DX12’s Bonuses Only Achievable by Dropping DX11 Says Hitman Dev

When new technology comes out it tends to take time for systems and developers to get to grips with them, with their advertised bonuses normally offered at some price, but is it too steep with Hitman’s developer saying that if you want to experience DX12’s bonuses only achievable by dropping DX11 support completely.

Hitman was released earlier this year to favourable reviews, with an entire YouTube series putting people in command of Agent 47, including the likes of the chuckle brothers. The lead developer behind the game, Jonas Meyer of IO Interactive, has not stated that if you want the 20% CPU and 50% GPU bonuses that Microsoft promise with DX12 you will have to drop DirectX 11 support entirely. Hitman, on the other hand, was more of a port from the former framework to DX12.

With games getting released more and more often with DX12 at their core, such as the remake of the classic Gears of War games, suffering from less than amazing performances the new graphical library doesn’t look to show off as much as it was advertised just yet.

When asked about another low-level API for graphics, Vulkan, Meyer responded by describing the API as a “graphics programmer’s wet dream” but stated that they don’t have any plans to add Vulkan support to Hitman.

Square Enix Considering “Higher Spec” Version of Final Fantasy XV for PC

While Square Enix has not yet confirmed that its forthcoming JRPG epic Final Fantasy XV will arrive on PC, it seems that, if it does, it will be a “higher spec” version running on DirectX 12. The current version of the game, due out for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 later this year, was built using DirectX 11 “generation tech.”

“The DX11 generation tech used for #FFXV is for console only,” a Tweet from the official Final Fantasy XV Twitter account reads. “Once FFXV is out on console we may look at a higher spec version for PC.”

Whether this “higher spec” PC version of the game actually see the light of day is yet to be decided, though, despite admissions from Square Enix that it is “aware of the big call for a PC version.”

“Unfortunately we weren’t able to do simultaneous development on a PC and console version for XV,” FFXV Director Hajime Tabata told Engadget. “We had to focus on the console version and our goal was to maximize, optimize everything for the HD consoles. Once that’s done, then we will definitely take a good, hard look at PC and what we need to do, and consider all our options. But right now we aren’t decided, we’re still considering a lot of things.”

The free Platinum Demo of Final Fantasy XV is available for download on PS4 and Xbox One now.

Hitman Posts 5-10% Gains With Asynchronous Compute

One of the headline features for AMD’s GCN architecture is their superb support for Asynchronous Compute. One of the showcases games for Asynchronous Compute and DX12, Ashes of the Singularity has used the feature to provide AMD with a significant boost in that title. However, it looks like Asynchronous Compute will be harder to manage if Hitman is anything to go by.

According to IO Interactive, Hitman only gained about 5-10% performance boost on AMD cards after implementing Asynchronous Compute. This is a bit lower than expected given all the hype around the feature. Furthermore, IO Interactive had to do a lot of tuning and it was ‘super-hard’ to implement properly in order to no suffer any performance loss. This is still much better than the issue faced by Nvidia cards which virtually gained nothing from Asynchronous Compute.

For an early implementation of Asynchronous Compute in what is still mainly a DX11 title, 5-10% isn’t that bad. If AMD is able to get Asynchronous Compute into game engines and integrate it into game development on the ground up, easier and more plentiful gains will likely follow. For now, Asynchronous Compute is still enough to put AMD cards ahead of their various competitors and 10% isn’t something to scoff at, especially combined with other DX12 gains.

AMD Announces DX12 Game Engine Partnerships

One of the biggest changes DX12 brings to the table is the increased reliance on developers to properly optimize their code for GPUs. Unlike DX11, there will have fewer levers to tweak in the GPU driver, with more work being needed in the game engine and the game itself. To address this, AMD has announced a partnership with multiple game engine and game developers to implement DX12.

To kick start the effort, AMD is headlining 5 games and engines they are partnering with to ensure DX12 works smoothly with Radeon GPUs with the software. These are Ashes of the Singularity by Stardock and Oxide Games, Total War: WARHAMMER by Creative Assembly, Battlezone VR by Rebellion, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided by Eidos-Montréal and the Nitrous Engine by Oxide Games. These titles span a wide range from RTS to RPG and FPS which gives a sense that AMD is trying to cast as wide a net as possible.

In addition to this, AMD will also be working with EA and Dice to get the Frostbite 3 engine to enable DX12. This engine is of particular importance due to the many AAA EA and other titles using it. AMD is also hoping to push Asynchronous Compute and to make sure games will squeeze the most out of GCN using DX12.

