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  • dakishimesan - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    Because DirectX 10 and WDDM 2.0 are tied at the hip, and by extension tied to Windows 10, DirectX 12 will only be available under Windows 10. Reply
  • dakishimesan - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    PS: great article. Reply
  • FlushedBubblyJock - Sunday, February 15, 2015 - link

    First thoughts: R9 290X dx11=8 frames mantle=46 frames TEST= TOTAL FRAUD

    Although the difference there is what AMD told us mantle would do, only in this gigantic liefest is such hilarity achieved.

    Another big industry lie-test blubbered out to the sheep at large.
    Reply
  • 0ldman79 - Monday, February 16, 2015 - link

    It looks more like the people that coded that game are not very experienced and have spent far more time optimizing for future API than DX11. Reply
  • Christopher1 - Monday, February 16, 2015 - link

    Not necessarily. DX11 no matter how 'optimized' still does not get you as close 'to the metal' as Mantle does. So yes, there can be these kinds of extreme differences in FPS. Reply
  • The_Countess666 - Thursday, February 19, 2015 - link

    they are in fact very experienced. but they choose to do the things that previously DX11 bottleneck prevented them from doing in the past. Reply
  • 0ldman79 - Saturday, February 21, 2015 - link

    That makes sense, still not quite an apples to apples comparison in that situation, though using previously unavailable features on the new API tends to show the differences.

    The question still remains, will we see similar improvements on the current crop of DX11 games?

    I don't think that will be the case, though I could be wrong.

    Seems the gains are from multithreading, which is part of the DX11 or 11.1 spec.
    Reply
  • RobATiOyP - Sunday, February 21, 2016 - link

    Of course you won't see such a performance increase, because games have to be designed and tuned to what the platform is capable of. The console API's have allowed games, lower level access, Mantle, DX12 & Vulkan are about removing a bottleneck caused by the assumptions in DX11 & OpenGL API's which were designed when GPUs were novel items and much evolution has occured since. Those doubting the benchmark, please say why a graphics application would not want to do more draw calls per second! Reply
  • Fishymachine - Monday, February 16, 2015 - link

    DX11 can manage up 10k draw calls, Star Storms makes 100k. Also Assasins Creed Unity makes up to 50k in case you wanted a retail game that would skyrocket in low API(there's a spot where even 2 GTX980 get 17fps) Reply
  • The_Countess666 - Thursday, February 19, 2015 - link

    this engine was spefiically written to do all the things that previously DX11 doesn't allow game developers to do. it was designed to run headlong into every bottleneck that DX11 has.

    it is in fact a great demonstrations of the weaknesses of DX11.

    the fact that nvidia gets higher framerates in dx11 then ATI is because they optimized the hell out of this game. that isn't viable (costs too much, far too time consuming) for every game and was purely done by nvidia for marketing, but all it really does is further illustrate the need for a low level API where the burden of optimizations is shifted to the game engine developers where it belongs, not the driver developers.
    Reply
  • Archetype - Saturday, August 01, 2015 - link

    They did not optimize the hell out of it for NVidia. They just added DX12 support. Originally it was just for DX11 on any card and Mantle supported by AMD. It is not a game - Its a tech demo.

    The 980 obviously has significant horse power. I am just unsure why they used a 290x and not the current flagship. But maybe the 290x is still supposed to be more powerful.
    Reply
  • Freosan - Sunday, August 02, 2015 - link

    Archetype. When this was published, the 290x WAS the current AMD flagship. Reply
  • Azix - Monday, August 03, 2015 - link

    flagship was 295x2 Reply
  • Archetype - Saturday, August 01, 2015 - link

    They explained it quite clearly. Starswarm was written specifically to have zounds of draw calls and as such a high level API (layers and layers of API between the code that draws the scenes) will not be able to deal with it well. That was the whole point of Mantle and now DX12. To remove some of those layers of API and give software more direct access to underlying drivers and through them the hardware. You really need to get more informed. Reply
  • Flunk - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    That might annoy me more if they weren't giving everyone on Windows 7 and 8 an upgrade to 10 for nothing. I suppose not having to backport this to Windows 8 (as was originally announced) is probably saving a fair amount. Reply
  • dakishimesan - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    Sorry for my laziness, I was actually just pointing out a spelling mistake; I think it should say because DirectX 12… Etc.

    But for what it's worth I agree with you, with windows 10 being a free upgrade, and only enthusiast really caring about direct X 12 on their current high performance gear, I have no problem with Microsoft doing it this way.
    Reply
  • Christopher1 - Monday, February 16, 2015 - link

    Exactly. I understood why people were reticent to upgrade to Windows 7 and 8 because it was a paid upgrade, but with Windows 10 being a free upgrade if you have Windows 7 or 8? No reason not to upgrade. Reply
  • yuhong - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    Yea, the old DirectX redists are long dead. Reply
  • Wwhat - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    I'm highly suspicious about windows 10.
    There is a reason why they give it for free, as the saying goes "If You're Not Paying for It; You're the Product", which is generally true these days if it comes from a commercial outfit.
    Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    The more that people use the Windows store the more profit MS makes. Simple. Reply
  • eanazag - Monday, February 09, 2015 - link

    Yes, and they need more millions of machines to attract developers. Find any app that exists on iOS, Android, and Windows and you'll see that the Windows version is usually lagging in support or features. Example: Star Wars Commander receives the same updates iOS does weeks later.

    They absolutely need developers to get on board. When they do, there should be a corresponding stream of cash flow in the Windows store.
    Reply
  • Blessedman - Tuesday, February 10, 2015 - link

    This is 100% correct... Ask any Machead if they would prefer Max Excel or Windows Excel, it is a clear choice that the windows version of Excel is far away a better product. When they can develop for an audience, do you think they would rather show off their product on the niche market (anything other than windows)? Reply
  • Blessedman - Tuesday, February 10, 2015 - link

    Errr This isn't 100% correct. Reply
  • SparkySamza - Tuesday, February 10, 2015 - link

    yes but numbers on mac vs mac excel, numbers wins every time cause numbers is a boss. Reply
  • Christopher1 - Monday, February 16, 2015 - link

    True, but Windows 8 has the Store and it is a PAID upgrade from Vista and 7 so..... that comparison sorts falls flat in the real world. Reply
  • ymcpa - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    It's free only for the first year and it's not free to OEMs and large enterprise customers, who use software assurance anyways. They want everyone to upgrade to create a large enough user base to attract developers again. This will benefit windows tablets and phones and might make them competitive against ios and android. The only thing really holding tablets and phones back is the app selection. On the other hand, Google's only reason for giving away free software and service s to establish a large user so that the can sell ads to target that user base. In that scenario, you are the product. Reply
  • bitcrazed - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    "It's free only for the first year .."
    No. Win 10 is a free upgrade if you upgrade within a year of initial release. There is no fee to be paid after the 1st year.

    Because we now live in a world where one doesn't need to replace one's machine every 3 years in order to be able to run the next OS version, Microsoft has learned that it needs to incentivize users to upgrade to newer OS' in order to prevent what happened with XP:

    Although Microsoft had released Vista, 7 and 8, until fairly recently, a considerable percentage of their userbase were still running XP. Microsoft had to extend the support lifespan of XP twice to avoid leaving XP users without an upgrade path, but still they refused to upgrade. Then Microsoft could do no more and even extended support expired resulting in a larger number of upgrades from XP.

    My offering Win10 as a free upgrade, Microsoft (and the entire industry) hopes to encourage users to upgrade from their current OS - XP, Vista, 7 or 8.x to the new OS sooner rather than later.
    Reply
  • hwangeruk - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    Eh? His "free for the first year" comment was correct, stop splitting hairs.
    Microsoft is not trying to prevent what happened with XP at all, that's just wrong.
    MS need apps for mobile, so wants a mass of users to get the tablet and phone space back.
    They also want to win some hearts and minds as Windows 8 had a mixed reception (even though after 8.1 updates it was fine, the damage was done. Like games with launch issues sometimes don't recover from negative early reviews)
    This has 0 to do with XP, and the XP extended support for only for paying customers not generally consumers. This move has 0 to do with XP, you are so wrong on that.
    Reply
  • zodiacfml - Sunday, February 08, 2015 - link

    It is free. They put it for free for the first year of the OS so that people are forced to upgrade immediately and not any amount of time longer than that as it that defeats the purpose of putting a huge percentage of people into just one, current operating system.

    Besides, adopters would be will beta testers with little obligation from MS.
    Reply
  • Wwhat - Sunday, February 08, 2015 - link

    But what does windows10 desktop to do with getting the tablet and phone space? And what do you mean with "get the tablet and phone space back", back? MS never had that market ever, nor is MS likely to get it.

    But yes, they are likely hoping to gain from 'an appstore' and 'cloud' and the always listening and handy for advertisers and security services alike voice-command thing.

    All of which exemplifies the reason to worry..
    Reply
  • nikon133 - Sunday, February 08, 2015 - link

    Windows Mobile was very strong smartphone/PDA OS, back in the pre iOS/Android days. I don't remember how it compared to Symbian, but I do remember that it overtook Palm (marketshare wise) at some point.

    Tablets, true... unless OP considers PDAs an early tablets.
    Reply
  • sr1030nx - Sunday, February 08, 2015 - link

    Win10 (and 8.1 to a very limited extent) uses universal apps, meaning you write an app once and it works across PC, tablet and phones.
    Also means you only need to buy an app once and you get it everywhere.
    Reply
  • Christopher1 - Sunday, February 08, 2015 - link

    The only person who is wrong here is you, hwangeruk. There are numerous people who have had that the whole "Free upgrade to Windows 10 from 7 and 8!" is directly due to Microsoft wanting to encourage people to not stay on old code and move to new, safer and faster code. Reply
  • pixelstuff - Sunday, February 08, 2015 - link

    Windows 8 is not old code by any stretch. I think hwangeruk was right. Microsoft wants all Windows 8 users and especially Windows 7 users to upgrade so they can all run the unified apps that will also run on Windows Phone 10 devices. Microsoft eventually wants all developers writing Windows 10 apps even for things like Photoshop and Illustrator. To make that feasible Microsoft really needs to upgrade the majority of their user base. Reply
  • domboy - Monday, February 09, 2015 - link

    But even if they do get everybody to upgrade to 10, that still doesn't guarantee developers are going to switch to the store model, especially the big ones as they'd have to start giving Microsoft a cut of their profits. Same for game developers... Steam is pretty well established at this point. I will probably upgrade since it's free, but really only so I don't get locked out of DirectX 12.... Reply
  • Naqoyqatsi - Monday, February 09, 2015 - link

    "In that scenario, you are the product."

