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Mass Effect 3: PC Performance Benchmarks for Graphics Cards and Processors

Mass Effect3 2012_03_06_19_34_44_375

Released: 2012
Genre : Action (Shooter) / RPG / 3D / 3rd Person
Developer : BioWare
Publisher : Electronic Arts

Mass Effect 3 is an action/RPG video game in development by the Canadian company BioWare, the third installment in the series of the same name. The publisher is Electronic Arts. Mass Effect 3 was released on March 6, 2012 for PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

me3 sys

In Mass Effect 3, unlike the previous parts of the series, there is a multiplayer game mode. The project received the Spike Video Game Awards 2011 as the most anticipated game of 2012.

 Review: Playability (by Lexington)

Mass Effect 3 is one of the most anticipated games of this year. For almost a month, a demo version of the product has been available in the Origin service, containing about an hour of a single company and a multiplayer mode. It was difficult to judge from the demo version what the final product would be like. Especially about such a large-scale product as Mass Effect 3.

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We can say that the gameplay has not undergone drastic changes (as it was in Mass Effect 2). Shepard was taught to roll in all four directions (in the manner of the console action game Gears of War), climb stairs and jump over gaps in structures. The game has become even more like a classic third-person action game. The character development system is an improved version from Mass Effect 2 - customization of armor and weapons. In the manner of modern shooters, the game carefully shows with a crosshair in the sight whether you hit the enemy or not.

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Graphically, the game remained at the same level as the second part. But the sound is a cut above that in previous games in the series, but this is not surprising, Bioware (when developing the third part), in terms of sound, collaborated very closely with DICE and this is immediately felt, whether it be the use of skills, shooting or events that unfold against the backdrop of the game. The game has grown even more in terms of working with the universe, the cut-scenes have become even more cinematic and dramatic, and the intensity of passions has grown several times, but this is not surprising, because this time the fate of the galaxy is at stake.

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In general, the impressions of the game are positive. Fans will have a lot of fun, and ordinary gamers will play some good action. An already rather outdated picture and too small and insignificant innovations in the gameplay can cause complaints. The main thing is that the developers had the strength to beautifully and epicly finish their trilogy (such a task turned out to be beyond the power of even such meters of the gaming industry as bungie in Halo 3 and Epic Games in Gears of War 3).

 Overview: Graphics

Like the second part of the Mass Effect 3 franchise, it is based on the Unreal Engine 3.5 game engine. Unlike the previous parts, the game turned out to be completely "consolidated" and has practically no graphic settings. Apparently the developers have decided to "one size fits all" graphics on all gaming platforms.

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UE3 was designed with personal computers using modern rendering systems (DirectX 9/10/11 and OpenGL 2/3) and current generation consoles (PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360) in mind. The updated graphics engine supports most modern technologies, including HDR, per-pixel lighting, dynamic shadows, shader model 4, geometry shaders. The graphics pipeline itself was transferred under the control of shaders. The physical subsystem Karma was abandoned in favor of another called PhysX from AGEIA. Later, AGEIA released a set of additional libraries for the game, allowing you to use all the features of the physical system (such as the effect of "fluid" or tissue).

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The FaceFX mechanism is responsible for the animation of the faces of the characters. Updated EAX version to 5th. Added support for SpeedTree for generating trees. The emphasis was on additive geometry, but support for subtractive geometry was not abandoned. The disadvantage of subtractive geometry in the first place is a much longer lighting calculation. A new UnrealEd editor has been introduced, rewritten using wxWidgets.

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In Unreal Engine 3.5, an Ambient occlusion post-processing filter has been added to improve shadows and lighting. The number of processed characters in the frame has been increased. The dynamic water surface technology has been redesigned to a new level, soft body physics and destructible environments have also been significantly improved.

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 One of the major innovations is the new Unreal Lightmass lighting system, which uses lossless global illumination features that were implemented in older lighting systems. Improved work with multiprocessor systems - distribution of tasks between multiprocessor systems using Unreal Swarm, as well as faster compilation of C ++ code and processing of Unreal Script due to Unreal Build Tool.

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 At the moment, the game does not shine with manufacturability, like the first part of the series. The main focus is on storytelling and gameplay. So avid graphomaniacs have  nothing to look for in Mass Effect 3...

 Review: Game resource intensive 

All video cards were tested at maximum graphics quality by MSI Afterburner. The purpose of the test is to determine how video cards from different manufacturers behave under the same conditions. The minimum and average value of frames is taken as a performance indicator. Below is the configuration of our test systems.

Test configuration

test stands

Testbed #1 based on the Intel Socket 1155 platform

Test stand #2 based on the Intel Socket 1366 platform

Test Bench #3 Based on the AMD Soket AM2 Platform

Test Bench #4 Based on AMD Socket AM3 Platform

Test Bench #5 Based on AMD Socket AM3 Platform

Test Bench #6 Based on AMD Socket AM3 Platform

Benchmark #7 based on the Intel Socket 1155 platform

multimedia equipment

3D monitor LG W2363D

Monitor LG E2750

Dell U3010 monitor product provided by  AMD

3D Vision Kit  product provided by  Nvidia

Software configuration

operating system

Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate Edition x64 SP1

Graphics driver

Nvidia GeForce/ION Driver Release 295.51

AMD Catalyst 12.1 C3


Monitoring program

MSI Afterburner v 2.2.0 beta 11


Our video cards were tested at resolutions of 1920x1080 and 2560x1600 at the maximum graphics quality settings allowed by the game. NVIDIA 3D Vision and AMD Eyefinity technologies were not included in the tests this time due to poor optimization for the game. Mass Effect 3 has an internal FPS cap of 60 frames.

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Testing at maximum quality settings 1920x1080 

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At a resolution of 1920x1080 at maximum settings, all modern video cards do not experience any problems with the game. So to buy a PC for this game, you can take any configuration without hesitation...

Testing at maximum quality settings 2560x1600 

 me3 2560

At a resolution of 2560x1600 at maximum settings, video cards of the Radeon HD 5750 or GeForce GTS 450 level showed the minimum performance level. The optimal solutions for these settings would be the  Radeon HD 5770 or GeForce GTX 550Ti.

Processor dependency testing

We tested processor dependence on 12 models of basic configurations that are relevant today. The test was carried out in those places where the value of the video card for the game is minimal and its load was less than 99%, this time at a resolution of 1024x768 with maximum graphics quality settings.

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Testing at minimum quality settings 1024x768


None of our tested processors experienced performance issues with this game. Even a modern entry-level office CPU is suitable for the game.