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


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4K

ASUS GTX 1060 Strix 6GB Performance


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4K

Sapphire R9 Fury 4GB Performance


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Sapphire RX 480 8GB Performance


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Gaming Performance: Civilization 6 (1080p, 4K, 8K, 16K) Gaming Performance: Shadow of Mordor (1080p, 4K)
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  • haukionkannel - Thursday, July 27, 2017 - link

    You can install Ryzen 1200 and use Nvidia 1080ti and run games at 4K easily, so there is a point of these prosessors.
    There will be Ryzen based APU later in this or next year for Office computers and maybe even htpc usage and laptops. Those Are budget CPU for gaming and you can pair them as fast GPU as you like and still get reasonable good results!
    The Intel 7700 is in the top, but if you run games at 4K I think that you can save a big deal by usin amd 1200 instead of Intel 7700! The difference is so small in speed and so big in money!
    Reply
  • kaesden - Thursday, July 27, 2017 - link

    dont forget that ryzen 1200 with a 1080ti could also have a 1700 dropped in down the line when budget allows, or when more cpu performance is needed. And the ryzen based APU's are coming eventually for those who just want basic integrated graphics. AMD isn't finished yet with their roll out. Reply
  • zodiacfml - Thursday, July 27, 2017 - link

    The purpose is to make use/sell of disabled chips. This could be the reason why AMD and Nvidia started selling the new, lowest end discrete graphics cards. Desktop APUs will arrive early 2018.

    I wonder if AMD will ever have to cripple these Zen parts in the future as some articles mention they have high pretty good wields.
    Reply
  • lefty2 - Thursday, July 27, 2017 - link

    They aren't "making" a $100 CPU with no iGPU, they are just re-badging a $500 CPU. Much cheaper in research costs than having to design a new die. ...and the same logic applies to the 7700K Reply
  • bennyg - Thursday, July 27, 2017 - link

    I think the price/perf discussion should be a it broader in scope than just comparing CPU alone. The need to find or buy a GPU for the R3 compared to the Intel competition is a noticable omisson. Even the budgestest secondhandest GPUs will throw out the metrics of a $30 price comparison, but the extra graphics performance and/or features you may get from a dedicated GPU over iGPU should also be considered. Reply
  • bennyg - Thursday, July 27, 2017 - link

    should be a *lot* broader. typo Reply
  • Manch - Friday, July 28, 2017 - link

    That's why these were tested with the higher end GPU's. To eliminate the IGP as a performance factor and compare CPU only. As you said, the extra performance you would get from even a low end discrete would be an unfair advantage for AMD. If you got one that was crappier than the IGP(if possible) then it would be an unfair advantage to Intel. It would be hard to decide which Discrete card would be the official stand in. On that note, doesn't AMD have discrete R7 cards that are paired with their APU's that are pretty much a copy of the IGP? They're not VEGA cores though so it wouldn't be a good way to predict the performance of the upcoming APU's. It would however give an idea as to what Bristol would have been using ZEN cores. Reply
  • extide - Saturday, July 29, 2017 - link

    Latest AMD APU's are still construction cores (Excavator) with Polaris based graphics. Ryzen with Vega based will come later. Reply
  • Alexvrb - Thursday, July 27, 2017 - link

    I don't know... maybe... gaming on a relatively small budget? Ryzen 3 plus a $150-200 graphics card is clearly better than an equivalent i3 build, plus they overclock even with a cheap B350 board. Reply
  • serendip - Friday, July 28, 2017 - link

    For a cheapo gamer like me, Ryzen 3 + a $100 card is fine, but how big is that market anyway?

    AMD needs to go beyond servicing enthusiasts, it has to get OEMs to use Ryzen in cheap PCs for basic use in schools, homes and businesses. These segments won't bother going for Ryzen 5 or i5, they just want the cheapest computer available. AMD doesn't have a good name in the low end of the market because of its terrible APUs.
    Reply

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