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.


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).

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











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.


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. 


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 ∼93%
117 (min: 52) fps ∼100%
138 (min: 64) fps ∼100%
155 (min: 73) fps ∼100%
167 (min: 72) fps ∼98%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop), 6700K
Desktop PC
40 (min: 26) fps ∼73%
71 (min: 27) fps ∼100%
102 (min: 47) fps ∼87%
129 (min: 62) fps ∼93%
154 (min: 68) fps ∼99%
170 (min: 90) fps ∼100%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop), 4790K
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition
38 (min: 21) fps ∼69%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK
Alienware 17 R4
39 (min: 21) fps ∼71%
69 (min: 36) fps ∼97%
94 (min: 46) fps ∼80%
116 (min: 51) fps ∼84%
132 (min: 67) fps ∼85%
139 (min: 78) fps ∼82%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Desktop), 6700K
Desktop PC
34 (min: 20) fps ∼62%
58 (min: 24) fps ∼82%
86 (min: 29) fps ∼74%
112 (min: 51) fps ∼81%
140 (min: 60) fps ∼90%
168 (min: 90) fps ∼99%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Desktop), 4790K
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition
30 (min: 17) fps ∼55%
76 (min: 34) fps ∼65%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK
Asus G752VS
31 (min: 18) fps ∼56%
54 (min: 26) fps ∼76%
80 (min: 31) fps ∼68%
105 (min: 48) fps ∼76%
125 (min: 50) fps ∼81%
138 (min: 77) fps ∼81%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Desktop), 6700K
Desktop PC
22 (min: 10) fps ∼40%
39 (min: 13) fps ∼55%
58 (min: 15) fps ∼50%
78 (min: 46) fps ∼57%
102 (min: 56) fps ∼66%
167 (min: 78) fps ∼98%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980, 6700K
Desktop PC
21 (min: 10) fps ∼38%
37 (min: 12) fps ∼52%
53 (min: 14) fps ∼45%
78 (min: 44) fps ∼57%
103 (min: 55) fps ∼66%
167 (min: 69) fps ∼98%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6820HK
19 (min: 12) fps ∼35%
35 (min: 14) fps ∼49%
54 (min: 14) fps ∼46%
74 (min: 21) fps ∼54%
97 (min: 37) fps ∼63%
132 (min: 69) fps ∼78%
AMD Radeon RX 480 (Desktop), 4790K
AMD Radeon RX 480 8 GB Reference
36 (min: 8) fps ∼51%
55 (min: 14) fps ∼47%
72 (min: 35) fps ∼52%
96 (min: 49) fps ∼62%
160 (min: 70) fps ∼94%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ
MSI GE72 7RE-046
12 (min: 3) fps ∼22%
20 (min: 5) fps ∼28%
29 (min: 5) fps ∼25%
43 (min: 11) fps ∼31%
62 (min: 36) fps ∼40%
121 (min: 54) fps ∼71%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ
Asus GL753VD
10 (min: 3) fps ∼18%
16 (min: 5) fps ∼23%
24 (min: 5) fps ∼21%
34 (min: 18) fps ∼25%
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 ∼20%
35 (min: 15) fps ∼25%
50 (min: 30) fps ∼32%
102 (min: 52) fps ∼60%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ
10 (min: 4) fps ∼14%
15 (min: 6) fps ∼13%
22 (min: 13) fps ∼16%
31 (min: 23) fps ∼20%
73 (min: 41) fps ∼43%
NVIDIA GeForce MX150 (Laptop GT 1030), 7700HQ
12 (min: 3) fps ∼10%
20 (min: 5) fps ∼14%
28 (min: 17) fps ∼18%
71 (min: 29) fps ∼42%
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 6700HQ
7 (min: 2) fps ∼6%
10 (min: 6) fps ∼7%
14 (min: 9) fps ∼9%
34 (min: 20) fps ∼20%
NVIDIA GeForce 940M, 5700HQ
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
9 (min: 2) fps ∼7%
12 (min: 3) fps ∼8%
14 (min: 5) fps ∼8%


