2021-06-18

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Group Testing 45 Video Cards in Mass Effect Legendary Edition

10 min read

The gaming industry continues a series of remakes and remaster. Now the queue has reached one of the key projects issued in the zero era. Credit classic or simply known games that have experienced a cosmetic update over the past year, perhaps nothing will compare with the scale of the entire Mass Effect trilogy. The more interesting to know how Remaster was held from a technical point of view: how demanding the game to the gland and, on the other hand, can it use all the resources of modern high-performance GPUs.

The fact is that Legendary Edition is the remaster of the famous trilogy, and not a full-scale remorse. The BioWare team made a serious job to bring the Mass Effect schedule to the changed quality standards, but at its basis the code of three games remained the same. So, they are still assembled on the original Unreal Engine 3 engine instead of FrostBite, which is used in flagship projects under the wing of Electronic Arts. As a result, BioWare has no opportunity to introduce such progressive technologies as materials based on Physical Based Rendering, not to mention the ray tracing. Otherwise, in addition to the upgrade of the graphics engine, it would have to manually process the tremendous database of the texture.

Instead, the developers were limited to the fact that the resolution of the texture was repeatedly increased so that the game was well looked on high-definition screens. In addition, some resources that changed from one game of the series to the other were unified, but, of course, not to the detriment of the changes that are due to the development of the plot (and therefore, the first part of the trilogy has been stronger than the first one). Finally, the engine was integrated into the engine, including Ambient Occlusion, which could afford not every game of that time, although now any new project is unthinkable without any implementation AO, including the notorious raitrecinge algorithms. In the Legendary Edition review, we have already made sure that such changes are quite enough in order to give the Mass Effect trilogy with a modern view. No matter how cool, the game graphics from the middle of the “zero” develops no longer as bravely as before.

⇡#Graphics Quality Settings

Mass Effect Legendary Edition Graphs Menu does not induce variety of options. Most settings that can be changed are the blurring of moving objects, the film effect, full-screen smoothing and SSAO – are postproined images.

Be that as it may, we still have time to make sure that even at maximas Remaster Mass Effect cannot be called a demanding game according to the current standards, so it does not have to turn off the post-processing in most cases, and it affects the quality of the picture.

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⇡#Test stand, testing methodology

Performance testing is made using the OCAT program. Indicators of medium and minimum frame frequencies are derived from an array of the rendering of individual frames.

The average frame rate in the diagrams is the reciprocal of the average frame rendering time. To estimate the minimum frame rate, the number of frames generated per second of the test is calculated. From this array of numbers, the value corresponding to the 1st percentile of the distribution is taken.

⇡#Test participants

  • AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT (1825/2250 MHz, 16 Gb / s, 16 GB);
  • AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT (1825/2250 MHz, 16 Gb / s, 16 GB);
  • AMD Radeon RX 6800 (1700/2105 MHz, 16 Gb / s, 16 GB);
  • AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT (2321/2581 MHz, 16 Gb / s, 12 GB);
  • AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT (1605/1905 MHz, 14 Gb / s, 8 GB);
  • AMD Radeon RX 5700 (1465/1725 MHz, 14 Gb / s, 8 GB);
  • AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT OC (1420/1750 MHz, 14 Gb / s, 6 GB);
  • AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT (1235/1620 MHz, 12 Gb / s, 6 GB);
  • AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT (1607/1845 MHz, 14 Gb / s, 8 GB);
  • AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT (1607/1845 MHz, 14 Gb / s, 4 GB);
  • AMD Radeon VII (1400/1750 MHz, 2 Gb / s, 16 GB);
  • AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 LC (1406/1677 MHz, 1.89 Gb / s, 8 GB);
  • AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 (1247/1546 MHz, 1.89 Gbps, 8 GB);
  • AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 (1156/1471 MHz, 16 Gb / s, 8 GB);
  • AMD Radeon RX 590 (1469/1545 MHz, 8 Gb / s, 8 GB);
  • AMD Radeon RX 580 (1257/1340 MHz, 8 Gb / s, 8 GB);
  • AMD Radeon RX 570 (1168/1244 MHz, 7 Gb / s, 4 GB);
  • AMD Radeon RX 560 16 CU (1175/1275 MHz, 7 Gb / s, 4 GB);
  • AMD Radeon RX 560 14 CU (1090/1175 MHz, 7 Gb / s, 4 GB);
  • AMD Radeon RX 550 8 CU (1100/1183 MHz, 7 Gb / s, 2 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 (1395/1695 MHz, 19.5 Gb / s, 24 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 (1440/1710 MHz, 19 Gbps, 10 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 (1500/1730 MHz, 14 Gb / s, 8 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti (1410/1665 MHz, 14 Gb / s, 8 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 (1320/1837 MHz, 15 Gb / s, 12 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition (1350/1635 MHz, 14 Gb / s, 11 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER (1650/1815 MHz, 15.5 Gb / s, 8 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Founders Edition (1515/1800 MHz, 14 Gb / s, 8 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER (1605/1770 MHz, 14 Gb / s, 8 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Founders Edition (1410/1710 MHz, 14 Gb / s, 8 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER (1470/1650 MHz, 14 Gb / s, 8 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (1365/1680 MHz, 14 Gb / s, 6 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (1500/1800 MHz, 12 Gb / s, 6 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER (1530/1830 MHz, 14 Gb / s, 6 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 (1530/1785 MHz, 8 Gb / s, 6 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER (1530/1770 MHz, 8 Gb / s, 4 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 (1485/1725 MHz, 8 Gb / s, 4 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti (1480/1582 MHz, 11 Gb / s, 11 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (1607/1733 MHz, 10 Gb / s, 8 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti (1607/1683 MHz, 8 Gb / s, 8 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (1506/1683 MHz, 8 Gb / s, 8 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (1506/1708 MHz, 9 Gb / s, 6 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (1506/1708 MHz, 8 Gb / s, 3 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (1290/1392 MHz, 7 Gb / s, 4 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 1030 (1227/1468 MHz, 6 Gb / s, 2 GB).

