PCGH Performance Review: Mass Effect
Since Mass Effect is one of the best selling games for the Xbox 360, there now is a PC version to be released, too. PCGH had the chance to check a prerelease version in a performance review.
Developer Bioware (Neverwinter Nights, Baldur's Gate) upgraded Epic's middle-ware with elements typical for roll playing games, like character interaction, a detailed inventory or a plot told as a story. Modules like the renderer or the physics remained untouched. Therefore hardware requirements are at a moderate level - if Unreal Tournament 3 is running well on your system, then there is no need to upgrade it for Mass Effect.
A Dual Core processor is recommended, a Quad Core isn't providing any real benefits. Mass Effect is also frugal concerning the graphics card: a 8800 GT is capable of displaying 1,280x1,024 with all the details, as long as you don't exaggerate it with anisotropic filtering.
In 1,280x1,024 the Radeon HD 3870 is taking the lead, the Geforce 9800 GX2 and the Radeon HD 3870 X2 seem to have some efficiency problems. In 1,680x1,050 it is a whole different story, since the HD 3870 X2 is on the first place with the Geforce 9800 GX2 directly behind it. Older cards like the X1950 Pro or the Geforce 7900 GT can't keep the pace and drop below 20 average fps.
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