Ashes of the Singularity Day 1 Benchmark Preview

The new Ashes of the Singularity game has finally been released on the PC. This game supports DX11 and the new DX12 API with advanced features. In this Day 1 Benchmark Preview we will run a few cards through the in-game canned benchmark comparing DX11 versus DX12 performance and NVIDIA versus AMD performance.


Ashes of the Singularity is a game that from the start has been met with a whirlwind of interest and intrigue. AotS has struck nothing less than a debate between the use of DX12 and a feature called Asynchronous Compute that the API supports. This game has caused heated debate between AMD and NVIDIA GPU proponents. Without getting into the entire debate today and a detailed analysis of features and feature support in GPUs we are just simply going to take this now full retail game and find out how different GPUs compare and if DX12 provides an advantage.

This is just a preview, done overnight, to bring you a quick analysis of how DX12 compares over DX11 and how AMD compares versus NVIDIA in DX12 in this game currently. We will do a full evaluation once we have the proper time to spend with the game as usual. To test real world gameplay on AotS, we need to build up some armies and find out exactly what is the best structure for a gameplay run-through.

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Quickly getting into it, we are going to use the AotS built-in benchmark which is the only way to examine performance in DX12 at this time. No third party applications exist currently that can capture framerate over time how we are used to in DX11 games. We encountered this issue in our recent Rise of the Tomb Raider DX11 vs. DX12 Review.

Thankfully Ashes of the Singularity has a built-in benchmark which seems quite good for looking at a graphically intensive scenario in the game. The benchmark is setup so that it shows many NPCs fighting each other with loads of graphics being displayed at the same time in addition to the sheer number of opponents on the map at one time. The benchmark also provides a lot of data such as driver overhead, CPU load, GPU load, as well as batches and framerate. We will focus on the overall framerate result today.

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To run AotS in DX12 is quite easy, just right click on the game in STEAM and select the DX12 run option. Otherwise, if you run the game from the "Play Game" option it will run it in DX11. This allows you to compare results easily. The graphics settings are exactly the same between DX11 and DX12.

In the graphics options you can select a global option for quality. It is interesting to note that only the "Low" option disables AA. Otherwise, from the second lowest option to the highest some form of MSAA is enabled. You may want to consider this when finding what is playable for your gamplay. You may need to lower or turn off MSAA to get acceptable performance manually.

For our testing today we used the "Crazy" option which sets all the in-game settings to the "High" setting which is their highest value. Crazy also enables 4X MSAA, but in our testing we did some tests without MSAA and with 4X MSAA for comparison. We also did a tests in the "Low" option just to compare.