Minimum detail means we turn off dynamic shadows and in-game AA. If you own an entry-level discrete card, you'll probably want to think about running Mass Effect 3 at 1024x768.
The Radeon HD 6450 is able to deliver more than a 30 FPS minimum, but the GeForce G210 DDR2 struggles. To be fair, you could buy a DDR3-equipped GeForce G210 for about the same price as the Radeon HD 6450. But based on these results, we wouldn’t expect it yield playable performance.
The GeForce GT 440 DDR3 and Radeon HD 6670 DDR3 have no problem here, so let's increase the resolution to 1280x1024:
AMD's Radeon HD 6450 and Nvidia's GeForce GT 210 spend significant time under 30 FPS, knocking them out of the running. But the GeForce GT 440 DDR3 and Radeon HD 6670 DDR3 manage continue pushing playable numbers.
At 1680x1050, the GeForce GT 440 DDR3 and Radeon HD 6670 DDR3 almost manage a 30 FPS minimum frame rate. However, as the frame rate over time chart shows, both cards rarely dip under 30 FPS at all.
You might be able to find a GeForce GT 440 GDDR5 for about the same price as the AMD card, and its faster memory would likely make a quantifiable performance difference. Unfortunately, we only have the DDR3-based model of the GeForce available for testing.
At 1080p, the GeForce GT 440 and Radeon HD 6670 are no longer playable. We snuck in the GeForce GTX 550 Ti and Radeon HD 6770, though, and those cards do very well. Our next step is to increase the graphical load.