LawBreakers PC System Requirements Revealed

Upcoming video game LawBreakers was developed by Boss Key Productions and published by Nexon. It is expected to be released this year for Microsoft Windows, and what makes it particularly interesting is the fact that it is based on Unreal Engine 4. Up until now, many of us believed that this particular title would be free-to-play upon release, but during the recent GDC 2016 event, Cliff Bleszinski has decided to clarify these rumours, or perhaps it’s more accurate to say that he squashed them. The upcoming arena shooter will not be free-to-play after all, which might actually turn out to be a good thing.

Apart from this important announcement, the developers have also revealed the game’s PC requirements as well as a trio of new screenshots. As far as the requirements are concerned, it looks like the minimum specs should be based on a rather modest Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 and a Nvidia GeForce 460, while the recommended requirements are considerably more demanding: an Intel Core i7 -4790 and a GTX 970. Not sure exactly why there’s such a huge gap between the minimum and the recommended specs, but it probably has something to do with the game supporting DirectX 12. Below you will find a complete list of LawBreakers’ requirements and main features.

  • A Cast Of Killers: Revel in unparalleled vertical violence by mastering the skills of an array of diverse anti-heroes, ranging from Cronos, a murderer who survived electrocution on death row to Axel, a federal agent with a tattered past fighting for justice. Whether you kill for the nobility of the “Law,” or are out for blood as a “Breaker,” these symmetrical roles satisfy any appetite in an arena where the most skilled player and team will rise.
  • Threats From Every Angle: Experience visceral gameplay that is a cut above the competitive FPS genre; with variable gravity effects, unique role based movement systems and gravity manipulating abilities, making combat truly three dimensional. Become a gravity surfing killer and annihilate your enemies with grappling blades, reverse blind firing, time dilation, jetpacks and much more.
  • Modes that Matter: Fight to the death in intense game modes that elevate the Arena Shooter genre to all new levels. LawBreakers’ signature brand of gravity induced chaos combined with innovative takes on multiplayer game modes offers a truly unique and highly competitive experience.
  • A World Reimagined: Experience a futuristic America, years after a global seismic event known as “The Shattering” forever changed the landscape and even gravity itself. Become immersed into a raging conflict between Law and Breakers across iconic locations including the boiling oceans of Santa Monica, a gravity ravaged Grand Canyon and nearly unrecognizable Mount Rushmore.

Requirements:

MINIMUM:

    • OS: Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 (64-bit versions only).
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600.
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM.
    • Graphics: Nvidia 460 (1GB).
    • DirectX: Version 11.
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection.
    • Storage: 12 GB available space.
    • Additional Notes: Minimum specs listed are based on pre-alpha game build and subject to change.

RECOMMENDED:

    • OS: Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 (64-bit versions only).
    • Processor: Intel Core i7 -4790.
    • Memory: 16 GB RAM.
    • Graphics: Nvidia GTX 970.
    • DirectX: Version 11.
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection.
    • Storage: 12 GB available space.
    • Additional Notes: Recommended specs optimized for 90FPS. With a high end card like a Nvidia GTX 980 Ti the game should run at 144hz. Game supports up to DX12.

AMD’s Raja Koduri Talks Future Developments – Capsaicin

Even though a lot of information was shared from the Capsaicin live stream, some details weren’t made known till the after party. In an interview, Radeon Technologies Group head Raja Koduri spoke in more detail about the plans AMD has for the future and the direction they see gaming and hardware heading towards.

First up of course, was the topic of the Radeon Pro Duo, AMD’s latest flagship device. Despite the hefty $1499 price tag, AMD considers the card a good value, something like a FirePro Lite, with enough power to both game and develop on it, a card for creators who game and gamers who create. If AMD does tune the drivers more to enhance the professional software support, the Pro Duo will be well worth the cash considering how much real FirePro cards cost.

Koduri also see the future of gaming being dual-GPU cards. With Crossfire and SLI, dual GPU cards were abstracted away as one on the driver level. Because of this, performance widely varies for each game and support requires more work on the driver side. For DX12 and Vulkan, the developer can now choose to implement multi-GPU support themselves and build it into the game for much greater performance. While the transition won’t fully take place till 2017-2019, AMD wants developers to start getting used to the idea and getting ready.

