Tuesday, March 22nd 2016

Microsoft Details Shader Model 6.0

Microsoft is giving final touches to Shader Model 6.0, an update to a key component of its Direct3D API. This succeeds Shader Model 5.0, which remained largely unchanged since the introduction of DirectX 11.0 in 2009. Shader Model 6.0 provides a more optimized pathway for shader code to make its way to the metal (GPU, hardware). The outgoing Shader Model 5.0, which is featured on DirectX 11 and DirectX 12, relies on FXC, an offline shader compiler, to both compile and optimize HLSL shader code, supporting HLSL v1.4 to v5.1 code.

Shader Model 6.0, on the other hand, dedicates compiling to Clang HLSL compiler, and optimization to multiple LLVM passes. Since Shader Model 6.0 supports HLSL code from v5.0 upwards, it should also benefit existing DirectX 11 and DirectX 12 apps, while relegating older apps to the then legacy Shader Model 5.0 pathway. In addition, Shader Model 6.0 claims to provide the right performance to cope with API level features such as tiled resources (mega-textures). It remains to be seen how Microsoft deploys Shader Model 6.0.

Source: PCGH
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45 Comments on Microsoft Details Shader Model 6.0

#1
Prima.Vera
So the new to come GPUs are already deprecated? I'm not sure they can go to SM5 to SM6 just by drivers or BIOS update...
LOL
Posted on Reply
#2
natr0n
Pretty sure emulator authors will take advantage of this update.
Posted on Reply
#3
NC37
Well that just depreciated the next gen GPUs before they even launched! So long Pascal and Polaris, hello 2017 lineup!
Posted on Reply
#4
Legacy-ZA
Anyone remember these little messages? I do. Not funny at all...

"Cannot launch game, your graphics card does not support the latest Shader Model 5.0"
" has encountered a problem and needs to close."

Seems if you buy this years GFX cards and they don't support this... lol you will just be throwing away your money.

*Edit*
I would love to see a response from nVidia and AMD about this... I wonder.
Posted on Reply
#5
R-T-B
Legacy-ZA said:
Anyone remember these little messages? I do. Not funny at all...

"Cannot launch game, your graphics card does not support the latest Shader Model 5.0"
" has encountered a problem and needs to close."

Seems if you buy this years GFX cards and they don't support this... lol you will just be throwing away your money.

*Edit*
I would love to see a response from nVidia and AMD about this... I wonder.
You don't seriously believe a game would try to use this Shader Model BEFORE any card on earth supported it, do you?
Posted on Reply
#6
Legacy-ZA
R-T-B said:
You don't seriously believe a game would try to use this Shader Model BEFORE any card on earth supported it, do you?
You didn't just ask me this question?

The point being; Why buy a graphics card when it's life span will all in likelihood only be 1 year when games WILL start supporting it. It has happened before.

I can see the new TITAN / Ti users being extremely happy about their cards new lifespan, it's just $1000 after all, no problems. /sarcasm

Go buy it, please. /queue harmonic and peaceful sounds that sheep enjoy.
Posted on Reply
#7
vega22
Legacy-ZA said:
You didn't just ask me this question?

The point being; Why buy a graphics card when it's life span will all in likelihood only be 1 year when games WILL start supporting it. It has happened before.

I can see the new TITAN / Ti users being extremely happy about their cards new lifespan, it's just $1000 after all, no problems. /sarcasm

Go buy it, please. /queue harmonic and peaceful sounds that sheep enjoy.
sadly there would be nothing new about that.
Posted on Reply
#8
Legacy-ZA
vega22 said:
sadly there would be nothing new about that.
Unfortunately, yes.

I remember, as I was one of those that got screwed in the whole 3.0 and 5.0 Shader model debacle. "It's fine they said, see the digital world they said..." 6 months later... Cannot launch this, cannot launch that, program not responding, program closed unexpectedly with critical errors, Please upgrade your hardware, your graphics card does not seem to support Shader Model 5.0 etc.
Posted on Reply
#9
RejZoR
NC37 said:
Well that just depreciated the next gen GPUs before they even launched! So long Pascal and Polaris, hello 2017 lineup!
My thoughts exactly. Thought of upgrading to Pascal/Polaris, but they seem like a bad decision considering this news...
Posted on Reply
#10
ZeDestructor
Prima.Vera said:
So the new to come GPUs are already deprecated? I'm not sure they can go to SM5 to SM6 just by drivers or BIOS update...
LOL
NC37 said:
Well that just depreciated the next gen GPUs before they even launched! So long Pascal and Polaris, hello 2017 lineup!
Legacy-ZA said:
Anyone remember these little messages? I do. Not funny at all...

"Cannot launch game, your graphics card does not support the latest Shader Model 5.0"
" has encountered a problem and needs to close."

Seems if you buy this years GFX cards and they don't support this... lol you will just be throwing away your money.

*Edit*
I would love to see a response from nVidia and AMD about this... I wonder.
Legacy-ZA said:
You didn't just ask me this question?

The point being; Why buy a graphics card when it's life span will all in likelihood only be 1 year when games WILL start supporting it. It has happened before.

I can see the new TITAN / Ti users being extremely happy about their cards new lifespan, it's just $1000 after all, no problems. /sarcasm

Go buy it, please. /queue harmonic and peaceful sounds that sheep enjoy.
RejZoR said:
My thoughts exactly. Thought of upgrading to Pascal/Polaris, but they seem like a bad decision considering this news...
You all do realise both nV and AMD have been in on the development of SM6 from day 1, probably since a good 9-12 months ago, if not longer, right? Right?

