AMD Details Two Major Features Which Provide Huge Performance Gains In DirectX 12

Written by Jon Sutton on Fri, Apr 24, 2015 5:30 PM
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DirectX 12 is just around the corner, arriving this summer alongside Windows 10. In terms of what this actually means for us, things are still a little hazy, but AMD’s head of global technical marketing, Robert Hallock, has explained two key features for the upcoming low-overhead graphics API.

The two features in question are Async Shaders and multi-thread command buffer recording. They might sound unfamiliar now, but these two major new additions to DirectX 12 are set to make a significant difference to gaming performance across the board.

First up is Async Shaders. This is basically a feature which allows the GPU compute and memory activities to execute during gaps in the graphics workload within a game. Previously a single graphics queue processed every type of workload in a linear fashion, one by one, but with DirectX 12 the compute, graphics, and memory functions of a GPU will be able execute simultaneously.

That’s all well and good, but what effect does Async Shaders have on performance? Because everything is being executed simultaneously, this lessens rendering times and so reduces latency, boosting in-game frame rates. The initial benchmarks suggest we could be seeing performance gains of roughly 45%, a significant boost.

Async Shaders will work across the board on all graphics hardware, but AMD claims its own Graphics Core Next architecture is specifically optimised to take advantage of it, thanks to its Asynchronous Computer Engine (ACE).

Next up is multi-threaded command buffer recording. It’s a bit of a mouthful, but this feature revolves around the command buffer. This typically organise commands that need to be executed in the CPU, before passing the information on to the graphics card to render. These commands cover all visuals, including reflections, lighting, character placement, textures, etc.

In many of today’s games you’ve no doubt noticed the workload is spread very unevenly over CPU cores, if it’s even spread at all. Core 1 might be doing practically all the work while Core 4 is lazing on a beach with a pina colada. Multi-threaded command buffer changes all this by rerouting all data across and available threads, distributing the workload more efficiently. Like Asynch this can all now happen simultaneously too, with all cores capable of talking to the graphics card at once.

The benefits here are true utilisation of eight cores, delivering improved gaming performance, image quality, and resolutions.

It all sounds like very exciting stuff, we can just can’t wait to get our hands on the real deal and see if DirectX 12 lives up to all the claims when it, hopefully, arrives alongside Windows 10 in July.

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20:29 Apr-30-2015

Could I use DX12? I hope it will fix the graphics problems if I could use it.

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21:23 Apr-30-2015

Yes and no with 280x supporting GCN it's possible but not all the features will be unlocked to you

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19:44 Apr-28-2015

can i use DX12?? Excited :D

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20:08 Apr-28-2015

Yes you can you have GCN but you won't get all the features of DX12

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20:33 Apr-30-2015

why?

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21:23 Apr-30-2015

Because your GPU does not fully support DX12

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19:16 Apr-26-2015

Can I use DX12? Help!

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20:58 Apr-26-2015

yes you can it's GCN ready and set and your gpu will benefit from windows 10

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20:59 Apr-26-2015

Great! Thank you so much!

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21:02 Apr-26-2015

One reminder though it won't use the full features of DX12 so you will have half the features instead

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14:47 Apr-26-2015

I wonder if i need to upgrade my GPU (again...)
I read somewhere my GPU HD 7790 is GCN ready, true?

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15:08 Apr-26-2015

Your GPU is GCN and it will support DX12.

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16:42 Apr-26-2015

Thank you, for clarification!

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12:13 Apr-26-2015

i can't afford a better graphic card!
:(

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12:51 Apr-26-2015

save 2-3$ a day, for 2 months and you'll have 120-180$ for a good GPU. :)

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13:22 Apr-26-2015

then it's perfect, if he follows what I said, if possible :)

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21:48 Apr-25-2015

Will DirectX 11 compatible GPUs work with DirectX12?

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22:12 Apr-25-2015

yes but the features will be limited since they don't support dx12 fully

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10:05 Apr-26-2015

most likely yes, depends on drivers :)

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13:55 Apr-25-2015

Correct me if I'm wrong but these improvements only apply to future games that support dx12 right?

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14:25 Apr-25-2015

yes you are right buddy.

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16:03 Apr-25-2015

Not entirely true, as DX12 tailored games will definitely feel the benefits more.


but DX12 will actually allow your CPU to properly spread the workload across multiple cores.


Instead of 1 single core taking on the main load, and the spill over being spread to the other cores.
And of course better communication between CPU and GPU

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17:15 Apr-25-2015

don't forget it's about developers how effectively they make use of this tech ;)

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17:33 Apr-25-2015

good point..but let hope its going to better direction

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21:28 Apr-28-2015

Older games can benefit from DirectX 12 if the devs of those older games decide to release a patch to allow the Dx12 API be utilized even then I'm not even sure if such patches can be made, so it is very unlikely.

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13:28 Apr-25-2015

I hope game developer use hyperthreading, and multi-core functions with DirectX 12. It's really up to them to decide whether or not Dx12 will actually be of use to us gamers compared to Dx11.