    No, you are the laborer.
    Reply
  • Frenetic Pony - Sunday, February 08, 2015 - link

    I suppose you only use iOS and OSX then as Chrome OS, Linux, and Android are also free? Reply
  • SparkySamza - Tuesday, February 10, 2015 - link

    as the saying i hear still now and when i was a child " there is no such thing as a free lunch" i know microsoft has done something, from gathering data via the operating system or even maybe filling it with micro transactions or even forcing people to use xbox everything even though pc people want to be as far away from xbox as they can. Reply
  • Cygni - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    This is a great way to ensure that developers are forced to continue coding for DX11, or just switch to Mantle. Windows 7 is going to continue to be the dominant OS long into the future. Reply
  • Viewgamer - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    I'm sorry but does no one find it suspicious that a supposedly "165W" GTX 980 consumes only 14W less than the "290W" R9 290X in DX12 ? and 19W less in DX11.

    No matter how you slice it, it's abundantly clear that the 165W power figure from Nvidia is pure PR fabrication. Just like the fabricated specs for the GTX 970.
    Reply
  • junky77 - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    Looking at the CPU scaling graphs and CPU/GPU usage, it doesn't look like the situation in other games where CPU can be maxed out. It does seem like this engine and test might be really tailored for this specific case of DX12 and Mantle in a specific way

    The interesting thing is to understand whether the DX11 performance shown here is optimal. The CPU usage is way below max, even for the one core supposedly taking all the load. Something is bottlenecking the performance and it's not the number of cores, threads or clocks.
    Reply
  • eRacer1 - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    So the GTX 980 is using less power than the 290X while performing ~50% better, and somehow NVIDIA is the one with the problem here? The data is clear. The GTX 980 has a massive DX12 (and DX11) performance lead and performance/watt lead over 290X. Reply
  • The_Countess666 - Thursday, February 19, 2015 - link

    it also costs twice as much.

    and this is the first time in roughly 4 generations that nvidia's managed to release a new generation first. it would be shocking is there wasn't a huge performance difference between AMD and nvidia at the moment.
    Reply
  • bebimbap - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    TDP and power consumption are not the same thing, but are related
    if i had to write a simple equation it would be something to the effect of

    TDP(wasted heat) = (Power Consumption) X (process node coeff) X (temperature of silicon coeff) X (Architecture coeff)

    so basically TDP or "wasted heat" is related to power consumption but not the same thing
    Since they are on the same process node by the same foundry, the difference in TDP vs power consumed would be because of Nvidia currently has the more efficient architecture, and that also leads to their chips being cooler, both of which lead to less "wasted heat"

    A perfect conductor would have 0 TDP and infinite power consumption.
    Reply
  • Mr Perfect - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    Erm, I don't think you've got the right term there with TDP. TDP is not defined as "wasted heat", but as the typical power draw of the board. So if TDP for the GTX 980 is 165 watts, that just means that in normal gaming use it's drawing 165 watts.

    Besides, if a card is drawing 165watts, it's all going to become heat somewhere along the line. I'm not sure you can really decide how many of those watts are "wasted" and how many are actually doing "work".
    Reply
  • Wwhat - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    No, he's right TDP means Thermal design power and defines the cooling a system needs to run at full power. Reply
  • Strunf - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    It's the same... if a GC draws 165W it needs a 165W cooler... do you see anything moving on your card exept the fans? no, so all power will be transformed into heat. Reply
  • wetwareinterface - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    no it's not the same. 165w tdp means the cooler has to dump 165w worth of heat.
    165w power draw means the card needs to have 165w of power available to it.

    if the card draws 300w of power and has 200w of heat output that means the card is dumping 200w of that 300w into the cooler.
    Reply
  • Strunf - Sunday, February 08, 2015 - link

    It's impossible for the card to draw 300W and only output 200W of heat... unless of course now GC defy the laws of physics. Reply
  • grogi - Sunday, April 05, 2015 - link

    What is it doing with the remaining 100W? Reply
  • Mr Perfect - Sunday, February 08, 2015 - link

    That's not what he's saying though, he said TDP is some measure of what amount of heat is 'wasted" heat. As if there's some way to figure out what part of the 165 watts is doing computational work, and what is just turning into heat without doing any computational work. That's not what TDP measures.

    Also, CPUs and GPUs can routinely go past TDP, so I'm not sure where people keep getting TDP is maximum power draw from. It's seen regularly in the benchmarks here at Anandtech. That's usually one of the goals of the power section of reviews, seeing if the manufacturers TDP calculation of typical power draw holds up in the real world.
    Reply
  • Mr Perfect - Sunday, February 08, 2015 - link

    Although, now that I think about it, I do remember a time when TDP actually was pretty close to maximum power draw. But then Intel came out with the Netburst architecture and started defining TDP as the typical power used by the part in real world use, since the maximum power draw was so ugly. After a lot of outrage from the other companies, they picked up the same practice so they wouldn't seem to be at a disadvantage in regard to power draw. That was ages ago though, TDP hasn't meant maximum power draw for years. Reply
  • Strunf - Sunday, February 08, 2015 - link

    TDP essentially means your GPU can work at that power input for a long time, in the past the CPU/GPU were close to it cause they didn't have throttle, idles and what not technologies. Today they have and they can go past the TDP for "short" period of times, with the help of thermal sensors they can adjust the power as they need without risking of burning down the CPU/GPU. Reply
  • YazX_ - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    Dude, its total System power consumption not video card only. Reply
  • Morawka - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    are you sure you not looking at factory overclocked cards? The 980 has a 8 pin and 6 pin connector. You gotta minus the CPU and Motherboard power.

    Check any reference review on power consumption

    http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/nvidia_geforc...
    Reply
  • Yojimbo - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    Did you notice the 56% greater performance? The rest of the system is going to be drawing more power to keep up with the greater GPU performance. NVIDIA is getting much greater benefit of having 4 cores than 2, for instance. And who knows, maybe the GPU itself was able to run closer to full load. Also, the benchmark is not deterministic, as mentioned several times in the article. It is the wrong sort of benchmark to be using to compare two different GPUs in power consumption, unless the test is run significantly many times. Finally, you said the R9 290X-powered system consumed 14W more in the DX12 test than the GTX 980-powered system, but the list shows it consumed 24W more. Let's not even compare DX11 power consumption using this benchmark, since NVIDIA's performance is 222% higher. Reply
  • MrPete123 - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    Win7 will be dominant in businesses for some time, but not gaming PCs where this will be benefit more. Reply
  • Yojimbo - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    Most likely the main reasons for consumers not upgrading to Windows 10 will be laziness, comfort, and ignorance. Reply
  • Murloc - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    people who are CPU bottlenecked are not that kind of people given the amount of money they spend on GPUs. Reply
  • Frenetic Pony - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    FREE. Ok. FREE. F and then R and then E and then another E. Reply
  • Alexey291 - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    It can be as free as it likes. In fact for all I care they can pay me to install it... Still not going to bother. And you know why? There's no benefit for me who only uses a Windows desktop as a gaming machine.

    Not a single one. Dx12 is not interesting either because my current build is actually limited by vsync. Nothing else but 60fps vsync (fake fps are for kids). And it's only a mid range build.

    So why should I bother if all I do in Windows at home is launch steam (or a game from an icon on the desktop) aaaand that's it?
    Reply
  • Nuno Simões - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    Clearly, you need to read the article again. Reply
  • Alexey291 - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    There's a difference in a benchmark. Well surprise surprise. On the other hand games are likely to be optimised before release. Even games by Ubisoft MIGHT be optimised somewhat.

    So the difference between dx11 and 12 will be imperceptible as usual. Just like the difference between ten and eleven was even though benchmarks have always shown that 11 is more efficient and generally faster.
    Reply
  • Nuno Simões - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    So, it's faster and more efficient, but that's worthless?

    What happened between 10 and 11 is that developers used those improevments to add to substance, not speed, and that is probably going to happen again. But anyway you see it, there is a gain in something. And, besides, just the gains from frametimes and lower buffers is worth it. Less stutter is always a good thing.

    And the bad optimisation from some developers is hardly DX's fault, or any other API for that matter. Having a better API doesn't suddenly turn all other API's into s*it.
    Reply
  • inighthawki - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    What are you blabbering on about? No benefit? Fake fps? Do you even know anything about PCs or gaming? Reply
  • Alexey291 - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    You don't actually understand that screen tearing is a bad thing do you? :) Reply
  • Murloc - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    I've never seen screen tearing in my life and I don't use vsync despite having a 60 Hz monitor.

    Fact is, you and I have not much to gain from DX12, apart for the new features (e.g. I have a dx10 card and I can't play games with the dx11 settings which do add substance to games, so it does have a benefit, you can't say there is no difference).

    So whether you upgrade or not will not influence the choices of game engine developers.
    The CPU bottlenecked people are using 144Hz monitors and willing to spend money to get the best so they do gain something. Not everybody is you.

    Besides, I will be upgrading to windows 10 because the new features without the horrible w8 stuff are really an improvement, e.g. the decent copy/paste dialog that is already in w8.
    Add the fact that it's free for w8/8.1 owners and it will see immediate adoption.
    Some people stayed on XP for years instead of going to Vista before 7, but they eventually upgraded anyway because the difference in usability is quite significant. Not being adopted as fast as you some guy on the internet think would be fast enough is no excuse to stop development, otherwise someone else will catch up.
    Reply
  • inighthawki - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    I well understand what screen tearing is, but not locking to vsync doesn't suddenly make it 'fake FPS.' You literally just made up a term that means nothing/. You're also ignoring the common downside of vsync: input lag. For many people it is extremely noticeable and makes games unplayable unless they invest in low latency displays with fast refresh rates. Reply
  • Margalus - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    it does make it "fake fps" in a way. It doesn't matter if fraps is telling you that you are getting 150fps, your monitor is only capable of showing 60fps. So that 150fps is a fallacy, you are only seeing 60fps. And without vsync enabled, those 60fps that your monitor is showing are comprised of pieces more than one frame in each, hence the tearing.

    but other than that, I can disagree with most everything that poster said..
    Reply
  • inighthawki - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    Correct, I realize that. But it's still not really fake. Just because you cannot see every frame it renders does not mean that it doesn't render them, or that there isn't an advantage to doing so. By enabling vsync, you are imposing a presentation limit on the application. It must wait until the vsync to present the frame, which means the application must block until it does. The faster the GPU is at rendering frames, the larger impact this has on input latency. By default, DirectX allows you to queue three frames ahead. this means if your GPU can render all three frames within one refresh period of your monitor, you will have a 3 frame latency (plus display latency) between when it's rendered and when you see it on screen, since each frame needs to be displayed in the order it is rendered. With vsync off, you get tearing because there is no wait on presents. The moment you finish is the moment you can swap the backbuffer and begin the next frame. You always have (nearly) the minimal amount of latency possible. This is avoidable with proper implementations of triple buffering that allow the developer to discard old frames. In all cases, the fps still means something. Rendering at 120fps and only seeing 60 of them doesn't make it useless to do so. Reply
  • james.jwb - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    Every single paragraph is completely misinformed, how embarrassing. Reply
  • Alexey291 - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    Yeah ofc it is ofc it is. Reply
  • inighthawki - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    >> There's no benefit for me who only uses a Windows desktop as a gaming machine.