Show Restrictions
Pos      Model                                     Middle-earth: Shadow of War
 Middle-earth: Shadow of War (2017)
Lowest Preset
Medium Preset
High Preset
Ultra Preset
Ultra Preset
 294AMD Radeon 520
 234*AMD Radeon 530
 690AMD Radeon HD 6250
 687*AMD Radeon HD 6290
 669*AMD Radeon HD 6310
 667*AMD Radeon HD 6320
 644*AMD Radeon HD 6330M
 624*AMD Radeon HD 6350M
 582AMD Radeon HD 6370M
 616*AMD Radeon HD 6380G
 615*AMD Radeon HD 6430M
 585AMD Radeon HD 6450M
 553AMD Radeon HD 6470M
 575*AMD Radeon HD 6480G
 514AMD Radeon HD 6490M
 562AMD Radeon HD 6520G
 431AMD Radeon HD 6530M
 419AMD Radeon HD 6550M
 363AMD Radeon HD 6570M
Pos      Model                                     Middle-earth: Shadow of War
 493AMD Radeon HD 6620G
 423AMD Radeon HD 6630M
 399AMD Radeon HD 6650M
 359*AMD Radeon HD 6730M
 347AMD Radeon HD 6750M
 322AMD Radeon HD 6770M
 355AMD Radeon HD 6830M
 327AMD Radeon HD 6850M
 255AMD Radeon HD 6870M
 190AMD Radeon HD 6950M
 178AMD Radeon HD 6970M
 155AMD Radeon HD 6990M
 686*AMD Radeon HD 7290
 668AMD Radeon HD 7310
 666AMD Radeon HD 7340
 623*AMD Radeon HD 7350M
 579AMD Radeon HD 7370M
 574AMD Radeon HD 7400G
 556AMD Radeon HD 7420G
 586*AMD Radeon HD 7430M
Pos      Model                                     Middle-earth: Shadow of War
 545AMD Radeon HD 7450M
 513AMD Radeon HD 7470M
 479*AMD Radeon HD 7490M
 509AMD Radeon HD 7500G
 483*AMD Radeon HD 7510M
 519AMD Radeon HD 7520G
 473*AMD Radeon HD 7530M
 454AMD Radeon HD 7550M
 426AMD Radeon HD 7570M
 420*AMD Radeon HD 7590M
 462AMD Radeon HD 7600G
 439AMD Radeon HD 7610M
 440AMD Radeon HD 7620G
 427AMD Radeon HD 7630M
 442AMD Radeon HD 7640G
 424AMD Radeon HD 7650M
 413AMD Radeon HD 7660G
 368AMD Radeon HD 7670M
 337AMD Radeon HD 7690M
 316AMD Radeon HD 7690M XT
Pos      Model                                     Middle-earth: Shadow of War
 278AMD Radeon HD 7730M
 265AMD Radeon HD 7750M
 227AMD Radeon HD 7770M
 198AMD Radeon HD 7850M
 181AMD Radeon HD 7870M
 139*AMD Radeon HD 7950M
 101AMD Radeon HD 7970M
 670AMD Radeon HD 8180
 618AMD Radeon HD 8210
 592AMD Radeon HD 8240
 593AMD Radeon HD 8250
 583AMD Radeon HD 8280
 563*AMD Radeon HD 8310G
 529AMD Radeon HD 8330
 528AMD Radeon HD 8350G
 516AMD Radeon HD 8400
 515*AMD Radeon HD 8410G
 512AMD Radeon HD 8450G
 430*AMD Radeon HD 8510G
 432AMD Radeon HD 8550G
Pos      Model                                     Middle-earth: Shadow of War
 394AMD Radeon HD 8550M
 391AMD Radeon HD 8570M
 350*AMD Radeon HD 8590M
 397*AMD Radeon HD 8610G
 364AMD Radeon HD 8650G
 320*AMD Radeon HD 8650M
 344AMD Radeon HD 8670M
 285AMD Radeon HD 8690M
 321AMD Radeon HD 8730M
 267AMD Radeon HD 8750M
 259AMD Radeon HD 8770M
 200AMD Radeon HD 8790M
 258*AMD Radeon HD 8830M
 195AMD Radeon HD 8850M
 180AMD Radeon HD 8870M
 92AMD Radeon HD 8970M
 131*AMD Radeon Pro 450
 120*AMD Radeon Pro 455
 104AMD Radeon Pro 460
 119*AMD Radeon Pro 555
Pos      Model                                     Middle-earth: Shadow of War
 103AMD Radeon Pro 560
 597*AMD Radeon R2 (Mullins/Beema/Carrizo-L)
 502AMD Radeon R2 (Stoney Ridge)
 532AMD Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema)
 501AMD Radeon R4 (Beema)
 495*AMD Radeon R4 (Kaveri)
