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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  • mrdude - Thursday, July 14, 2016 - link

    Fantastic work, Ian. Now if AMD put half as much work into their uArchs as you did into reviewing them, we might finally get somewhere =P Reply
  • Geranium - Thursday, July 14, 2016 - link

    Ian,
    Exynos 7420 and Apple A9 is built on Samsang's 14nm LPE. Exynos 8890 and Snapdragon 820 is built on 14nm LPP.
    Reply
  • Vlad_Da_Great - Thursday, July 14, 2016 - link

    AMD CPU R&D has been outsourced pretty much close to an 1 year ago. Even Jim Keller left before anything(silicon) was remotely close to be released. AMD has submitted on the CPU front, and now with the another failure from the RX 480 power fiasco it seems in the GPU segment too. ZEN is just a myth for the small minded amoebas. The closest they can come to is Haswell, even in some benchmarks they will be far behind.
    Intel has reported times in many improvement over the 4/5y spam CPU's. AMD can barely get 30% and in some synthetic benchmarks they are below something was produced/developed half a decade ago.
    Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Friday, July 15, 2016 - link

    You have sources for your ludicrous claims? Reply
  • wumpus - Friday, July 15, 2016 - link

    Zen tapped out. Thus the drawdown. But if you think Zen will compare as well to Intel silicon as the 480 does to the 1060, remember that Intel is still hand-laying out the transistors and AMD is using autorouters.

    Hopefully AMD will at least be able to get back to producing "the cheap stuff', but that is their best hope. They've pretty much surrendered.
    Reply
  • Calculatron - Thursday, July 14, 2016 - link

    Great article, overall! I am glad to see someone finally review the product.

    I was hoping, however, that you would come across this strange "throttling" issue that this CPU seems to have while playing certain games (not all games, just certain ones). Some people have started threads on Tom's Hardware, and I started one on AMD's own forums:
    https://community.amd.com/thread/198618
    http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-3054721/ath...
    Reply
  • DominionSeraph - Thursday, July 14, 2016 - link

    Yeesh, the barest overclock physically degrades the processor? This likely means it's degrading at stock as they've pushed a 35W part to 65W and beyond. Reply
  • Sherlock - Thursday, July 14, 2016 - link

    /rant

    Who's your web-designer Anandtech - seriously - I see a big banner at the top & two big ads on the left & right of the page. I am so pissed by the design - I actually calculated the pixel count - only 24% of the screen is dedicated to content - excluding the large Anandtech logo & the menu bars - 10% for the screen is content - please don't kill the site with such crap

    rant/

    Also - "For clarity, hand was from AMD but not Lisa Su's" :)
    Reply
  • DominionSeraph - Friday, July 15, 2016 - link

    A narrow column is more readable. Who cares what's on the sides? Reply
  • The_Assimilator - Friday, July 15, 2016 - link

    Ad blockers are your friend. Reply

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