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Middle-earth Shadow of Mordor: PC Performance Benchmarks for Graphics Cards and Processors


ShadowOfMordor 2014 09 30 11 05 34 184 

Released : 2014
Genre : RPG (Rogue/Action) / 3D / 3rd Person
Developer : Monolith Productions
Publisher : Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

 ShadowOfMordor sys

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is a new generation game set in the famous Middle-earth. An exciting story of revenge and redemption awaits you. Play the role of the ranger Talion, whose family was killed by the minions of Sauron. Talion himself did not escape the cruel fate, but the Spirit of vengeance brought him back to life and endowed him with supernatural powers. Now the ranger, who has returned from the dead, will have to go into the depths of Mordor to fulfill his oath and destroy those who destroyed his life. 

Over time, he will discover the truth about what kind of Spirit brought him back to the world, he will learn about the rings of power and fight his enemy. Each opponent that the player meets will be unique - with their own characteristics, strengths and weaknesses. Thanks to the mechanics of the Nemesis System, the relationship of enemies and their characteristics are determined depending on the actions of the player and his decisions. The dynamic world of "Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor" remembers you, reacts to your decisions and adapts to them. Here, each player will live his own - unique - adventure.


In this subsection of our review, the main graphical aspects of this game are revealed. Particular attention is paid to the version of the graphics engine used, the version of the API used, graphics settings and the quality of the development of the main visual aspects.

Supported OS and graphics API

Middle-earth Shadow of Mordor is supported by major Windows operating systems, which include Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8. Other operating systems are not currently supported by the developers and will not be supported. 

ShadowOfMordor steam 

The priority and main graphics API for Middle-earth Shadow of Mordor is  DirectX 11

Game engine 

The game engine of the game is a product of its own development by Monolith Productions. There is practically no information on the network about the structure and development of this engine. Most likely, the engine is a further development of a product line for games based on Monolith Productions' own intellectual property.

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We have not been able to find detailed information other than our own visual observations.


Advanced game settings


Middle-earth Shadow of Mordor has the widest range of graphics settings. You can also change the settings for four main sub-items - low medium and high. Basic and advanced settings are located in two different sub-items of the graphical menus.

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Below we have provided screenshots of the game at various graphics settings, where our readers can see the difference between the minimum, medium and maximum graphics quality settings. 

Various quality modes
bottom 1 sr 1 max 1
bottom 2 sr 2 max 2

The difference between graphics settings is visible in the quality of detail and the quality of the world around.

Comparison of FullHD and 4K
hd 1 4k1
hd 2 4k2

In 4K Middle-earth Shadow of Mordor looks good, and what is most interesting, this resolution can be tried on a regular fullhd monitor.

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor - HD Content
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Now we will compare what Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor - HD Content brings to the game, except for the increased consumption of video memory. To do this, we compared two steam versions of the game - with and without HD textures installed. In both cases, the game settings were set to "ultra". As we can see, the drawing range is the same, the detailing of the character's clothes and inventory is the same. If it weren't for the slightly more detailed rocks nearby, HD would simply not be visible. So don't get frustrated about the low VRAM of your graphics card for this option...

General visual design and game physics

Middle-earth Shadow of Mordor is a good game, both in terms of the gameplay itself and in terms of the implementation of the graphical component. In fact, this is currently one of the most beautiful games recreated in the Lord of the Rings universe. Particularly noteworthy are the visual effects and the quality of the detail of the surrounding world.

Shadow Of Mordor game 1 Shadow Of Mordor game 2

But still, we are in for some disappointment, namely, that we would like to see all the possible corners of Middle-earth, with the accompanying contrast of changes in all possible locations of this world, it is a pity that the developers of Middle-earth Shadow of Mordor limited themselves to only its northern part .. .

 Shadow Of Mordor game 3 Shadow Of Mordor game 4

Next, we will go directly to the gaming tests and determine what impact this game has on modern computer hardware. 