R-T-B said:
You don't seriously believe a game would try to use this Shader Model BEFORE any card on earth supported it, do you?
Precisely. Even now plenty of brand new games don't even use DX10/11 or OpelGL 4.3/ES3.0...
Posted on Reply
#11
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Is this a purely software update or is it also hardware? I think it could just be software.
Posted on Reply
#12
ZeDestructor
FordGT90Concept said:
Is this a purely software update or is it also hardware? I think it could just be software.
Mostly software stack change by the looks of it. That said, it could demand new hardware fetures all the same.
Posted on Reply
#13
jigar2speed
Please ignore, felt like troll comment hence deleted it.
Posted on Reply
#14
Assimilator
FordGT90Concept said:
Is this a purely software update or is it also hardware? I think it could just be software.
It could be implemented entirely in software, but obviously there will be a performance impact as opposed to having GPU hardware handle it.

That said, it appears that any graphics card that supports DirectX 12_1 will support SM6, which means that Maxwell 2 and Intel Gen9 (Skylake) IGPs should support it as soon as it's added to DirectX and implemented in drivers. Fury, however, is only 12_0 compliant and hence will not support SM6.
Posted on Reply
#15
john_
I guess this will be a good reason to upgrade future graphics cards. But probably we will have to wait 2-3 years before this becomes a necessity. I wonder if Vega and the successor to Pascal will be Shader model 6.0 or 5.0 cards, because they just look like Polaris and Pascal with HBM2 that we might not see in this summers cards.
Posted on Reply
#16
RejZoR
jigar2speed said:
You know I am pretty sure Direct X 13 is coming, does that make the upcoming Cards already obsolete ?
Probably not. Considering DX12 was hardly rolled out, releasing new one before we get even 1 commercial DX12 game would be a monumentally stupid thing to do. Unless it's a software only API upgrade, in which case, no problem.
Posted on Reply
#17
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
DX12 is going to keep on operating on feature levels (12_0, 12_1, 12_2, 12_3, etc.) until something major changes which doesn't seem likely to happen any time soon.
Posted on Reply
#18
Ubersonic
Legacy-ZA said:
You didn't just ask me this question?

The point being; Why buy a graphics card when it's life span will all in likelihood only be 1 year when games WILL start supporting it. It has happened before.

I can see the new TITAN / Ti users being extremely happy about their cards new lifespan, it's just $1000 after all, no problems. /sarcasm

Go buy it, please. /queue harmonic and peaceful sounds that sheep enjoy.
Games aren't going to suddenly switch to SM6 in a year and block out previous cards, new games that support SM6 will also support SM5 for a number of years, the industry doesn't move super fast. I.E today the are zero DX12 exclusive games and it's unlikely we will see one for many years. I.E2: Quake 3 was (IIRC) the first big game to actually require a 3D accelerator (no software mode) and that didn't launch until five years after the first Voodoo.
Posted on Reply
#19
matar
Lets hope NVidia pascal (x80) support Shader Model 6.0
Posted on Reply
#20
R-T-B
Legacy-ZA said:
/queue harmonic and peaceful sounds that sheep enjoy.
Thanks, I like those.
Posted on Reply
#21
vega22
this will probably run on everything dx11 and up if they add driver support, but that if is so big...
Posted on Reply
#22
rvalencia
Assimilator said:
It could be implemented entirely in software, but obviously there will be a performance impact as opposed to having GPU hardware handle it.

That said, it appears that any graphics card that supports DirectX 12_1 will support SM6, which means that Maxwell 2 and Intel Gen9 (Skylake) IGPs should support it as soon as it's added to DirectX and implemented in drivers. Fury, however, is only 12_0 compliant and hence will not support SM6.
Citation needed on AMD's GCN FL 2_0 on not supporting SM6. Note that Xbox One has 7790 type GPU which has FL 12_0


Note that "Wavefront" refers AMD's side and "Warp" refers to NVIDIA's side.

Posted on Reply
#23
efikkan
It's about time that we get the next step forward since SM 5.0, hopefully we can now finally advance after a couple of years of "API call madness".

The description of the changes of the compiler architecture seems similar to SPIR-V which is the foundation of newer OpenCL and Vulkan, even though Direct3D has supported offline compilation for years.

Still, every graphics programmer knows that the future lies in moving more of the current API features into the GPU shader code. We can't continue to scale with API calls on Pascal, Volta, (whatever comes next in 2020) ... Hopefully SM 6 will bring more changes than just on the compilation side. I'd like to see some "master shader" to actually control the pipeline, at least partly through invoking compute shaders, vertex shaders, controlling threads, allocation and so on. Perhaps in SM 8?
Posted on Reply
#24
rvalencia
btarunr said:
Microsoft is giving final touches to Shader Model 6.0, an update to a key component of its Direct3D API. This succeeds Shader Model 5.0, which remained largely unchanged since the introduction of DirectX 11.0 in 2009. Shader Model 6.0 provides a more optimized pathway for shader code to make its way to the metal (GPU, hardware). The outgoing Shader Model 5.0, which is featured on DirectX 11 and DirectX 12, relies on FXC, an offline shader compiler, to both compile and optimize HLSL shader code, supporting HLSL v1.4 to v5.1 code.

Shader Model 6.0, on the other hand, dedicates compiling to Clang HLSL compiler, and optimization to multiple LLVM passes. Since Shader Model 6.0 supports HLSL code from v5.0 upwards, it should also benefit existing DirectX 11 and DirectX 12 apps, while relegating older apps to the then legacy Shader Model 5.0 pathway. In addition, Shader Model 6.0 claims to provide the right performance to cope with API level features such as tiled resources (mega-textures). It remains to be seen how Microsoft deploys Shader Model 6.0.



Source: PCGH
From year 2012 i.e. AMD HSA road map.

Posted on Reply
#25
Ferrum Master
Well... so no GPU for me this year... will pick up a cheap 980ti from early adopters later in the year :pimp:
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