    Wrong. Game engines that utilize DX12 or Mantle, and actually optimized for it, can increase the number of draw calls that usually cripples current generation graphics APIs. This leads to a large number of increased objects in game. This is the exact purpose of the starswarm demo in the article. If you cannot see the advantage of this, then you are too ignorant about the technology you're talking about, and I suggest you go learn a thing or two before pretending to be an expert in the field. Because yes, even high end gaming rigs can benefit from DX12.

    You also very clearly missed the pages of the article discussing the increased consistency of performance. DX12 will have better frame to frame deltas making the framerate more consistent and predictable. Let's not even start with discussions on microstutter and the like.

    >> Dx12 is not interesting either because my current build is actually limited by vsync. Nothing else but 60fps vsync (fake fps are for kids). And it's only a mid range build.

    If you have a mid range build and limited by vsync, you are clearly not playing quite a few games out there that would bring your rig to its knees. 'Fake fps' is not a term, but I assume you are referring to unbounded framerate by not synchronizing with vsync. Vsync has its own disadvantages. Increase input lag and framerate halving by missing the vsync period. Now if only directx supported proper triple buffering to allow reduces input latency with vsync on. It's also funny how you insult others as 'kids' as if you are playing in a superior mode, yet you are still on a 60Hz display...

    >> So why should I bother if all I do in Windows at home is launch steam (or a game from an icon on the desktop) aaaand that's it?

    Because any rational person would want better, more consistent performance in games capable of rendering more content, especially when they don't even have a high end rig. The fact that you don't realize how absurdly stupid your comment is makes the whole situation hilarious. Have fun with your high overhead games on your mid range rig.
    Reply
  • ymcpa - Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - link

    Question is what do you lose from installing it? There might not be much gain initially as developers learn to take full advantage and they will be making software optimized for windows 7. However, as more people switch, you will start seeing games optimized for dx12. If you wait for that point, you will be paying for the upgrade. If you do it now you get it for free and I don't see how you will lose anything, other than a day to install the OS and possibly reinstall apps. Reply
  • Morawka - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    Historically new DX release's have seen a 2-3 year adoption lag by game developers. Now, some AAA Game companies always throw in a couple of the new features at launch, the core of these engines will use DX 11 for the next few years.

    However with DX 12, The benifits are probably going to be to huge to ignore. Previous DX releases were new effects and rendering technologies. with DX 12, it effectively is cutting the minimum system requirements by 20-30% on the CPU side and probably 5%-10% on the GPU side.

    So DX12 adoption should be much faster IMHO. But it's no biggie if it's not.
    Reply
  • Friendly0Fire - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    DX12 also has another positive: backwards compatibility. Most new DX API versions introduce new features which will only work on either the very latest generation, or on the future generation of GPUs. DX12 will work on cards released in 2010!

    That alone means devs will be an awful lot less reluctant to use it, since a significant proportion of their userbase can already use it.
    Reply
  • dragonsqrrl - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    "DX12 will work on cards released in 2010"

    Well, at least if you have an Nvidia card.
    Reply
  • Pottuvoi - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    DX11 supported 'DX9 SM3' cards as well.
    DX12 will be similar, it will have layer which works on old cards, but the truly new features will not be available as hardware just is not there.
    Reply
  • dragonsqrrl - Sunday, February 08, 2015 - link

    Yes but you still need the drivers to enable that API level support. Every DX12 article I've read, including this one, has specifically stated that AMD will not provide DX12 driver support for GPU's prior to GCN 1.0 (HD7000 series). Reply
  • Murloc - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    I don't think so given that they're giving out free upgrades and the money-spending gamers who benefit from this the most will mostly upgrade, or if they're not interested in computers besides gaming, will be upgraded when they change their computer. Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    ??? Eh? The computer, with DX12, is working harder AND offering better results. Reply
  • bitcrazed - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    Windows 7 will remain in broad use in businesses for a while yet, but given that Win10 will be a free upgrade for everyone else means that we should see far faster upgrades to Win10 than prior OS'.

    Put it this way - who here with a gaming rig or a machine they game on regularly is going to say - "No, I don't want a free upgrade to this new fangled Win10 + DX12 nonsense - I prefer to play my games at 10 fps and to gradually fade into obscurity"?
    Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Sunday, February 08, 2015 - link

    Gamers also seem to upgrade at a much faster rate. windows 8+8.1 make up 30% of steam windows users, while they only make up 12% of the general market. given that its FREE, windows 10 will probably become very popular very quickly. Reply
  • wolrah - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    Why would you say that? Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for anyone on a DX11 compatible system and so far has been a great OS to use. At the moment there's literally no reason not to upgrade.

    If Microsoft doesn't screw it up and the users aren't change-hating morons about it, Windows 7 and 8 should be fading memories in a year or two as far as the gaming community is concerned. Corporate users will still be themselves and be slower to upgrade, but corporate users' relevance to new gaming APIs is minimal.
    Reply
  • aliquis - Monday, February 09, 2015 - link

    Another stab at Valve and their SteamOS.

    OpenGL NG is quite a bit away and this will likely make Linux lag behind Windows in gaming again. For now.

    Also with Xbox for Windows 10 I assume they may have some competition (which is likely why they wanted to migrate to Linux in the first place, because app-stores on any OS have become the standard.)
    Reply
  • eanazag - Monday, February 09, 2015 - link

    I'd like to see an integrated graphics version of this. Intel and AMD APU. If you're feeling fiesty, an AMD APU with a second card in Crossfire.

    Question I would have in an APU related article. With APUs, does it now make even more sense to go with higher bandwidth RAM? Some suggestions for the CPUs: AMD 7850K (duh), AMD A-6, AMD A-8, Haswell (Intel 7, 5, and 3 plus a crappy Pentium), AMD Kabini (top sku), and the Crystalwell Pro.

    I think this has big mobile implications. I'd like to see a choice of a performance cap at 30-60 fps and the remainder of what's left on the table delivered in less heat and longer battery life.
    Reply
  • SparkySamza - Tuesday, February 10, 2015 - link

    what do you mean under windows 10; are you talking about windows 7 or even windows 8.1 ? Reply
  • tviceman - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    Ryan I appreciate the depth and analysis of all your reviews. Anandtech is always my first stop for analysis of new video cards and tablets. That said, the continued tardiness of the GTX 960 review, as well as the lack of any 970 memory performance investigations is really disheartening. Especially the 960, since it's now 2 weeks today since the NDA was lifted.

    Keep up the analysis, and hire extra help if needed. ;)
    Reply
  • Stuka87 - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    Uhm, they had an article on the 970 memory issues:

    http://anandtech.com/show/8935/geforce-gtx-970-cor...
    Reply
  • tviceman - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    They did have an article, but they didn't do any extensive investigations into performance when going over 3.5gb but staying within 4gb. Reply
  • alaricljs - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    It takes time to devise such tests and more time validate that the test is really doing what you want and yet more time to DO the testing... and meanwhile I'm pretty sure they're not going to just drop everything else that's in the pipeline. Reply
  • monstercameron - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    and amd knows that well but maybe nvidia should also...maybe? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    As an owner -- an owner that actually BOUGHT my 970, even though I could have asked for one -- of a GTX 970, I can honestly say that the memory segmentation issue isn't much of a concern. The reality is that when you're running settings that are coming close to 3.5GB of VRAM use, you're also coming close to the point where the performance is too low to really matter in most games.

    Case in point: Far Cry 4, or Assassin's Creed Unity, or Dying Light, or Dragon Age: Inquisition, or pretty much any other game I've played/tested, the GTX 980 is consistently coming in around 20-25% faster than the GTX 970. In cases where we actually come close to the 4GB VRAM on those cards (e.g. Assassin's Creed Unity at 4K High or QHD Ultra), both cards struggle to deliver acceptable performance. And there are dozens of other games that won't come near 4GB VRAM that are still providing unacceptable performance with these GPUs at QHD Ultra settings (Metro: Last Light, Crysis 3, Company of Heroes 2 -- though that uses SSAA so it really kills performance at higher quality settings).

    Basically, with current games finding a situation where GTX 980 performs fine but the GTX 970 performance tanks is difficult at best, and in most cases it's a purely artificial scenario. Most games really don't need 4GB of textures to look good, and when you drop texture quality from Ultra to Very High (or even High), the loss in quality is frequently negligible while the performance gains are substantial.

    Finally, I think it's worth noting again that NVIDIA has had memory segmentation on other GPUs, though perhaps not quite at this level. The GTX 660 Ti has a 192-bit memory interface with 2GB VRAM, which means there's 512MB of "slower" VRAM on one of the channels. That's one fourth of the total VRAM and yet no one really found cases where it mattered, and here we're talking about 1/8 of the total VRAM. Perhaps games in the future will make use of precisely 3.75GB of VRAM at some popular settings and show more of an impact, but the solution will still be the same: twiddle a few settings to get back to 80% of the GTX 980 performance rather than worrying about the difference between 10 FPS and 20 FPS, since neither one is playable.
    Reply
  • shing3232 - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    Those people who own two 970 will not agree with you. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    I did get a second one, thanks to Zotac (I didn't pay for that one, though). So sorry to disappoint you. Of course, there are issues at times, but that's just the way of multiple GPUs, whether it be SLI or CrossFire. I knew that going into the second GPU acquisition.