This holds true for VR as well as each GPU can render for each eye independently, achieving near 2x performance benefit. The benefits though are highly dependent on the game engine and how well it works with LiquidVR. Koduri notes that some engines are as easy as a few hours work while others may take months. Roy Taylor, VP at AMD was also excited about the prospect of the upcoming APIs and AMD’s forward-looking hardware finally getting more use and boosting performance. In some ways, the use of multi-GPU is similar to multi-core processors and the use of simultaneous multi-threading (SMT) to maximize performance.

Finally, we come to Polaris 10 and 11. AMD’s naming scheme is expected the change, with the numbers being chronologically based, so the next Polaris will be bigger than 11 but not necessarily a higher performance chip. AMD is planning to use Polaris 10 and 11 to hit as many price/performance and performance/watt levels as possible so we can possibly expect multiple cards to be based on each chip, meaning probably 3. This should help AMD harvest imperfect dies and help their bottom line. Last of all, Polaris may not feature HBM2 as AMD is planning to hold back till the economics make sense. That about wraps it up for Capsaicin!

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.

Quantum Break Receives a Launch Trailer

When I first saw the gameplay trailer for Quantum Break, I wasn’t necessarily too impressed. Sure, its graphics seemed pretty good and the gameplay had a few  innovative features, but overall it just looked like a regular third-person shooter that would have me kill one wave of enemies after another until I got bored. I’m pleased to say that I was most likely wrong on all accounts, as Quantum Break is shaping up to be a very interesting game, not just because it requires DirectX 12 but also because it has a well-written story behind its action-packed scenes. The game was developed by Remedy Entertainment and will be published by Microsoft Studios, which means that it won’t be arriving on Steam.

The good news is that we don’t have to wait too long until its official launch date, as Quantum Break is scheduled for an April 5 release for PC and Xbox One consoles. And since that date is almost upon us, the game’s developers have decided to treat us with a launch trailer, which features the renowned “Come As You Are” track by Nirvana. Even though this game is likely to push my PC to its limits, I’m really looking forward to playing it for a bit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eU17_kd-e4w

Will you be picking up Quantum Break?

Quantum Break to Require Internet Connection

Quantum Break is set to be one of the biggest games to grace Windows 10 this year, and with the game using directX 12 (DX12) you will have to buy it through the app store. This may be a problem for some as those who purchased the rather silently released Gears Of War Ultimate Edition found that the game was more than lacking in terms of performance and stability. It may come as a shock to some then that the next nail in the Windows 10 gaming experience is the constant online connection that you will require for Quantum Break.

Why is this a big deal you may ask? The problem people will have with this is that the game is a single player game, requiring an online connection means that should your internet drop out or you want to play on the go you won’t be able to. The reason given by Microsoft is  that you will require a high-speed internet connection to enjoy the cutscenes in the game, which is considered story heavy.

It was recently revealed that the Xbox One version of the game will be 44.09GB in size, a whole 8GB more than the 36.18GB. It now seems that the size difference is because Xbox one will be downloading the video content as well, requiring only PC gamers to have a constant online connection. With the Xbox One video being limited to 1080p video files, a mere shade of the 4K content the PC will enjoy, some people will argue that for a single player game, downloading the video at a lesser quality may be worth saving the hassle of an always online connection.

First a bad release for Gears Of War and now the news that always online single player games are Microsoft’s hope for Windows 10 games, are you likely to pick up the game and if so do you think that Microsoft has done the right thing?

Microsoft’s Unified Gaming Platform Hits More Trouble

Microsoft has long been keen on repairing what can only be described as a damaged relationship with the PC gaming community. After a slew of initial releases, Microsoft’s game for Windows Live has soured many experiences of games the company is directly involved, made worse by the lack of features (and sometimes playability at all) when the service was taken down. Windows 10 looks to save them from this past but the initial signs all point to trouble.

One of the key selling points of Windows 10 is DirectX12, a new system designed to make games run not only faster but smoother with all the benefits of the latest generation of software. With “apps” being downloaded through the Windows 10 App store, sometimes with exclusive releases of big games like Gears Of Wars: Ultimate Edition, the limitations on these releases suddenly becomes frightening for PC gamers.

According to recent reports from Guru3D, when testing the latest Ashes of the Singularity beta disabling the vsync setting wouldn’t actually disable the feature. This is because of the technology used to display games in Windows 10, the windows display driver model 2.0.

You may not notice the problem though as programs downloaded from the store don’t expose an executable file, something that a lot of software uses to help mold their experience. Ever use Steam’s big picture mode or Fraps? They both use executable files from your programs to run, meaning using them with Windows 10 games may be more difficult than expected.

