Middle Earth: Shadow of War PC Performance Explored

shadow of war screens gamescom 2-min

Talion and Celebrimbor return in Middle Earth: Shadow of War. Running on the Monilith Firebird Engine a modified Lithtech engine built upon that used in the first Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor this game should be relatively easy to power along, or is it? That’s what we’re going to take a look at today now that I’ve stopped playing long enough to dig into performance numbers.

Test Methodology and Setup

Testing the game’s performance across a variety of hardware was fairly simple thanks to the built in benchmark tool. We’ve included a video that we recorded using NVIDIA Share with the GTX 1080 so you can see the run for yourself. After playing the game for some time we’ve found it to be fairly representative of in game performance.

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The above settings were used across the gamut of hardware tested. We went for the ‘Very High’ setting as it seemed more realistic on requirements than the ‘Ultra’ preset. The ‘Very High’ preset also allowed us to use that setting across all cards. This game also brings ‘Dynamic Resolution’ to the table, although we disabled it for testing. FRAPS was used to extract frame times from the duration of the benchmark and used to gather the results. We utilize 1% and .1% lows instead of absolute minimums as that eliminates outlier frames and proves more representative of actual experience. For our primary GPU testing we used our X370 platform with the Ryzen 7 1700 clocked to 3.9GHz.

X370 Test Bench

CPU Ryzen 7 1700 3.9GHz
Memory 16GB G.Skill Flare X DDR4 3200
Motherboard MSI X370 XPower Gaming Titanium
Storage Adata SU800 128GB
2TB Seagate SSHD
PSU Cooler Master V1200 Platinum

X99 Test System

CPU Intel Core i7 6800k (4.1GHz)
Memory 32GB CORSAIR Vengeance LPX DDR4 2666MHz
Motherboard ASUS X99A-II
Storage Crucial MX100 512GB SSD
Seagate 2TB SSHD
PSU Corsair AX860i

Drivers Used

Radeon Settings 17.10.1
GeForce 387.92

Graphics Cards Tested

GPU Architecture Core Count Clock Speed Memory Capacity Memory Speed
NVIDIA GTX 1080 FE Pascal 2560 1607/1733 8GB GDDR5X 10Gbps
NVIDIA GTX 1070 FE Pascal 1920 1506/1683 8GB GDDR5 8Gbps
NVIDIA GTX 1060 FE 6GB Pascal 1280 1506/1708 6GB GDDR5 8Gbps
XLR8 GTX 1060 3GB Pascal 1152 1506/1708 3GB GDDR5 8Gbps
AMD RX Vega 64 LC Vega 10 4096 1406/1677 8GB HBM2 945Mbps
XFX RX 480 8GB Polaris 10 2304 1266 8GB GDDR5 8Gbps
Sapphire RX 570 Nitro+ 4GB Polaris 20 2048 1340 4GB GDDR5 7Gbps
Sapphire RX 460 Nitro Polaris 11 896 1250 4GB GDDR5 7Gbps

1080p Results

1440p Results

4K Results

CPU Results

For CPU testing we were going to include core scaling, but thanks to being locked out thanks to DRM from changing hardware we’re just going to stick with the CPUs as they are. The Ryzen 7 1700 at 3.9GHz was used here as well as the Core i7 6800k (no 8700k on hand, sorry) clocked at 4.1GHz. For the GPU we use the GeForce GTX 1080 FE for these comparisons. I think the results are close enough for margin of error.


Looks like Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor is easily playable on most modern graphics cards. If you were running something along the lines of the RX 460 you’ll clearly want to drop down the settings, but even still it put up a respectable showing. At least all of that is true at 1080p, going past that you’ll want to bring some serious firepower to the game. It’s refreshing to be able to put together one of these analysis without having to spend time explaining strange issues or talk about how one sided performance is, clearly the folks over at Monolith did their due diligence to ensure that everyone would be able to enjoy this game. And while it may not be the most amazing visuals it does look good, and plays well across a variety of hardware. Now I’ll leave you to the comments as I jump back in on my questing.

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