    At present, I can say that Far Cry 4 and Dying Light are not working entirely properly with SLI, and neither are Wasteland 2 or The Talos Principle. Assassin's Creed: Unity seems okay to me, though there is a bit of flicker perhaps on occasion. All the other games I've tried work fine, though by no means have I tried "all" the current games.

    For CrossFire, the list is mostly the same with a few minor additions. Assassin's Creed: Unity, Company of Heroes 2, Dying Light, Far Cry 4, Lords of the Fallen, and Wasteland 2 all have problems, and scaling is pretty poor on at least a couple other games (Lichdom: Battlemage and Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor scale, but more like by 25-35% instead of 75% or more).

    Overall, GTX 970 SLI and R9 290X CF are basically tied at both 4K and QHD testing in my results across quite a few games, with NVIDIA taking a slight lead at 1080p and lower. In fact for single GPUs, 290X wins on average by 10% at 4K (but neither card is typically playable except at lower quality settings), while the difference is 1% or less at QHD Ultra.
    Reply
  • Cryio - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    "Overall, GTX 970 SLI and R9 290X CF are basically tied at both 4K and QHD testing in my results across quite a few games, with NVIDIA taking a slight lead at 1080p and lower."

    By virtue of *every* benchmark I've seen on the internets, on literally every game, 4K, maxed out settings, CrossFire of 290Xs are faster than both SLI 970s *and* 980s.

    In 1080p and 1440p, by all intents and purposes, 290Xs trade blows with 970s and the 980s reign supreme. But at 4K, the situation completely shifts and the 290Xs come on top.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    Note that my list of games is all relatively recent stuff, so the fact that CF fails completely in a few titles certainly hurts -- and that's reflected in my averages. If we toss out ACU, CoH2, DyLi, FC4, LotF... then yes, it would do better, but then I'm cherry picking results to show the potential rather than the reality of CrossFire. Reply
  • Kjella - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    Owner of 2x970s here, reviews show that 2x780 Ti generally wins current games at 3840x2160 with only 3GB of memory so it doesn't seem to matter much today, I've seen no non-synthetic benchmarks at playable resolutions/frame rates to indicate otherwise. Nobody knows what future games will bring but I would have bought them as a "3.5 GB" card too, though of course I feel a little cheated that they're worse than the 980 GTX in a way I didn't expect. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    I don't have 780 Ti (or 780 SLI for that matter), but interestingly GTX 780 just barely ends up ahead of a single GTX 970 at QHD Ultra and 4K High/Ultra settings. There are times where 970 leads, but the times when 780 leads are by slightly higher margins. Effectively, GTX 970 is equal to GTX 780 but at a lower price point and with less power. Reply
  • mapesdhs - Tuesday, February 10, 2015 - link


    That's the best summary I've read on all this IMO, ie. situations which would demonstrate
    the 970's RAM issue are where performance isn't good enough anyway, typically 4K
    gaming, so who cares? Right now, if one wants better performance at that level, then
    buy one or more 980, 290X, whatever, because two of any lesser card aren't going
    to be quick enough by definition.

    I bought two 980s, first all-new GPU purchase since I bought two of EVGA's infamous
    GTX 460 FTW cards when they first came out. Very pleased with the 980s, they're
    excellent cards. Bought a 3rd for benchmarking, etc., the three combined give 8731
    for Fire Strike Ultra (result no. 4024577), I believe the highest S1155 result atm, but
    the fps numbers still aren't really that high.

    Truth is, by the time a significant number of people will be concerned about a typical
    game using more than 3.5GB RAM, GPU performance needs to be a heck of a lot
    quicker than a 970. It's a non-issue. None of the NVIDIA-hate I've seen changes the
    fact that the 970 is a very nice card, and nothing changes how well it performs as
    shown in initial reviews. I'll probably get one for my brother's bday PC I'm building,
    to go with a 3930K setup.

    Most of those complaining about all this are people who IMO have chosen to believe
    that NVIDIA did all of this deliberately, because they want that to be the case, irrespective
    of what actually happened, and no amount of evidence to the contrary will change their
    minds. The 1st Rule gets broken again...

    As I posted elsewhere, all those complainig about the specs discrepancy do however
    seem perfectly happy for AMD (and indeed NVIDIA) to market dual-GPU cards as
    having double RAM numbers which is completely wrong, not just misleading. Incredible
    hypocrasy here.

    Ian.
    Reply
  • Stuka87 - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    Very promising from the looks of it. Should help out a lot with some of these newer games.

    One thing I wish you would have done was to show kernel times on the CPU graphs. Would be nice to know how much of that CPU was userspace, and how much was kernel.
    Reply
  • unacomn - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    Very promising results for future games.
    I would love to see a test with AMD CPUs as well, curious if the architecture of the current AM3+ and FM2 CPUs benefits much in terms of performance from this.
    Reply
  • Stuka87 - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    For Mantle they benefit more, as they are a larger bottleneck. With my old AMD system (965BE @4GHz with an HD7950) BF4 was unplayable with DirectX11, but with Mantle it ran pretty decent. Reply
  • mikato - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    It seems really strange to read that you couldn't run BF4 with those specs. I play the newest Call of Duty games with my 965BE (not overclocked) and my HD6950 unlocked to 6970. Settings are turned down a bit with my 1920x1200 resolution, but it runs well enough to play as twitchy fast as I need to be. I am in the market for an upgrade soon though so I can turn the settings back up. Reply
  • shing3232 - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    BF4 are way more demanding than COD because there are too much object in MP especially when you playing a 64 player server. Reply
  • XFR - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    Are these articles edited or proofread? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    Sometimes. I did make a reading/editing pass after this was posted, so if there are still errors let us know. Reply
  • Jtaylor1986 - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    My only question is how is Mantle still in beta at this stage of the game? Microsoft seems to have developed DirectX 12 much more quickly than AMD has developed Mantle Reply
  • jeffkibuule - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    It's more likely they were unknowingly developed side-by-side, but DirectX 12 was unveiled much later. Certainly if there were new DX12-only features that require special hardware, some AMD engineers would have wondered why Microsoft was requesting XYZ when developing the Xbox One SoC vs. PS4 (not that those two groups or general engineering teams would have been able to compare notes). Reply
  • Khato - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    FYI - public announcement comes a long, long time after the initial specification. More importantly, directx is more of a collaboration between the players involved (Microsoft, Intel, NVIDIA, AMD) any more, not something that Microsoft develops in secret and only shares once it's finalized. Which is to say that AMD has known about the direction for directx 12 for over 2 years now. Reply
  • jeffkibuule - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    Right, it's a secret to the public, not so much to the engineers. Reply
  • Jumangi - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    MS is a much bigger company so the resources they have give a big edge. I also suspect while AMD publicly still supports Mantle they probably aren't doing much for the future as they are smart enough, or I hope they are smart enough, to realize DX 12 makes Mantle irrelevant. Reply
  • toffty - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    I wouldn't say Mantle is irrelevant since Directx12 is Windows 10 and Xbox One only. Mantle is for Window < 10, linux and OSX. It will be competing against OpenGL in that space, true, but if it's easier to port applications made with Mantle to Xbox One, Mantle will have a leg up on OpenGL. Mantle also needs to becomes open and nVidia supports it too. Reply
  • Penti - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    There is no mantle for anything else than Windows. PS4 uses it's own API's, Nintendo uses it's own API's, X1 doesn't straight up run the same runtime or API as DX on Windows and already have low-level features, D3D11.X is a superset of D3D/DX11. Games are normally DX/HLSL to begin with, so you don't need to mess around with shaders that much and converting formats. Converting GLSL to HLSL is practical though. Many engines also has their own shader languages and systems making stuff like Mantle's shading language similarities irrelevant. Most will design for something else as their first path than Mantle. Reply
  • Jumangi - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    Fanboys can get mad but Linux and OSX are irrelevant for mainstream gaming. So yes Mantle has no real future and will be forgotten about in a couple of years. Reply
  • bloodypulp - Sunday, February 08, 2015 - link

    Keep on dreaming, Nvidia fangirl. Mantle is coming for SteamOS(Linux). Count on it. Reply
  • yannigr2 - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    Mantle was the catalyst to bring DX12 closer. No reason for AMD to spend much resources on Mantle now. Job is done. Reply
  • Notmyusualid - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    More or less my thinking too. Best to keep us all on the same page, so to speak.

    Respect to AMD, but let us all join the DX12 train together....
    Reply
  • AnnonymousCoward - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    Not necessarily. How do you know it wasn't MS's idea even? Look at Khato's post above. Reply
  • tipoo - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    What's the support status of Intels chips which are going to get it? I think all Iris models will, and a few of the higher end HD Graphics series parts will. Are they currently supported?

    It would be interesting to see if this could push the Iris Pro 5200 any further. Though this is more for the flip situation of a weak CPU with a strong GPU, rather than this strong CPU with a modest GPU.
    Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    Gen 7.5 graphics and up will support DX12 . So that's Haswell/4th Gen Core and newer. Reply
  • Murloc - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    as you said, it's unlikely to bring much advantage. Just the usual new features from one version to the next. Reply
  • inighthawki - Sunday, February 08, 2015 - link

    Remember that lower CPU requirements means that there is more power available for the integrated GPU. There was an article that sort of described the behavior a while back:
    http://www.extremetech.com/gaming/187970-directx-1...
    Reply
  • tipoo - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    I'm confused at this

    "What we find is that Star Swarm and DirectX 12 are so efficient that only our most powerful card, the GTX 980, is not CPU bound even with 2 cores. "

    I'm not sure how the first part of that proves the second. Wouldn't more CPU efficiency more likely be shown in being GPU bound, not CPU bound?
    Reply
  • tipoo - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    Yeah, having read the next few pages I think that should either say "is CPU bound" rather than "not CPU bound", as the rest of the cards can be fed with just a 2 core CPU, while the 980 has headroom for more performance. Reply
  • OrphanageExplosion - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    There are some pretty big differences in the CPU utilisation of the DX11 NVIDIA and AMD drivers. Maybe reviewing all GPUs with a high-end i7 isn't such a good idea, particularly on the lower-end and mainstream cards which aren't likely to be paired with top-end processors? Reply
  • yannigr2 - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    Thats a very interesting article and a big victory for Maxwell architecture. I hope AMD's 300 series to be more mature under SX12 and Mantle and perform much better that 200 series.

