Settings & IQ

Recommended Settings

A GTX 1060/6GB or RX 480 are recommended for 1920×1080, while a GTX 1080 can mostly handle 4K at some reduced settings, but the game is very scalable for lesser GPUs on lower settings.

Recommended Specs:

Processor: Intel Core i7-4790 or AMD FX-8350

Memory: 16 GB RAM

Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 1060 3GB, AMD RX 480 4GB or better

Let’s look at settings and image quality (IQ).  There are several major settings that can affect game performance.  Here are our some of our options and the highest settings that we used at 3840×2160.

Image Quality & Settings

Mass Effect: Andromeda has overall Low, Medium, High, and Ultra settings.  Ultra settings allow you to choose your resolution and there is further customization possible – either to lower settings or to increase 3 settings beyond default Ultra where Lighting and Effects are on High, but may be increased to Ultra, and “Full HBAO” is possible at a significant performance hit.

Unfortunately, default High settings lock the resolution to 1080P while Medium settings are locked to 900P, and Low is stuck at 720P.  It is very easy to see the difference between the settings because of the way the resolution is tied to the setting.

Now let’s look at a series of screenshots taken from the same two places beginning with the highest settings and progressing through the defauilt setting options.  All screenshots were taken at 3840×2160 – first outdoors, then indoors.  Make sure to open these images full sized into a separate window or tab for a much easier IQ comparison.

Highest Settings – Ultra Plus (including HBAO Full/Lighting & Effects, Ultra)

Performance with a GTX 1080 Ti at maxed out Ultra Plus settings is 44 FPS average.  The above images are with the settings at the highest possible.  Next, we drop to the default Ultra setting which we used to play most of our game.

Default Ultra 

Default Ultra uses regular HBAO (as opposed to “Full HBAO”, and the Lighting and Effects settings drop from Ultra to High).  As with all the following comparison images, all images are at 3840×2160.

As you can see, there isn’t a lot of IQ difference between the default Ultra setting and Ultra Plus maxed-out settings.  However, the performance hit with the extra settings maxed out is pretty severe.  Our GTX 1080 Ti at 3840×2160 using default Ultra ultra settings could manage 52.9 FPS average/47 FPS minimum while using the completely maxed out settings dropped to 44 FPS average/39 FPS minimum!

High settings – Auto 1080P

Dropping to High settings at 3840×2160 or any other resolution above 1920×1080 is an awful idea as the game forces the resolution to 1080P.  However, you still get decent IQ at 1920×1080, and anti-aliasing shares using Temporal AA with Ultra settings which really helps with shimmering and crawling with the camera in motion.

High Settings are OK – but only if you are playing at 1920×1080.  Performance with a GTX 1080 Ti at default High settings is 123 FPS average.

Medium Settings (720P auto)

Medium settings force the resolution to 900P which look poor at any other resolution than 1600×900.  Anti-aliasing is affected as it is dropped to FXAA instead of temporal AA and the crawling and shimmering is much more apparent now.

Performance with a GTX 1080 Ti at default Medium is 177 FPS average.  Finally we look at low settings.

Low Settings 

Using low setting forces the game to 720P which looks extremely poor at any resolution other than 1280×720.  Worst of all there is no anti-aliasing at all!  Here are the screenshots:

The detail is awful and the lighting is washed out.  Of course, it would be less blurry at the native 1280×720, but performance with a GTX 1080 Ti at maxed out settings is 197 FPS average.

 

Ansel – NVIDIA only

Ansel is a flexible screenshot capture program using a floating camera that is exclusive to NVIDIA cards.  With Ansel, players can move the camera to any angle they desire, apply filters, use super resolution capture and even capture in 360 for viewing in VR.  

Regular screenshots taken in games are limited to the in-game view of the static camera. Ansel frees the camera so it can be moved around the in-world environment. This includes elevating the camera up in the air, or panning around a third-person game to snap the camera in front of a character.

Here’s an example where you are locked to screenshots from the in-game view.

Now let’s unlock our camera with Ansel.

Let’s take another example where you are battling a large boss.  There is no perspective available in game except this one from the player’s perspective – looking up.

Now let’s free our camera with Ansel.

Ansel 360 Capture
With this feature you can now capture your entire game environment in 360 degrees, mono or stereo, and then share it using your mobile phone, VR headset, or PC.

Here is a regular in-game screenshot.

Here is the same location using Ansel but captured in a 360 degree view.

Ansel is able to do far more that what we have shown.  When you take a an Ansel capture, your game pauses, you can move the camera anywhere the dev allows, plus you can apply post-process filters or shades to your Ansel capture before you save it.  And Ansel even allows for Super Resolution shots so that you are no longer limited by your game’s resolution. In fact, you can capture up to 33 times your game’s resolution at 1080P allowing you to capture images with perfect edges and with extremely high detail.

Let’s look at our Test configuration on the next page.

1 COMMENT

  1. Great review, also liked the benchmarks provided. I originally loaded the game up with SLI 970s and was averaging 32 FPS~ which was brutal. After upgrading to a 1080ti, rocked a solid 72~ fps in most scenarios with the same settings.

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