Notebookcheck

Middle-earth: Shadow of War Laptop and Desktop Benchmarks

Florian Glaser (translated by Stanislav Kokhanyuk), 10/24/2017

Mass slaughter. After its 2014 predecessor left a surprisingly good impression (not in the least thanks to the Nemesis System), Warner Bros. Interactive has launched its successor, “Shadow of War”, a well-made action game based upon the Lord of the Rings universe. We test out the hardware requirements for PC and notebooks.

Technology

Working For Notebookcheck

Are you a loyal reader of notebookcheck? Are you a techie who knows how to write? Then join our Team!

Especially wanted: 
German-English-Translator - Details here
Review Editor - 
Details here
News Editor - Details here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the original German review, click here.

Those who want to download and install the “Lord of the Rings” title must first take one deep breath. With some 70 GB, “Shadow of War” ranks high on the list of games with one of the largest file sizes and consequently takes up an enormous amount of storage space. The options menu will disappoint some buyers. The ultra-settings, even at Full HD resolution, require 8 GB of video memory and 10 GB of RAM. The predecessor has kicked up some dust with its high VRAM requirements, as well. Back then, 6 GB of VRAM was necessary for the maximum settings.

Despite the high system requirements, we would describe the new “Middle Earth” game as technically well-made. During our gaming session and benchmarks, we did not experience crashes, graphics errors or slowdowns. However, the minimum FPS fluctuated significantly in the in-game benchmark.

Shadow of War” relies on Monolith's own Firebird Engine (made known by F.E.A.R.), which was also used for the first game.

The title offers a wide range of options for PC users. Starting with the display menu in which settings such as resolution, display mode, brightness and display area can be adjusted. Furthermore, there are settings for vertical synchronization, dynamic resolution (dynamically reduces details to boost performance) and max FPS (the setting for the maximum FPS can be altogether disabled).

Most of the settings can be found in the advanced tab of the graphics menu. There are some 10 settings for things such as anti-aliasing (FXAA or TAA), texture filtering, shadow quality, lighting quality, and vegetation range and texture quality in this menu. Moreover, the action title supports a range of modern effects such as tessellation. 

Tip: All the settings are explained through a text pop-up. The (V)RAM usage meter and the fact that the changing of the settings does not require a restart are also to be praised.

He who does not have a desire to tinker with a diverse selection of graphics settings can simply choose one of the pre-defined presets. Whilst we have not observed any difference between the presets “High” and “Very High”, switching between other presets can have significant effects on the graphics quality.

Despite the fact that, even at medium settings, some objects begin to exhibit noticeable pop-in, Shadow of War still looks good with the medium graphics preset. With the ultra preset, the open world game looks gorgeous, however the textures could have been sharper. All in all, Shadow of War fails to reach a reference status.

Attention: Unlike in most other games, the resolution in “Shadow of War” is always upscaled to fit the native resolution of the monitor. That is to say, if you choose a resolution below the native resolution of your display, it will be automatically upscaled to fit the native resolution of your screen. This procedure does not take up any resources. Setting the resolution to 1920x1080 on our 4K monitor had no impact on performance. 

In terms of gameplay, “Shadow of War” cuts a fine figure. The game has tight controls (in spite of a few quirks here and there). Its combat system resembles a mixture of “Assassin's Creed” and “Batman”. Its gameplay, as far as we can tell, is solid, although we can imagine that some elements of it might become repetitive over time.

Benchmark

Like its predecessor, “Shadow of War” comes with an in-game benchmark. It lasts for some 60 seconds and consists of a tracking shot through outside and inside areas, and it includes such effects as smoke, fire and explosions. In our experience, the frame rate of the benchmark lends itself rather well to the actual performance of the title. It is therefore a good reference point. Even though what we are dealing with here is “only” a third-person game, we would still recommend 40 FPS as the minimum frame rate on account of smooth gameplay and time-critical manoeuvres. 

Results

Modest gamers, who can be satisfied with a 720p resolution, lowest detail settings and no more than 30 FPS, will be able to enjoy “Shadow of War” with a graphics card from the lower end of the mid-range spectrum, such as the GeForce 940M(X). Weaker systems that are based on Intel’s processor GPUs (e.g. the HD graphics 630) will not be able to handle this game even at those settings.

If one wishes to be able to run this game at 1920x1080 with the medium graphical settings, they will need a video card from the upper echelons of the mid-range spectrum. At these settings, we were able to achieve playable frame rates with a GeForce GTX 1050. For high settings at Full HD resolution, one needs something like a GeForce GTX 1050 Ti.

Lowest Preset
Lowest Preset
Low Preset
Low Preset
Medium Preset
Medium Preset
High Preset
High Preset
Very High Preset
Very High Preset
Ultra Preset
Ultra Preset

Genuine gaming chips are required for very high and ultra-settings. In order to achieve smooth frame rates at 1080p with the max settings, one would need a graphics card such as a GeForce GTX 1060. For QHD displays (2560x1440), a video card like a GeForce GTX 1070 would suffice. Playable frame rates at 4K resolution (3840x2160) can be achieved with a GeForce GTX 1080.

