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

AMD Ryzen Optimized Ashes Of The Singularity Benchmarks And Final Thoughts

In our initial review of the Ryzen 7 series processors, we saw much lower than expected performance from AMD’s new processor line-up than we did with Intel’s in the DirectX 12-based Ashes Of The Singularity benchmark. This was especially prominent when testing at lower resolutions like 1080p. With the game cranked up to 4K, the deltas separating the processors was smaller due to the GPU limiting performance, but when the game was more CPU-bound, Ryzen put up relatively low scores.

With some highly threaded workloads and even some game-related tests, like Cinebench, POV-Ray, or 3DMark’s Physics tests, for example, the Core i7-6900K and Ryzen 7 1800X were competitive with one another in our initial review. But it wasn’t even close in Ashes Of The Singularity, so we were eager to test out an updated version of the game when we caught wind that Stardock and Oxide Games had completed the initial optimization of Ashes for AMD Ryzen desktop processors.

Oxide -- the makers of this game -- put out a statement on this situation with AMD Ryzen performance. “Oxide games is incredibly excited with what we are seeing from the Ryzen CPU. Using our Nitrous game engine, we are working to scale our existing and future game title performance to take full advantage of Ryzen and its 8-core, 16-thread architecture, and the results thus far are impressive. These optimizations are not yet available for Ryzen benchmarking. However, expect updates soon to enhance the performance of games like Ashes of the Singularity on Ryzen CPUs, as well as our future game releases,” said Brad Wardell, CEO Stardock and Oxide.

 AMD Ryzen Before And After Patch Testing With Ashes Of The Singularity
DX12 Gaming Performance

Below, we have an array of benchmarks tests at two resolutions, using two different graphics cards, with Ashes both pre- and post-patch. We compare a Core i7-5960X and Ryzen 7 1800X at 1080p and 4K, using either a Radeon RX 480 or GeForce GTX 1080 Ti...

Ryzen Ashes Benchmark 1080ti 1080

Ryezn Ashes Benchmark RX480 1080

In the 1080p benchmarks using the powerful GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, the Ryzen 7 1800X shows an approximate 20% performance improvement (give or take a point or two, depending on the specific test) with the latest version of the Ashes. There are some slight differences with the Intel setup as well, but those fall within the margin of error for this benchmark. With the Radeon RX 480 installed, both platforms show improvement, but the deltas are much smaller. Overall, while the Ryzen 7 closes the gap between it and the Core i7 significantly, the Intel processor still holds onto a small lead, though it's also a lot more expensive.

Ryzen Ashes Benchmark 1080ti 4K

Ryzen Ashes Benchmark RX480 4K

With a heavier 4K resolution workload placed on the GPUs, we see similar performance trends, just at lower framerates. The Intel Core i7 put up some slightly lower scores, but there is some variability with the Ashes benchmark, so it’s essentially a wash there. The Ryzen 7 1800X shows significantly improved performance with the 1080 Ti, but with the RX 480 installed the system is mostly GPU bound, and framerates don’t change much.
Ryzen Ashes CPU Framerate CPU Focused Before and After 2

Ryzen Ashes CPU Framerate GPU Focused Before and After 2
If we focus on CPU framerates (Ashes reports both GPU and CPU framerates in its results), using both the CPU and GPU Focused benchmarks, we see improvements across the board for both AMD and Intel in the CPU Focused test, though Ryzen 7 shows a much more significant performance uplift. With the GPU Focused test, however, Ryzen 7 shows big gains, while the Core i7 remains essentially flat.

concludeWhen we set out to test this new game patch on AMD's Ryzen platform, we realized how many different angles you could look at it from. There's Ryzen on NVIDIA GPUs, Ryzen on AMD GPUs, various in-game settings, 1080p gaming, and of course a quick check on high res gaming. Perhaps what's most interesting to see might be the fact that, even at 4K, with a powerful GPU like a GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, if a game isn't properly optimized for Ryzen, you can definitely leave frame rate and performance on the table. And at lower res like 1080p, though frankly you might not care as much because frame rates are higher anyway, performance will bleed as well, again if a CPU-intensive game engine like Ashes isn't optimized to utilize AMD's Zen architecture and its CCX core modules efficiently.

AMD Ryzen CyberPower Gaming PC Side Panel Off and Monitor

However, as we've seen here, only a month out of the gate since launch, AMD can indeed work with game developers to wring more performance out of Ryzen and the intrinsic round-trip latency that occurs when processing data that needs to traverse CCX modules (4-core clusters in the case of Ryzen 7). In fact, our testing efforts with the Ashes patch here spurred a lot of discussion about the bet AMD placed with its Zen architecture and any potential advantages or disadvantages it has in scalability.

By taking a more modular approach with the Zen/Ryzen CCX architecture, AMD was able to build processors efficiently from a cost standpoint, as is evident in Ryzen 8-core pricing versus Intel at half the cost. However, they also have an architecture that can scale extremely well, with its Infinity Fabric coupling even more CCX core clusters for server chips in the data center with AMD's Naples platform; and the data center is an absolute cash cow business, one that Intel guards fiercely. With Naples' inherent CPU resources, memory bandwidth and PCIe IO connectivity advantages over Intel Xeon currently, it looks like AMD's CCX modularity bet could pay off handsomely in the server market.

And, as we've seen here today, in extensive testing of at least one patched game title, game devs can optimize for Ryzen's modular CPU core approach as well. If AMD can continue to foster development and optimization in the game developer community like they have with Oxide Games, gamers and performance enthusiasts should be happy as well moving forward, for Ryzen to the occasion with AMD's new processor family.

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