Approx. In brackets after the names of video cards, the base and boost frequencies are indicated according to the specifications of each device. Factory-overclocked video cards are brought in line with the reference parameters (or close to the latter), provided that this can be done without manually editing the clock frequency curve. Otherwise (NVIDIA GeForce 16 series accelerators, as well as GeForce RTX 2070/2080/2080 Ti Founders Edition), the manufacturer’s settings are used.

Test results (1920 × 1080, 2560 × 1440)

As in the previous mass tests of graphic cards, we have grouped the measurement results according to the screen resolution and the details of the graphics. In each of the three modes (1920 × 1080, 2560 × 1440, 3840 × 2160), a test was performed with minimal and maximum quality settings.

If any video card is missing on the diagram at a certain resolution, then this means that a) with higher quality graphics, the device already provides an average frame rate of 60 FPS and higher; b) the device did not reach 30 FPS with this combination of resolution and detail. Thus, for each video card taken, the range of settings is determined between “barely pulls” and “quality reduction is not required.”

⇡#1920 × 1080

Legendary Edition is a high-quality remaster, but at its base Mass Effect remained an old game, with such system requirements, which fits almost any video card issued over the past few years. Until the mark of 60 fps, only two weaker models from our collection did not reach the maximals: Radeon RX 550 and GeForce GT 1030. And if you take a modern gaming accelerator, and not even the most powerful one, then you can safely count on 150 or even 200 frames per second and more.

But if you compare the results of various video cards among themselves in search of the maximum frame, it opens a curious picture. First, no AMD model, including the latest generation products on RDNA 2 chips, does not reach such high results in 1080p mode, as comparable and performance in most other NVIDIA offers. The last, starting with the GeForce RTX 2060 Super, already, apparently, rests on the resources of the central processor, which do not allow to obtain the frequency of frame change is much higher than 200 FPS. At the same time, the AMD chip limit lies at 175 FPS.

And secondly, not always the more powerful GPU in the Mass Effect Legendary Edition at a relatively low screen resolution guarantees better speed, even if you make an amendment for random scatter frame. The most blatant example is, of course, the AMD Radeon RX 5000 series video cards. Here the RX 5500 XT and RX 5600 XT give a lot more frames per second compared to two senior models – RX 5700 and RX 5700 XT. And by the way, this is not the first similar case in undemanding according to modern standards. When the engine is not able to fully load a graphics processor, its speed is losing crucial importance – and other factors come to the fore: such as driver optimization, VRAM chip timings and so on.

Thirdly, despite the generally very high average frame rates, the minimum frame rate (with a cut-off of the 1st percentile distribution) is no constancy even within the measurements on one video card, and sometimes on the charts a more powerful accelerator has a smaller minimum frame. than a kindred weak video card. However, these artifacts are partly explained by the testing technique, because there is no integrated benchmark in Legendary Edition.

Be that as it may, our initial conclusions remain in force: Mass Effect Legendary Edition is not a problem for any modern video card and the mass of old models, including those that have not shine performance and at the time of their youth.