    It will be extremely interesting to see an AMD FX in this test. Maybe the ugly duck could transform to a swan?
    Reply
  • 200380051 - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    Your comment sums it up well. FX test, great idea. Reply
  • zmeul - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    quick question:
    why VRAM usage hasn't been taken into account ?
    Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    The short answer is that all of these cards have enough VRAM that it's not a real issue. Reply
  • zmeul - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    I wanted to see what's the difference in VRAM usage DX11 vs DX12 because from my own testing, MANTLE uses around 600MB more vs DX11 with the same settings
    tested in StarSwarm, Sniper Elite 3

    enough VRAM?!!? no I don't think so
    Sniper Elite III at maximum settings, 1080p, no super-sampling, used around 2.6Gb in MANTLE - if I recall
    making the Radeon 285 and the GTX960 obsolete right out of the bat - if VRAM usage in DX12 is anything like MANTLE
    Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    At this point it's much too early to compare VRAM consumption. That's just about the last thing that will be optimized at both the driver level and the application level. Reply
  • zmeul - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    then why make this preview in the 1st place if not covering all aspects of DX11 vs DX12 vs MANTLE ??
    VRAM usage is a point of interest to many people, especially now with AMD's 300 series on the hirizont
    Reply
  • jeffkibuule - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    Then this article wouldn't exist until the fall. Reply
  • Gigaplex - Sunday, February 08, 2015 - link

    Because it's a PREVIEW, not a final in-depth analysis. Reply
  • killeak - Sunday, February 08, 2015 - link

    D3D12 can lower the memory requirements since it adds a bunch of features that allows the application to have a tighter control of the memory in a way that was not possible before, but it's the responsibility of the application to do that. Reply
  • powerarmour - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    RIP Mantle, I've got cheese in my fridge that's lasted longer! Reply
  • tipoo - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    It will live on in GLNext. Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    G3258 just got a buff! Reply
  • ppi - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    I wonder how would AMD CPUs fare in this comparison. Currently they are slower than i3, but this could change picture a bit. Reply
  • tipoo - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    They'd still be relatively slower than the i3, but just higher in absolute terms relative to themselves. Reply
  • Sivar - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    Has no one informed Microsoft?
    They will never actually release DirectX 12:
    http://tech.slashdot.org/story/13/04/12/1847250/am...
    Reply
  • HighTech4US - Thursday, February 26, 2015 - link

    WOW, who would have thought that NEVER would only last 2 years. Reply
  • jwcalla - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    So it took MS three years to catch up to OGL? I guess better late than never. ;-P Reply
  • tipoo - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    Oh, so that's why the consortium is dropping OpenGL in favor of a from-the-ground-up API called GLNext? OpenGL hasn't been better than DX in many years. OpenGL holdouts like Carmack even said so themselves, that they only still use it because of inertia, but DX was better recently. Reply
  • jwcalla - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    Yeah, whatever. BMDI has been available in OGL for years now and now DX is finally getting it.

    glNext will likely just be the AZDO stuff w/ a more developer-friendly API + some marketing hype.
    Reply
  • tipoo - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    That's one feature. Total API performance was still not in OGLs favour. Reply
  • jwcalla - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    Sure it was. Look at Valve's comparison in their L4D2 ports, and that's with OpenGL 2.x/3.x vs. D3D9. Reply
  • nulian - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    Which was vs DX9 and even valve said they could have improved DX 9 performance if they wanted to. DX 10+ is very different. Reply
  • killeak - Sunday, February 08, 2015 - link

    As a developer that shipped all my games in both D3D and OpenGL (some also in OpenGL ES), I think OpenGL issues are fare more complex than a feature or two.

    What Khronos does with OpenGL it self is just defining the interface and its ideal behavior behind it. The issue is, the actual implementation is not done by Khronos but the IHVs in their drivers. Which means that every combination of OS + GPU + driver can behave different, and in practice this happens a lot!

    With D3D, you have one single implementation: The one done by MS in their OS. Sure, each Windows version has it's own implementation, and each GPU has different drivers, but the RunTime of D3D handles almost everything. Which in practice mean, that if the games run on a GPU in a particular version of Windows, it will run on every other GPU with that version of Windows (as long the GPU has the required features). It could happen that with advanced features and back doors/extensions this is not the rule, but that is an exception in the world of DX, in OpenGL is always like that.

    So, sure, I want OpenGL to be in parity feature wise with D3D (if is more advance better), but I am more worried about things like shader compilation, where you have hundred of different compilers in the market, since each GPU + OS + Drivers has its own. In PC is not that bad (is still bad), but on mobile is a disaster.

    Also it doesn't help that IHVs want to sell HW, not software, in fact they only make software (drivers) because they have to, is not their business, so they optimize their drivers for benchmarks and the like, but the actual implementation is never solid. In that regard, I am happy to see that the presentation of glNext at GDC, is done by developers and not IHVs.

    To be honest, I will be more pleased if Valve made their runtime for SteamOS, and Google for Android, and let the drivers do just the interface with the HW, nothing else. In the end, Apple does that for Macs (but is also true that they also control the HW). Maybe they could have, at least, something like the Windows WHQL in order to keep all implementation for their OS in line.

    And just as a note, I never shipped a game on Windows that runs better on OpenGL that on Direct3D, ever, even when I invested more time on the OpenGL implementation.
    Reply
  • lilmoe - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    These tests should totally NOT be done on a Core i7.... Reply
  • tipoo - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    He also has an i5 and i3 in there...? Reply
  • Gigaplex - Sunday, February 08, 2015 - link

    He has an i7 with some cores disabled to simulate i5 and i3. Reply
  • ColdSnowden - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    Why do AMD radeons have a much slower batch submission time? Does that mean that using an Nvidia card with a faster batch submission time can lessen cpu bottlenecking, even if DX11 is held constant? Reply
  • junky77 - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    Also, what about testing with AMD APUs and/or CPUs.. this could make a change in this area Reply
  • WaltC - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    Very good write-up! My own thought about Mantle is that AMD pushed it to light a fire under Microsoft and get the company stimulated again as to D3d and the Windows desktop--among other things. Prior to AMD's Mantle announcement it wasn't certain if Microsoft was ever going to do another version of D3d--the scuttlebutt was "No" from some quarters, as hard as that was to believe. At any rate, as a stimulus it seems to have worked as a couple of months after the Mantle announcement Microsoft announces D3d/DX12, the description of which sounded suspiciously like Mantle. I think that as D3d moves ahead and continues to develop that Mantle will sort of hit the back burners @ AMD and then, like an old soldier, just fade away...;) Microsoft needs to invest heavily in DX/D3d development in the direction they are moving now, and I think as the tablet fad continues to wane and desktops continue to rebound that Microsoft is unlikely to forget its core strengths again--which means robust development for D3d for many years to come. Maximizing hardware efficiencies is not just great for lower-end PC gpus & cpus, it's also great for xBone & Microsoft's continued push into mobile devices. Looks like clear sailing ahead...;) Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    "Prior to AMD's Mantle announcement it wasn't certain if Microsoft was ever going to do another version of D3d"

    Although I don't have access to the specific timelines, I would strongly advice not conflating the public API announcements with development milestones.

    Mike Mantor (AMD) and Max McMullen (MS) may not go out and get microbrews together, but all of the major players in this industry are on roughly the same page. DX12 would have been in the drawing board before the public announcement of Mantle. Though I couldn't say which API was on the drawing board first.
    Reply
  • at80eighty - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    Great article. Loved the "first thoughts" ending Reply
  • HisDivineOrder - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    I have to say, I expected Mantle to do a LOT better for AMD than DX12 would simply because it would be more closely tailored to the architecture. I mean, that's what AMD's been saying forever and a day now. It just doesn't look true, though.

    Perhaps it's AMD sucks at optimization because Mantle looks as optimized for AMD architecture as DX11 is in comparison to their overall gains. Meanwhile, nVidia looks like they've been using all this time waiting on DX12 to show up to really hone their drivers to fighting shape.

    I guess this is what happens when you fire large numbers of your employees without doing much about the people directing them whose mistakes are the most reflected by flagging sales. Then you go and hire a few big names, trumpet those names, but you don't have the "little people" to back them up and do incredible feats.

    Then again, it probably has to do with the fact that nVidia's released a whole new generation of product while AMD's still using the same product from two years ago that they've stretched thin across multiple quarters via delayed releases and LOTS of rebrands and rebundling.
    Reply
  • Jumangi - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    No it was because Mantle only worked on AMD cards and NVidia has about 2/3 of the discrete graphics card market so most developers never bothered. Mantle never had a chance for widespread adoption. Reply
  • silverblue - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    This is but one use case. There does need to be an investigation into why AMD is so poor here with all three APIs, however - either a hardware deficiency exposed by the test, or NVIDIA's drivers just handle it better. I'll hold off on the conspiracy theories for now; this isn't Ubisoft, after all. Reply
  • AnnonymousCoward - Friday, February 06, 2015 - link

    Finally a reason to move on from XP! Reply
  • BadThad - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    Great article! Thanks Ryan Reply
  • PanzerEagle - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    Great article! Would like to see a follow uo/ add on article with a system that mimics and Xbox one. Since windows 10 is coming to the One it would be great to see the performance delta for the Xbox. Reply
  • thunderising - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    So.

    Mantle is better, eh.
    Reply
  • Nuno Simões - Tuesday, February 10, 2015 - link

    How did you come to that conclusion after this article? Reply
  • randomguy1 - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    As per the GPU scaling results, the percentage gain for Radeon cards is MUCH higher than Nvidia's cards. Although Nvidia had been ahead of AMD in terms of optimising the software with the hardware, but with the release of DX12, they are almost at level ground. What this means is that similarly priced Radeon cards will get a huge boost in performance as compared to their Nvidia counter parts. This is a BIG win for AMD. Reply
  • nulian - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    If you read the article it said we don't know why AMD has so bad performance on CPU it might be because NVIDIA drivers work better with multithreading on DX11 then AMD and the benchmark was originally written for AMD. Reply
  • calzone964 - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    I hope Assassin's Creed Unity is patched with this when Windows 10 releases. That game needs this so much... Reply
  • althaz - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    "AMD is banking heavily on low-level APIs like Mantle to help level the CPU playing field with Intel, so if Mantle needs 4 CPU cores to fully spread its wings with faster cards, that might be a problem."