Microsoft has said how much they want to bring PC gamers back to trusting their development and platforms. With items like this happening and the quiet (and disastrous) release of Gears Of War Ultimate Edition on their store, they may be harming rather than helping their reputation with the gaming community.

Gears Of War: Ultimate Edition Releases Without A Word

The Gears Of War franchise has been known as a game for Xbox users for years, with them enjoying releases of the second and third game while PC users were stuck enjoying the small amount of content they gained in the first game. Finally, the series returns with a bang on the PC, okay maybe not a bang but more like a silent whisper as the Ultimate Edition releases without a word from anybody.

If you are a fan of the series you’ll be able to enjoy the remaster of the original trilogy on PC as of today. Already released on the Microsoft Store for Windows 10 users you can enjoy the new game as long as your PC feels brave enough to face its requirements. Surprisingly, the last we heard about the games release was the specification for your systems and rumours about an early 2016 release date.

Perhaps a reason for the release’s rather silent release and low price mark at just £22.79 is the lack of recommendations from users who are reporting difficulty with the games and bad performance on every hardware configuration imaginable. Typically a split between your graphics card manufacturers, both AMD and Nvidia users are reporting issues with the game and a user running an R9 Fury suffering from a frame rate of fewer than 10 frames per second almost consistently.

Given the bad performance, it’s no surprise that it is a known problem to Microsoft that you can’t even download the game anymore and with recommendations to download it again “in a few days”. Given it’s their first DX12 game and made by Microsoft for what is now their franchise, the few days could be a stall to try patch up the problems people have encountered before another Arkham Knight scenario happens.

AMD Bundles Hitman with GPUs and CPUs

Freebies are something that we all like and AMD has now bundled the new Hitman game with some of their graphics cards and processors as well as systems prebuilt with these components. AMD has partnered with IO Interactive again to bring this deal and they also joined the AMD Gaming Evolved program in order to get the best out of the hardware with top-flight effects and performance optimizations for PC gamers.

The bundle deal runs from the February the 16th and it is valid with the purchase of selected products from participating retailers – as it always is. In this round, AMD bundles Hitman with their Radeon R9 390 and 390X graphics cards as well as their FX 6 and 8 core processors (PIB). The bundle will last until 30th of April 2016 or whilst supplies last. Vouchers can be redeemed until 30th of June 2016.

The new Hitman game is offered in a seasonal fashion with a base game and periodic add-ons that will continue the story, but it is handled in the best possible way. The full experience with the full season off new missions won’t cost more than other games costs in themselves without DLCs and this AMD bundle also includes the full game rather than just the initial release. You will also get access to the BETA for Hitman that will run from the 19th to the 22nd February.

Those that have upgraded to Windows 10 will have the best experience with this new game as it has been built to take advantage of DX12, a feature that will make a very noticeable difference for AMD CPU users.

“Hitman will leverage unique DX12 hardware found in only AMD Radeon GPUs, called asynchronous compute engines, to handle heavier workloads and better image quality without compromising performance. PC gamers may have heard of asynchronous compute already, and Hitman demonstrates the best implementation of this exciting technology yet.”

You can find all the fine print and redeem your game code on the official Hitman mini-site. The beta phase is almost here, so it might be time to make that upgrade that you’ve holding back with. The full hardware specifications and recommendations have also been published a few days ago, in case you missed them.

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.

Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations Running on RPCS3 DX12 Powered Emulator!

Emulation of the PlayStation 3 is quickly becoming a reality, it seems not a week goes by until we hear that yet another commercially available game is up and running on the latest emulator, and that’s great news for gamers, especially those who have high-end gaming PC’s that are capable of playing them.

RPCS3 has certainly been making impressive progress and is now in its prime as far as development goes, with constant updates and improvements that are making it a workable and fully playable emulator for quite a few games. Sure, it’s not quite playing the more demanding games such as The Last of Us just yet, but it really is only a matter of time now before that nut it cracked. The latest demonstration, which is something anyone can download and try for themselves, assuming you have the retail disc of the game (or the ISO), is of Naruto Shipuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations.

YouTube user ‘Zangetsu’ shared a video recently which shows the Naruto game running on the  emulation with fully functioning in-game visuals, and matching audio at 30fps, triple the playable FPS of the previous attempts for this game. That’s right, the emulator is playing fully commercially available games at 30fps! Which is groundbreaking to say the least. Although 60fps would be even better, but let’s not get too picky, it’s early days.

The emulator is using the DX12 engine to churn out the graphics, and as you’ll see in the video below, it’s running perfectly well.

