Benchmarks: FPS, Frame Time, And Smoothness
Mass Effect: Andromeda has no built-in benchmark, so we had to pick a reproducible sequence for testing. We ended up choosing a scene on the planet Havari, which is loaded with lush vegetation. The sequence is composed of three parts: the first and third in exploration mode, and the middle sequence being a dialogue scene. It's about as CPU- and GPU-intensive as we could find. Other planets, like Eos, put less stress on our hardware.
High Quality - 1080p
The six best-performing cards are tested using the High quality preset. AMD's Radeon RX 460 and Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1050 just aren't powerful enough for playable performance, so we leave them out. We're also trying the RX 480 and GTX 1060 6GB under Ultra quality.
The GeForce GTX 1060 6GB and 3GB, along with the GTX 970 and RX 480, are sufficiently powerful to run Mass Effect: Andromeda at High quality and in Full HD. Their average frame rates are better than or equal to 60 FPS, and they never drop below 30 FPS.
Adjusting the settings to Ultra, on the other hand, shows Nvidia's GTX 1060 6GB maintaining acceptable performance, while AMD's RX 480 falls apart.
Medium Quality - 1080p
Given that the RX 480 and GTX 1060 6GB are fast enough for High quality, we didn't bother testing them at Medium. Instead, the RX 460 and GTX 1050 are substituted in.
While the GeForce GTX 1060 3GB and GTX 970, along with the Radeon RX 470 and R9 390, run comfortably at Medium quality (with frame rates between 60 and 100 FPS), the RX 460 and GTX 1050 fall behind. They're still too slow for this quality preset. You must drop to the Low setting, and therefore 720p upscaled to 1080p, to see acceptable frame rates. Graphics quality takes a big hit, though.