    Actually - this is an extra point helping AMD out. Their CPUs get utterly crushed in single-threaded performance, but by and large at similar prices their CPUs will nearly always have more cores. Likely AMD simply don't care about dual-core chips - because they don't sell any.
    Reply
  • B3an - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    Thanks for posting this. This is the kind of thing i come to AT for. Reply
  • Notmyusualid - Sunday, February 08, 2015 - link

    And me. Reply
  • dragosmp - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    Looking at the Dx11 vs Dx12 per core load it looks like the per-core performance is the limiting factor in Dx11, not the number of cores. As such, CPUs like the AMD's AM1 & FM2 platforms with low per-core performance would benefit from Dx12 more than Intel's CPUs that already have high IPC. (It may be that even the FX may become decent gaming CPUs with their 8 integer cores and not limited by 1-core turbo) Reply
  • guskline - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    Thank you for a great article Ryan. Reply
  • okp247 - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    Cheers for the article, Ryan. Very interesting subject and a good read.

    There seems to be issues with the AMD cards though, especially under DX11. Other testers report FPS @ mid 20's to early 30's in 1080P extreme settings even with the old 7970 under Win7/DX11.
    The power consumption is also quite low. 241 watts for 290X with 6-core i7, when Crysis 3 pulls 375 also with 6-core i7 in your original review of the card. The card seems positively starved ;-)

    This could be the OS, the graphics API or the game. Possibly all three. Whatever it is, it looks like a big issue that's undermining your test.

    On a completely different note: maybe you could get the developer to spill the beans about their work with both APIs? (Mantle and DX12). I think that would also be a very interesting read.
    Reply
  • OrphanageExplosion - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    Yup, this is the big takeaway from this article - http://images.anandtech.com/graphs/graph8962/71451...

    AMD seems to have big issues with CPU load on DX11 - the gulf between NVIDIA and AMD is colossal. Probably not an issue when all reviews use i7s to test GPUs, but think of the more budget orientated gamer with his i3 or Athlon X4. This is the area where reviews will say that AMD dominates, but NOT if the CPU can't run the GPU effectively.
    Reply
  • ColdSnowden - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    This reflects what I said above. AMD radeons have a much slower batch submission time. Does that mean that using an Nvidia card with a faster batch submission time can lessen cpu bottlenecking, so perhaps Guild Wars Two would run better with an nvidia GPU as my FX 4170 would be less likely to bottleneck it. Reply
  • ObscureAngel - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    Basically AMD now requires much better CPU than nvidia to render the same "drawcalls"
    I benchmarked my self recently my Phenom II X4 945 OC 3.7GHZ with my HD 7850 vs GTX 770.

    Obviously GTX 770 outperform my HD 7850.
    Altough i benchmarked star swarm and games where my GPU usage was very below 90% which means i was bottlenecked by the CPU.

    Guess what:
    Star swarm: AMD DX11: 7fps, Nvidia DX11: 17fps AMD Mantle: 24fps.

    I tested Saints Row IV where i get all the time bottleneck with my AMD card where i get all the time more frames more close to 30 than 60, and with GTX 770 i get more 60 than 30.

    Even NFS Rivals i have drops on GPU usage to 50% in some locations and that causes drops to 24fps.
    With nvidia again, i have 30 rocking stable, unlocking the framerate i have 60 most of the time and where i drop to 24fps due to my CPU with nvidia i have 48fps.

    Its not a good example since the GTX 770 is far more powerfull, but you have more proofs with weaker nvidia GPUS in low end cpus really improve the performance comparing to AMD cards that seems to require more power.

    I try to contact AMD but i nobody replied ever, i even register in GURU3D since there is a guy that works on AMD, and he never replied, same goes to many persons there are just fanboys and attacked me instead of trying to make pressure for AMD to fix this.

    I'm serious worried with that problem, cause my CPU is old and weak, and the extra frames that nvidia offers in DX11 is really big.
    Dispite the fact that DX12 is very close to release, i am pretty sure that many games will continue to be released in DX11, and the number of games with mantle it just fit in my hand.
    So i am thinking in selling my HD 7850 and buy the next 950ti just because of that, its far more economic than buy a new CPU and motherboard.
    I already know this problem for more than 6 months, tried to convince everybody and trying to contact amd, but i am alway attacked by fanboys or get ignored by AMD..
    So if AMD reply to me, maybe they dont like my money.

    Altough nothing is free, the DX11 optimizations on Nvidia makes eat more Vram and in some games like dying light and ryse i notice more stuttering and sometimes more time to load textures..
    Same goes if you use mantle, it eats more vram too.
    I expect that DX12 will need more Vram too.

    If 2gb is getting short lately prepare that will get shorter if it will ear more vram as Nvidia DX11 and AMD Mantle.

    Regards.
    Reply
  • okp247 - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    I think the nVidia cards are actually being gimped as well. On Win7/DX11 people are reporting 70-80 FPS @ extreme settings, 1080 with the two top 900-cards on everything from old i5's to FX's.
    They are just not being hurt as much as AMDs, maybe because of more mature drivers and/or different architecture.
    Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    Please note that we're using the RTS demo. If you're getting scores that high, you're probably using the Follow demo, which is entirely different from run-to-run. Reply
  • ObscureAngel - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    Ryan can you do an article demonstrating the low performance of AMD GPUs in low end CPUs like i3 or anything, in more CPU Bound games comparing to nvidia GPUs in the same CPUs?

    Unworthy websites have done it, like GameGPU.ru or Digital foundry.
    They don't have so much expression because well, sometimes they are a bit dumb.
    I confirmed that recently with my own benchmarks, AMD GPUs really have much less performance in the same CPU (low-end CPUs) than an nvidia GPU.

    If you look into it and publish maybe that would put a little pressure on AMD and they start to look into it.
    But not sure if you can do it, AMD gives your website AMD GPUS and CPUs to benchmark, i'm pretty sure AMD wouldn't like to read the truth..

    But since Futuremark new 3dmark is close to release that new benchmark that benchmarks overhead/drawcalls.

    It could be nice to give a little highlight of that problem with AMD.
    Many people are starting to notice that problem, but AMD are ignoring everyone that claims the lack of performance, so we need somebody strong like Anandtech or other website to analyse these problems and publish to everyone see that something is wrong.

    Keep in mind that AMD just fixed the frametime problem in crossfire, cause one website (which i dont remember) publish that, and people start to complain about it, and they start to fix it, and they really fix it.
    Now, we already have the complains but we dont have the upper voice like you guys.
    Reply
  • okp247 - Sunday, February 08, 2015 - link

    Sorry, my bad. The numbers I've stated in the above posts were indeed from either the Follow or Attract scenario.

    So what is up with the underutilized AMD cards? Clearly, they are not stretching their legs under DX11. In the article you touch upon the CPU batch submission times, and how these are taking a (relatively) long time on the AMD cards. Is this the case also with other draw-call heavy games or is it a fluke in Star Swarm?
    Reply
  • ObscureAngel - Monday, February 09, 2015 - link

    It happens on games too.
    I did a video and everything about it.

    Spread the word, we need to get AMD attention for this..Since they dont answer me i decided to publicly start to say bad things about them :D

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-nvGOK6ud8
    Reply
  • killeak - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    Both API (D3D12 and Mantle) are under NDA. In the case of D3D12, in theory if you are working with D3D12 you can't speak about it unless you have explicit authorization from MS. The same with Mantle and AMD.

    I hope D3D12 goes public by GDC time, I mean the public beta no the final version, after that things will change ;)
    Reply
  • Klimax - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    Thanks for numbers. They show perfectly how broken and craptastick entire POS is. There are extreme number of idiocies and stupidities in it that it couldn't pass any review by any competent developer.

    1)Insane number of batches. You want to have at least 100 objects in one to actually see benefit. (Civilization V default settings) To see quite better performance I would say at least 1000 objects to be in one. (Civilization V test with adjusted config) Star Swarm has between 10 to 50 times more batches then Civilization. (Precise number cannot be said as I don't have number of objects to be drawn reported from that "benchmark")

    2)Absolutely insane number of superfluous calls. Things like IASetPrimitiveTopology are called (almost) each time an object is to be drawn with same parameters(constants) and with large number of batches those functions add to overhead. That's why you see such large time for DX11 draw - it has to reprocess many things repeatedly. (Some caching and shortcuts can be done as I am sure NVidia implemented them, but there are limits even for otherwise very cheap functions)

    3)Simulation itself is so atrociously written that it doesn't really scale at all! This is in space, where number of intersection is very small, so you can process it at maximum possible parallelization.
    360s run had 4 cores used for 5,65s with 5+ for 6,1s in total. Bad is weak word...

    And I am pretty sure I haven't uncovered all. Note: I used Intel VTune for analysis 1 year ago. Since then no update came so I don't think anything changed at all... (Seeing those numbers I am sure of it)
    Reply
  • nulian - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    The draw calls are misused on purpose in this demo to show how much better it has become. The advantage for normal games is they can do more light and more effects that use a lot of draw calls without breaking the performance on pc. It is one of the biggest performance different between console and PC draw calls. Reply
  • BehindEnemyLines - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    Or maybe they are doing that on purpose to show the bottleneck of DX11 API? Just a thought. If this is a "poorly" written performance demo, then you can only imagine the DX12 improvements after it's "properly" written. Reply
  • Teknobug - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    Wasn't there some kind of leaked info that DX12 was basically a copy of Mantle with DX API? Wouldn't surprise me that it'd come close to Mantle's performance. Reply
  • dragonsqrrl - Sunday, February 08, 2015 - link

    Right, cause Microsoft only started working on DX12 when Mantle was announced... Reply
  • bloodypulp - Sunday, February 08, 2015 - link

    You're missing the point. Mantle/D12 are so similar you could essentially call DX12 the Windows-only version of Mantle. By releasing Mantle, AMD gave developers an opportunity to utilize the new low-level APIs nearly two years before Microsoft was ready to release their own as naturally it was tied to their OS. Those developers who had the foresight to take advantage of Mantle during those two years clearly benefited. They'll launch DX12-ready games before their competitors. Reply
  • loguerto - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    Microsoft is on the right way, but still, Mantle is the boss! Reply
  • FXi - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    I'm sadly more curious as to whether the 6 core chips prove their worth. A lot of rumor guessing seems to think that DX12 might finally show that a 6 core matters, but nothing here shows that. That's a very key issue when it comes to whether to go for a higher end chip or stick with the 4 core cpu's. Reply
  • GMAR - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    Excellent article. Thank you! Reply
  • Shahnewaz - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    Wait a minute, isn't the GTX 980 a 165W TDP card? Then how is it pulling over 200 watts? Reply
  • eRacer1 - Sunday, February 08, 2015 - link

    The GTX 980 isn't pulling over 200W. The numbers shown are system power consumption not video card power consumption. The GTX 980 system power consumption isn't unusually high.

