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Mass Effect Andromeda Performance Analysis

After a near five year break from the franchise, Mass Effect returns this week with an all new entry to the series. Mass Effect Andromeda leaves earth and Sheppard behind in an effort to expand the universe with new characters, a new story as well as all new planets and enemies. Aside from that, this game has also seen Mass Effect move over to the Frostbite engine, which works incredibly well in the Battlefield series, but how does it hold up in a huge RPG like this? Today, we will be taking a look at just that, alongside 1080p, 1440p and 4K benchmarks on PC. 

Click images to enlarge. 

Taking a look at the graphics options menu reveals quite a bit of scalability. This is a common theme when dealing with the Frostbite engine, as it was initially designed for shooters like Battlefield, which require high and stable frame rates.

All of the options you would expect are there, so those with high-end systems will be able to crank things up, while those with lower-end or perhaps older generation GPUs will be able to make plenty of adjustments to try and optimise performance.

Click thumbnails for 1440p screenshots. 

As for actual graphical quality, Mass Effect Andromeda is a very good looking game. While I have only been able to check out the first planet so far, I have been impressed by the scenery, texture work and effects on display.

I've also had the opportunity to check this game out running in 4K with HDR on by plugging my PC into my Samsung JS8500 SUHD TV. At 4K with HDR enabled, this game offers visuals that surpass almost any other high-end PC game out right now.

However, as has been widely reported at this point, character models and animations aren't always great. This is unfortunate as it does bring down an otherwise visually stunning game but from my own experience, these issues aren't nearly as prominent as the highlight reels would have you believe.

I have also noticed that many animation glitches being shown actually originated from console versions of the game and did not appear on PC for me. Finally, I have also found that some of the poor facial animation is less noticeable on the male character, so if you are playing Jack Ryder over Sarah Ryder, you will notice less ‘lazy eye' moments.

For our performance tests today I will be running Mass Effect Andromeda on the following system:

  • CPU: Intel Core i7 6700K with 4.2GHz boost clock.
  • Motherboard: Asus Maximus VIII Hero.
  • RAM: G.Skill 16GB 3200MHz DDR4.
  • Storage: 1TB Samsung 850 Evo SSD.
  • OS: Windows 10: Anniversary Update.

For graphics cards, I will be running the following:

  • MSI GTX 1080 Gaming X.
  • Asus GTX 1060 Strix.
  • MSI GTX 970 Gaming 4G.
  • AMD R9 Fury X.
  • XFX R9 390x Ghost Edition.
  • Sapphire R9 290 Vapor-X.

The latest drivers (at the time of benchmarking) were used for performance testing, as was the game's planned day-one patch. On the Nvidia side, we are using driver version 378.78 while on the AMD side we are running Radeon Software version 17.3.2.

Mass Effect is by far the most demanding game so far to be based on the Frostbite Engine. For the most part, 1080p scores are solid across the board but for 60 frames per second on an older R9 390x, R9 290 or GTX 970, you are going to want to turn down some graphics settings.

The same can be said for the GTX 1060 and R9 Fury X at 1440p. The GTX 1080 manages perfectly fine at ultra settings in 1080p and 1440p but at 4K, you will need to dial things back a bit to achieve higher frame rates.

One thing that is well worth noting is that the minimum frame rates are all close to the average across the board, which means you will have a fairly consistent experience while playing. That said, with a game as huge as Mass Effect Andromeda, there is the chance that you will come across more demanding sections of the game later on.

As for the game itself, I have had the chance to play the first few hours of Mass Effect Andromeda and so far, I am enjoying it. If you are a Mass Effect fan, then there is still a lot to like here. The combat system is fun, the biotic powers are excellent and from what I have seen so far, side quests are much more interesting than they were in Dragon Age: Inquisition.

The character creation isn't great so I ended up sticking with the standard ‘Jack Ryder' preset. This is certainly one of the areas where Bioware cut corners, which was likely a result of Andromeda's troubled five years in development.

With that in mind, if you are worried about poor quality then perhaps wait for a sale but from what I've played, Andromeda is an enjoyable game and I don't think you should let the gifs floating around deter you from giving it a shot.

KitGuru Says: Mass Effect Andromeda might not end up being the masterpiece we were hoping for but there is still a lot to like about this game. It runs well on PC, has fewer bugs (so far) than the Xbox One version and it has enjoyable combat mixed with an intriguing story. There are some odd moments here and there but they are few and far between. 

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  1. Wheres the rest of the review?

