Although far less regular than they once were, DirectX updates have the potential to change the way PC gaming works, and DX12 is no different. Offering vastly improved performance for individual and multiple GPUs, it can mean a lot more units on screen at once, and Ashes of the Singularity is a great showcase of that.
Now you can get it on the cheap, by ordering a Radeon R9 380 or 380x GPU from AMD.
Although it doesn’t go quite all of the way in taking advantage of all of the performance enhancements DX12 has to offer, Ashes of the Singularity has been the first to utilize most of them, which has meant its benchmark has been a great showcase for those with compatible GPUs. If you don’t have that, but can’t quite afford the top end solutions, a R9 380 or 380X might not be a bad choice.
It gets even better when there’s a free game involved too. However as Hexus notes, it’s a bit of an odd choice to combine this game with the 380, rather than the more powerful 390; because the latter card is more in line with the game’s recommended specifications.
Ashes of the Singularity may suggest any old 2GB of VRAM equipped, DX11 graphics card to get it running, but if you want to run it at decent settings, you’ll want a GTX 970 from Nvidia, or AMD’s R9 390 – neither of which the R9 380 or 380x can compete with.
Judging by the testing conducted by MaximumPC, it is possible to run the game at around 30 frames per second on average with a R9 380 (and even a little more with the 380x) but you will need to keep the settings relatively pedestrian, without anti aliasing – though you can use 1080P resolution.
That may change by the time the game is released on March 31, and we would hope so since it would be disappointing to buy the GPU, and ultimately finding the game not playable at comfortable frame rates.