Stardock Developing Software to Combine NVIDIA and AMD GPUs

 

Stardock has revealed that it is developing a unique software solution that will allow GPUs from different vendors to be used in unison. While DirectX 12 already boasts such support – though the only game that supports it as yet is Stardock’s own Ashes of the Singularity – Stardock CEO Brad Wardell says that his will open this option up to everyone.

“One of the biggest problems with games is that a new video card comes out from AMD and Nvidia, and they’re like [expensive], and you have to make a call,” Wardell told Venturebeat. “I like my video card. I can play most games on it, and I don’t want to spend $800 on some new video card. But imagine, instead, hey, they’re having a sale [using my GTX 760 as an example]. Hey, they’re having a sale on an AMD 290 for $75. Wouldn’t it be cool to put this into your computer and double your performance. You keep this in there [the 760]. You put this in there [the 290], and your games are twice as fast without doing anything else.”

Wardell says that his company has been working with NVIDIA and AMD on the solution for the past year and that, while the two video card giants aren’t necessarily happy at the idea of their hardware being combined with that of their competitors, they certainly approve of anything that mean more people will buy their products.

“They don’t love that part [mixing competing cards in one PC], but [what they do love] is the idea that people will buy more cards,” Wardell added. “It’s a major friction where someone says, ‘I have a card that works. I’m not going to spend $800.’ They don’t get the sale. But you’re going to get the same effect by adding [an] $80 video card [to your existing setup].”

More news on Stardock’s new multi-GPU software is expected to be revealed by Microsoft at GDC 2016 this week.

Ashes of the Singularity Public Beta Released

The first public beta of Stardock’s real-time sci-fi strategy game, Ashes of the Singularity, has been released. Ashes of the Singularity is the first game to support DirectX 12 natively, powered by the Nitrous engine, which is said to be able to handle busy screens with interactive and visual complexity.

“In Ashes of the Singularity, gamers aren’t fighting a battle, they’re fighting a war,” Brad Wardell, CEO of Stardock, said. “Players command thousands of units across a vast battlefield while building up their economic and technological might.”

“Over the past few months we’ve worked closely with AMD and NVIDIA to fully leverage their hardware,” he added. “Our alpha testers have reported substantial performance gains, which is allowing us to begin lowering the hardware requirements.”

According to the announcement of the public beta on the official website, the game boasts:

  • The first native DirectX 12 game allowing each CPU core to command the player’s GPU simultaneously, which allows for an order of magnitude more rendered units to be on screen at the same time than previous RTS games.
  • A multi-core real-time strategy AI that allows for excellent single player RTS gaming.
  • A new native 64-bit 3D engine called Nitrous that makes full use of the features of DirectX 11 and DirectX 12, allowing for thousands of light sources on screen simultaneously.
  • A new type of unit group organization known as a “meta” unit that makes it easy for players to manage potentially tens of thousands of units across a world.
  • Advanced Nitrous 3D engine allows players to zoom out on the map without having to transform the map into a simplified view of the battlefield.

“Our goal with Ashes is to help introduce a new generation of gamers to real-time strategy games,” Wardell said. “We want to make a game where players can invite their friends in and be up and playing relatively quickly without a lengthy explanation about how to play.”

The Ashes of the Singularity public beta is available now from Steam and GOG.

Stardock CEO Raves About DX12 Again! 4-5x Faster Than DX11

Stardock CEO Brad Wardell loves extolling the virtues of DirectX 12 and, in a recent interview with Niche Gamer, he’s been at it again. According to Wardell, DX12 will boast a 400%-500% performance improvement over DirectX 11.

Wardel told Niche Gamer:

“For me, it’s the tech, what is going to be the tech story that comes out of here? What I hope most users get, I’ve had a lot of meetings with Microsoft, AMD, and a little bit of NVIDIA and Intel – they really need to hit home the fact that DirectX 12, Vulkan, and Mantle, allow all of the cores of your CPU to talk to the video card simultaneously”.

“But everyone’s really iffy about that, because that means acknowledging that for the past several years, only one of your cores was talking to the GPU, and no one wants to go ‘You know by the way, you know that multi-core GPU? It was useless for your games.’ Alright? No one wants to be that guy.”

“People wonder, saying ‘Gosh, doesn’t it seem like PC games have stalled? I wonder why that is?’ Well, the speed of a single core on a computer has not changed in years. It’s been at 3GHz, or 2-something GHz for years, I mean that’s not the only thing that affects the speed, but you get the idea. Now, with DirectX 12, Vulkan, and Mantle, it’s how many cores you’ve got. We’ve got lots of those. Suddenly, you go by 4x, 5x, the performance”.

If Wardell is to be believed, DirectX 12 could cause the gulf between PC and console gaming to significantly widen. No wonder Microsoft are so keen to implement Windows 10-to-Xbox One streaming.

Source: TweakTown

First Ashes of the Singularity In-Game Footage Compares Performance of DX11 and DX12

Stardock’s Brad Wardell, probably the biggest advocate for DirectX 12 outside of Microsoft, has released the first in-game footage from his forthcoming real-time strategy Ashes of the Singularity, comparing differences in performance between DX11 and DX12.

Ashes of the Singularity is powered by the Nitrous Engine, designed to handle busy screens with interactive and visual complexity, and by the looks of it, the game pushes that engine to its extreme.

The video below, posted to Wardell’s YouTube account, is a tad shaky…

…but, thankfully, Wardell produced a more professional-looking follow-up with AMD:

Source: Dark Side of Gaming

Either Brad Wardell Is Full of #$£% or We Should Be Very Excited about DX12

I’m really eager to see what Stardock are working on, not only because they’re utilising DirectX 12, but because their claims are endlessly incredible. Their CEO Brad Wardell is one of the most outspoken developers, at least on the subject of DirectX 12. However, the truth behind his claims remains to be seen. Their new game is to be showcased at many booths at GDC, including those of both Microsoft and AMD.

He’s said that Stardock’s partners have insisted the demo they’ve seen must not be live and that it’s pre-rendered. We’ve no idea what the game is about, only that it’ll support 4K resolutions, will initially launch on PC and will follow on Xbox One at a later date. We’ve been told that the demo will be running on current generation PC hardware, not future GPU’s with DX12 support. Many recent GPUs have been confirmed to be forward-compatible with DX12, at least to a certain extent; we can only assume it’s still very high-end hardware, likely the new range of 8GB cards, being used for this demo.

From what we’ve heard so far, it’s the general graphics fidelity and the fact that DirectX 12 is capable of running it smoothly at 4K resolutions that is so amazing, but again, this remains to be seen.

As I said before, Brad Wardell has been very outspoken about DirectX 12, claiming 100fps difference between the DX11 and DX12 API, as well as 600% performance increase on AMD graphics hardware. My instincts are telling me he’s talking rubbish to a certain degree, but I’m very eager to be proven wrong. What are you throughs? Do you think DX12 is going to deliver on these incredible claims?

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