The processor plays, for the most part, a minor role. We could hit CPU limits only at low resolutions and with the minimum settings.

Middle-earth: Shadow of War
    3840x2160 Ultra Preset AA:T     2560x1440 Ultra Preset AA:T     1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:T     1920x1080 High Preset AA:T     1920x1080 Medium Preset AA:T     1280x720 Lowest Preset
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop), 6700K
Desktop PC
40 (min: 26) fps ∼100%
71 (min: 27) fps ∼100%
102 (min: 47) fps ∼100%
129 (min: 62) fps ∼100%
154 (min: 68) fps ∼100%
170 (min: 90) fps ∼100%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK
Alienware 17 R4
39 (min: 21) fps ∼98%
69 (min: 36) fps ∼97%
94 (min: 46) fps ∼92%
116 (min: 51) fps ∼90%
132 (min: 67) fps ∼86%
139 (min: 78) fps ∼82%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Desktop), 6700K
Desktop PC
34 (min: 20) fps ∼85%
58 (min: 24) fps ∼82%
86 (min: 29) fps ∼84%
112 (min: 51) fps ∼87%
140 (min: 60) fps ∼91%
168 (min: 90) fps ∼99%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK
Asus G752VS
31 (min: 18) fps ∼78%
54 (min: 26) fps ∼76%
80 (min: 31) fps ∼78%
105 (min: 48) fps ∼81%
125 (min: 50) fps ∼81%
138 (min: 77) fps ∼81%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Desktop), 6700K
Desktop PC
22 (min: 10) fps ∼55%
39 (min: 13) fps ∼55%
58 (min: 15) fps ∼57%
78 (min: 46) fps ∼60%
102 (min: 56) fps ∼66%
167 (min: 78) fps ∼98%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980, 6700K
Desktop PC
21 (min: 10) fps ∼53%
37 (min: 12) fps ∼52%
53 (min: 14) fps ∼52%
78 (min: 44) fps ∼60%
103 (min: 55) fps ∼67%
167 (min: 69) fps ∼98%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6820HK
MSI GT62VR
19 (min: 12) fps ∼48%
35 (min: 14) fps ∼49%
54 (min: 14) fps ∼53%
74 (min: 21) fps ∼57%
97 (min: 37) fps ∼63%
132 (min: 69) fps ∼78%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ
MSI GE72 7RE-046
29 (min: 5) fps ∼28%
43 (min: 11) fps ∼33%
62 (min: 36) fps ∼40%
121 (min: 54) fps ∼71%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ
Asus GL753VD
10 (min: 3) fps ∼25%
16 (min: 5) fps ∼23%
24 (min: 5) fps ∼24%
34 (min: 18) fps ∼26%
46 (min: 30) fps ∼30%
113 (min: 55) fps ∼66%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M, 6700HQ
MSI GE72 965M Ti
16 (min: 7) fps ∼23%
23 (min: 9) fps ∼23%
35 (min: 15) fps ∼27%
50 (min: 30) fps ∼32%
102 (min: 52) fps ∼60%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ
MSI PE60 2QD
10 (min: 4) fps ∼14%
15 (min: 6) fps ∼15%
22 (min: 13) fps ∼17%
31 (min: 23) fps ∼20%
73 (min: 41) fps ∼43%
NVIDIA GeForce MX150 (Laptop GT 1030), 7700HQ
MSI PL62
12 (min: 3) fps ∼12%
20 (min: 5) fps ∼16%
28 (min: 17) fps ∼18%
71 (min: 29) fps ∼42%
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 6700HQ
MSI CX72 6QD
7 (min: 2) fps ∼7%
10 (min: 6) fps ∼8%
14 (min: 9) fps ∼9%
34 (min: 20) fps ∼20%
NVIDIA GeForce 940M, 5700HQ
MSI GP62 2QD
14 (min: 8) fps ∼9%
34 (min: 15) fps ∼20%
NVIDIA GeForce 920M, 2970M
MSI CX61 2QC 2970M MS-16GD
26 (min: 8) fps ∼15%
Intel HD Graphics 630, 7700HQ
Asus GL753VD
9 (min: 2) fps ∼7%
12 (min: 3) fps ∼8%
14 (min: 5) fps ∼8%

Overview

Show Restrictions
Pos      Model                                     Middle-earth: Shadow of War
 Middle-earth: Shadow of War (2017)
low
1280x720
Lowest Preset
med.
1920x1080
Medium Preset
TAA
high
1920x1080
High Preset
TAA
ultra
1920x1080
Ultra Preset
TAA
4k
3840x2160
Ultra Preset
TAA
 6NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop)
170
154
129
102
40
 8*NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q
1382
1272
1082
86.52
33
 11NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Desktop)
168
140
112
86
34
 12NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
139
125
105
80
31
 20NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980
167
103
78
53
21
 28NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Desktop)
167
102
78
58
22
 33NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
132
97
74
54
19
 56NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook)
121
62
43
29
 70NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook)
113
46
34
24
10
 87NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
102
50
35
23
 113NVIDIA GeForce MX150 (Laptop GT 1030)
722
282
192
132
 130NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M
73
31
22
15
 208NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
34
14
10
7
 210NVIDIA GeForce 940M
34
14
 240Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640
28
 290NVIDIA GeForce 920M
26
 293Intel HD Graphics 630
14
12
9
* Smaller values are better. / * Approximate position