  • Rpcs3 v0.0.0.6
  • GIT Rpcs3 : 21/01/16
  • PS3 Game : Naruto Shipuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations
  • Statut : Playable in DX12
  • Graphics Render : in DX12 Very good
  • Sound : Perfect
  • Save : Works

As you can see in the video, the user is running the game on an AMD FX-8350 CPU, paired up with an Nvidia GeForce GTx 980 and 16GB of RAM, meaning those with similar hardware specifications should be able to recreate similar results.

For more information on RPCS3, check out their official emulation website here.

AMD & Nvidia Cards Working Together in DX12 Benchmarks!

While much of the talk around DX12 recently has been around the reduced CPU/driver overhead and AsyncCompute, another feature is getting its first real world test. Dubbed Explicit Multi-Adapter in Microsoft’s material, the feature allows multiple GPUs that support DX12, irrespective of vendor, to work together on the same task. Developer Oxide has created a Multi-Adapter demo from their now famous Ashes of the Singularity title, using the in-house Nitrous engine.

While DX12 continues to allow the GPU drivers to allow multi-GPU setups like SLI and Crossfire, Microsoft has decided to build in a more powerful feature right into DX12. This means if the developer takes the time and effort to implement it, any DX12 title will allow any 2 DX12 card work together and boost performance. This is exactly what Anandtech tested when Oxide provided a custom build of Ashes of the Singularity with early support.

Using the built-in DX12 Multi-Adapter, top end cards like the Fury X, 980Ti and Titan X were able to show gains of between 46 to 72%. While lower than what Crossfire can offer at about 80% gains, this is pretty crazy considering the fact that it is using two cards with vastly different architectures at times from 2 different vendors. Interestingly enough, combinations with the Fury X as primary card out did those with the Nvidia card as the main one, even when the Titan X was used. This held true of older cards like the 7970 vs the 680, with the 680+7970 doing worse than just the 680 or 7970 alone. This may be due to the inherent nature of AMD’s GCN architecture being better suited to the task, but it’s still early in the game.

If developers choose to make use of this feature later on, it could make big performance boosts in teh future. Instead of having to buy two of a card, gamers can just use 1 higher performance card with a lower end one. When it comes time to upgrade, the weaker card can be tossed out and a new top-tier card takes control of the old master card. This extends to pairing up mostly unused iGPUs to get that extra bit of eye candy and fps. With control in the hands of developers and not hardware vendors, it will be interesting to see if this feature takes off.

 

Microsoft Buys Havok Physics From Intel

Microsoft today is announcing their acquisition of Havok Physics from long time owner Intel. Used in a large number of AAA games as middleware and psysics engine, Havok is known for enabling complex 3D physics based solely on CPU compute power. While some may worry that Microsoft will no longer develop Havok publicly and turn it in-house, the software giant is reassuring the community that it will continue to license out the software.

Havok was originally acquired by Intel back in 2007. Back then, Havok was actually working with ATI (AMD) and Nvidia on developing a GPU based physics engine called HavokFX. That effort was largely shelved when Intel swooped in, with the chip giant focusing the core development onto the CPU side of things. Nvidia ended up pursuing GPU physics with their purchase of Ageia and PhysX. With Microsoft now back in charge and given the relatively weak CPU found in the Xbox One, Havok now finally push forward a third-party GPU physics engine capable of running on AMD and likely even Nvidia hardware.

Another interesting point is the potential for integration between Dx12 or the next DX and Havok. With a new firm in charge, Havok may push for an implementation that is, let’s just say, more equitable for all CPU vendors. For AMD, this can only be good news as one of the most popular physics engines is now moving from the hands of a competitor to a partner. It will be interesting to see how Microsoft will manage this purchase.

Fable Legends DX12 Benchmark Show AMD Gains

Ever since the first AOTS DX12 benchmark showed major gains for AMD, many have been waiting for another benchmark. Today, Microsoft released a DX12 benchmark for their new Fable Legends game. Once again, it looks like AMD has managed to secure some strong gains in DX12, with cards throughout the lineup showing good relative gains compared to their Nvidia counterparts.

Comparing stock reference cards, the R9 290X/390X shows significant improvement, being able to secure a strong lead over the GTX 980. The 290/390 also leads significantly over its GTX970 competitor and even manages to edge past the GTX 980. These figures hold true across multiple resolutions which shows that the differences are more architectural rather than CPU bound. One reason for this is likely the ASync Compute that Fable developers have noted is nearly free to implement on AMD’s GCN.