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09:52 Apr-25-2015

i will wait till DX 12 comes out

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02:34 Apr-25-2015

dx12 wont support my card, right??? (non-GCN)

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03:32 Apr-25-2015

Your card supports directx 11, so you may have a chance and be able to use directx 12 although I don't know much about exceptions to that rule.

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06:49 Apr-25-2015

Best thing to do to know is to install Windows 10 TP and see if it supports DX12.

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09:20 Apr-25-2015

W10 TP build 9926
isn't it supposed to show DX12 even when the hardware is not supported just like in 7,8,8.1

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08:15 Apr-25-2015

If I'm right, you won't. Only Fermi,Kepler,Maxwell and GCN are supported.

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13:12 Apr-25-2015

yeah sadly it wont. only HD 7000 and R 200 series will support it. and the r 300 of course.

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15:58 Apr-25-2015

So this means my CPU will bottleneck even more? :D

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18:56 Apr-25-2015

No since you have supprted 7000 series card

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02:31 Apr-25-2015

So we are waiting on hyperthreading. Fill in the current gpu gaps first.

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01:15 Apr-25-2015

amd is talking about dx12 features more than microsof does,
for me a better multi-gpu scaling is enough

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08:16 Apr-25-2015

Yeah, It's very bad right now. The last game with proper scaling that I remember was BF4.

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21:54 Apr-25-2015

yeah my card runs bf4 very well but struggles with hardline

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01:09 Apr-25-2015

I highly doubt that there will be that much of a performance boost from Dx12.

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01:07 Apr-25-2015

This only makes me want to upgrade to a Dx12 supporting graphics card even more.

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15:20 Apr-25-2015

Your GPU will support DX12.

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00:47 Apr-25-2015

Just eager and waiting

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00:24 Apr-25-2015

and now the big question:


this wont work on windows 7. Is this just a "selling point" or a bait to gain more people to the windows10 market, or will this actually be the "windows7-killer" which kicks ass, and saves everyone's gaming life

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10:26 Apr-26-2015

that's what they did with windows 7 as well, they didn't give DirectX 11 support to windows XP and people were forced to buy the crappy windows 7.

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21:47 Apr-24-2015

I cant wait!!!!

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20:33 Apr-24-2015

I think the "I will believe it when I see it" saying still stands.


Although it looks promising in theory, I would really hold judgement till I see it in practice.

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04:49 Apr-25-2015

I'm the same, if the numbers are true though, i'll be holding onto my rig for a few more years.

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19:45 Apr-24-2015

I like how AMD is quick to boast optimization and whatnot but we all know too damn well that Intel+Nvidia will still be as good and even better at it...
In other news - if DX12 does do that memory pooling thing for SLI systems - I'm going to declare it as my religion!

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19:54 Apr-24-2015

really? obviously you forget that their architecture was what made them stomp every single NVidia card in the ground when it came to doing certain calculations that weren't hardware coded (Cuda). also we need to remember that the 780ti only game out when a 290x stomp its ass into the ground and NVidia needed something to better them.


jumping to conclusions and fanboyism wont win anything.

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02:04 Apr-25-2015

Fanboyism..? Tell it to those who downvoted me heavily and upvoted you likewise.
I've noticed that there's FAR too much AMD bias here. As soon as we say something bad about AMD - downvote rain. As soon as Nvidia get some mud talk - nothing.
So yeah, fanboyism much?

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04:04 Apr-25-2015

Then how come I got downvoted for speaking about AMD?

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04:45 Apr-25-2015

What are you smoking, 290x and 780ti are on par.

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08:09 Apr-25-2015

It is bit faster than 290x and that was its purpose. Its just pure marketing they could have done Titan faster but income wise its much better to keep some room and release faster card afterwards 780 ti Titan black. etc etc. Also its tactical move AMD releases "'Titan killer" and in one month they could push 780 ti out and they again had fastest single gpu at the time.

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08:11 Apr-25-2015

Ofcourse the marketing crap is annoying from customers view but they are just both companies and their aim is to make cash.

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18:59 Apr-25-2015

The company that has the fastest GPU will get more sales accros the board generally. Since Feb 2013 this has been Nvidia(with the exception one month when 290x was fastest)

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20:13 Apr-28-2015

So (petty) console vs p.c wars aren't enough, we have to go brand v brand in P.C gaming now as well....


Love thy neighbor :)

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19:37 Apr-24-2015

dx12 will raise the dead.
dx12 will cure the common cold.
dx12 will allow the making of the worlds first solor powered gpu.
dx12 will unleash the true power of the 900 series.
dx12 will blah blah blah

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22:49 Apr-24-2015

You have a 900 series card that means the dead will come after you but if you throw the 970 at them it will cure the dead which will allow dead to make the solor gpu unleashing it to the fullest blah blah blahrg

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00:33 Apr-25-2015

haaha

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