Low level access on DirectX and OpenGL is coming!

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#1 Posted by kalipekona (2296 posts) -

I saw this coming. I never believed that Mantle would supplant DirectX. I believed that it would lead to an improved DirectX with lower level access. And it turns out to be the case.

In this session we will discuss future improvements in Direct3D that will allow developers an unprecedented level of hardware control and reduced CPU rendering overhead across a broad ecosystem of hardware.”

For nearly 20 years, DirectX has been the platform used by game developers to create the fastest, most visually impressive games on the planet.

However, you asked us to do more. You asked us to bring you even closer to the metal and to do so on an unparalleled assortment of hardware. You also asked us for better tools so that you can squeeze every last drop of performance out of your PC, tablet, phone and console.”

“Driver overhead has been a frustrating reality for game developers for the entire life of the PC game industry. On desktop systems, driver overhead can decrease frame rate, while on mobile devices driver overhead is more insidious–robbing both battery life and frame rate. In this unprecedented sponsored session, Graham Sellers (AMD), Tim Foley (Intel), Cass Everitt (NVIDIA) and John McDonald (NVIDIA) will present high-level concepts available in today’s OpenGL implementations that radically reduce driver overhead–by up to 10x or more. The techniques presented will apply to all major vendors and are suitable for use across multiple platforms. Additionally, they will demonstrate practical demos of the techniques in action in an extensible, open source comparison framework.

http://www.dsogaming.com/news/directx-opengl-catching-up-with-mantle-will-offer-low-level-access-to-reduce-draw-overhead/

#2 Edited by CrashNBurn281 (391 posts) -

Microsoft has no choice at this point. They seem resistant to make changes people want until someone else does it and they risk being left behind.

It will be interesting to see if and when this would effect the next gen consoles.

#3 Posted by Gaming-Planet (13998 posts) -

Well, this is good news for all.

#4 Edited by ronvalencia (15109 posts) -

@kalipekona:

Xbox One's DirectX 11.X (a superset API over PC's DirectX 11.2) light weight runtime layer is already running on AMD GCN.

http://blogs.windows.com/windows/b/appbuilder/archive/2013/10/14/raising-the-bar-with-direct3d.aspx

The Xbox One graphics API is “Direct3D 11.x” and the Xbox One hardware provides a superset of Direct3D 11.2 functionality

...

With Xbox One we have also made significant enhancements to the implementation of Direct3D 11, especially in the area of runtime overhead. The result is a very streamlined, “close to metal” level of runtime performance. In conjunction with the third generation PIX performance tool for Xbox One, developers can use Direct3D 11 to unlock the full performance potential of the console.

...

We’re also working with our ISV and IHV partners on future efforts, including bringing the lightweight runtime and tooling capabilities of the Xbox One Direct3D implementation to Windows, and identifying the next generation of advanced 3D graphics technologies.

#5 Posted by no-scope-AK47 (2737 posts) -

Great devs need to take advantage of pc hardware.

#6 Posted by silversix_ (14083 posts) -

At the end you gain 3 more fps, yay.

#7 Edited by Jacobistheman (3975 posts) -

As someone who has a lot of experience with developing both graphics hardware (at Intel) and software (cannot disclose where), I call BS on this. There is the slight possibility that things will speed up, but the vast majority of the time, the DX11/OpenGL drivers do stuff more efficiently at a low level because they can optimize than developers can do on there own.

Its kind of like the High Level Language vs Assembly. You can theoretically write faster code in ASM than in something like C but the C optimizer is way better than people are in almost all cases, so the C will almost always run faster.

#8 Posted by wis3boi (31118 posts) -

mantle made them wake up i guess

#9 Posted by CrashNBurn281 (391 posts) -

At the end you gain 3 more fps, yay.

Hey with Xbox, they have to take what they can get.

*Facepalm* Jesus, I am not a troll, but I just couldn't help it.

#10 Posted by HavocV3 (7934 posts) -

@wis3boi said:

mantle made them wake up i guess

Thank you AMD.

#11 Posted by AdrianWerner (27986 posts) -

At the end you gain 3 more fps, yay.

In console-like games? Yeah. But mantle is really good at handling huge scale. THis makes it pretty useless in console scenarios, but it's a godsend in typical pc genres like strategy and simulation. That's where the reall benefit on low level access is visible.

#12 Edited by ronvalencia (15109 posts) -

@Jacobistheman:

With BF4, AMD Mantle is faster than PC's DirectX 11.2.

Nvidia has TCC driver with lower dispatch overheads for CUDA/OpenCL apps.

Intel is a f**kin joke when comes to graphics.

#13 Posted by EducatingU_PCMR (587 posts) -

Meh, doubt it will be faster than Mantle.

#14 Posted by kalipekona (2296 posts) -

At the end you gain 3 more fps, yay.

It's funny how people like you think that lower level optimizations are like magic on consoles and can turn mid range hardware into a supercomputer, but then when it comes to something like this you naively claim it will only result in a 3 frame gain in performance.

I guess you haven't seen the benchmarks for the first generation Mantle API. When they fine tune it and get it working optimally it's going to provide a very worthwhile increase in performance. Especially for those who need a performance boost the most.

#15 Edited by CrashNBurn281 (391 posts) -

@silversix_ said:

At the end you gain 3 more fps, yay.

It's funny how people like you think that lower level optimizations are like magic on consoles and can turn mid range hardware into a supercomputer, but then when it comes to something like this you naively claim it will only result in a 3 frame gain in performance.

I guess you haven't seen the benchmarks for the first generation Mantle API. When they fine tune it and get it working optimally it's going to provide a very worthwhile increase in performance. Especially for those who need a performance boost the most.

Question is, exactly how will it effect the consoles? A lot of times these kids of things effect future hardware and software implementation.