  2. It’s a performance analysis, not a review. The gameplay talk is really only for first impression purposes.

  3. I was talking about CPU performance: cores vs freq.

  4. there are also some settings enabled by default no matter the base level pre-set that are not helpful for AMD performance they should be getting. Some settings more geared to Nvidia(HBAO-Tessellation design-Anti-Aliasing method used)(even HDR seems do basically nothing but soak performance no gain quality) making Radeon appear so much slower in comparison, toggle these lower or off completely, performance jumps right up cause Nvidia is “all in the way you get played”

    Might be a few driver revision/patches smooth things out, I remember pretty much same thing every other EA published game over the past couple of years, early on the radeons do very well,beating out higher tiered Nv stuff, come release day and for up to a few months later, they tank performance(even when should not be) could be being paid off I do not know.

    Do know pre-set for ultra etc is not best way to eke out performance you should be getting(custom set maxed out is very different then pre-set version) no matter if using Radeon or Geforce, blanket settings rarely ever equal best settings.

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  6. It took 5 years and still, we get shit animations? Who did they hire for voice acting – some teenager maybe? Hilarious. No scrap this game for real. They cut a LOT of corners. This game will look real bad when we see SQ42’s birth.

  7. I am playing at the moment MEA.

    And SC (SQ42) isn’t out after how much time?

  8. I was hoping this game would be good enough to make me do something utterly stupid..spend £800 on a 1080Ti, so as to be able to play it at 4K 60fps.

    ..thankfully it isn’t..and I’m not.

  9. How could you spell Shepard wrong after all these years?

  10. I have refunded ME:A…. I got bored quite quickly. For SQ42, there are all kinds of rumors but the actual release date will be revealed at either Gamescom in August or CitizenCon in October.

  11. Mark van der Kamp

    what i have noticed is that in heavy combat i have more fps and less fps struggles than standing still on the nexus

  12. Don’t worry if you loved the original trilogy, save for the ME3 endings, then you better not play ME:A with high expectations. The writing is horrid with low caliber high school grade trash jokes used as conversational fillers. The pacing of the game is just as bad. Animations are the least of this game’s problems. There is a reason why Bioware sought after YouTubers to promote the game if they got in-line with Bioware’s agenda, falsely hyping the game up. If anyone of them don’t play along they don’t get invites to special goodies the next time around. Essentially all those twitter and YouTubers talking big things about ME:A without any hint of criticism and as far going to label those with legitimate fair criticisms as merely “haters”, have clearly been bought over. Their credibility == zero. This could have been a decent spinoff not aiming to emulate the superb trilogy but yet because of these issues it is no where near any noteworthy aspect in the trilogy. You could wait for it to drop below half price before coughing up anything for this title. Bioware are so arrogant that they refuse to acknowledge the reasons why their game is down rated by even the usually pro-EA game reviewing sites out there, such arrogance should not be rewarded with even a cent IMHO.

  13. Surprised you guys didn’t have an RX 480 on hand for this analysis?

  14. I am enjoying MEA allot.

    When was SC first announced (i was wondering i tried googling it, it says 2015 but i baked it before that in 2013) ? Cheers

  15. Yeah that is a card I would like to add to my collection. We have one RX 480 sample for review purposes but since everyone at KitGuru works in different parts of the country, passing samples back and forth can be tricky at times. I don’t write the GPU reviews here, which is why my GPU selection is different to what you will find in our reviews.

  16. Thanks for all the hard work I do appreciate it!

  17. The actual kickstarter began in the end of 2012. This year will be their 5th anniversary, and this time we are hoping for them to show or maybe announce something for SQ42. They were going to do it last year at CitizenCon, but it did not happen because there were problems when you had all the 4 studios combine their work…things broke. Right now with spectrum, they have better communication so they are able to coordinate the project.
    Id only hope for Patch 3.0 to be the big change and at this point, we will have the feel of what is going to be the game like after after release.

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  19. We should have known. I bought Dragon Age: Inquisition and never even beat it. I’d never thought I’d say I didn’t beat a Dragon Age game or a Bioware game for that matter, but they’re getting worse and worse. Maybe it’s liberalism.

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  21. I think the story is compelling and combat system is much better than ME trilogy. Some bugs are easily observed during the game play though. I’ll give 7.5 of 10 score.

  22. ME:A is a really enjoyable games… if you don’t like it is merely a problem of your… not of the game… tha acting is bad, but game is really fun.

  23. You admit the voice acting quality is bad which is one of those important aspects of any RPG, besides the other aspects that creates the immersion which ME:A also managed to sheepishly ruin. Yet you “like it”. You have extremely poor standards, it’s no wonder the ME fanbase has degenerated into SJWs and mindless fanboy/girl automatons who are the only ones remaining to vehemently defined this travesty.

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