Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation

Seen as the holy child of DirectX12, Ashes of the Singularity (AoTS, or just Ashes) has been the first title to actively go explore as many of DirectX12s features as it possibly can. Stardock, the developer behind the Nitrous engine which powers the game, has ensured that the real-time strategy title takes advantage of multiple cores and multiple graphics cards, in as many configurations as possible.

As a real-time strategy title, Ashes is all about responsiveness during both wide open shots but also concentrated battles. With DirectX12 at the helm, the ability to implement more draw calls per second allows the engine to work with substantial unit depth and effects that other RTS titles had to rely on combined draw calls to achieve, making some combined unit structures ultimately very rigid.

Stardock clearly understand the importance of an in-game benchmark, ensuring that such a tool was available and capable from day one, especially with all the additional DX12 features used and being able to characterize how they affected the title for the developer was important. The in-game benchmark performs a four minute fixed seed battle environment with a variety of shots, and outputs a vast amount of data to analyze.

For our benchmark, we run a fixed v2.11 version of the game due to some peculiarities of the splash screen added after the merger with the standalone Escalation expansion, and have an automated tool to call the benchmark on the command line. (Prior to v2.11, the benchmark also supported 8K/16K testing, however v2.11 has odd behavior which nukes this.)

At both 1920x1080 and 4K resolutions, we run the same settings. Ashes has dropdown options for MSAA, Light Quality, Object Quality, Shading Samples, Shadow Quality, Textures, and separate options for the terrain. There are several presents, from Very Low to Extreme: we run our benchmarks at Extreme settings, and take the frame-time output for our average, percentile, and time under analysis.

For all our results, we show the average frame rate at 1080p first. Mouse over the other graphs underneath to see 99th percentile frame rates and 'Time Under' graphs, as well as results for other resolutions. All of our benchmark results can also be found in our benchmark engine, Bench.

MSI GTX 1080 Gaming 8G Performance



ASUS GTX 1060 Strix 6GB Performance



Sapphire R9 Fury 4GB Performance



Sapphire RX 480 8GB Performance



Gaming Performance: Civilization 6 (1080p, 4K, 8K, 16K) Gaming Performance: Shadow of Mordor (1080p, 4K)


View All Comments

  • ampmam - Thursday, July 27, 2017 - link

    Great review but biased conclusion. Reply
  • tvdang7 - Thursday, July 27, 2017 - link

    No overclock? Reply
  • Oxford Guy - Thursday, July 27, 2017 - link

    No, just a RAM underclock. Reply
  • zodiacfml - Thursday, July 27, 2017 - link

    overclocking tests on the ryzen 3 1200 please. the only weakness of the chip is for non-gaming or htpc usage as it will require purchasing a discrete graphics card. otherwise, it presents good value for most things like gaming and multi-threaded applications, add overclocking, and it gets even better. Reply
  • kaesden - Thursday, July 27, 2017 - link

    one thing to not overlook with the ryzen 1300x is the platform. Its competitive with budget intel offerings and can take a drop in 8 core 16 thread upgrade with no other changes except maybe a better cooling solution, Something intel can't match. Intel has the same "strategy" at their high end with the new X299 platform, but they seem to have lost focus of the big picture. The HEDT platform is too expensive to fit this type of scenario. Anyone who's shelling out the cash for a HEDT system isn't the type of budget user who is going to go for the 7740x. they're just going to get a higher end cpu from the start if they can afford it at all, not to mention the confusion about what features work with what cpu's and what doesn't, etc...

    TLDR; AMD has a winner of a platform here that will only get better as time goes on.
  • peevee - Thursday, July 27, 2017 - link

    From the tests, looks like Razen 3 does not make much sense. Zen arch provides quite a boost from SMT in practically all applications where performance actually matters (which are all multithreaded for years now), and AMD artificially disabled this feature for that stupid Intel-like market segmentation.

    Also I am sure there are not that many CPUs where exactly 2 out of 4 cores on each CCX is broken. So in effect, in cases like one CCX has 4 good cores and another has only 2 they kill 2 good cores, kill half of L3, kill hyperthreading...

    It would be better to create a separate 1-CCX chip for the line, which would have much higher (more that twice per wafer) yield being half the size, and release 2, 3 and 4 core CPUs as Ryzen 2, 3 and 4 accordingly. With hyperthreading and everything. I am sure it does not cost "tens of millions of dollars" to create a new mask as even completely custom chips cost less, let alone that simple derivative.
  • Oxford Guy - Thursday, July 27, 2017 - link

    "It would be better to create a separate 1-CCX chip for the line"

    Or, it could be explained by this article why AMD can't release a Zen chip with 1 CCX enabled and one disabled. Instead, we just get "obviously".
  • silverblue - Friday, July 28, 2017 - link

    He did explain it. Page 1. Reply
  • Oxford Guy - Saturday, July 29, 2017 - link


    All I see is this: "Number 3 leads to a lop-sided silicon die, and obviously wasn’t chosen."

    That is not an explanation.
  • peevee - Tuesday, August 1, 2017 - link

    That is still be half the yield per wafer compared to a dedicated 1-CCX line. Twice the cost. Cost matters.
    And the 3rd chip must be 1CCX+1GPU. SMT must be on everywhere though, it is too good to artificially lower value of your product by disabling it by segmentation.

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