Middle-Earth: Shadows of Mordor

The final title in our testing is another battle of system performance with the open world action-adventure title, Shadows of Mordor. Produced by Monolith using the LithTech Jupiter EX engine and numerous detail add-ons, SoM goes for detail and complexity to a large extent, despite having to be cut down from the original plans. The main story itself was written by the same writer as Red Dead Redemption, and it received Zero Punctuation’s Game of The Year in 2014.

For testing purposes, SoM gives a dynamic screen resolution setting, allowing us to render at high resolutions that are then scaled down to the monitor. As a result, we get several tests using the in-game benchmark, taking results as the average and minimum frame rates.

For this test we used the following settings with our graphics cards:

Shadow of Mordor Settings
  Resolution Quality
Low GPU Integrated Graphics 1280x720 Low
ASUS R7 240 1GB DDR3
Medium GPU MSI GTX 770 Lightning 2GB 1920x1080 Ultra
MSI R9 285 Gaming 2G
High GPU ASUS GTX 980 Strix 4GB 1920x1080
3840x2160
Ultra
Ultra
MSI R9 290X Gaming 4G

Shadow of Mordor on ASUS R7 240 DDR3 2GB ($70)

Shadow of Mordor on MSI R9 285 Gaming 2GB ($240)

Shadow of Mordor on MSI GTX 770 Lightning 2GB ($245)

Shadow of Mordor on MSI R9 290X Gaming LE 4GB ($380)

Shadow of Mordor on MSI R9 290X Gaming LE 4GB ($380)

Shadow of Mordor on ASUS GTX 980 Strix 4GB ($560)

Shadow of Mordor on ASUS GTX 980 Strix 4GB ($560)

Shadow of Mordor, in all cases except the GTX 770, puts the Pentium ahead of the Carrizo part. In a couple of circumstances, this doesn't matter much, particularly at 4K resolutions with the R9 290X and GTX 980, however at 1080p the Pentium comes out ahead.

Shadow of Mordor on ASUS R7 240 DDR3 2GB ($70) [Minimum FPS]

Shadow of Mordor on MSI R9 285 Gaming 2GB ($240) [Minimum FPS]

Shadow of Mordor on MSI GTX 770 Lightning 2GB ($245) [Minimum FPS]

Shadow of Mordor on MSI R9 290X Gaming LE 4GB ($380) [Minimum FPS]

Shadow of Mordor on MSI R9 290X Gaming LE 4GB ($380) [Minimum FPS]

Shadow of Mordor on ASUS GTX 980 Strix 4GB ($560) [Minimum FPS]

Shadow of Mordor on ASUS GTX 980 Strix 4GB ($560) [Minimum FPS]

Minimum frame rates for Shadow of Mordor are even more in favor of the Pentium here, and with the low-to-mid range graphics cards (R7 240, R9 285, GTX 770) the effect can be up to double the minimum frame rate over the Athlon.

Gaming Comparison: Grid Autosport Power Consumption
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  • owan - Thursday, July 14, 2016 - link

    A nice little pop over the previous generation and its still woeful compared to its direct competition from intel. I wonder why AMD even bothered with this product, Intel has a complete stranglehold on the mobile market and AMD's design wins are few and far between. Surely some of the architectural changes could have been rolled into a replacement for their incredibly stale AM3+ products, which have by now become completely irrelevant. I mean, we all know Zen is coming (and I hope its good) but something in the meantime would probably have done more for their mind share than a mobile part. Reply
  • AndrewJacksonZA - Thursday, July 14, 2016 - link

    "I wonder why AMD even bothered with this product"
    Yeah, pretty much what I've been thinking with AMD's CPU launches for a while now. *Surely* they can't be making money on their CPUs compared to how much they spend on researching, testing, producing and then marketing them?

    (Unless there's a market that's low-profile in the media but is lucrative for AMD - perhaps the low budget market in Asia?)
    Reply
  • patel21 - Thursday, July 14, 2016 - link

    I'm from Asia, India. And here too people are smart enough to ignore AMD even in really low budget systems. And really we still have a complete PC with P4 or C2D easily available around 100$ Reply
  • jospoortvliet - Thursday, July 14, 2016 - link

    Compared to a p4 these amd cpu's are amazing... remember that in the time of the P4, amd made the faster more power efficient cpu's. Reply
  • mr_tawan - Friday, July 15, 2016 - link

    P4 or C2D are worse than every current AMD cpus on the market .... in one or another aspect. Reply
  • BlueBlazer - Friday, July 15, 2016 - link

    It is called "progress". Both Intel Pentium4 and Intel Core 2 Duo are already out of production years ago. Also it was Intel's Core 2 Duo that blew away AMD back into the stone age a decade ago, and since then AMD has never recovered. AMD's QuadFather FX and Barcelona (especially the TLB bugged ones) are the worst CPUs of their era (quite often was much slower than previous generation overall). Reply
  • bananaforscale - Friday, July 15, 2016 - link

    P4? Ew. :P (I have a P4D in the other room, it's not really preferable to anything. That if anything is a dead end.) Reply
  • nandnandnand - Thursday, July 14, 2016 - link

    AMD is good in laptops. It will be better when Zen is out. Zen on the desktop may be good depending on the benchmarks and price. Reply
  • mr_tawan - Friday, July 15, 2016 - link

    I'm from Asia, Thailand. AFAIK AMD is pretty popular among internet cafe' (or should I say... game center instead ?). Reply
  • BlueBlazer - Friday, July 15, 2016 - link

    Over here, hardly see AMD being used in internet cafes. Reply

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