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How Well Will Mass Effect 3 Run On Your PC?

Image Quality And Settings

Like its predecessors, Mass Effect 3 employs the venerable Unreal Engine 3. The technology behind Epic Games' engine has been in use since 2006 (when it powered Gears of War). But we've seen it receive a number of updates over the years, and it still manages to deliver compelling visuals. It doesn't exploit the features packed into modern graphics cards quite like Crysis 2 or Battlefield 3, but the emphasis here is on a story, and decidedly not technology. Graphics-wise, you get a little more than was offered in previous Mass Effect titles. The experience is largerly similar, though.

Here's the bad news: as with so many games nowadays, Mass Effect 3 is a console-first title. The PC version is a port, and that means you won't get a lot of control over graphics quality. The demo gave us two options: dynamic shadows and anti-aliasing.

You'll want to take advantage of dynamic shadows whenever possible; they add a lot of depth and realism. Anti-aliasing obviously is there to help smooth out jagged lines. This is the first time a Mass Effect game has included an option for anti-aliasing, and the implementation isn't tied to hardware. Rather, BioWare went with Nvidia's software-based FXAA. The resulting workload isn't very taxing, and yet it does an impressive-enough job.

We also tried to force 4x MSAA through each card's driver panel to try improving display output quality. This approach only worked on AMD's cards, though, facilitating even smoother edges when we used it in conjunction with FXAA.

  • slicedtoad
    I'm hoping the full game has more customization. Either way, it'll be fun.
    Reply
  • shriganesh
    Why the hell article like these don't appear in the RSS feeds!!!
    Reply
  • bak0n
    I'd be really shocked if there are many people out there running Intel 2500k's with geforce 220's or radeon 6450's.
    Reply
  • bartholomew
    Can't wait to get this game. :D
    Reply
  • mildsend
    I have phenom x4 9550 with 9800gt can i run this game at moderat setting at 1366x768 resolutions ?
    Reply
  • rmpumper
    I really hope that the highest setting in ME3 demo are like med-high in the full game.
    Reply
  • shin0bi272
    So wait this console based game thats running on the unreal 3 engine plays well on a pc with a quad core and even a moderately good graphics card? Im shocked!

    Dont get me wrong though Im still excited to play it... just not expecting it to be graphically demanding.
    Reply
  • spp85
    Radeon HD 5770/6770 still Rockzzz.........
    Reply
  • spp85
    I have phenom x4 9550 with 9800gt can i run this game at moderat setting at 1366x768 resolutions ?
    You can play medium to high settings on that resolution
    Reply
  • Sud099
    why the hell they don't initially develop games for PC and then port to consoles like Battlefield 3
    Reply