CPU & RAM Resources, And Conclusion
The minimum and recommended CPUs lead us to believe that Mass Effect: Andromeda needs quite a bit of host processing resources. And indeed, it does.
Despite its four cores, our Core i5-6500 struggles when it's paired to a Radeon RX 480, spending more than half of each run at full utilization. Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1060 6GB doesn't appear to be as processor-bound, so perhaps this imbalance can be worked out with a patch. An update might also help improve the Radeon's overall frame rates.
System Memory Usage
Despite identical platforms, the configuration with a GeForce GTX 1060 6GB requires almost 2GB more RAM than the PC with AMD's Radeon RX 480. Remember, this is total system memory, meaning you have to subtract whatever the OS and its various processes are using, too.
Video Memory Usage
In a complete reversal, Mass Effect: Andromeda is more hungry for memory on the Radeon than the GeForce. While the amount of GDDR5 used is far from what's actually available, it's interesting to note that the jump from High to Ultra details requires an extra gigabyte or so of on-board memory.
The number of locations and planets we're introduced to in Mass Effect: Andromeda is impressive, each one being more breathtaking than the last. Of course, the game isn't perfect. Its physics engine can be buggy at times, and some of the character animations are downright bizarre. Then again, 600 years have passed since Mass Effect 3, so perhaps evolution is to blame?
When it comes to picking the right hardware, forget AMD's Radeon RX 460 and Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1050. After forcing you to sacrifice graphics quality, they still punish you with a lackluster gaming experience. An RX 480 or GTX 1060 3GB should be fast enough for smooth performance using the High quality preset. And if you own a 6GB GeForce GTX 1060, Ultra details are within reach.
Just be sure you have a sufficiently fast quad-core host processor (unless a future patch solves the CPU utilization issues we observed).
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