Ashes of the Singularity PC Performance Review

Ashes of the Singularity PC Performance Review


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. 


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