Battlefield V NVIDIA Ray Tracing - CPU Testing

Author:Kyle Bennett

Date: Wednesday, January 02, 2019

We have been doing some deep dives into playing Battlefield V 64-person multiplayer lately and testing what exactly the cost of using NVIDIA Ray Tracing is in terms of framerate performance using new NVIDIA RTX 2070 and RTX 2080 cards. We did get questioned on using a 5GHz overclocked 7700K instead of the suggested CPU that EA recommends.

Battlefield V NVIDIA Ray Tracing - CPU Testing

As noted above, in our recent reviews, Battlefield V NVIDIA Ray Tracing RTX 2080 Performance and Battlefield V NVIDIA Ray Tracing RTX 2070 Performance, some folks questioned us using a 7700K CPU for our testing. EA does note that its Minimum Intel CPU Requirement for DXR is a Core i5-8400, and its Recommended Intel CPU Requirement for DXR is a Core i7-8700.

The big rub here with some of our readers is that our data is flawed due to us using the 7700K, which is a 4-core / 8-thread CPU where the suggested i5-8400 and i7-8700 processors are both 6-core processors. When we evaluated our hardware configuration for our RTX 2070 and RTX 2080 testing we felt as though our CPU was solid in terms of Battlefield V performance. Worth remembering is that our 7700K is overclocked to 5GHz across all cores. While we certainly did see high CPU utilizations using the 7700K at 5GHz, we only once saw a brief spike where even one of our 7700K cores was ever 100% utilized.

Moving to the RTX 2080 Ti Battlefield V testing, we did have concerns of our own that the RTX 2080 Ti would put us into a situation where we might possibly be CPU-bottlenecked, meaning that our framerates would be held back by our 7700K CPU. In our video card testing we have seen some instances of being CPU-limited, especially with NVIDIA's 2080 Ti. Of course, the "faster" the GPU, the more likely you are to find CPU-limited situations while gaming.

Given the minimum and recommended CPU specifications from EA, we wanted to overshoot those a bit, so instead of using an i5-8400 or i7-8700 CPU, we used a Core i7-9700K 8-core CPU. This 9700K CPU is running at 4.6GHz under a 100% load on the motherboard we are testing with.

We will be using the latest version of Battlefield V including the DXR Performance Patch and the latest December 11th patch.

We are testing the Multiplayer aspect of the game in Rotterdam, a 64-player map. Rotterdam is very popular, and was used for demonstration of NVIDIA Ray Tracing in demos prior to the game launch.

NVIDIA Ray Tracing 1440p Ultra

As you can see, our overclocked 7700K actually returned a "better" framerate than our 9700K, however, the average framerate is easily within the margin of error. That said, the slight framerate increase was repeatable.

NVIDIA Ray Tracing 1080p Ultra

We did want to see if we further decreased the resolution, which of course should make the gameplay more susceptible to being CPU-limited, if we did get a Battlefield V gameplay scenario that was bottlenecked by the CPU.

Even at 1080p, we once again see our 7700K at 5GHz eke out a "win" over the 9700K at 4.6GHz.

We did spend time testing the RTX 2070 and RTX 2080 as well and did see similar results, albeit with a slightly higher delta in scores.

The Bottom Line

Even though EA suggests 6-core CPUs for playing Battlefield V, it is obvious to us that a highly overclocked 4-core CPU can still get the job done. The 7700K at 5GHz is heavily loaded in terms of CPU usage while playing multiplayer BFV, and it is likely that if you had other processes running in the background, you would certainly be hampering performance. Our game test systems, are not "true" desktop systems in the sense that we are not running any background applications that are not 100% necessary. It is certainly conceivable that an end user 4-core system would have enough processes and applications running in the background to hinder 4-core performance in Battlefield V.

We are 100% confident in our previous NVIDIA Ray Tracing testing using Battlefield V and those not being CPU limited in any way.

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