Tribes: Ascend Tested, Benchmarked

By on April 24, 2012, 10:24 PM

Most of our game performance reviews feature triple-A blockbusters, but we're changing pace for this write-up as we examine Tribes: Ascend, a free-to-play shooter released by Hi-Rez Studios on April 12. The Tribes franchise has deep roots in multiplayer shooter history, with Starsiege: Tribes making huge waves in the late 90s and two other PC entries following in 2001 and 2004. The series has lain dormant since, but Hi-Rez hopes to revive the classic shooter with a 21st century monetization scheme.

Considered a successor to Tribes 2, Tribes: Ascend embraces its heritage by incorporating the same fast-paced combat, tons of maps, weapons, vehicles and unique traversal mechanics. At the same time, it adds a new class-based system. Despite its freemium status, reviews seem to be overwhelmingly positive -- glowing, even. The title has straight positive feedback on Metacritic and our own Product Finder 82 .

Built on a modified Unreal Engine 3, the game only supports DirectX 9 graphics but the recommended specs are relatively high, calling for a GeForce GTX 560 or Radeon HD 6950 with a quad-core processor. Considering those requirements, we're hoping the game gives our test hardware a nice workout...

Read the complete review.




User Comments: 18

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LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

I am terribly pleased with this game - takes my back to my old shifter days. I run it v-sync'd at 1920 with no dips in performance. Had no idea how demanding it was but it's good to know since I just recommended my old buddy resurrect his old 5870 to play this game with me.

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

"Strangely, while the i7-2600K got faster as we overclocked it this was not the case with the FX-8150."

That's why when on your last game review when you only overclocked an AMD CPU in the CPU tests, I was like, "WTF!"

Thank you for doing one for each this time around!

Staff
Steve Steve said:

Yep and as I said last time you have to be realistic in what we can test. The Mass Effect 3 article was posted just a few days after release, this one was published almost 2 weeks after release so naturally we had more time to run a few extra tests.

Also as I told you in the Mass Effect 3 thread there was no need to test an Intel processor as well because Intel and AMD processors scaled alike in that game. This time we again tested the FX processor first and found the results strange so re-tested with a Sandy Bridge processor and found quite different results, therefore they were published.

Anyway I am glad you are happier this time round.

Guest said:

6870 > 6950 what????????

also i donĀ't think it uses 4 cores fully, 3 is about right

Guest said:

I have similar specs to the intel test rig, although I have an GTX 680, I can say with confidence that at very high settings and a res of 2560x1440 I constantly hit the frame limit of 90 FPS in the game. As far as FRAPS shows anyway.

Nvidia cards seem to have an advantage in this modified UE3 engine. Although there is little visual difference between Very High and High.

I also find that VSync is needed to prevent screen tearing.

Staff
Steve Steve said:

6870 > 6950 what????????

also i donĀ't think it uses 4 cores fully, 3 is about right

6870 and 6950 delivered the same performance in this game. Yes at 1680x1050 we showed the 6870 to be 2fps faster but out of the three runs those were the averages.

The game uses 4-cores, I don't think there is any debating that, how heavily it uses the cores will depend on the processor.

I also find that VSync is needed to prevent screen tearing.

I didn't notice any tearing on my setup but that can be a problem with vsync disabled. Personally I prefer to play first person shooters with an average of 80fps+, just feels better in my opinion.

Guest said:

i played on my water cooled dual gtx590s and practically blew my system apart. This game made the video cards extremely hot, even under water. Only run very high on a very well cooled system or you may get into heat issues a hr or 2 in....

Guest said:

I wish you had add an i3-2130 in to test.

Thanks.

Guest said:

You should see how it runs at 1680x1050 on my NVS4200M 1GB and i5 2540M.

It's not pretty.

venomblade said:

Aw the poor 7000 series :/, I hope the lackluster performance in DX9 games doesn't become the norm, or else I'll be regretting getting a 7870 eventually.

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

You did say those things to me in the comment section when I asked, but not the article.

Guest said:

surely venom you'll be regretting it now but will eventually be vindicated?

Guest said:

"However, the GTX 680 would probably be desirable in extreme multi-display setups."

Except for the fact that this game doesn't support multi-display setups. The FOV can't be changed. I wish developers would stop using this engine.

Guest said:

The FOV can be changed between 60 to 120.

Guest said:

I have been playing T:A since half way through the Beta. My PC is quite old now, but I manage to play it on "High" settings (no .ini. tweaks) about easily have a consistent 30fps.

My main specs are:

AMD Phenom X2 unlocked to X4

4Gb DDR3 RAM

ATI HD 4970 1Gb

I don't understand how it performs better then newer (now old) parts, but it works fine for me, and I can happily play this awesome game at SUPER SANIC speeds :)

Guest said:

I play using t:A using a intel dual core and a amd 4850. To get good response I only play it on ultra low detail @ 1680x 1440. I still lose LOL. I would consider 30fps as not enough, and 60fps as about right. Its too fast a game to look at the scenery anyway, one slip and you're toast, by someone like cpuincontrol. Its a long trudge if you dont buy the items, tho.

Guest said:

These results seem strange to me. I run it with a 560ti / i5-750 and I can easily max all settings. 2560x1600, 32x AA, 16x AF, max Details and I never go below 40 fps. Changing AA-settings doesn't seem to change much in performance, but it does visually. Seems heavily CPU limited to me.

Guest said:

Thanks for the article.

Since article, I've noticed that several hirez patches and drivers from both amd and nvidia claiming to improve performance have come out for tribes ascend.

Is it possible a reviewer can rebench with amd 12.11's and nvidia 306.x's video drivers and latest nvidia 600 series of cards, 650, 660, 660ti, 670, 680.

Perhaps adding latest amd vishera FX-8350 cpu.

An updated article would be appreciated by many tribes ascend players.

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