI and 16 GM of system ram. Could not get over 52 FPS on Win 7 all week, with frame drops down to as low as 11! A few weeks later, as you’ll see further on down below, found 3-4 cores going parked during game on Windows 7. Unparking cores on Win 7 gave me much smoother gameplay and higher FPS.
Well, onto the console commands, same commands as BF4 Beta launch
Battlefield 4 PC Console Commands:
Bring up the console by hitting your “tilde” key (next to your number 1) `
To close the console, hit your “tilde” key (next to your number 1)
Bringing up the console and typing “list” (no quotes), press enter will show you this entire command list above.
Most of the commands below enables by 1, or true on end of command line.
To disable enter 0(zero), or false.
GameTime.MaxVariableFPS 70 (Set framerate limit)
RenderDevice.TrippleBufferingEnable 1 (Enable Triple-Buffering)
RenderDevice.ForceRenderAheadLimit 2 (Force rendering only 2 frames ahead)
Perfoverlay.DrawGraph 1 (Show Performance Graph)
Perfoverlay.DrawFPS 1 (Show On Screen FPS)
Screenshot.Render (Take Screen Shot)
And for analyzing your network performance:
For On Screen FPS Display Type In Console:
perfoverlay.drawFPS 1 press enter, to enable on screen FPS.
For On Screen CPU – GPU Performance Graph Type In Console:
perfoverlay.drawgraph 1 press enter to enable.
1 to enable, Zero (0) to disable, press enter.
Useful Battlefield 4 Console Commands: (From Listing Above)
Sets a frame rate limit of 70, change number to your liking.
(Remember 60-65 FPS is considered playable & smooth.)
Force rendering only 1 frame ahead. (Setting of 1 or 2 will benefit)
(Screen Shot saved in My Documents\Battlefield 4\Screenshots\)
Nvidia Control Panel has Triple Buffering and Max Pre-Rendered Frames also.
What is the benefit of limiting or capping your fps?
Only beneficial IF you are able to run 60 – 90+ fps consistently. Less fps lag from fps drops from low to high max fps. On certain maps, or areas of the map, if your hardware is running 60-90+ fps for example, and your experience a drop from 110 to 70 for example. You can experience lag, stutter while it catches back up to 80, for example. Lower load on your hardware, equals lower gpu & cpu temps. With capping your fps at 70 for example, your more or less telling your computer “give me 70 fps and that’s all I want out you”
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A custom user.cfg file can be created and the file added to BF4’s game directory with ANY of the console commands. This custom user.cfg has the commands listed below, file will load automatically on every time you start the game.
Below is my user.cfg file, which has increase FPS for myself, along with making some changes to the in game video settinngs
Download Link to the above user.cfg file with the above listed optimized commands.
Save file, copy and paste user.cfg into this location below. (File opens with Notepad)
C: > Program Files (x86) > Origin Games > Battlefield 4 folder.
Note – need to do with game itself shut down, not running.
File will load automatically on every game start, running the commands & settings above.
If you don’t want performance graph (perfoverlay.drawgraph 1), just change 1 to 0 (zero), re-save the file. Zero disables that line. Or bring down console and type the commands with 0(zero) on the end to disable in game.
The “perfoverlay.drawgraph 1” will show a cpu & gpu performance graph in bottom left of screen. This graph shows response times in milliseconds. The yellow line is your cpu, the green line is your gpu. Both lines should be low and even together. High spikes means a problem. For example if green line (your gpu) is spiking higher, and over the cpu (yellow line) this usually means your gpu is slower than your cpu and “bottlenecking” performance.
** Note **
Change GameTime.MaxVariableFps to your liking, or monitors refresh rate or remove the line.
My suggestion is to remove the FPS Cap Limit (GameTime.MaxVariableFps) to test game video settings, and commands above to maximize. to see your maximum fps. Once tweaked, and if you are running 60-70++ fps, THEN cap your fps.
You can remove any commands or enable or disable the commands, from this file. Open in Notepad. Just remember 0 (Zero) disables the command or function, 1 enables the MOST of the commands. Or just delete the libe entirely and re-save file. Just re-save the file as is. Most be .cfg extension.
