UPDATE: The AMD Radeon™ R9 290X graphics card delivers up to 33% higher performance than the GeForce GTX 980 in independent testing from PC Perspective!
Today I’m pleased to welcome the 3DMark® API Overhead Feature Test to the world! This powerful extension to the 3DMark® suite lets everyday users compare the performance of different graphics APIs—Mantle, DirectX® 12 and DirectX® 11—on their PC. The early results are very promising for AMD customers, as the promised performance benefits of DirectX® 12 on full display.
I understand that not everyone has a few hours to throw at these kinds of tests, however, so let’s jump right into a few data points I’ve collected to illustrate how big these performance jumps really are.
First we’ll look at DirectX® 12’s raw ability to ramp GPU throughput, with higher throughput representing new opportunities to put image quality on screen for you. In the new 3DMark® test, DirectX® 12 delivers performance that’s 10-16X its predecessor on AMD Radeon™ R9 and R7 graphics hardware.
Next I wanted to show you what DirectX® 12 can do for the performance-per-watt of a PC. Using an AMD A-Series APU, the world’s best SoC for DirectX® 12, we see a performance per watt improvement of 511%. In other words, every watt of power consumption just accomplished 6X the work that it could under DirectX® 11.
Finally, I wanted to show you just how much better DirectX® 12 is at using multi-core CPUs like the AMD FX-8350. This wildly improved use of such CPUs is due to a feature called multi-threaded command buffer recording, which finally allows a multi-core communication lane between your AMD FX processor and AMD Radeon™ GPU. The graph shows this very clearly, with DirectX® 11 demonstrating no benefit beyond two cores even while DirectX® 12 sees an average uplift of +2.9 million draw calls with every CPU core added up to 6 cores.
For obvious reasons, multi-threaded command buffer recording is a defining feature in DirectX® 12 that will have a huge impact on the lives of gamers.
THE ROAD TO OPTIMIZATION
The mind-boggling data I’ve collected from the 3DMark API Overhead Feature Test is testament to our passion for DirectX® 12 and its promise as a graphics API.
Our software developers are months into their work with companies, like Futuremark®, who want to make the most of our DirectX® 12-ready Graphics Core Next architecture. While such work is never truly finished, the early results are plainly impressive.
There are other factors at work, too! AMD has been working on “low-overhead” or “console-like” APIs for over three years. During that time, we’ve been working with top game developers to establish best practices for these APIs on AMD hardware. We expect game developers to have a head start in having their games work great on AMD hardware as a result. By no coincidence, console game development is also targeted at AMD hardware with a unique set of low-overhead graphics APIs.
Given that DirectX® 12 will be a transformative experience for millions of gamers, it’s important that hardware vendors like AMD have a 360-degree view of the issue. Thankfully, the pervasive nature of the GCN Architecture in the games industry highlights that AMD stands alone with that perspective.
Today’s extraordinary 3DMark® results show that we’re already putting it to good use.
Robert Hallock is the Head of Global Technical Marketing at AMD. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.
- Image #1: Core i7-4960X, Asus X79 Sabertooth, 16GB DDR3-1866, Windows 10® 10 Technical Preview 2 (Build 10041), AMD Catalyst™ driver 15.20.1012. DirectX® 11 multi-threaded vs. DirectX® 12 multi-threaded. 3840x2160 resolution.
- Image #2: AMD A10-7850K, Asus A88X-Pro, 8GB DDR3-1866, Windows® 10 Technical Preview 2 (Build 10041), AMD Catalyst™ driver 15.20.1012. DirectX® 11 multi-threaded vs. DirectX® 12 multi-threaded. 1920x1080 resolution.>
- Image #3: AMD FX-8350, AMD Radeon™ R9 290X, Gigabyte 990FXA-UD5, 8GB DDR3-1866, Windows® 10 Technical Preview 2 (Build 10041), AMD Catalyst™ driver 15.20.1012. DirectX® 11 multi-threaded vs. DirectX® 12 multi-threaded. 3840x2160 resolution.