AMD Ryzen Game Optimization Begins: Ashes Of The Singularity Patched And Tested

AMD Ryzen Gaming Performance Optimizations A Month After Launch

AMD captured the attention of PC gamers and performance enthusiasts everywhere with the launch of its Ryzen 7 series processors. The trio of 8-core chips take on Intel's venerable Core i7 series at the high-end of its product stack and forthcoming Ryzen 5 Series CPUs from AMD are expected to compete with Intel's Core i mid-range products. However, with the extra attention and lime light AMD garnered, came significant scrutiny as well. And with any entirely new platform architecture, there are bound to be "corner cases" and a few performance anomalies -- as was the case with the now infamous "1080p gaming" situation with Ryzen. We like to call it the "CPU-limited" corner case because at 1080p -- with beefy GPUs pushing the majority of benchmarks at the publications with coverage of AMD's Ryzen launch -- gaming at 1080p was affected much more by CPU performance than when the GPU was under a heavier workload, like with rendering at a 4K resolution. 

AMD Ryzen CyberPower Gaming PC and Monitor2
AMD Ryzen 7 1800X Gaming System Built By CyberPower PC

However, in a recent status update, AMD noted they were already working with developers to help implement some "simple changes" that can help a game engine's understanding of the AMD Zen core topology that would likely provide an additional performance uplift with Ryzen. And AMD CEO, Lisa Su specifically noted that Ryzen gaming performance will only improve with future patches and developer support.

Well today, we have some early proof-positive of that, as Oxide Games, in concert with AMD, released a patch for its title Ashes Of The Singularity. Ashes has been a "poster child" game engine of sorts for AMD Radeon graphics over the years (especially with respect to DX12) and it was one that ironically showed some of the wildest (negative) variations in Ryzen CPU performance versus Intel processors.

Ashes dreadnought fight
Ashes Of The Singularity

With this new patch that is now public for the game, however, AMD claims to have regained significant ground in benchmark results at all resolutions. And so, with a new AMD Ryzen 7 1800X-powered system from CyberPower in-house, we've set out to put AMD's claim to the test. Here's to a little East Coast Ryzen testing, or should we say re-testing... 

AMD Ryzen CyberPower Gaming PC Side Panel Off Close up

AMD Ryzen CyberPower Gaming PC Side Panel Off

Test System Configuration Notes

When configuring our test systems for our benchmark runs, we first made sure all firmware was up to date, then we entered their respective system BIOSes / UEFI and set each board to its "Optimized" or "High performance" defaults. We then saved the settings, re-entered the BIOS and set the memory frequency to the maximum officially supported speed for the given platform (without overclocking). The SSDs were then formatted, and the latest build of Windows 10 Pro x64 was installed.

ryzen test setup
AMD Ryzen 7 1800X Installed In A Gigabyte Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 Motherboard

Also note, that to ensure AMD's SenseMI technology was performing to its full potential, the Ryzen-powered systems used the Windows 10 High Performance power profile, which allows Ryzen processors to scale to their factory specified XFR clock speed range.

 HotHardware's Test Systems
 Intel and AMD - Head To Head
Test System Specs

A Quick SiSoft SANDRA Sanity Check

In what was impeccable timing, our friends at SiSoftware sent over a new version of thier SANDRA benchmark suite with "official" support for the Ryzen architecture. So. we decided to fire that up first, for a quick sanity check... 

Ryzen SANDRA Benchmark 2016 vs 2017 2

Here we've run the Processor Arithmetic, Processor Multimedia and Memory Bandwidth test modules, which are three we work with all the time here at HH. Reportedly, the new 2017 version of SANDRA has some modifications to STREAM, which is the benchmark core that SANDRA uses for its Memory Bandwidth test, as well as CPU Multi-Core Matching tweaks that afford processing on Ryzen for "best match aka lowest latency" during multi-core testing. 

In the graph above, for the CPU tests we're reporting the Aggregate benchmark number for the test module. As you can see, we're observing no tangible gains in memory bandwidth for Ryzen, and little to no gains in the CPU Multimedia test, but we do see roughly a 6 percent gain in aggregate Processor Arithmetic throughput. So, interesting but not earth-shattering perhaps. 

Let's move on to Ashes Of The Singularity and see what AMD has been working on with Oxide games to optimize for Ryzen... 

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