Remember, check your Nvidia or AMD settings, adjust your in video game settings. What I initially done is used Spectating Mode. “Spectating” givers you the closest idea on fps, without actually playing and adjusting settings. Change video settings one by one to monitor FPS changes. It will give you a good idea IF user.cfg and adjusting video settings are benefiting your fps AND overall performance. An explanation to BF4’s video game settings are near bottom of this page, and my particular settings.
12-1-13: MSI AfterBurner 3.0.1 Beta – 64 Bit Game Support
MSI Afterburner 3.0.0 Beta just recently released it’s 64 bit game support back for OSD, which will show FPS, gpu usage, temps and alot more.
Download latest Beta MSI Afterburner 3.0.1
also need RTSS Rivatuner Statistics Server:
I installed MSI Afterburner 3.0.0 Beta and during install I did not install the 4.5 RSST server, with Afterburner. I installed the other file, RTSS 6.1.2 and OSD is back. After installing and launching MSI Afterburner, open the RTSS 6.1.2 and make sure “On Screen Display” is On. Set your settings in Afterburners “Monitoring” tab on what you want shown OSD, check mark – “Show In On Screen Display”
BF4 Beta Experience:
AMD FX-8350 – 8 core, Overclocked at 4400 Ghz
ASRock 990FX Extreme9 AM3+ (Digi Power, 12 + 2 Power Phase)
Asus GTX 660 TI 2GB (Older card now, but does fine actually)
G.Skill 1300 16GB (4x4GB)
CORSAIR Hydro Series H100i
Cooler Master Storm Trooper Full Tower ($119 at the time of purchase)
2 – 7200 Sata Drives
XFX 850 Watt Power Supply Single rail, 12+ = 70 amps
Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
Along with Eset Anti Virus running on system. Eset Anti Virus has a “Gamer Mode” which activates automatically when it detects any full-screen application in use (games, movies, etc.)
Eset’s “Gamer Mode”:
Maximizes performance and minimizes intrusion when full-screen applications are running. Postpones scheduled tasks (for example, virus signature database updates or scheduled computer scans). Disables notification windows. Minimizes CPU usage by ESET to improve system performance.
BF4 Beta Performance:
Screen Resolution 1920x1080p
Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium:
First day using Nvidia 327.43 WHQL. Fps of 15-35 stuttering, lag and response was so bad could not move at all in game. 331.40 beta driver, fps of 30-50. Better FPS but still stuttering and choppy. With big frame drops down to 25-30. All video settings set to low.
Windows 8 Enterprise (Free 90 day Trial):
Tested with 2nd boot drive, with no Windows updates, just motherboard drivers, 331.40 Nvidia beta driver, Origin and BF4 beta download and install.
– 62-105 FPS. Average between 70-85 fps.
– Never dropped below 60. No stuttering or any lag at all.
11-15-13: There is no question Battlefield 4 does run smoother, a bit more FPS on Windows 8. I am not upgrading an OS for a game.
Windows 7 vs Windows 8 Performance Review by HARDOPC
“We are investigating this at DICE. Some of the graphic lag is related to how the OS handles the CPU cores. The main reason the game runs better in Win 8 is due to better handling of the cores. We will get back to you when we have investigated this.”
Battlefield 4 – Win 7 – Parked Multi Core CPU Fix
This mainly pertains to 8-core AMD’s or Intel i7 (sandy bridge or newer). This core unparking however has no effect on performance with i5 or AMD 4-core processors in Battlefield 4.
11-4-13: Discovered 1-4 of 8 cores on my AMD FX 8350 going in and out of “parked” state, during game. Caught some cores activating while others were going into “parked state”. Unparking all cores, turning OFF in Bio’s – AMD Turbo, Cool & Quiet, C1E, SVM, Core C6 state, HPC mode fixed my stuttering and low fps drop issues on Windows 7. Unparking the cores activated ALL 8 cores spreading the load out evenly. Disabling the above mentioned Bio’s keeps the Ghz speed consistent.
This was the difference in performance from testing on Windows 8 below, and Windows 7 for me.
“Core Parking is a sleep state (C6) supported by most newer x86 processors, and newer editions of Windows. Core Parking dynamically disables unused logical cores, turning them back on as the load on the CPU(s) increases. This technology is very similar to frequency scaling, in that it seeks to throttle the CPU’s power consumption when idle. Unfortunately, Windows is often far too aggressive in its parking. You can easily have a 75% total CPU load and *still* have parked cores!”
