Thursday, June 4th 2015

NVIDIA Could Capitalize on AMD Graphics CoreNext Not Supporting Direct3D 12_1

AMD's Graphics CoreNext (GCN) architecture does not support Direct3D feature-level 12_1 (DirectX 12.1), according to a report. The architecture only supports Direct3D up to feature-level 12_0. Feature-level 12_1 adds three features over 12_0, namely Volume-Tiled Resources, Conservative Rasterization and Rasterizer Ordered Views.

Volume Tiled-resources, is an evolution of tiled-resources (analogous to OpenGL mega-texture), in which the GPU seeks and loads only those portions of a large texture that are relevant to the scene it's rendering, rather than loading the entire texture to the memory. Think of it as a virtual memory system for textures. This greatly reduces video memory usage and bandwidth consumption. Volume tiled-resources is a way of seeking portions of a texture not only along X and Y axes, but adds third dimension. Conservative Rasterization is a means of drawing polygons with additional pixels that make it easier for two polygons to interact with each other in dynamic objects. Raster Ordered Views is a means to optimize raster loads in the order in which they appear in an object. Practical applications include improved shadows.
Given that GCN doesn't feature bare-metal support for D3D feature-level 12_1, its implementation will be as limited as feature-level 11_1 was, when NVIDIA's Kepler didn't support it. This is compounded by the fact that GCN is a more popular GPU architecture than Maxwell (which supports 12_1), thanks to new-generation game consoles. It could explain why NVIDIA dedicated three-fourths of its GeForce GTX 980 Ti press-deck to talking about the features of D3D 12_1 at length. The company probably wants to make a few new effects that rely on D3D 12_1 part of GameWorks, and deflect accusations of exclusivity to the competition (AMD) not supporting certain API features, which are open to them. Granted, AMD GPUs, and modern game consoles such as the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 don't support GameWorks, but that didn't stop big game devs from implementing them.
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79 Comments on NVIDIA Could Capitalize on AMD Graphics CoreNext Not Supporting Direct3D 12_1

Everyone should just relax, and wait for actual games to get released with said technologies.

By then we are looking at Pascal, if not later, and this whole discussion is moot anyway.

Bottom line: 2015 is the worst year in a decade to be buying a new GPU (end of 28nm / beginning of a double node size reduction, beginning of new featuresets, stagnating performance levels). Yes, Maxwell buyers, you too. That also puts AMD"s second/third rebrand in a whole other light.
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i predict most if not all dx12 games will be multi level dx like how some dx11 games will let you run 10 or 9 but its not experiencing the game at its best so i would imagine that it will be much the same way. if you have a dx12.0 capable gpu and playing a dx12 game but on windows 7-8.1 your not going to get the improved rendering capability and cpu overhead as if you had windows 10.
i have little to no doubt that windows 10 and dx12 capability will soon be the must have for power users and gamers. getting a lot of companies to upgrade though may be a different story.. just getting the majority to drop xp took support ending and becoming a security risk.
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