    Also, the system power consumption numbers are understating the power difference between the GTX 980 and Radeon 290X cards themselves under DX12. The GTX 980 has such a large performance advantage over the 290X in DX12 that the CPU is also using more power in the GTX 980 system to keep up with the video card.

    If anything the 290X power consumption is "too low", especially under DX12. To me it looks like the GPU is being underutilized, which seems to be the case based on the low FPS results and power consumption numbers. That could be due to many reasons: poor driver optimization, 290X architectural limitations, benchmark bug or design choice, Windows 10 issue, 290X throttling problem, etc. Hopefully, for AMD's sake, those issues can be worked out before the Windows 10 launch.
    Reply
  • Shahnewaz - Sunday, February 08, 2015 - link

    That doesn't explain the <20W difference in both systems.
    And it's not like the CPU usage is also radically different.
    Remember, the TDP difference between the GPUs is a massive 165W (290W vs 165W).
    Reply
  • eRacer1 - Sunday, February 08, 2015 - link

    "That doesn't explain the <20W difference in both systems. And it's not like the CPU usage is also radically different."

    Looking at the CPU usage graphs in the review the GTX 980 DX12 CPU average across all four cores is about 80% while the 290X average is only about 50%. So the GTX 980 CPU is doing 60% more work. That alone could easily account for 20+W watts of extra power consumption on CPU in the GTX 980 system. The ~60% CPU higher usage in the GTX 980 system makes sense as the frame rate is 56% higher as well. So what looks like a 14W difference is probably more like a 35W difference between the GTX 980 and 290X video cards.

    But the 35W difference doesn't tell the whole story because the GTX 980 is also 56% faster while using less power. So the GTX 980 has a MASSIVE efficiency advantage under these benchmark conditions. And it is doing it within a reasonable TDP because by the time you back out all of the non-GPU power consumption (CPU, memory, motherboard, hard drive, fans, etc.) and PSU inefficiency losses from the 271W system power consumption you'd likely find that the GTX 980 is under 200W.

    So the question we are left with is why is a 290W TDP 290X system power consumption only 285W under DX12? By the time you subtract the CPU power consumption (which is somewhat less than that of the GTX 980 test due to only being at 50% load instead of 80%), motherboard, memory and other components the 290X is probably using only 200-220W. To me it looks like the 290X is being bottlenecked and as a result isn't using as much power as one would expect. What the source of the bottleneck is, and if it is correctable, remains a mystery.
    Reply
  • Shahnewaz - Saturday, February 07, 2015 - link

    It looks like AMD GPUs will get some 400%+ performance improvements! Sick! Reply
  • ET - Sunday, February 08, 2015 - link

    My main takeaway from the article is that NVIDIA has done a much better job of optimising its DX11 drivers. AMD needs low level badly. Reply
  • bloodypulp - Sunday, February 08, 2015 - link

    They already have it: Mantle. Reply
  • OrphanageExplosion - Sunday, February 08, 2015 - link

    On a tiny minority of titles. Reply
  • bloodypulp - Sunday, February 08, 2015 - link

    Battlefield 4
    Battlefield Hardline
    Thief
    Star Citizen
    Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare
    Civilization: Beyond Earth
    Dragon Age: Inquisition
    Mirror's Edge 2
    Sniper Elite 3
    ... and growing every day.
    Reply
  • bloodypulp - Sunday, February 08, 2015 - link

    Who needs to wait for DX12? Mantle is running great for me right now. :) Reply
  • sireangelus - Sunday, February 08, 2015 - link

    would you do one quick test using an 8core fx? Reply
  • johnny_boy - Sunday, February 08, 2015 - link

    Would have loved to see this, and some lower end CPUs even. Reply
  • editorsorgtfo - Sunday, February 08, 2015 - link



    What about threaded CPUs ? for example 1 core 2 threads old pentium CPUs and 2 cores 4 threads i3 CPUs ? can you still count that them as 2 cores and 4 cores ?

    I wanna ask this on the anandtech comment section but I don't have an account there XD
    Reply
  • boe - Sunday, February 08, 2015 - link

    What I care about are great graphics. It is a shame there is no Crytek 4 engine to show off what DX12 could do. MS should have hired the original crytek developers to create some showpiece game. Reply
  • Gigaplex - Monday, February 09, 2015 - link

    The API won't really change what you can do compared to DX11 other than reduce some system requirements. The feature levels are what provides new eye candy, and this preview doesn't cover that aspect. Wait until it hits retail, you'll probably see some fancy tech demos. Reply
  • Thermalzeal - Sunday, February 08, 2015 - link

    I have one big question to ask.

    Since Direct X12 is resulting in significant performance gains, what is the potential for these improvements to translate over to the Xbox One? While I'm sure the Xbox One already has some of these bare metal improvements, due to the focus of the device...is it possible that DX12 will make the Xbox One more powerful than the PS4?
    Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Sunday, February 08, 2015 - link

    "Since Direct X12 is resulting in significant performance gains, what is the potential for these improvements to translate over to the Xbox One?"

    Only Microsoft really knows the answer to that one. But I would be shocked beyond belief if the XB1's D3D 11.X API didn't already implement many of these optimizations. It is after all a fixed console, where low-level APIs have been a mainstay since day one.

    "is it possible that DX12 will make the Xbox One more powerful than the PS4?"

    In a word, no. The best case scenario for Microsoft is that Sony implements their own low-level API (if they haven't already) and we're back at square one. APIs can't make up for hardware differences when both parties have the means and influence to create what would be similar APIs.
    Reply
  • OrphanageExplosion - Tuesday, February 10, 2015 - link

    Sony already has its low-level API, GNM, plus its DX11-a-like GNMX, for those who need faster results, easier debugging, handling of state etc. Reply
  • Gigaplex - Monday, February 09, 2015 - link

    The consoles already use bare metal APIs. This will have minimal impact for consoles. Reply
  • Bill McGann - Tuesday, February 10, 2015 - link

    D3D11.x is garbage compared to GNM (plus the XbOne HW is garbage compared to the PS4). The sad fact is that the XbOne desperately needs D3D12(.x) in order to catch up to the PS4. Reply
  • Notmyusualid - Monday, February 09, 2015 - link

    Hello all... couldn't find any MULTI-GPU results...

    So here are mine:

    System: M18x R2 3920XM (16GB RAM 1866MHz CAS10), Crossfire 7970Ms.
    Test: Star Swarm Perf demo RTS, all Extreme setting.
    Ambient temp 31C, skype idling in background, and with CPU ALL at stock settings:

    Mantle: fps max 99.03 min 9.65 AVG 26.5
    DX11: fps max 141.56 min 3.26 AVG 11.6

    CPU at 4.4GHz x 4 cores, fans 100%, skype in background again:

    Mantle: fps max 51.03 min 7.26 AVG 26.2 - max temp 94C
    DX11: fps max 229.06 min 3.6 AVG 12.3 - max temp 104C + thus cpu throtteled at 23%.

    So I guess there are good things coming to PC gamers with multi-gpu's then. Alas, being a mere mortal, I've no access to DX12 to play with...

    Anyone care to offer some SLI results in return?
    Reply
  • lamebot - Monday, February 09, 2015 - link

    I have been reading this article page by page over the weekend, giving myself time to take it in. The frame times from each vendor under DX11 is very interesting. Thank you for a great, in depth article! This is what keeps me coming back. Reply
  • ChristTheGreat - Monday, February 09, 2015 - link

    Can it be only a WIndows 10 Driver problem or optimisation for these result with the R9 290/X? On windows 8.1, 4770k 4.3ghz and R9 290 1100/1400, I do 40avg D3D11 and 66avg Mantle.. Scenario: follow, Detail: extreme... Reply
  • ChristTheGreat - Monday, February 09, 2015 - link

    Oh well, I saw that you guys use the Asus PQ321, so running in 3 840 x 2 160? Reply
  • Wolfpup - Monday, February 09, 2015 - link

    Good, can Mantle go away now? The idea of moving BACK to proprietary APIs is a terrible one, unless the only point of it was to push Microsoft to make these fixes in Direct X.

    "Stardock is using the Nitrous engine for their forthcoming Star Control game"

    I didn't know! This is freaking awesome news. I love love love Star Control 2 on the 3DO. Liked 1 on the Genesis too, but SC2 on the 3DO (which I think is better than the PC version) is not unlike Starflight-and somewhat like Mass Effect.
    Reply
  • Wolfpup - Monday, February 09, 2015 - link

    Forgot to mention... I also think AMD needs to worry about making sure their DirectX/Open GL drivers are flawless across years of hardware before wasting time on a proprietary API too... Reply
  • lordken - Monday, February 09, 2015 - link

    Sorry but are you just amd hater or something?
    imho AMD did great thing with mantle and possibly pushed M$ to come with DX12 (or not we will never know). But that aside how about you think about some advantages mantle has?
    I think that when they bring it to linux (they said they would, not sure about current status) that will be nice advantage as I guess native api would work better than wine etc. With more recent games (thanks to new engines) comming to linux would probably benefit more if they would run on mantle.

    And nonetheless how about ppl that wont move to Win10 (for whatever reason)? Mantle on Win7/8 would still be huge benefit for such ppl. Not to mention that there will be probably more games with mantle than with DX12 in very close feature.
    Plus if they work out console & pc mantle aspect it could bring better console ports to PC, even if game devs would be lazy to do proper optimalization mantle should pretty much eliminate this aspect (though only for amd gpu).
    But either way I dont see much reason why should mantle go. I mean once it is included in all/most bigger engines (already in cryengine,frostbite,unreal) and it works what reason would be to trash something that is usefull?

    btw funny how "M$ would need to do huge kernel rework to bring DX12 to Win7/8" while mantle, which does similar thing, is easily capable to be "OS version independent" (sure it is amd specific but still)

    PS:What about amd drivers? They are fine imho, never had problem in last years. (you see personal experience is not a valid argument)
    Reply
  • inighthawki - Monday, February 09, 2015 - link

    >> btw funny how "M$ would need to do huge kernel rework to bring DX12 to Win7/8" while mantle, which does similar thing, is easily capable to be "OS version independent" (sure it is amd specific but still)

    How do you know that DX12 will not support a number of features that Mantle will not? For example, DX12 is expected to provide the application with manual memory management, a feature not available in Mantle while running on WDDM 1.3 or below.
    Reply
  • lordken - Tuesday, February 10, 2015 - link

    what I meant is in performance terms. While mantle is able to deliver +/-same performance boost as DX12 but still on old windows kernel.
    Not saying DX12 wont support something that mantle wont be able to do on old windows kernel. I merely tried to highlight that same performance boost can be achieved on current OS without the need of M$ taunting gamers with Win10 (forced) upgrade for DX12
    Reply
  • killeak - Tuesday, February 10, 2015 - link

    "btw funny how "M$ would need to do huge kernel rework to bring DX12 to Win7/8" while mantle, which does similar thing, is easily capable to be "OS version independent" (sure it is amd specific but still)"

    Direct3D has a very different design. While APIs like OpenGL or Mantle are implemented in the drivers, Direct3D is implemented (the runtime) in the OS. That means, that no matter what hardware you have, the code that is executed under the API, is for most part, always the same. Sure, the Driver needs to expose and abstract the hardware (following another API, in this case WDDM 2.0), but the actual implementation is much more slim. Which means is much more solid and reliable.