More on Core Parking
Unparking all cores on this AMD FX 8350 resulted in a HUGE performance difference.
Remember, to fully benefit from this, AMD Turbo, Cool & Quiet, C1E, SVM, Core C6 state, HPC mode must be disabled, turned off in Bio’s.
Current Game Video Settings 3-1-15:
Screen Resolution: 1980x1080p
Resolution Scale: 125% (Default 100 best for FPS / 100+ Better Visuals & FPS drop)
Field Of View: 75 (Default 70 or lower is best for FPS)
In Game Vertical Sync: Off
Motion Blur: Off
Weapon DOF: Off
Texture Quality: High
Texture Filtering: Ultra
Lighting: Medium (Recommended Low)
Effects: Medium (Recommended Low)
Post Process: Medium (Higher the setting = BIG hit on FPS – Recommended Low)
Terrain Decoration: High (Recommended Low or Medium for fps)
AA Deferred: Off
AA Post: Off
Ambient Occlusion: Off (HBAO = 14 to 19 fps less depending on your hardware)
Network Smoothing Factor: 10%
Nvidia Control Panel:
Antialiaing Transparency – Multisample
Maximum Pre Rendered Frames = 2
Single Display Performance Mode (If one monitor)
Power Management Mode – Maximum Power
Texture Filtering Anisotropic Sample – Off
Texture Filtering Negative LOD – Clamp
Thread Optimization – On
Triple Buffering – Off
Vertical Sync – Off (When On, this will limit fps to your to your monitors refresh rate)
12-1-13: All 8 cores “unparked”, Cool & Quiet setting disabled in Bio’s on Windows 7, 1080p, un-capped fps ran 60-120 fps depending map with the above settings now.
FX 8350 OC’d at 4400 Ghz. 660 TI OC’d at 1170 boost clock, (GPU-Z reports 1267 Ghz), video memory at 6562 Mhz.
Overclocking the 660 TI to max 1270 Ghz will boost fps by 7-12 on average
Full out Ultra game settings on Windows 7 = 52-78+ fps depending on map.
No FPS Command Limit Cap:
GPU Usage = 86-93% / GPU Temp 53-60C (Summer Temps, 1240 Boost Clock)
CPU Usage 60%-77% / CPU Core Temp 43-51C (Summer Temps, 4400 Overclock)
FPS 60-120, averages 70-95, with lows bottoming out at 61-66 depending on map. That is a huge fluctuation maxing out sometimes at 120, and catching up from a low 60 fps drop which can induce micro stuttering depending on your cpu.
75 FPS Command Limit Cap:
GPU Usage = 65-80% / GPU Temp 45-54C (Summer Temps, 1240 Boost Clock)
CPU Usage 48-66% / CPU Core Temp 39-45C (Summer Temps, 4400 Overclock)
Maintains a steady 70 FPS, with occasional drops to 58-65 fps on the low side depending on map.
FX 8350 at 4400Ghz stable at 1.397
At 1080p, MSI Afterburner OSD monitoring is reporting 1260-1475MB’s of video memory being used with the video settings above.
Personally, I’m sticking with a fps cap of 75 now.
With my hardware, the custom user.cfg file, and tweaked in game video settings I’m now running a solid 75 fps with no drops below that.
After a year away from game, seems the game might be optimize somewhat better than a year ago. With the same user.cfg file above, I’m now running full Ultra settings with Resolution Scale at 125%, AA Deferred: Off, AA Post: Low, Ambient Occlusion: Off and maintaining 68-75 fps, capped at 75 fps.
Video Settings Breakdown & Tweaks:
Post Processing: Turn down Post Processing. It’s is heavy on your computers hardware & game FPS. You will notice an increase in fps if you turn this setting down. It puts extra load on GPU to produce better image quality, for better performance set to low. On high or ultra, I noticed a 12-16 drop in fps.
Antialiasing Deffered: Off
Antialiasing Post: OFF – Antialiasing is heavy on hardware. It does make the objects look smoother but if your PC isn’t powerful enough, you may want to disable it for better performance.
Texture Quality: Lower the texture quality if graphics card has a low quantity of memory. Change this setting depending on your GPU’s specifications.
