Ashes of the Singularity PC Performance Review

Conclusion

Ashes of the Singularity PC Performance Review

Conclusion

A few years ago there were plenty people that said that the RTS genre was dead, with many of those who were fans of competitive RTS play moving to DOTA Style or MOBA games in recent years. Indeed, outside of Blizzard's Starcraft series, there have been very few RTS games developed in recent years, especially those with classic base building gameplay that RTS veterans would be familiar with, but thankfully Ashes of the Singularity delivers that with spades.

Ashes of the Singularity does RTS to a scale and level of detail that we have rarely seen before, providing unit counts that are higher than Supreme commander while also containing units with a surprisingly large number of moving parts and an uncountable number of projectiles firing during almost any battle, making Ashes of the Singularity a game that nothing short of a technical masterpiece, and something that the developers claim could not be done on standard video game engines.

Looking at the CPU usage of my i7 6700K I was surprised to see that this game was really able to push all 8 threads on my CPU hard, often placing the game in CPU bound situations at lower graphical settings, which is something that is rare to see happen in a modern high-end CPU, especially when overclocked.

This level of detail does come at a high performance cost, which often makes the framerate of this game uncomfortably low during large battles, even when using high-end hardware.

When looking at the games graphical settings we can see that there is not a huge amount of difference in visual quality when moving above the game's Standard Graphical preset, so much so that we wouldn't recommend moving above it, as we think that a higher framerate and smoother motion in large battles will give players a much better experience.

One thing that we will say is that in some ways the low graphical preset does not go far enough to improve the game's framerate, with our GTX 960 and R9 380 often having framerates of below 60FPS at even 1080p low settings. Perhaps some performance optimizations or lower detail settings are required if Oxide games want to attract more players with lower end hardware. Does every unit and structure in the game need that many moving parts?         

When looking at the performance of this game on both AMD and Nvidia GPUs we can say that this game favours AMD GPUs in a big way, with AMD GPUs often providing the best in-game performance, especially at the highest game settings.

When it comes to choosing what graphical API to play the game with we found that DirectX 12 is not always the best choice in Ashes of the Singularity, as while AMD GPUs have better performance in almost all cases with our setup, Nvidia GPUs actually have worse performance when using the newer DirectX 12 API.

If you are playing this game with a DirectX 12 compatible GPU from AMD you should use the new API, but if not you are probably better off using DirectX 11.  

As a game Ashes of the Singularity is very fun to play, requiring a lot less micromanagement than other RTS titles like StarCraft 2 and having a much gentler learning curve, allowing gamers to play online without quite as much stress as other popular RTS titles. 

All in all Ashes of the Singularity is a lot of fun to play, but the games performance may be a bit of a turn off if you are one of those gamers that demand a 60+ FPS experience at all times. 

 

You can join the discussion on Ashes of the Singularity's PC performance on the OC3D Forums

 

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Most Recent Comments

04-04-2016, 16:34:06

Relayer
Do you have 390(X), 970, 980 cards on hand to test? It would be good to see how these perform since so many gamers own them. In some games lately Hawaii has been getting pretty close to Fury(X) performance.

Thanks,Quote

04-04-2016, 16:44:49

WYP
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relayer View Post
Do you have 390(X), 970, 980 cards on hand to test? It would be good to see how these perform since so many gamers own them. In some games lately Hawaii has been getting pretty close to Fury(X) performance.

Thanks,
Sadly I do not have an R9 390 or GTX 970 for performance testing.

All of the GPUs that I use for testing have been bought and paid for by me the writer and were not samples from an external party or sponsor. Hopefully we can get hold of more GPUs for gaming content in the future, especially when the next generation of GPUs are released.Quote

04-04-2016, 21:33:03

NeverBackDown
Quote:
Right now only AMD GCN GPUs support Asynchronous Compute in their GPU drivers, though Nvidia is rumored to be adding support for this function to Maxwell in the future with a driver update, though this remains unconfirmed by Nvidia.
AMD supports it on a hardware level as well as driver level. Nvidia won't be releasing a driver for it, driver can't make up for hardware losses, it's not possible for Nvidia to implement such a feature.

I find it kind of funny that now AMD in DX11 are either slightly behind or just ahead. Nvidia really are struggling with this title, explains why they called Oxide out before. Hopefully as they push out more content it gets more optimized and less CPU limited in future updates/patches.Quote

05-04-2016, 08:32:58

SPS
I'd be more interested to see different CPUs used, from both Intel and AMD's offerings. Though I do appreciate that you don't have access to everything or necessarily the time either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeverBackDown View Post
AMD supports it on a hardware level as well as driver level. Nvidia won't be releasing a driver for it, driver can't make up for hardware losses, it's not possible for Nvidia to implement such a feature.

I find it kind of funny that now AMD in DX11 are either slightly behind or just ahead. Nvidia really are struggling with this title, explains why they called Oxide out before. Hopefully as they push out more content it gets more optimized and less CPU limited in future updates/patches.
Oxide most likely focused on GCN optimization which kind of explains why Nvidia benefit on DX11. Not sure how you know Nvidia can't support async compute, they don't really share architecture notes.Quote

05-04-2016, 11:18:59

NeverBackDown
Quote:
Originally Posted by SPS View Post
I'd be more interested to see different CPUs used, from both Intel and AMD's offerings. Though I do appreciate that you don't have access to everything or necessarily the time either.



Oxide most likely focused on GCN optimization which kind of explains why Nvidia benefit on DX11. Not sure how you know Nvidia can't support async compute, they don't really share architecture notes.
Even in dx11, they aren't much better as everything gets higher resolution or settings. I doubt it's mostly AMD focused, it uses asynchronous compute. Nvidia doesn't have it and therefore probably results to context switching to do both compute and graphic work so it adds latency and therefore decrease framerate. AMD called out Nvidia at GDC that you can't support it at a driver level. In addition, it's been what 6 months and we've had no comment or hints from Nvidia about this "rumored" magic driver. I think it's more likely that got started by people saying, "wait for them to release a driver for the game". I don't even think Nvidia has a proper driver for it yet.. or not for a while. Which makes sense since they called out Oxide saying its not represenitive of a real dx12 title and begging them not to use asynchronous compute. That's just them being sore losers tbh. Nothing wrong with admitting that they can't support it but will try to get the best performance possible anyway. They haven't done this for any other dx12 title, it's just because they lose by far in this oneQuote
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