Higher up the product stack, the GTX 980 Ti manages to hold onto its crown against the Fury X, with the two cards trading blows. This really shows how strong GM200 has been for Nvidia and also how the current GCN architecture is bottlenecked. Lower down the 380 takes a commanding lead over the 960 tough not quite enough to match the GTX 970. For older cards like the 7970 and the 680, AMD also managed to post a strong lead, showing off how GCN really was forward looking.

One variation to look out for between benchmarks is that some sites are using non-reference  factory OC models that clock more and are not labelling them. Once you consider overclocking the numbers go flying and Maxwell’s ability to OC would likely narrow some of the gains showed by AMD. However, it’s still early days for DX12 so there may yet be more changes until the ecosystem stabilizes. The biggest takeaway is how 290/290X owners will be loving their cards more and more as DX12 games roll out. With many DX12 to be associated with AMD, who knows if this trend will continue?

Thank you ExtremeTech for providing us with this information

Valve’s Dan Ginsburg Claims Vulkan is Better than DirectX 12

Valve developer Dan Ginsburg spoke at length regarding the two upcoming APIs, DirectX 12 and Vulkan, during this year’s SIGGRAPH event. While both are much anticipated, offering low-level access to a PC’s GPU and CPU, Ginsburg claims that there is no reason to create a DX12 back-end for games, and that Vulkan is the superior API.

Ginsburg said:

“Unless you are aggressive enough to be shipping a DX12 game this year, I would argue that there is really not much reason to ever create a DX12 back end for your game. And the reason for that is that Vulkan will cover you on Windows 10 on the same class of hardware and so much more from all these other platforms and IHVs that we’ve heard from. Metal is single platform, single vendor, and Vulkan… we are gonna have support for not only Windows 10 but Windows 7, Windows 8 and Linux.”

It must be noted that Ginsburg is working on the Khonos Group’s Vulkan API, and so may have a vested interest in its success. Conversely, he is also in a fine position to extol the virtues of Vulkan, having worked so closely on it.

Thank you Dark Side of Gaming for providing us with this information.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided to Feature DX12 & Built-in Benchmark from Day-One

We caught the news this week that Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will be reaping the benefits, or should I say augments, that come from DirectX 12. This is great news for those who are wanting to tap into more of their GPU hardware, but even better news as there’s not exactly a lot of games out there right now that are flexing DX12!

The good news is that the game will support DirectX 12 from day one, so no waiting for a future patch or update to see what all the fuss is about. What is going to make this game even more interesting, at least as far as I am concerned, is that it’ll feature a built-in benchmark; something that is sorely missing from many modern games.

Given that the game features DirectX 12, as well as a bunch of features such as AMD’s TressFX 3.0 tech, it’s going to be an interesting one to push the limits of the latest graphics cards and we can’t wait to get benchmarking with it.

Of course, Direct X 12, benchmarking tools and more are a big win for consumers, as you’ll be able to better fine tune your games visuals to run on your hardware. Let’s just hope they sort out that bloody awful pre-order campaign!

Thank you DSO for providing us with this information.

AMD: Deus Ex: Mankind Divided to Support DX12 at Launch

Possibly, the greatest benefit in Windows 10 is the highly-optimized DirectX 12 API. Unfortunately, very few games take advantage of DirectX 12 functionality and it’s unknown if current DirectX 11 titles will be updated. Despite this, future games should scale much better across various configurations on the newest API and has been widely implemented as it’s been in the hands of developers for some time. In an interview with TweakTown, AMD’s Chief Gaming Scientist, Richard Huddy, has confirmed Deus Ex: Mankind Divided would launch with DirectX 12 support.

Furthermore, AMD’s TressFX Hair 3.0 technology will be implemented and the options menu features an integrated benchmark. Therefore, it will be interesting to see how AMD and NVIDIA GPUs compare with a AAA game designed around DirectX 12. There has been a great deal of controversy regarding Asynchronous Shaders which supposedly favour AMD. Of course, Deus EX: Human Divided is an AMD-sponsored game in a similar vein to its predecessor. In theory, this means the game should be optimized better on AMD hardware.

Although, on launch this could become complicated as it’s difficult to gauge if DirectX 12 or AMD’s involvement in the game will be the major determining factor. Personally, I’m just pleased to see DirectX 12 support out-of-the-box and cannot wait to see how various cards perform.

Are you looking forward to Deus Ex: Mankind Divided?

Thank you TweakTown for providing us with this information. 

Gears of War Ultimate Gets Glorious Graphics Features on PC!

