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Compared to Mass Effect 3 (another Unreal Engine 3 game), Tribes: Ascend is considerably more demanding. Whereas the Radeon HD 6670 averaged 42fps in ME3, it managed only 22fps in Tribes. The HD 6950 or greater is required to achieve 60fps or better, though the HD 6850 averaged 59fps.
The GTX 460 and 550 Ti also fared well with 54fps while the HD 6870 and GTX 560 averaged 63fps and 64fps, respectively, making them ideal choices at this resolution. The new HD 7850 was a fraction slower than the old HD 5870 -- disappointing for 7850 owners, but at 70fps+ it doesn't matter here
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