Texture Filtering: Higher makes everything look sharper, set to low for better performance. Just like Mesh below, if you have the performance Texture Filtering you want to set as high as possible, otherwise turn it down for better performance.
Mesh: If you have the hardware, and decent fps this is the one setting you want as high as your pc can handle. It actually affects the rendering of distant objects. Ultra or High allows you to see enemies/vehicles better, clearer at greater distances than lower settings. It can be a useful feature in a game like BF4, but if you have a lower end cpu, not overclocked and if resources are the issue, you should reduce it to medium or low. “Mesh” is highly cpu dependent, and it will squeeze your cpu.
Vsync: Recommend to turn VSYNC off to reduce input lag. Your call here, experiment with game options and Nvidia control panel settings. They say to “turn VSYNC off to reduce input lag”. I tried using Nvidia’s “adaptive vertical sync” setting in Nvidia’s control panel. I did not noticed any input lag myself.
Weapon DOF (Depth of field): Turning off will help fps a bit. You will loose some eye candy but it will make the rendering smoother and system lags will be reduced. “DOF’ On will show a slight blur around iron sites or scope as you aim down site.
Motion Blur – Turn Off
Ambient Occlusion – Turn Off. HBAO is the hardest hit on FPS, the other setting isn’t any better. When activating any of the 2 options, I mainly seen an fps drop with the HBAO setting. I seen no difference in image quality overall with either settings off or on, and that is with restarting game on each change.
Resolution Scale – 100% or lower. Lower 90-95% for example will help FPS. Higher than 100% will give you better visual clarity, and will drop your FPS. Over 100% will increases the load on your gpu & cpu and increase video ram usage.
FOV – “Field Of View” default of 70. Increasing gives a wider view of left & right of your screen, puts more load on your gpu & cpu and will drop fps. If your looking for more FPS, keep this at 70 or a bit lower.
Great video explaining the games advanced video settings –
Few other things I tried that seemed to help:
Noticed when not gaming, just checking with B-logs page open, my processor fan “ramped” up a bit, cpu running 8-11% just sitting idle. When I minimized the page, fan slowed up, cpu went to 0%, and maximizing the page brought fan speed cpu back up a bit.
How to turn off: Top right on B-logs page under your nickname, Settings > General tab, near the bottom “Local Settings” > “Enable video background for this device/browser” – disable it. Every little bit helps!
Origin Client > Origin tab > Application Settings > Origin In Game > Disable (remove check mark) “Enable Origin In Game” (disable it).
12-28-13: At game roll out, even though I have now figure out the performance problems on my end, and core parking on Windows 7, the mechanics of the game itself is unplayable. Hit registration alone is so poor, it is enough to keep you away from this game. 3 or 4 game patches to fix some issues have created other problems, and have made game play worse for many. 6 weeks now, and not very interested in the game already. Ok, maybe hit registration and accuracy is my own problem, but I know when I’m point blank 6-8 burst shots what seems to me as dead center mass and no hit markers. But ducking behind cover and taking 3-5 shots while behind cover is no good either. Getting shot behind cover is much worse in BF4 than BF3 for sure. Makes Bf3’s hit registration like 10k gold. The only crash I experience is complete server crashes, have only experienced one “bf4.exe App Crash”. Reading through Battlelog PC fourm, with MANY, MANY having continued problems starting the game, or crashing out constantly. I’m lucky for the performance I have experienced has been better than most others.
Update: I stopped playing Battlefield 4 back last January 2014.
Haven’t touched it……………
All I can say, is I hope EA/Dice works the game play, and performance issues that many are experiencing out in time. Hope the tips above help you out.
Ok, one last update 3-1-2015:
After a year away (about 14 months) from BF4, got into playing again somewhat, the game is different now, I think for the better. Without FPS cap, FX 8350 OC’d at a locked 4.4 Ghz and my older GTX 660 TI at stock settings, game is running 85-120 fps. With the above in game video settings, and customer user.cfg file. Game looks good, mechanics and weapon balancing seem to be improved. Hit registration, and shot behind cover has not changed or some days it appears to be better. My network isn’t the best but ping in at 40-65 on average. My accuracy was never the best, I’m 56 years old,, it improved on BF3 with playing every night for over a year straight. So being away from BF4 for 14 months is not helping matters right now when it comes reflex speed and putting shots on target, LOL.
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