It’s no secret that PC gaming is often more graphically impressive than its console counter parts, the hardware, your own budget permitting, can be a lot more powerful, so that’s hardly a surprise. So what can PC gamers expect to enjoy when the game hits our screens?

The game is one of the first AAA DX12 games to hit the market, so it’ll take advantage of the new API to bring better framerates, rendering technologies and effects, as well as Async Compute, which already makes me want to play it more than anything. On top of that, you can enjoy the games unlocked frame rate, so those of you running 144hz monitors will be able to reap the full rewards of your displays technology.The developer even said they’re putting a lot of effort into this version of the game, ensuring it’s a showcase for 4K, so those of you with high resolution displays will, again, be able to fully enjoy that aspect.

So we’ve got improved frame rates, a new API taking control to bring us better CPU and GPU performance, as well as better rendering, we’ve got upgraded 4K assets to make it look awesome, as well as support for MSAA and FXAA.

Here’s a quick run down of what you can expect. Excited?

  • Remastered for Dolby 7.1 Surround
  • New Xbox Live achievements (1,250 Gamerscore)
  • Concept art gallery and unlockable comics
  • Modernized Multiplayer featuring:
  • Dedicated servers
  • Skill-based matchmaking
  • New game types – Team Deathmatch, King of the Hill (Gears of War 3 style), and new 2v2 Gnasher Execution
  • Total of 19 maps, including all DLC maps
  • 17 unlockable Gears of War 3 characters for Multiplayer progression
  • More Match customization including Actives, Respawn Time, Self-revive and Weapon Respawn
  • Modernized gameplay with smoother movement and updated controls:
  • Alternate Controls and all new Tournament Controls
  • Adding the Gears of War 3 features you love: Enemy Spotting, Multiplayer Tac-Com, Improved sensitivity customization

Thank you WCCFTech for providing us with this information.

Fable Legends Windows 10 Beta Starting This Month

Lionhead Studios made a bold choice when it comes to their new Fable Legends in more than one way, but it could very well be a strategy that will pay off big time for the company as well as the franchise in itself. The new game, unlike the previous installments in the Fable series, is a multiplayer oriented team-based game where you can play alone or with your friends with or against the AI. Fable Legends is also one of the first games to be built on Microsoft’s DX12 engine that should give the players some spectacular graphics and performance – hopefully.

Fable Legends will launch on both Xbox One and Windows 10 and the limitation here is of course due to DX12, this is the only place that you’ll find that API. Xbox One gamers have already been able to join the beta games and now PC players will be able to do the same. The Windows 10 beta is scheduled to launch this month and you can still sign up for an invite.

Fable Legends won’t just run on the Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs, it can be played cross-platform on both systems with the same account and everything the way it was. Start on your PC and move on over to the Xbox in the living room later on – or the other way around, you can do it as you want. That could be a great win for the game besides being a completely free to play game. You can purchase cosmetics, but not overpowered winning attributes. The developers stress that you can unlock anything with gameplay alone and that is good news.

The full game is scheduled to be released later this year and until then we can enjoy the new trailer released during Gamescom 2015. It looks like an amazing game, especially with the focus on team play and cross-platform play, but also with the DX12 graphics and overall concept. I think Lionhead Studios has a winner here.

Thank You WCCFtech for providing us with this information

OpenGL Vulkan May be Better Than DX12 Says Paradox

WorldsFactory interviewed the developers of Magicka 2 – Pieces Interactive this week.

They asked the developers what they thought of DirectX version 12 from a development point of view. Turns out they have a very positive view on it. However at the same time, they said that Vulkan may be even better.

“DX12 is a big improvement over DX11, it enables games to move to the next generation of graphics. But we’re also eagerly awaiting the official release of OpenGL Vulkan, which might even be better than DX12. Currently we are only experimenting with the API’s but we will of course support them eventually.”

If Vulkan could indeed offer further improvements remains to be seen. It is understandable that Vulkan could indeed prove to be as effective if not more so than DX12, as it retains some of Mantle’s most essential components. Adoption of the new APIs is what would be the deciding factor though, as both offer huge advantages over the previous generation. DX12 will be available with Windows 10 this summer.

Vulkan also has the advantage that it supports several operating systems. Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. Whereas DX12 can only function on windows operating systems. Either way, it works out well for us gamers. We can expect a much better performance increase and a decrease in CPU requirements.

Thank you to WorldsFactory for providing us with this information

Nvidia’s GeForce Drivers for DirectX 12 Receive WHQL Certification

We are all excited about the new Windows 10 and DirectX 12 features and it looks like Nvidia wants us to experience only the best once Windows 10 is officially launched. The company claims it understands how important it is to experience only the best out of games, so it went on to create the Game Ready drivers which get a new update every time a major title is released.

