Shadow Of Mordor: Performance Testing And Benchmarks

High Fidelity, But Excellent Performance On Mid-Range Hardware

We are not only surprised by how great of a game Shadow of Mordor is, but at how little it demands from your PC's hardware. At the surprisingly attractive low detail setting, configured to render 1280x720 pixels, the game ran smoothly on a sub-$100 Radeon R7 240 and GeForce GT 730 GDDR5 card. Bump the fidelity to medium details at 1080p and a sub-$150 GeForce GTX 750 Ti or Radeon R7 260X works just fine.

If you really want to crank up the graphics level to ultra, a lowly GeForce GTX 660 or Radeon R9 270 should yield passable performance at 1080p. But increase the resolution further and your graphics subsystem may being to wheeze. Running at 2560x1440 should necessitate a Radeon R9 285 or GeForce GTX 970 to sustain smooth frame rates. If you already upgraded to a 4K monitor, consider a Radeon R9 290X or GeForce GTX 980 your entry point for ultra-quality details. Dropping to medium might make lower-end models playable, but enthusiasts aren't going to spend big money on a monitor only to go cheap on their graphics card.

The Lithtech graphics engine appears just as content with a budget-oriented Core i3 or FX processor as it does with an ultra high-end Core i7. That really opens up this game to a broader audience.

As for whether or not the game is worth playing, we were surprised to find that Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor brings a lot more depth and fun to the table than we expected it to, with refined melee combat and innovative gameplay mechanics that we'd wouldn't be surprised to see copied by other titles in the future.

  • Neilbob
    It's nice, for once, to see a game that doesn't particularly favour one brand of CPU or GPU over another. A slight advantage for AMD on the GPU side perhaps, but nothing extraordinary.
  • damric
    Nice review, Sam, Don.

    Game looks pretty fun, too.
  • Grognak
    You ran an R9 295X2 with a 650W PSU?
  • blackmagnum
    I hope it doesn't ruin the Tolkien franchise and gets competitive with the Elder Scrolls.
  • Cryio
    Poor Nvidia buyers.

    The 760 was for some time a recommended card in its price bracket because of 7950 performance at a lower price and now it's slower than a 270X, which is a 7870.
    Not to mention the 280/285 is usually same price or cheaper than the 760.

  • Cryio
    Seems like I'll have to play the game with textures on Medium on my 560 Ti.

    Do they look decent enough at that level of quality ?
  • slyu9213
    I have to say my experience with Textures has been the same as your testings. With my 7850 1GB they recommended Low Textures but I had minimal impacts when I Medium Textures. Additionally the game recommends Medium Textures for 2GB of VRAM but I was able to run High Textures on my 650M with minimal to no impacts (DDR3 version). By the looks it seems they really are conservative and everyone may be able to run one texture quality higher than the game recommends.
  • Sakkura
    I wonder why the R7 250X was not tested at 1080p Medium. It did very well at 1080p Lowest, so it would have been nice to see if it was still playable at Medium. Would have been more useful to know whether it would run at 25 or 40 FPS than to know that the R9 285 runs at 93.7 FPS at those settings.
  • spp85
    Compared to Toms FarCry 4 review, this one is a good one
  • photonboy
    You can't expect them to run every combination of cards and settings. There's enough information here to help someone decide whether to buy or if they have what settings to use.