They say it helped the Xbox One, yet it still struggles to pump out anything past 720p. People keep promising gains with the platform in drivers and such, yet everything looks like it is having moderately better performance better than the 360.

#16 Posted by Rage010101 (5470 posts) -

The god platform known as PC just keeps on evolving and getting better. Lightyear's ahead of scrub consoles.

#17 Edited by Jacobistheman (3975 posts) -

@Jacobistheman:

With BF4, AMD Mantle is faster than PC's DirectX 11.2.

Nvidia has TCC driver with lower dispatch overheads for CUDA/OpenCL apps.

Intel is a f**kin joke when comes to graphics.

Do you know why BF4 Mantle is faster than DX 11.2? First of all, they most likely had a bunch of AMD engineers there that knew the hardware/API really well to be able to help them squeeze out performance at a low level, but that isn't the big reason for the difference. (You can't expect that on most games)

AMD uses something called "Frame Pacing" in DX10 and DX11 that will slow the delay drawing a frame when extra frames aren't needed so that you get a more constant framerate which is good for power consumption, heat and overall wear on the drive. Mantle doesn't implement this, so you see times where DX 11.2 on AMD would be running intentionally at 120fps instead of 240fps and mantle goes ahead and draws 240fps.


Also, Intel Graphics are designed for power efficiency, low heat and long battery life not gaming performance. You can't compare something that uses 10W to something that uses 100 of Watts and expect it to compete--but it is in no way a joke (But I also worked on stuff that isn't out yet). Haswell (Intel) beats AMD (Richland) integrated graphics every time when you compare similarly powered chips.

#18 Posted by Wasdie (49631 posts) -

It's just the first steps to optimizing OpenGL and DirectX. It's a good thing but it won't be offering massive advantages right away.

#19 Edited by FoxbatAlpha (6164 posts) -

I'll buy that sauce for a dollar.

#20 Edited by ronvalencia (15109 posts) -

@Jacobistheman said:

@ronvalencia said:

@Jacobistheman:

With BF4, AMD Mantle is faster than PC's DirectX 11.2.

Nvidia has TCC driver with lower dispatch overheads for CUDA/OpenCL apps.

Intel is a f**kin joke when comes to graphics.

Do you know why BF4 Mantle is faster than DX 11.2? First of all, they most likely had a bunch of AMD engineers there that knew the hardware/API really well to be able to help them squeeze out performance at a low level, but that isn't the big reason for the difference. (You can't expect that on most games)

AMD uses something called "Frame Pacing" in DX10 and DX11 that will slow the delay drawing a frame when extra frames aren't needed so that you get a more constant framerate which is good for power consumption, heat and overall wear on the drive. Mantle doesn't implement this, so you see times where DX 11.2 on AMD would be running intentionally at 120fps instead of 240fps and mantle goes ahead and draws 240fps.

Also, Intel Graphics are designed for power efficiency, low heat and long battery life not gaming performance. You can't compare something that uses 10W to something that uses 100 of Watts and expect it to compete--but it is in no way a joke (But I also worked on stuff that isn't out yet). Haswell (Intel) beats AMD (Richland) integrated graphics every time when you compare similarly powered chips.

No, EA DICE has stated BF4's Mantle rendering engine is similar to PS4's version.

AMD Richland has been superseded by AMD Kaveri and quoting laptop parts are meaningless on desktop parts.

On NVIDIA TCC driver, NVIDIA talks about dispatch overheads and memory spin locks on DirectX/WDM drivers. You are forgetting Intel has it's own extensions e.g. Intel Instant Access and Pixel Sync.

Microsoft's lightweight "DirectX11.X" existence proves there's are overhead issues with PC's DirectX 11.2. Did you read my Microsoft link?

#21 Edited by osan0 (12633 posts) -

it doesnt seem to have anything to do with MS.

seems to be more of a "we gave our coding monkeys a good kicking" type thing where they have changed the way the driver deals with the data coming in.

possibly not even that....could be more of a "you game developers are morons with the way you work. this is how you get more performance out of our drivers. now go away and dont bother us with this low level nonsense again" type discussion. i.e. best practice and dos and don'ts type thing.

maybe its DX10 and co for developers who have yet to move past DX9 (i think they imrpoved the multithreaded rendering options available in DX10 +....just developer have not been using them so far since they were makig games for the PS3 and 360).

they dont seem to have changed the APIs themselves so it looks like either an improved driver or they are going to give game developers a kicking....in a very nice and friendly way :P.

#22 Edited by Shewgenja (8475 posts) -

Lovin' this! Especially considering how these new Maxwell cards are supposed to perform. I'm looking forward to some very sexy games soon :)

#23 Posted by NFJSupreme (5155 posts) -

This is good news. Mantle is still hype right now with only BF4 supporting it I think and I actually take a HUGE performance hit with mantle in BF4 right now. I go from a steady 60fps with dips into the mid 50s to struggling to maintain 50fps. I know they will fix these issues (mantle doesn't fully support 79xx cards yet) but I just trust DirectX more because it is tried and proven and works very well even now. I get a steady 60fps in ultra on BF4 with directX now so any improvement would mean I never see frames dip below 60 on ultra settings which is what I was hoping from mantle

#24 Edited by EndlessInfinity (219 posts) -

Microsoft is stepping up its game apparently after Mantle made some noise

#25 Edited by Alcapello (793 posts) -

Microsoft is stepping up its game apparently after Mantle made some noise

That what they offices say

#26 Edited by MK-Professor (3733 posts) -

At the end you gain 3 more fps, yay.

Actually it is more like zero fps increase for the people that have strong CPU paired with a strong GPU, on the other hand people with strong GPU and weak CPU will see huge benefits. After all they are going to reducing the time draw calls take, as a result less CPU load.