“We feel the same way about our graphics. We don’t want gamers beta testing our work when they play their games for the first time. So we created GeForce Game Ready drivers.” Nvidia posted on their blog.

This is why Nvidia worked closely with Microsoft and other Game Developers that focus on making or moving their games on the new API. Nvidia now has the first WHQL certified drivers, putting it a step forward ahead of AMD. Why? Because, a Windows Hardware Qualification Lab certification is given out once Microsoft can confirm that the drivers are 100% ready for its OS.

“As the launch of Windows 10 and DirectX 12 nears, our GeForce drivers have taken a major step forward: WHQL certification has arrived.”

What this means is that no major issues are encountered when the driver is installed and used in a variety of Windows-based application requiring graphical rendering, but for short, it means Windows certifies your games work perfectly as far as they are concerned.

Nvidia offers already offers support for DirectX 12 API on their Maxwell and Kepler GPU architectures and states that Fermi will receive support later on as well. Eager to take your Titan or GTX 980 for a DirectX 12 spin? Then get your DirectX 12 certified drivers from here.

First DX12 CryEngine Tech Demo Revealed

Want to see the difference between DirectX 11 and DirectX 12, again? Of course you do, so I’m very happy to reveal that the hard-working team at Snail Games has just released their brand new DirectX 12 tech video.

The new video demonstrates the power of the new DirectX 12 API and combined with the graphical powerhouse that is CryEngine, as well as the already gorgeous looking online game King of Wushu, it’s certainly a real treat for your polygon loving eyes.

The game already takes advantage of features such as Nvidia Gameworks for HairWorks and PhysX Clothing, but with DirectX 12 the game can push more polygons, increased draw calls, more on-screen characters and still keep within the same level of demand on the GPU hardware; which is nothing short of incredible.

Of course, you won’t actually just be able to update DirectX just yet and enjoy the game in its new form, as DirectX 12 will be launching on Windows 10 later this year; something that simply can not come soon enough!

https://youtu.be/sV9aa_12Ap0

Thank you DSO for providing us with this information.

Implementing DX12 Was Easy Says Square Enix

Square Enix blew us away a few years ago with their Agni’s Philosopy technical demo, it showed some incredible graphics, but it was nothing in comparison to the revised version, which they demoed at Microsoft’s Build Developer Conference this week.

The new demo, WITCH CHAPTER 0 [cry], used DirectX 12 and their own Luminous Engine. It showed the real benefits of DirectX 12, as the demo was able to push many as 6 to 12 times more polygons, 8K x 8K textures, more shaders and a whole more; in short, it looked incredible.

What’s really interesting, however, is how long it took Square Enix to get the assets from their other demo up and running in DirectX 12. When asked if they encountered any issues implementing DirectX 12, Square Enix’s Ivan had the follow to say:

“I think it took around three weeks to get the basic rendering working, and comparing this to my previous experience with implementing a new graphics API layer, I would say it was quite straight forward. However I have to mention that this wasn’t a direct port and it wasn’t using many of the unique of D3D12. Going forward I think we’re going to adjust some of our systems in the engine to better match D3D12.

So personally I think it’s not very difficult, it wasn’t very difficult for us, to try the D3D12 but with any new platform and any new graphics API, you probably know that you need some time before you can utilize the API for 100%”

Hopefully, this means great things from this developer and many others, DirectX 12 is already shaping up to be a huge change for the industry and we can’t wait to see it become the new standard.

Thank you DSO for providing us with this information.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Gets Trailer; Will Support DX12

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided has been officially unveiled by publisher Square Enix and developer Eidos Montreal, as well as being treated to some impressive screenshots and a trailer, we now know that the PC version of the game will support DirectX 12 and AMD’s TressFX 3.0.

David Anfossi, Head of Eidos Montreal, had this to say about the game:

“For 15 years, Deus Ex has been a point of conversation across the games industry and beyond, whether the topic is the franchise’s unique gameplay or topical narrative focused on advanced biotechnology and human augmentation. What began with Deus Ex: Human Revolution goes to a whole new level in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, diving even deeper into this discussion and, in turn, offering fans an all-encompassing experience, one which will challenge their skills as players and emphasize decision-making based on real world topics.”

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, which is powered by Eidos Montreal’s new Dawn Engine, is set for release on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. A release date is yet to be announced.

Source: Dark Side of Gaming