Test configuration

test stands


Benchmark #1 based on the Intel Socket 2011 platform

Test stand #3 based on the Intel Socket 1155 platform

Test Bench #6 Based on AMD Socket AM3 Platform

Benchmark #7 Based on AMD Socket AM3+ Platform

Benchmark #8 based on the Intel Socket 1150 platform


multimedia equipment

Dell U3010 Monitor 

Monitor  ASUS PQ321QE

Software configuration

operating system

Microsoft Windows 8.1

Graphics driver

Nvidia GeForce/ION Driver Release 344.11

AMD Catalyst 14.9

Monitoring program

MSI Afterburner v4 


GPU test

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 average and minimum FPS were taken as the performance indicator. Below is a video of the test segment:   

  Our video cards were tested at resolutions of 1920x1080, 2560x1600 and 3840x2160 at the maximum graphics quality settings allowed by Middle-earth Shadow of Mordor. SLI and AMD CrossFireX are currently not supported by the game.

The tests were carried out in a separate test segment, and not a gaming benchmark, due to the dampness of the latter. The benchmark starts when the game content is not fully loaded, as a result of which significant FPS drops are observed at the very beginning, which affect both its minimum and average values. The segment we have chosen in terms of the final test parameters of the average FPS is almost identical to the gaming benchmark.

Video cards were tested in the base version of the game, but with Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor - HD Content they have the same performance except for the amount of video memory consumed. That is, with the HD pack, everything corny rests only on the amount of video memory, which is a critical moment for most modern video cards with the 2 GB standard.


Testing at 1920x1080 resolution


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Testing at maximum quality settings 1920x1080 

Shadow Of Mordor 1920  

With these settings,  video cards of the Radeon HD 6870 or GeForce GTX 650 Ti level showed an acceptable FPS. The optimal solution would be  video cards of the level Radeon HD 6970 or GeForce GTX 560.

Testing at 2560x1600 resolution

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Testing at maximum quality settings 2560x1600

Shadow Of Mordor 2560 

With these settings,  video cards of the Radeon HD 7850 or GeForce GTX 590 level showed an acceptable FPS.  The best solution would be  video cards of the Radeon HD 7870 or GeForce GTX 760 level.

Testing at 3840x2160 resolution

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Testing at maximum quality settings 3840x2560

Shadow Of Mordor 3840 

With these settings,  video cards of the Radeon R9 290X or GeForce GTX 780 level showed an acceptable FPS.  The best solution would be  video cards of the Radeon R9 290X or GeForce GTX 780 Ti level  and higher .


memory GPU

Testing of the video memory consumed by the game was carried out by the  MSI Afterburner program. The results on top video cards from AMD and NVIDIA were taken as an indicator at resolutions of  1920x1080 and 2560x1600 with various anti-aliasing settings.

Testing at maximum memory GPU quality settings

 ShadowOfMordor vram

The recommended amount of video memory usage for a resolution of 1920x1080 will be 3076 MB of video memory,  for a resolution of 2560x1600 - 4098 MB of video memory and for a resolution of 3840x2160 about 4098 MB of video memory. 

CPU test

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We tested processor dependence on 15 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 1280x720 with maximum graphics quality settings. 

Testing at maximum quality settings 1280x720 


The CPU performance in the game is quite adequate and capped at 100 FPS limit.

Loading of processor cores at maximum quality settings 1920x1080 Intel % 

ShadowOfMordor intel 

Loading of processor cores  at maximum quality settings 1920x1080 AMD % 

ShadowOfMordor amd 

The game is capable of supporting up to 6 computational threads, but it is not able to normally use more than 4 cores.

RAM test

The test was conducted on the base configuration Core i 7 3970X@4.9 GHz with 16GB DDR3 2400 MGz pre-installed memory. All used RAM was taken as an indicator. The RAM test on the entire system was carried out on various test benches without running extraneous applications (browsers, etc.).

Testing the game's RAM consumption at various quality settings 

ShadowOfMordor ram 

As we can see, at various quality settings, the amount of RAM consumed in Middle-earth Shadow of Mordor is at the level of 900-1100 megabytes.  

Testing system RAM consumption  

ShadowOfMordor ram2 

With a system with 4 gigabytes, Middle-earth Shadow of Mordor consumes about 3.1 gigabytes of RAM. In the presence of a system with 8 gigabytes, the RAM consumption of all RAM was 3.5 gigabytes. With a 16 GB system, total memory consumption was almost 4.2 GB.