Mass Effect Andromeda PC Performance Breakdown And Most Important Graphics Options

Written by Jon Sutton on Wed, Mar 22, 2017 11:16 AM
System Requirements Optimum 1080p PC Build Low vs Ultra Screenshots GPU Performance Chart CPU List That Meet System Requirements GPU List That Meet System Requirements

Mass Effect Andromeda has some truly stunning vistas on bizarre alien worlds, however this all comes at a performance cost. Mass Effect 4's system requirements aren't exactly sky high, but a lot of PC players will have to tweak a few settings in order to reach a steady 60 FPS. Here's every graphics setting in Mass Effect Andromeda PC benchmarked and tested for the Frames Per Second performance hit. Using the chart below you can find out just how demanding each setting is. Along with this, we've given priority scores based on how important we believe it is to enable these graphics options.

Mass Effect Andromeda System Requirements

For the benchmark results below we used an MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G, an Intel Core i7-5820K processor, and 16GB DDR4 memory.

Mass Effect Andromeda Graphics Options Performance Breakdown

The further right the bar goes, the more demanding the graphics option is.


Mass Effect Andromeda Graphics Settings

Ambient Occlusion

Ambient Occlusion is a rendering technique which applies to the contact shadows where two objects meet. A corner will get darker the further away from the light source it is. In our Mass Effect Andromeda Low vs Ultra graphics comparison you can see it is used quite prominently when HBAO is enabled.

Performance Impact - 1/5

Priority - 4/5

 

Anti-Aliasing

Anti-aliasing removes the jagged edges which can appear on objects. Mass Effect Andromeda offers platers the choice between FXAA and Temporal AA. Neither provides a particularly crisp image, blurring the edges of objects slightly to hide the jaggies. If you’re playing at a high resolution I would recommend disabling this.

Performance Impact - 3/5

Priority - 2/5

 

Chromatic Aberration

Chromatic Aberration is a very controversial graphics setting. It is a form of distortion designed to make the image look out of focus, mimicking bad cameras. In Mass Effect Andromeda it mainly affects distant objects, instantly making things appear more hazy. Simply turn it off or on depending on your tastes. It has no impact on FPS.

Performance Impact - 0/5

Priority - 1/5

 

Effects Quality

Literally the rendering of special effects such as sparks, flames and lasers. It’s a graphics setting which is utilised fairly often in Mass Effect Andromeda, however you have to really pay attention to notice any major differences whatsoever between Low, Medium, High and Ultra.

Performance Impact - 1/5

Priority - 2/5

 

Film Grain

Unlike some people, I’m not usually overly offended by film grain. This is the optical texture of photographic film, designed to make Mass Effect Andromeda look like it’s a movie. It works to fantastic effect in Resident Evil 7, but in Mass Effect Andromeda it just makes the cut-scenes look flat out awful. I most definitely recommend disabling it.

Performance Impact - 1/5

Priority - 0/5

 

Lighting Quality

Simply put, Lighting Quality directly affects how good the lighting looks in Mass Effect Andromeda. However, it runs counterpart to Shadow Quality and Ambient Occlusion. If you don’t have those enabled also, you’re not going to really see a great deal of benefit in tweaking the lighting quality. Of the three, this is the least important.

Performance Impact - 4/5

Priority - 3/5

 

Mesh Quality

Mesh Quality is all about draw distance and character model quality. Turning this up renders objects at a greater detail when further away. Without this enabled objects in the distance can be rendered very simplistically with low-res textures and polygonal models, boosting performance. Its impact is going to change depending on just how expansive the environments you’re in are. For grander vistas and a fairly low impact on frame rate, I would recommend enabling.

Performance Impact - 2/5

Priority - 4/5

 

Post Process Quality

Post Process is a bit of a flaky setting which looks to affect things such as depth of field, lens flare, glare and bloom lighting. It’s actually a little tricky to detect precisely what is changed by this setting at any given time, particularly considering it’s going to knock 10+% off your frame rate.

Performance Impact - 4/5

Priority - 2/5

 

Shader Quality

Shader Quality affects the fidelity of lighting and lighting effects cast on surfaces, working in tandem with Lighting Quality and Shadows. Turning this up adds a little more density to foliage, and it’s only going to cost you a few frames.

Performance Impact - 1/5

Priority - 3/5

 

Shadows Quality

Shadows Quality directly affects the resolution of the shadows being cast in Mass Effect Andromeda. Set it to Low and Shadows appear blocky and indistinct. Crank it to Ultra and they look much more natural. Shadow Quality makes a huge difference to the overall appearance of Mass Effect 4, however it’s also the single biggest cause of performance drops. Tread with caution.