 

Legend
5Stutters – This game is very likely to stutter and have poor frame rates. Based on all known benchmarks using the specified graphical settings, average frame rates are expected to fall below 25fps
May Stutter – This graphics card has not been explicitly tested on this game. Based on interpolated information from surrounding graphics cards of similar performance levels, stutters and poor frame rates are expected.
30Fluent – Based on all known benchmarks using the specified graphical settings, this game should run at or above 25fps
40Fluent – Based on all known benchmarks using the specified graphical settings, this game should run at or above 35fps
May Run Fluently – This graphics card has not been explicitly tested on this game. Based on interpolated information from surrounding graphics cards of similar performance levels, fluent frame rates are expected.
123Uncertain – This graphics card experienced unexpected performance issues during testing for this game. A slower card may be able to achieve better and more consistent frame rates than this particular GPU running the same benchmark scene.
Uncertain – This graphics card has not been explicitly tested on this game and no reliable interpolation can be made based on the performances of surrounding cards of the same class or family.
The value in the fields displays the average frame rate of all values in the database. Move your cursor over the value to see individual results.

Test Systems

Device GPU CPU RAM OS
Desktop-PC I MSI GeForce GTX 1080 (8 GB GDDR5X)
MSI GeForce GTX 1070 (8 GB GDDR5)
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (6 GB GDDR5)
Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 (4 GB GDDR5)
Intel Core i7-6700K 2 x 8 GB DDR4 Windows 10 64 Bit
Desktop-PC II Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti (11 GB GDDR5X)
Asus GeForce GTX 980 Ti (6 GB GDDR5)
XFX Radeon R9 Fury (4 GB HBM)
Sapphire Radeon R9 290X (4 GB GDDR5)
Sapphire Radeon R9 280X (3 GB GDDR5)
MSI Radeon R7 370 (2 GB GDDR5)
Intel Core i7-4790K 2 x 4 GB DDR3 Windows 10 64 Bit
Alienware 17 R4 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 (8 GB GDDR5X) Intel Core i7-7820HK 2 x 16 GB DDR4 Windows 10 64 Bit
Asus G752VS Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 (8 GB GDDR5) Intel Core i7-6820HK 2 x 16 GB DDR4 Windows 10 64 Bit
MSI GT62VR Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (6 GB GDDR5) Intel Core i7-6820HK 4 x 8 GB DDR4 Windows 10 64 Bit
MSI GE72 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (4 GB GDDR5) Intel Core i7-7700HQ 2 x 4 GB DDR4 Windows 10 64 Bit
Asus GL753VD Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 (4 GB GDDR5) Intel Core i7-7700HQ 2 x 8 GB DDR4 Windows 10 64 Bit
MSI GL62 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 (2 GB GDDR5) Intel Core i7-7700HQ 2 x 4 GB DDR4 Windows 10 64 Bit
MSI GE72 Nvidia GeForce GTX 965M (2 GB GDDR5) Intel Core i7-6700HQ 1 x 8 GB DDR4 Windows 10 64 Bit
MSI PE60 Nvidia GeForce GTX 950M (2 GB GDDR5) Intel Core i7-6700HQ 2 x 4 GB DDR4 Windows 10 64 Bit
MSI PL62 Nvidia GeForce MX150 (2 GB GDDR5) Intel Core i7-7700HQ 2 x 8 GB DDR4 Windows 10 64 Bit
MSI CX72 Nvidia GeForce 940MX (2 GB DDR3) Intel Core i7-6700HQ 2 x 8 GB DDR4 Windows 10 64 Bit
MSI GP62 Nvidia GeForce 940M (2 GB DDR3) Intel Core i7-5700HQ 1 x 8 GB DDR3 Windows 10 64 Bit
MSI CX61 Nvidia GeForce 920M (2 GB DDR3) Intel Celeron 2970M 1 x 8 GB DDR3 Windows 10 64 Bit
Asus N551ZU AMD Radeon R9 M280X (4 GB GDDR5) AMD FX-7600P 2 x 4 GB DDR3 Windows 10 64 Bit
4K Monitor Nvidia Treiber AMD Treiber
2 x Asus PB287Q, Philips 328P6VJEB ForceWare 387.92 Crimson 17.10.1
static version load dynamic
Loading Comments
Comment this article
Please share our article, every link counts!
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Middle-earth: Shadow of War Laptop and Desktop Benchmarks
Florian Glaser, 2017-10-24 (Update: 2017-10-25)