Ashes of the Singularity is an upcoming real-time strategy game for the PC where tons of things can move around on the screen simultaneously. As such, it requires a lot of 3D graphics horsepower to run fluidly.

That’s why graphics chip maker Advanced Micro Devices is teaming up with game engine developer Oxide Games and publisher Stardock. Essentially, RTS games have been good at depicting small-scale battles. The goal of Ashes of the Singularity is to depict real-time wars. Thousands or even tens of thousands of 3D objects could appear on screen in such a game.

Until now, strategy games had to have a real limit on the number of units that could be on the screen at once. To get over this limit, Oxide Games created its Nitrous Engine to take advantage of the DirectX 12 graphics software, which in turn can fully exploit the graphics hardware and 64-bit multicore central processing units (CPUs) in gamer PCs.

Ashes of the Singularity is one of a number of DirectX 12 games that will be available in the coming months. DirectX 12 enables a game to tap all of the cores available, so they can process the graphics in less time.

Two of the cool features in DirectX 12 are driving these innovations: multi-threaded command buffer recording and asynchronous shaders.

The multi-threaded command buffer recording allows all CPU cores to feed data to the graphics processing unit (GPU) in a way so that the GPU doesn’t run out of work to do.

The asynchronous compute shaders spread tasks out among multiple threads, or different subprograms, to shorten the time it takes to render an image. That reduces the latency in graphics interactions and translates to better overall performance in both games and virtual reality apps. This means that hardware resources don’t sit idle. They’re always doing useful work.


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