 494AMD Radeon R4 (Stoney Ridge)
 500AMD Radeon R5 (Beema/Carrizo-L)
 303AMD Radeon R5 (Bristol Ridge)
 408*AMD Radeon R5 (Carrizo)
 409AMD Radeon R5 (Kaveri)
 304AMD Radeon R5 (Stoney Ridge)
 385AMD Radeon R5 M230
 383AMD Radeon R5 M240
 375AMD Radeon R5 M255
 386*AMD Radeon R5 M315
 384*AMD Radeon R5 M320
 373AMD Radeon R5 M330
 372AMD Radeon R5 M335
 374AMD Radeon R5 M430
Pos      Model                                     Middle-earth: Shadow of War
 307AMD Radeon R6 (Carrizo)
 319AMD Radeon R6 (Kaveri)
 591*AMD Radeon R6 (Mullins)
 229*AMD Radeon R7 (Bristol Ridge)
 282*AMD Radeon R7 (Carrizo)
 275AMD Radeon R7 (Kaveri)
 302AMD Radeon R7 M260
 260AMD Radeon R7 M260X
 270AMD Radeon R7 M265
 269AMD Radeon R7 M270
 293AMD Radeon R7 M340
 280AMD Radeon R7 M360
 220AMD Radeon R7 M370
 219*AMD Radeon R7 M380
 287AMD Radeon R7 M440
 218AMD Radeon R7 M445
 277*AMD Radeon R7 M460
 199AMD Radeon R7 M465
 197AMD Radeon R9 M265X
 179AMD Radeon R9 M270
Pos      Model                                     Middle-earth: Shadow of War
 173AMD Radeon R9 M275
 138AMD Radeon R9 M280X
 91AMD Radeon R9 M290X
 67AMD Radeon R9 M295X
 196AMD Radeon R9 M365X
 169AMD Radeon R9 M370X
 217AMD Radeon R9 M375
 158*AMD Radeon R9 M380
 157*AMD Radeon R9 M385
 134AMD Radeon R9 M385X
 102*AMD Radeon R9 M390
 68*AMD Radeon R9 M390X
 73AMD Radeon R9 M395
 65AMD Radeon R9 M395X
 156*AMD Radeon R9 M470
 133*AMD Radeon R9 M470X
 66AMD Radeon R9 M485X
 97*AMD Radeon RX 460 (Laptop)
 42*AMD Radeon RX 470 (Laptop)
 38*AMD Radeon RX 480 (Laptop)
Pos      Model                                     Middle-earth: Shadow of War
 46*AMD Radeon RX 490M
 122*AMD Radeon RX 540
 112*AMD Radeon RX 550 (Laptop)
 85*AMD Radeon RX 560 (Laptop)
 41*AMD Radeon RX 570 (Laptop)
 33*AMD Radeon RX 580 (Laptop)
 149*AMD Radeon RX Vega 10
 213*AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
 835ATI Mobility 128 M3
 826ATI Mobility Radeon 7000 IGP
 790ATI Mobility Radeon 7500
 771ATI Mobility Radeon 9000
 821ATI Mobility Radeon 9000 IGP
 820ATI Mobility Radeon 9100 IGP
 768ATI Mobility Radeon 9200
 738ATI Mobility Radeon 9550
 736ATI Mobility Radeon 9600
 732ATI Mobility Radeon 9700
 638ATI Mobility Radeon 9800
 731ATI Mobility Radeon HD 2300
Pos      Model                                     Middle-earth: Shadow of War
 698ATI Mobility Radeon HD 2400
 683ATI Mobility Radeon HD 2400 XT
 599ATI Mobility Radeon HD 2600
 566ATI Mobility Radeon HD 2600 XT
 576ATI Mobility Radeon HD 2700
 707*ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3400
 682ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3410
 681ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3430
 680ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3450
 673ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3470
 671ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3470 Hybrid X2
 587ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3650
 557ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3670
 474ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3850
 463ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3870
 645ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4330
 626ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4350