TechSpot: Mass Effect 3 GPU & CPU Tested, Benchmarked

As you've undoubtedly heard, the third installment of BioWare's Mass Effect trilogy hit shelves last Tuesday. Being one of the year's most anticipated launches, it's no surprise to see it with an aggregate review score of over 90. As with previous entries, Mass Effect 3 is built using Unreal Engine 3. In other words, it's a DirectX 9 title. As such, there are no fancy tessellation, additional dynamic lighting, depth of field or ambient occlusion effects. Although ME3 probably won't win any awards for being the best looking PC game of 2012, fans have generally approved of the way previous titles looked, so they shouldn't be too disappointed this time.

Besides, there are some benefits to sticking with the UE3 engine. For starters, its performance must be highly optimized by now. The developers say these tweaks have allowed them to improve everything, from better storytelling methods to better overall ground pics and cinematics. They also say the extra performance has allowed them to display more enemies at once, making for a richer and livelier experience.

TechSpot has benchmarked Mass Effect 3 across three different resolutions with two dozen GPU configurations -- including AMD's new Radeon HD 7000 series. We'll also see how the performance scales when overclocking an eight-core FX-8150, along with benching a handful of other Intel and AMD processors.

Read: Mass Effect 3 GPU & CPU Performance Test

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I actually found a great little trick to run all the modern games with no hassle on my old rig and in reasonable resolution. My monitor is an old 17" LG with 1280x1024 resolution, and still looks pretty damn good! So my 8600 GTS is quite an oldie, but if you put the game to run in letterboxed 1280x720 it copes perfectly with the stress and gives very reasonable frame-rates and details. But this is only good for FPS, Action or RPG games. Tried it on ME2 and it worked like a charm.

Julio Faanco said,
As with previous entries, Mass Effect 3 is built using Unreal Engine 3. In other words, it's a DirectX 9 title.

But in march 2011 Unreal Engine was update and support DirectX11 plus tessellation and displacement mapping, advanced hair rendering with MSAA, deferred rendering with MSAA, screen space subsurface scattering, image-based lighting, billboard reflections, glossy reflections, reflection shadows, point light reflections, and bokeh depth of field.
Taken from Wikipedia.
Then the problem is´t Unreal Engine, the real problem were lazy developers, whom did not bother to update to the last Unreal Engine to gain performance and better looking game.

Rolf Lorenz said,

Then the problem wasn't Unreal Engine, the real problem were lazy developers who did not bother to update to the last Unreal Engine to gain performance and better looking game.

While that might be more difficult than it sounds (I have no idea), I suppose it comes down to the fact that consoles don't support it and hence not worth the effort. As always.

Rolf Lorenz said,

Then the problem is´t Unreal Engine, the real problem were lazy developers, whom did not bother to update to the last Unreal Engine to gain performance and better looking game.

You make it sound like Unreal Engine is some sort of patch the developers were just too lazy to click and install. Did you think that maybe development on ME3 already started before the latest engine was released and there was no time to plan and develop to make use of the new features. Projects in the real world have budgets and deadlines that must be met.

Goodness, yes, this game doesn't require much in terms of hardware. The longest loading time I've encountered so far has been under three seconds, not to mention I could run ten instances of it simultaneously. Doesn't look so bad either!

...well that's a surprise; my 5770 can still keep up somewhat! Also great to know I've got the third-best processor around, even after more than six months.

Sadelwo said,
I know how you feel, the 5770 was an awesome card for the price. On a 1680 x 1050 monitor all my games run smoothly.

Same here 1680 x 1050 is perfect size, but I got the 9800GTX in SLI.