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.

All of our benchmark results can also be found in our benchmark engine, Bench.

MSI GTX 1080 Gaming 8G Performance


1080p

4K

ASUS GTX 1060 Strix 6G Performance


1080p

4K

Sapphire Nitro R9 Fury 4G Performance


1080p

4K

Sapphire Nitro RX 480 8G Performance


1080p

4K

AMD gets in the mix a lot with these tests, and in a number of cases pulls ahead of the Ryzen chips in the Time Under analysis.

CPU Gaming Performance: Civilization 6 (1080p, 4K, 8K, 16K) CPU Gaming Performance: Shadow of Mordor (1080p, 4K)
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  • ddriver - Thursday, August 10, 2017 - link

    Yeah if all you do all day is compile chromium with visual studio... Take that result with a big spoon of salt. Reply
  • Samus - Thursday, August 10, 2017 - link

    This thing can also decompress my HD pr0n RARs in record time! Reply
  • carewolf - Thursday, August 10, 2017 - link

    The jokes is on you. More cores and more memory bandwidth is always faster for compiling. Anandtech must have butched the benchmark here. Other sites show ThreadRipper whipping i9 ass as expected. Reply
  • bongey - Thursday, August 10, 2017 - link

    They did without a doubt screw up the compile test. The 6950x is a 10 core /20 thread intel cpu, but somehow the 7900x has 20% improvement, when no other test even comes close to that much of an improvement. The 7900x is basically just bump in clock speed for a 6950x. Reply
  • Ian Cutress - Thursday, August 10, 2017 - link

    'The 7900X is basically just bump in clock speed for a 6950X'

    L2 cache up to 1MB, L3 cache is a victim cache, mesh interconnect rather than rings.
    Reply
  • mlambert890 - Saturday, August 12, 2017 - link

    It's basically as far from 'just a bump in clock speed' as any follow up release short of a full architecture revamp, but yeah ok. Reply
  • rtho782 - Thursday, August 10, 2017 - link

    The whole game mode/creator mode, UMA/NUMA, etc seems a mess. Games not working with more than 20 threads is a joke although not AMDs fault.... Reply
  • mapesdhs - Thursday, August 10, 2017 - link

    Why is it a mess if peope choose to buy into this level of tech? It's bring formerly Enterprise-level tech to the masses, the very nature of how this stuff works makes it clear there are tradeoffs in design. AMD is forced to start off by dealing with a sw market that for years has focused on the prevalence of moderately low core count Intel CPUs with strong(er) IPC. Offering a simple hw choice to tailor the performance slant is a nice idea. I mean, what's your problem here? Do you not understand UMA vs. NUMA? If not, probably shouldn't be buying this level of tech. :D Reply
  • prisonerX - Thursday, August 10, 2017 - link

    That will change. Why invest masses of expensive brainpower in aggressively multithreading your game or app when no-one has the hardware to use it? No they do. Reply
  • Hurr Durr - Friday, August 11, 2017 - link

    Only in lala-land will HEDT processors occupy any meaningful part of the gaming market. We`re bound by consoles, and that is here to stay for years. Reply

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