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

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).

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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 Ti (Desktop), 4790K
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition
51 (min: 22) fps ∼30%
117 (min: 52) fps ∼64%
138 (min: 64) fps ∼71%
155 (min: 73) fps ∼79%
167 (min: 72) fps ∼74%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop), 6700K
Desktop PC
40 (min: 26) fps ∼23%
71 (min: 27) fps ∼45%
102 (min: 47) fps ∼56%
129 (min: 62) fps ∼66%
154 (min: 68) fps ∼79%
170 (min: 90) fps ∼76%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop), 4790K
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition
38 (min: 21) fps ∼22%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK
Alienware 17 R4
39 (min: 21) fps ∼23%
69 (min: 36) fps ∼43%
94 (min: 46) fps ∼52%
116 (min: 51) fps ∼60%
132 (min: 67) fps ∼67%
139 (min: 78) fps ∼62%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Desktop), 6700K
Desktop PC
34 (min: 20) fps ∼20%
58 (min: 24) fps ∼36%
86 (min: 29) fps ∼47%
112 (min: 51) fps ∼58%
140 (min: 60) fps ∼71%
168 (min: 90) fps ∼75%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Desktop), 4790K
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition
30 (min: 17) fps ∼18%
76 (min: 34) fps ∼42%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK
Asus G752VS
31 (min: 18) fps ∼18%
54 (min: 26) fps ∼34%
80 (min: 31) fps ∼44%
105 (min: 48) fps ∼54%
125 (min: 50) fps ∼64%
138 (min: 77) fps ∼61%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Desktop), 6700K
Desktop PC
22 (min: 10) fps ∼13%
39 (min: 13) fps ∼25%
58 (min: 15) fps ∼32%
78 (min: 46) fps ∼40%
102 (min: 56) fps ∼52%
167 (min: 78) fps ∼74%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980, 6700K
Desktop PC
21 (min: 10) fps ∼12%
37 (min: 12) fps ∼23%
53 (min: 14) fps ∼29%
78 (min: 44) fps ∼40%
103 (min: 55) fps ∼53%
167 (min: 69) fps ∼74%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6820HK
MSI GT62VR
19 (min: 12) fps ∼11%
35 (min: 14) fps ∼22%
54 (min: 14) fps ∼30%
74 (min: 21) fps ∼38%
97 (min: 37) fps ∼49%
132 (min: 69) fps ∼59%
AMD Radeon RX 480 (Desktop), 4790K
AMD Radeon RX 480 8 GB Reference
36 (min: 8) fps ∼23%
55 (min: 14) fps ∼30%
72 (min: 35) fps ∼37%
96 (min: 49) fps ∼49%
160 (min: 70) fps ∼71%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ
MSI GE72 7RE-046
12 (min: 3) fps ∼7%
20 (min: 5) fps ∼13%
29 (min: 5) fps ∼16%
43 (min: 11) fps ∼22%
62 (min: 36) fps ∼32%
121 (min: 54) fps ∼54%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ
Asus GL753VD
10 (min: 3) fps ∼6%
16 (min: 5) fps ∼10%
24 (min: 5) fps ∼13%
34 (min: 18) fps ∼18%
46 (min: 30) fps ∼23%
113 (min: 55) fps ∼50%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M, 6700HQ
MSI GE72 965M Ti
16 (min: 7) fps ∼10%
23 (min: 9) fps ∼13%
35 (min: 15) fps ∼18%
50 (min: 30) fps ∼26%
102 (min: 52) fps ∼45%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ
MSI PE60 2QD
10 (min: 4) fps ∼6%
15 (min: 6) fps ∼8%
22 (min: 13) fps ∼11%
31 (min: 23) fps ∼16%
73 (min: 41) fps ∼32%
