Published in PC Hardware

DirectX12 is bad news for Nvidia

by on18 August 2015

AMD staff seen dancing in the street

Microsoft's move to DirectX12 might have helped AMD rather than Nvidia.

The Ashes of the Singularity was released recently and from the preliminary data, it looks like AMD graphics cards are going to benefit more from the latest API than Nvidia GeForce cards.

PC Perspective  compared the latest AMD Radeon R9 390X graphics card against the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 using the benchmark. It found that the AMD card could perform much better under DirectX12 than Nvidia.

When using the DirectX11 renderer, the Radeon R9 390X scores lower fps compared to the GeForce GTX 980.

Under DirectX12, the AMD card manages to score as high as the Nvidia card, gaining a leap in performance. In comparison, the Nvidia card doesn't show as impressive gains with the switch to DX12.

The AMD card benefits from CPUs with higher number of cores. When using CPUs with a lower core count, the performance gain is found to be lower.

Clearly Nvidia is gutted. It was quoted as saying "Ashes of the Singularity", in its current form, "is not a good indicator of overall DirectX 12 gaming performance."

They do have a point. A single benchmark from one game engine is not going to prove much. DX12 is not going to perform identically for other game engines that ship with both DX11 and DX12 code.

Historically we have seen that some games may favour NVIDIA's GPUs more and others AMD. But this is the first time DX12 has been used in a game so it is a notch in AMD's belt, particularly as AMD's less expensive GPU matched performance with the GTX 980, a card that was as much as 90 per cent faster in the older API.

The theory is that the work AMD did on Mantle/ Vulkan APIs and the generalization of game engines helped. It doesn't hurt that AMD has been working with Oxide and the Nitrous engine, as it was one of the few game engines to implement Mantle on any scale.

Last modified on 18 August 2015
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