Closing Thoughts

Wrapping up our second look at Ashes of the Singularity and third overall look at Oxide’s Nitrous engines, it’s interesting to see where things have changed and where they have stayed the same.

Thanks to the general performance optimizations made since our initial look at Ashes, the situation for multi-GPU via DirectX 12 explicit multi-adapter is both very different and very similar. On an absolute basis it’s now a lot harder to max out a multi-GPU configuration; with reasonable quality settings we’re CPU limited even up to 4K, requiring we further increase the rendering quality. This more than anything else handily illustrates just how much performance has improved since the last beta. On the other hand it’s still the most unusual pairing – a Radeon R9 Fury X with a GeForce GTX 980 Ti – that delivers the best multi-GPU performance, which just goes to show what RTG and NVIDIA can accomplish working together.

As for the single GPU configurations, I’m not sure things as they currently stand could be any more different. NVIDIA cards have very good baseline DX11 performance in Ashes of the Singularity, but they mostly gain nothing from Ashes’ DX12 rendering path. RTG cards on the other hand have poorer DX11 performance, but they gain a significant amount of performance from the DX12 rendering path. In fact they gain so much performance that against traditional competitive lineups (e.g. Fury X vs. 980 Ti), the RTG cards are well in the lead, which isn’t usually the case elsewhere.

Going hand-in-hand with DX12, RTG’s cards are the only products to consistently benefit from Ashes’ improved asynchronous shading implementation. Whereas our NVIDIA cards see a very slight regression (with NVIDIA telling us that async shading is not currently enabled in their drivers), the Radeons improve in performance, especially the top-tier Fury X. This by itself isn’t wholly surprising given some of our theories about Fury X’s strengths and weaknesses, but for Ashes of the Singularity performance it further compounds on the other DX12 performance gains for RTG.

Ultimately Ashes gives us a very interesting look at the state of DirectX 12 performance for both RTG and NVIDIA cards, though no more and no less. As we stated at the start of this article this is beta software and performance is subject to change – not to mention the overall sample size of one game – but it is a start. For RTG this certainly lends support to their promotion of and expectations for DirectX 12, and it should be interesting to see how things shape up in March and beyond once the gold version of Ashes is released, and past that even more DirectX 12 games.

The Performance Impact of Asynchronous Shading


View All Comments

  • itchypoot - Wednesday, February 24, 2016 - link

    Continuing the trend of nvidias very bad DX12 performance. Reply
  • Sttm - Wednesday, February 24, 2016 - link

    Wouldn't you need multiple data points to have a trend, and as this is really the only DX12 game, you do not have that do you?

    No what we have here is one game where one side has an advantage, and a fanboy for that side shouting how it means everything. As if we haven't seen that 1000 times before.
  • itchypoot - Wednesday, February 24, 2016 - link

    Nothing of the sort, but you resort to insult because you have no substance. Likely you fit that description and see everyone else as being the same.

    There are other DX12 metrics available, nvidia continues to do poorly in them. Make yourself aware of them and return with data rather than insults.

    Nvidia+DX12 = unfortunate state of affairs
  • willis936 - Wednesday, February 24, 2016 - link

    "Make yourself aware of them so I don't have to make my own arguments" Reply
  • flashbacck - Wednesday, February 24, 2016 - link

    Lol. This is pretty fantastic. Reply
  • close - Thursday, February 25, 2016 - link

    Given that we only have (almost) one DX12 game available I wouldn't worry too much about the performance of any of the two players. By the time enough games are available to actually care about DX12 I assume both will be more than ready to deliver. Reply
  • HalloweenJack - Thursday, February 25, 2016 - link

    so by the summer then - oh wait , tomb raider IS DX12 , on console - but Nv threw enough money at the dev to make it DX11 on the pc.... Reply
  • close - Thursday, February 25, 2016 - link

    Complaining (or worrying) about DX12 performance at this point is pointless. The whole ecosystem is very much in beta stages starting with the only version of Windows that supports DX12, Windows 10. The OS, the drivers, the games, they are all in a phase where they are subject to pretty big changes. Even the hardware will start supporting different subsets of DX12 in the future. And the title sums it up pretty well: "a beta look".

    But some people just need a reason to complain, to lament, to try on some sarcasm, etc. Only time will tell which platform will be "the best" and for how long once all the development is done. But what I can tell you right now is that both players will be "good enough".

    P.S. Regardless of which side you're on, being a fanboy only works when you have the very top end product. So unless you have a FuryX or a 980Ti/Titan X pointing fingers at the performance of the competition is like driving a Fiesta and thinking it's a sort of Mustang.
  • silverblue - Thursday, February 25, 2016 - link

    What about a Fiesta ST? (yes, I'm trolling, albeit mildly) Reply
  • MattKa - Thursday, February 25, 2016 - link

    What a load of shit. Nvidia threw money at them to make it DX11?

    It's not DX12 on X-Box you uninformed baboon. In fact Crystal Dynamics is going to be patching DX12 support into the game.

    You joker.

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