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Last month we showed you how AMD FX® customers are getting supercharged Battlefield® 1 performance with DirectX® 12. This month, the good news keeps rolling straight into virtual reality: the AMD FX® 4350, 6350, 8350, 8370, 9370 and 9590 are now approved processors for the Oculus Rift™. With the power of these AMD FX® processors and a GPU like the Radeon™ RX 470, an Oculus-approved experience is now incredibly accessible for millions of gamers.

 

A peek behind the curtains

 

Today’s certification is the exciting conclusion to the unveiling of Asynchronous Space Warp (ASW) in October. In a nut shell, ASW allows a PC to compare the differences between two rendered frames to quickly create a third frame with all of its scenery in the proper place. Vitally, the ASW frame is inferred from a comparison, rather than rendered in full, so it’s quick to make.

 

ASW is an important tool to address the often challenging issue of rapid head movement in virtual reality. Fast or erratic movement in a VR environment can be tough for any gaming PC to handle, and that can be compounded as the visual fidelity of the game increases—the margin for error just gets smaller and smaller. If the user is looking around while the PC is between complete frames, the inferred frames from asynchronous space warp are an excellent way to smooth over that margin to sustain a fluent VR environment.

 

It seems uncomplicated from the 10,000-foot view, but asynchronous space warp is compute-intensive—it’s truly predicting the future based on past frames! Accurate ASW requires agility from the underlying PC, and a robust flow of information from the processor to a GPU’s compute pipelines. To be clear, the stakes are pretty high: there is the viscerally unpleasant possibility that players could become sick if the system is not up to the task of enforcing smooth gameplay.

 

We take that responsibility very seriously, and so does our hardware. The Oculus “seal of approval” for these AMD FX processors confirms that our powerful multi-core chips are more than up to the task of delivering the smooth experience you deserve on a budget you’ll love.

Battlefield™ 1 has now been on the scene for a spell, and we hope y’all are having a blast storming the trenches with powerful Great War weapons like the mighty Kolibri. Between rounds, we’ve been crunching the numbers on the new DirectX® 12 renderer in Battlefield 1’s Frostbite Engine, and AMD FX users are in for a real treat: 30-46% higher framerates!1

 

Here it is, plain as day:

bf1_blog.png

But… how?

The secret lies in a DirectX® 12 feature “multi-threaded command buffer recording,” which we covered in detail last year. The short version is pretty straightforward: MTCBR allows a game’s “to-do list”—its geometry, texture, physics, and other requests—to be interpreted and passed to the GPU by multiple CPU cores, rather than just one or two cores as in DirectX® 11.

 

Because the processor can tackle the to-do list more quickly with DirectX® 12, the flow of information into the graphics card can be accelerated, which helps rendering tasks spend less time waiting around for important bits to appear.

 

In software as in real life: having more hands for a complex job just gets things done a little (or a lot) more quickly. See you on the Battlefield!

 

Robert Hallock is an evangelist for CPU/APU technologies and IP 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.

 

FOOTNOTES:

1. Testing conducted by AMD Performance Labs as of 19 October, 2016 on the AMD FX 8370, FX 8350, FX 8300, FX 6350 and FX 6300. Test system: Radeon™ RX 480 GPU, 8GB DDR3-1866, 512GB SanDisk X300 SSD, Windows 10 Pro x64, Radeon™ Software 16.9.2, 1920x1080 resolution, Ultra in-game preset. Average framerates DirectX® 11 vs. 12: AMD FX-8370 (66.9 vs. 86.9), FX-8350 (61.58 vs. 84.89), FX-8300 (58.76 vs. 80.6), FX-6350 (60.03 vs. 80.48), FX-6300 (52.38 vs. 76.24).  PC manufacturers may vary configurations, yielding different results. Results may vary with future drivers. DTV-84