    Now, OpenGL is implemented in the driver, the OS only expose the basic C functions to create the context and the like. A good driver can make OpenGL works as fast, or even more, than D3D, but the reality says that 90% of the time, OpenGL works worse. Not just because of performance, but because each driver for each OS and each GPU has a different implementation, things usually doesn't work as you expected.

    After years of working with OpenGL and D3D, the thing that I miss more of D3D when I am coding for OpenGL platforms, is the single runtime. Program once, run everywhere (well on every windows) works on D3D but not on OpenGL, hell is even harder on mobile with OpenGL ES, and the broken drivers of Mali, Qualcomm, etc. Sure, if your app is simple OpenGL works, but for AAA it just doesn't cut...

    The true is, IHVs are here to sell hardware, not software, so they invest the minimum time and money on it (most of the time they optimize drivers for big AAA titles and benchmarks). For mobile, where SoCs are replaced every year, is even workse, since drivers never get mature enough. Heck, Mali for example doesn't have devices with the 700 series on the market and they already announced the 800 series, while their OpenGL ES drivers for the 600 are really bad.

    Going back to Mantle and Win7/8. In the drivers, you can do what ever you want, so yes, you can make your own API and make it work wherever you want, that is why Mantle can do things low level without WDDM 2.0, it doesn't need to be common or compatible to other drivers/vendors.
    Reply
  • Bill McGann - Tuesday, February 10, 2015 - link

    Yeah, this is a huge reason why GL is largely ignored by Windows devs. D3D is extremely stable thanks to it largely being implemented by MS, and them having the power to test/certify the vendor's back-ends.
    GL on the other hand is the wild west, with every vendor doing whatever they like... You even have them stealing MS's terrible 90's browser-war strategies of deliberately supporting broken behavior, hoping devs will use it, so that games will break on other vendor's (strictly compliant) drivers. Any situation where vendors are abusing devs like this is pretty f'ed up.
    Reply
  • tobi1449 - Thursday, February 12, 2015 - link

    The console & pc aspect isn't going anywhere and was never meant to. AMD formulated their early press releases in a way that some people jumped the hype train before it was even built, but AMD was shut down by Microsoft and Sony pretty quickly about that. Reply
  • Bill McGann - Tuesday, February 10, 2015 - link

    FYI mantle is very carefully specified as a vendor-agnostic API, like GL, with extensions for vendor-specific behavior.

    If AMD even bother launching Mantle after D3D12/GLNext appear, and if it remains AMD-only, it's because nVidia/Intel have chosen not to adopt the spec, not because AMD have deliberately made it AMD-only.
    Reply
  • tobi1449 - Thursday, February 12, 2015 - link

    a) I can see why there's resistance against adopting a competitors API.
    b) AFAIK AMD hasn't released anything needed to implement Mantle for other hardware yet. Sure, they've often talked about it and most of the time Mantle is mentioned this pops up, but in reality (if this is still correct) it is as locked down as say G-Sync or PhysX.
    Reply
  • Arbie - Tuesday, February 10, 2015 - link

    I closely followed graphics board technology and performance for many years. But after a certain point I realized that there are actually very few - count 'em on one hand - games that I even enjoy playing. Three of those start with "Crysis" (and the other two with "Peggle"). The Battlefield series might have the same replay interest; don't know.

    So unless and until there are really startling ~3x gains for the same $$, my interest in desktop graphics card performance is much more constrained by game quality than by technology. I don't want to run "Borderlands" 50% faster because... I don't want to run it at all. Or any other of the lousy console ports out there.
    Reply
  • computertech82 - Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - link

    SLIGHT PROBLEM. I think it's safe to say the dx11 vs dx12 was ran on the SAME OS 10. That probably just means dx11 runs crappy on win10, not that dx12 is so much better. I bet it would be different with win7/8 dx11 vs win10 dx12 (meaning very little difference). Reply
  • Notmyusualid - Thursday, February 12, 2015 - link

    Good point - hadn't considered it until you mentioned it.

    Then the comparison should really have been dx11 - Win 7/8, dx12 - Win 10, Mantle - both (if poss).
    Reply
  • Jeffro421 - Thursday, February 12, 2015 - link

    Something is horribly wrong with your results. I just ran this benchmark, on extreme, with a 270X 4GB and I got 39.61 FPS on DX11. You say a 290X only got 8.3 fps on DX11?

    http://i.imgur.com/JzX0UAa.png
    Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Saturday, February 14, 2015 - link

    You ran the Follow scenario. Our tests use the RTS scenario.

    Follow is a much lighter workload and far from reliable due to the camera swinging around.
    Reply
  • 0VERL0RD - Friday, February 13, 2015 - link

    Been meaning to ask why both cards show vastly different total memory in Directx diag. Don't recall Article indicating how much memory each card had. Assuming they're equal. Is it normal for Nvidia to not report correct memory or is something else going on? Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Saturday, February 14, 2015 - link

    The total memory reported is physical + virtual. As far as I can tell AMD is currently allocating 4GB of virtual memory, whereas NVIDIA is allocating 16GB of virtual memory. Reply
  • trisct - Friday, February 13, 2015 - link

    MS needs a lot more Windows installs to make the Store take off, but first they need more quality apps and a competitive development stack. The same app on IOS or Android is almost always noticeably smoother with an improved UI (often extra widget behaviors that the Windows tablet versions cannot match). Part of this is maturity of the software, but Microsoft has yet to reach feature parity with the competing development environments, so its also harder for devs to create those smooth apps in the first place. Reply
  • NightAntilli - Friday, February 13, 2015 - link

    We know Intel has great single core performance. So the lack of benefits for more than 4 cores is not unsurprising. The most interesting aspect would be to test the CPUs with weak single core performance, like the AMD FX series. Using the FX series rather than (only) the Intel CPUs would be more telling. 4 cores would not be enough to shift the bottleneck to the GPU with the FX CPUs. This would give a much better representation of scaling beyond 4 cores. Right now we don't know if the spreading of the tasks across multiple threads is limited to 4 cores, or if it scales equally well to 6 threads or 8 threads also.

    This is a great article, but I can't help feeling that we would've gotten more out of it if at least one AMD CPU was included. Either an FX-6xxx or FX-8xxx.
    Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Saturday, February 14, 2015 - link

    Ask and ye shall receive: http://www.anandtech.com/show/8968/star-swarm-dire... Reply
  • NightAntilli - Tuesday, February 17, 2015 - link

    Thanks a lot :) The improvements are great. Reply
  • 0ldman79 - Monday, February 16, 2015 - link

    One benefit for MS to have (almost) everyone on a single OS is just how many man hours are spent patching the older OS? If they can set up the market to where they can drop support for Vista, 7 and 8 earlier than anticipated they will save themselves a tremendous amount of money. Reply
  • Blackpariah - Tuesday, February 17, 2015 - link

    I'm just hoping the already outdated console hardware in PS4/Xbone won't hold things back too much for the pc folks. On a side note... I'm in a very specific scenario where my new gtx 970, with DX11, is getting 30-35 fps @ 1080P in battlefield 4 because the cpu is still an old Phenom 2 x4... while with my older R9 280, on Mantle, the framerate would stay above 50's at all times at almost identical graphic detail & same resolution. Reply
  • akamateau - Thursday, February 26, 2015 - link

    I think that Anand has uncovered something unexpected in the data sets they have collected. The graphs showing frame time and consistency show something else besides how fast Dx12 and Mantle generate frames.

    Dx12 and Mantle frame times are essentially the same. The variation are only due to run-time variations inside the game simulation. When the game simulation begins there far more AI objects and draw calls compared to later in the game when many of these objects have been destroyed in the game simulation. That is the reason the frame times get faster and smooth out.

    Can ANYBODY now say with a straight face that Dx12 is NOT Mantle?

    Since Mantle is an AMD derived instruction set it acts as a performance benchmark between both nVidia and AMD cards and shows fairly comparable and consistant results.

    However when we look at Dx11 we see that R9-290 is serious degraded by Dx11 in violation of the AMD vs Intel settlement agreement.

    How both nVidia and AMD cards be essentially equivalent running Dx12 and Mantle and so far apart running Dx11? That is the question that Intel needs to answer to the FTC and the Justice Department.

    This Dx11 benchmark is the smoking gun that could cost Intel BILLIONS.
    Reply
  • Thermalzeal - Wednesday, March 04, 2015 - link

    Looks like my hunch was correct. Microsoft reporting that DX12 will bump performance on Xbox One ~20%. Reply
  • Game_5abi - Monday, March 09, 2015 - link

    so if i have to build a pc should i go for fx series due to their more cores or there is no benefit of having more than 4 cores (and should buy a i5 processor)? Reply
  • peevee - Friday, March 13, 2015 - link

    "The bright side of all of this is that with Microsoft’s plans to offer Windows 10 as a free upgrade for Windows 7/8/8.1 users, the issue is largely rendered moot. Though DirectX 12 isn’t being backported, Windows users will instead be able to jump forward for free, so unlike Windows 8 this will not require spending money on a new OS just to gain access to the latest version of DirectX. "

    But this is not true, Win10 is only going to be free for a year or so and then you'll have to pay EVERY year.
    Reply
  • Dorek - Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - link

    "But this is not true, Win10 is only going to be free for a year or so and then you'll have to pay EVERY year."

    Wrong. Windows 10 will be free for one year, and after that you pay once to upgrade. If you get it during that one-year period, you pay 0 times.
    Reply

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