Performance Impact - 5/5

Priority - 5/5

 

Terrain Quality

In Mass Effect Andromeda, Terrain Quality directly refer to the quality of the terrain around you. Slide this up and mountains and rocks will look better, filled with more detail, and knock it down makes it all look a bit indistinct.

Performance Impact - 3/5

Priority - 3/5

 

Texture Filtering

A gaming staple by now, Texture Filtering affects the sharpness of textures towards the edge of screen. Textures you're looking at straight on will normally look fine, but when you look at them from an angle they can look blurred and messy. Texture Filtering, or Anisotropic Filtering, sharpens these textures up and leads to a cleaner image.

Performance Impact - 1/5

Priority - 4/5

 

Texture Quality

Where you set the texture quality is going to depend on both what resolution you’re happy playing at and how much VRAM your graphics card has. Exceed the available video memory and performance will quickly tank, letting you know to shift this setting down. Should performance be OK with it set to High or ultra, dropping it is actually going to provide very little boost to Mass Effect Andromeda’s average frame rate.

Performance Impact - 2/5

Priority - 3/5

 

Vegetation Quality

We’ve got a direct example in our Low vs Ultra comparison of Mass Effect 4’s visuals which can show you first hand the impact this setting has. In a nutshell in affects the visual quality of plants and other assorted fauna.

Performance Impact - 1/5

Priority - 4/5

Mass Effect Andromeda PC Benchmark MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6GB

Mass Effect Andromeda Low vs Ultra Graphics Comparison

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02:49 Mar-29-2017

102 hours in, averaging 56 fps in ultra w/ 1.50x display scaling at 768p. Lowest dip was 46 highest spike was 77 after 10 hours of monitoring.


Models pop-in evident especially in Havarl landing zone.

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12:18 Mar-26-2017

I can run game at least on medium settings with shadows on low and AA Off. But even if I choose medium settings or low settings game stutters sometimes.

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12:19 Mar-26-2017

I have drivers up to date. But my CPU is a bit lower min one I got i5 3330

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21:02 Mar-26-2017

Its your CPU I believe...

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15:48 Mar-27-2017

That is what I was afraid of. Thanks for help though :)

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18:38 Mar-24-2017

Really love that you do Performance breakdowns now.


PS: "plants and other assorted fauna" - You probably meant flora xD
Also there's platers instead of players in the AA part.

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03:21 Mar-24-2017

HAHA look at that shadow performance cost, no wonder Consoles look like they are using medium/low setting and Xbox one S anti-aliasing is AWFUL jagged lines all over

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22:28 Mar-24-2017

That's how consoles have been doing it all along...

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21:56 Mar-23-2017

I always set shadows to medium in any game. Its the only detail in any game that doesnt bother me.

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22:24 Mar-22-2017

Great breakdown.
I'm sure I should be able to rock it at ultra decently.

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22:28 Mar-24-2017

Hmmm...what is your version of decent?

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23:08 Jul-03-2017

i would say 40+ fps should do it!

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18:10 Mar-22-2017

Awesome data!

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13:51 Mar-22-2017

Yea i really appreciate these recent performance breakdown articles! was waiting for this one to come about! thanks!!

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13:12 Mar-22-2017

Very informative! I've been waiting for Nvidia's perf guide to be up but that wasn't there, I'm glad GD is now getting these performance guides. :)

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Can They Run... |

| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i7-4770K 4-Core 3.5GHz GeForce GTX 980 4GB 32GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Ryzen 7 5800H 8-Core 3.2GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB
| 30FPS, Medium, 1080p
Xeon E3-1230 GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Gigabyte G1 Gaming 4GB 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 30FPS, Low, 1080p
Core i5-3470 3.2GHz GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Gigabyte G1 Gaming 4GB 12GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 720p
Core i3-10100E 4-Core 3.20GHz GeForce GTX 750 Ti Asus OC 2GB Edition 16GB
Ryzen 5 3500X 6-Core 3.6GHz GeForce GTX 1660 Super 6GB 16GB
| 30FPS, Ultra, 1440p
Ryzen 5 3500X 6-Core 3.6GHz GeForce GTX 1660 Super 6GB 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 1440p
Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core 3.6GHz GeForce RTX 2060 Asus Dual OC 6GB 16GB
100% Yes [4 votes]
| High, 1080p
Core i5-10400 6-Core 2.90GHz GeForce GTX 1660 Super 6GB 16GB
100% Yes [3 votes]