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 7700HQ
MSI PL62
12 (min: 3) fps ∼7%
20 (min: 5) fps ∼10%
28 (min: 17) fps ∼14%
71 (min: 29) fps ∼32%
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 6700HQ
MSI CX72 6QD
7 (min: 2) fps ∼4%
10 (min: 6) fps ∼5%
14 (min: 9) fps ∼7%
34 (min: 20) fps ∼15%
NVIDIA GeForce 940M, 5700HQ
MSI GP62 2QD
14 (min: 8) fps ∼7%
34 (min: 15) fps ∼15%
NVIDIA GeForce 920M, 2970M
MSI CX61 2QC 2970M MS-16GD
26 (min: 8) fps ∼12%
Intel HD Graphics 630, 7700HQ
MSI PL62
9 (min: 2) fps ∼5%
12 (min: 3) fps ∼6%
14 (min: 5) fps ∼6%

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
 303AMD Radeon 520
22
10
7
 246AMD Radeon 530
 701AMD Radeon HD 6250
 692AMD Radeon HD 6290
 680*AMD Radeon HD 6310
 678*AMD Radeon HD 6320
 655*AMD Radeon HD 6330M
 635*AMD Radeon HD 6350M
 594AMD Radeon HD 6370M
 627*AMD Radeon HD 6380G
 626*AMD Radeon HD 6430M
 597AMD Radeon HD 6450M
 564AMD Radeon HD 6470M
 586*AMD Radeon HD 6480G
 524AMD Radeon HD 6490M
 573AMD Radeon HD 6520G
 441AMD Radeon HD 6530M
 429AMD Radeon HD 6550M
 371AMD Radeon HD 6570M
Pos      Model                                     Middle-earth: Shadow of War
lowmed.highultra4k
 504AMD Radeon HD 6620G
 433AMD Radeon HD 6630M
 409AMD Radeon HD 6650M
 367*AMD Radeon HD 6730M
 355AMD Radeon HD 6750M
 330AMD Radeon HD 6770M
 363AMD Radeon HD 6830M
 335AMD Radeon HD 6850M
 263AMD Radeon HD 6870M
 198AMD Radeon HD 6950M
 186AMD Radeon HD 6970M
 163AMD Radeon HD 6990M
 691AMD Radeon HD 7290
 679AMD Radeon HD 7310
 677AMD Radeon HD 7340
 634*AMD Radeon HD 7350M
 590AMD Radeon HD 7370M
 585AMD Radeon HD 7400G
 567AMD Radeon HD 7420G
 598*AMD Radeon HD 7430M
Pos      Model                                     Middle-earth: Shadow of War
lowmed.highultra4k
 556AMD Radeon HD 7450M
 523AMD Radeon HD 7470M
 489*AMD Radeon HD 7490M
 519AMD Radeon HD 7500G
 493*AMD Radeon HD 7510M
 529AMD Radeon HD 7520G
 483*AMD Radeon HD 7530M
 464AMD Radeon HD 7550M
 436AMD Radeon HD 7570M
 430*AMD Radeon HD 7590M
 472AMD Radeon HD 7600G
 449AMD Radeon HD 7610M
 450AMD Radeon HD 7620G
 437AMD Radeon HD 7630M
 452AMD Radeon HD 7640G
 434AMD Radeon HD 7650M
 423AMD Radeon HD 7660G
 376AMD Radeon HD 7670M
 345AMD Radeon HD 7690M
 324AMD Radeon HD 7690M XT
Pos      Model                                     Middle-earth: Shadow of War
lowmed.highultra4k
 287AMD Radeon HD 7730M
 273AMD Radeon HD 7750M
 236AMD Radeon HD 7770M
 206AMD Radeon HD 7850M
 189AMD Radeon HD 7870M
 147*AMD Radeon HD 7950M
 108AMD Radeon HD 7970M
 681AMD Radeon HD 8180
 629AMD Radeon HD 8210
 603AMD Radeon HD 8240
 605AMD Radeon HD 8250
 595AMD Radeon HD 8280
 574*AMD Radeon HD 8310G
 539AMD Radeon HD 8330
 538AMD Radeon HD 8350G
 526AMD Radeon HD 8400
 525*AMD Radeon HD 8410G
 522AMD Radeon HD 8450G
 440*AMD Radeon HD 8510G
 442AMD Radeon HD 8550G
Pos      Model                                     Middle-earth: Shadow of War
lowmed.highultra4k
 404AMD Radeon HD 8550M
 401AMD Radeon HD 8570M
 358*AMD Radeon HD 8590M
 407*AMD Radeon HD 8610G
 372AMD Radeon HD 8650G
 328*AMD Radeon HD 8650M
 352AMD Radeon HD 8670M
 293AMD Radeon HD 8690M
 329AMD Radeon HD 8730M
 275AMD Radeon HD 8750M