⇡#2560 × 1440

⇡#3840 × 2160

New GPU architectures, presented by NVIDIA and AMD, have not yet spread to the price range and speed below average, so any of them guarantees a framerate at least 60 FPS even in 4K at maxima. And if we are talking about such a monster as GeForce RTX 3090, it does not matter what permission is set in Mass Effect Legendary Edition: Anyway, the frame change frequency ranges about 200 fps. As for devices on AMD chips, the younger models of the 6000th series have finally demonstrated such a speed that we used to see in more demanding games: at the level of GeForce RTX 3060 and RTX 3070. But the Radeon RX 6800 XT and 6900 XT gives The slight increase in the framework compared to the “simply” 6800 and, as a result, cannot compete with GeForce RTX 3080, not to mention the RTX 3090. But finally, an anomaly in the Radeon RX 5000 series: now all these video cards lined up in accordance with GPU power.

But if you go beyond the limits of the devices of the last and penultimate generation, in tests with a resolution of 4K among test video cards occurred. To obtain confident 60 FPS, you need an accelerator of the Radeon RX VEGA 56 or Radeon RX 5600 XT, and from NVIDIA – GeForce GTX 1070 or GeForce GTX 1660 Super. In the range above 30, but below 60 fps Radeon RX 570, Radeon RX 5500 XT, GeForce GTX 1060 and GeForce GTX 1650 broke through maxima.

Only in Mass Effect Legendary Edition mode creates a sufficient load on the computer so that a significant part of the accelerators is forced to undergo additional tests with reduced graphics quality settings. Among them, 60 FPS marks crossed Radeon RX 580, Radeon RX 5500 XT, GeForce GTX 1060 and GeForce GTX 1650 Super. The video cards that are below one stage of the model range (RADEON RX 570, GeForce GTX 1050 Ti and the GEFORCE GTX 1650 basic model), let not reach 60 FPS, but have a good frame of the framework above the minimum acceptable 30.

⇡#Conclusions

If you compare with other remasters of the classic games that have appeared lately, then Mass Effect has undergone a relatively easy cosmetic processing. Of course, how the game looked then and how she looks now, – completely different things. And yet, according to modern standards, Legendary Edition is a very undemanding project. If you are going to play with 1080p resolution, only the weakest video cards among more or less relevant models (RADEON RX 550 and GeForce GT 1030) will refuse to maximize graphics quality to save the frame frequency above 60 FPS. In 1440p mode, such accelerators as Radeon RX 560 and GeForce GTX 1050 TI begin to lag behind, however, we specifically chose the most hard test conditions to demonstrate differences in GPU performance.

Comparatively powerful iron requires Mass Effect Legendary Edition only to play on the 4K screen. For this, it is suitable, for example, Radeon RX VEGA 56 or GeForce GTX 1070, and from the Lookup devices – Radeon RX 5600 XT or GeForce GTX 1660 Super. Cards such as RADEON RX 580, RX 5500 XT, GeForce GTX 1060 and GTX 1650 Super will cope with this task with reduced graphics settings. This is definitely good news for owners of not the most powerful game computers, especially since the prices of new components still hold at a very high level.

⇡#Group tests of video cards in other games

3DNews regularly runs massive tests of graphics cards in popular games. If you want to know how modern models and devices of past generations work in other projects, the benchmark archive is at your service:

  • Group testing 42 video cards in Cyberpunk 2077 – with new forces!
  • Group testing 42 video cards in HitMan III;
  • Group testing of 40 video cards in Cyberpunk 2077;
  • Group testing of 44 video cards in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020;
  • Group testing of 43 video cards at Horizon Zero Dawn;
  • Group testing of 48 video cards in Death Stranding;
  • Group testing of 20 video cards in Half-Life: Alyx;
  • Group testing of video cards in Minecraft RTX: heavy cubes;
  • Anniversary testing of 49 graphics cards in GTA V: five years later;
  • Group testing of 49 video cards in DOOM Eternal: mass shooting;
  • MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries. Group testing of 44 video cards: in suspense;
  • Group testing of 46 video cards in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order;
  • Doomsday for gaming video cards: testing 42 models in Red Dead Redemption 2;
  • Group testing of 44 video cards in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare;
  • Group testing of 43 video cards in Borderlands 3;
  • Group testing of 34 video cards in Control;
  • Group testing of video cards in Quake II RTX: “Kvaka” slows down again;
  • Group testing of 36 video cards in Apex Legends.

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