 267AMD Radeon HD 8770M
 208AMD Radeon HD 8790M
 266*AMD Radeon HD 8830M
 203AMD Radeon HD 8850M
 188AMD Radeon HD 8870M
 98AMD Radeon HD 8970M
 139AMD Radeon Pro 450
 120AMD Radeon Pro 455
 110AMD Radeon Pro 460
 119AMD Radeon Pro 555
Pos      Model                                     Middle-earth: Shadow of War
lowmed.highultra4k
 109AMD Radeon Pro 560
 129*AMD Radeon Pro WX 3100 Mobile
 592*AMD Radeon R2 (Mullins/Beema/Carrizo-L)
 512AMD Radeon R2 (Stoney Ridge)
 511AMD Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema)
 510AMD Radeon R4 (Beema)
 506*AMD Radeon R4 (Kaveri)
 505AMD Radeon R4 (Stoney Ridge)
15
 509AMD Radeon R5 (Beema/Carrizo-L)
 312AMD Radeon R5 (Bristol Ridge)
 418*AMD Radeon R5 (Carrizo)
 419AMD Radeon R5 (Kaveri)
 391AMD Radeon R5 (Stoney Ridge)
8
 395AMD Radeon R5 M230
 393AMD Radeon R5 M240
 383AMD Radeon R5 M255
24
 396*AMD Radeon R5 M315
 394*AMD Radeon R5 M320
 381AMD Radeon R5 M330
 380AMD Radeon R5 M335
Pos      Model                                     Middle-earth: Shadow of War
lowmed.highultra4k
 382AMD Radeon R5 M430
 315AMD Radeon R6 (Carrizo)
 327AMD Radeon R6 (Kaveri)
 604AMD Radeon R6 (Mullins)
 238*AMD Radeon R7 (Bristol Ridge)
 283AMD Radeon R7 (Carrizo)
 284AMD Radeon R7 (Kaveri)
 301AMD Radeon R7 M260
 268AMD Radeon R7 M260X
 278AMD Radeon R7 M265
 277AMD Radeon R7 M270
 302AMD Radeon R7 M340
 289AMD Radeon R7 M360
 229AMD Radeon R7 M370
 228*AMD Radeon R7 M380
 295AMD Radeon R7 M440
 227AMD Radeon R7 M445
 286*AMD Radeon R7 M460
 207AMD Radeon R7 M465
 205AMD Radeon R9 M265X
Pos      Model                                     Middle-earth: Shadow of War
lowmed.highultra4k
 187AMD Radeon R9 M270
 181AMD Radeon R9 M275
 145AMD Radeon R9 M280X
 97AMD Radeon R9 M290X
 72AMD Radeon R9 M295X
 204AMD Radeon R9 M365X
 177AMD Radeon R9 M370X
 226AMD Radeon R9 M375
 166*AMD Radeon R9 M380
 165*AMD Radeon R9 M385
 141AMD Radeon R9 M385X
 106AMD Radeon R9 M390
 73AMD Radeon R9 M390X
 79AMD Radeon R9 M395
 70AMD Radeon R9 M395X
 164*AMD Radeon R9 M470
 140*AMD Radeon R9 M470X
 71AMD Radeon R9 M485X
 103AMD Radeon RX 460 (Laptop)
 45*AMD Radeon RX 470 (Laptop)
Pos      Model                                     Middle-earth: Shadow of War
lowmed.highultra4k
 41*AMD Radeon RX 480 (Laptop)
 49*AMD Radeon RX 490M
 128*AMD Radeon RX 540
 114AMD Radeon RX 550 (Laptop)
 84*AMD Radeon RX 560 (Laptop)
 44*AMD Radeon RX 570 (Laptop)
 33AMD Radeon RX 580 (Laptop)
117
85
66
49
 157*AMD Radeon RX Vega 10
 146*AMD Radeon RX Vega 11
50.52
242
18.52
 387*AMD Radeon RX Vega 3
 305*AMD Radeon RX Vega 6
 221*AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
39.52
17.52
132
 36*AMD Radeon RX Vega M GH
 57*AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL
 35*AMD Radeon RX Vega Mobile
 846ATI Mobility 128 M3
 837ATI Mobility Radeon 7000 IGP
 801ATI Mobility Radeon 7500
 782ATI Mobility Radeon 9000
 832ATI Mobility Radeon 9000 IGP
Pos      Model                                     Middle-earth: Shadow of War
lowmed.highultra4k
 831ATI Mobility Radeon 9100 IGP
 779ATI Mobility Radeon 9200
 749ATI Mobility Radeon 9550
 747ATI Mobility Radeon 9600
 743ATI Mobility Radeon 9700