AMD Explains DX12 Explicit Multi GPU Benefits

AMD Explains DX12 Explicit Multi GPU Benefits

AMD Explains DX12 Explicit Multi GPU  Benefits

MD Explains DX12 Multi GPU Abilities


As some of you may already be aware, DirectX 11 was never really built to handle multiple GPUs working on a single game. Yes SLI and Crossfire exist, but as many of you also know, they are far from perfect solutions.  

DirectX 12 is different, being built from the start to be able to handle multiple GPUs it has the ability to transform SLI and Crossfire as we know them today by making it easier to implement and use and should make horrible SLI/CF profiles a thing of the past. 


AMD Explains DX12 Multi GPU Abilities  

One of the first features AMD is looking to show off is the ability to use an APU and a GPU together, allowing the APU's iGPU to do some of the smaller tasks, allowing he beefier dedicated GPU to do the more intensive work. Nothing is stopping this from working with Intel's Integrated Graphics, in theory, but this will certainly require extra developer interaction in order to implement. 

At this point we are unsure if we will see this implemented into many games, though the option is definitely interesting.


"With asymmetric rendering in DirectX 12, an engine can assign appropriately-sized workloads to each GPU in a system. Whereas an APU’s graphics chip might be idle in a DirectX 11 game after the addition of a discrete GPU, that graphics silicon can now be used as a 3D co-processor responsible for smaller rendering tasks like physics or lighting. The larger GPU can handle the heavy lifting tasks like 3D geometry, and the entire scene can be composited for the user at higher overall performance."


AMD Explains DX12 Multi GPU Abilities


 Crossfire and SLI typically use a AFR (alternative frame rendering) approach to Multi-GPU configurations, allowing each GPU to render every other frame. This allows a theoretical 2x increase in he number of frames produced, but also increases the typical lag experienced, as frames have to wait for each other before they can be put onscreen. 

DirectX 12 ads a new option to the mix, SFR (Split Frame Rendering) which allows each GPU to produce half of each frame, meaning that the two GPUs are actually working together to produce each frame. This means that frames can be completed between 2-3 times faster than typical SLI or Crossfire AFR setups, meaning that you game should feel much more responsive. This type of Crossfire was recently used in Civilization Beyond Earth when it used AMD's mantle API with AMD GPUs.   


"New DirectX® 12 multi-GPU rendering modes like “split-frame rendering” (SFR) can break each frame of a game into multiple smaller tiles, and assign one tile to each GPU in the system. These tiles are rendered in parallel by the GPUs and combined into a completed scene for the user. Parallel use of GPUs reduces render latency to improve FPS and VR responsiveness."


AMD Explains DX12 Multi GPU Abilities  

One other feature DirectX 12 brings to the table is the ability to combine memory pools, provided the game developer creates their games with this feature in mind. 

In traditional AFR based Multi GPU rendering, both GPUs are working on separate frames of the same scene, requiring both GPUs to hold exactly the same data in each GPUs VRAM as both are working on the same tasks. Without explicit mechanisms to utilize multiple GPUs, tasks cannot be decided in such a way that the GPUs could do different enough tasks to utilize their memory pools separately. 

With DirectX 12 developers can specifically allocate tasks to a specific GPU, allowing them to control the GPU hardware in such a way that each GPU could use their full frame buffer independently, meaning that 2 4GB cards in SLI or Crossfire could create a setup with 8GB of effective GPU memory.

Right now I do not see many developers taking this approach to crossfire as the work required to assign tasks in such a way will not be cost effective as not many people use Multi GPU setups, so the effort would likely be placed in an area where more of an impact on sales could be achieved, perhaps improving the graphical fidelity or otherwise trying to improve the games framerate in other ways. 


AMD Explains DX12 Multi GPU Abilities  


Right now we know of 2 games which will definitely be supporting DirectX 12 at launch, these games are Ashes of a Singularity, an upcoming RTS game from Stardock and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.


AMD Explains DX12 Multi GPU Abilities


DirectX 12 will change the way we all think of Multi GPU configurations when it launches later this year, making them much more viable and gamer friendly. For a long time we have recommended that gamers buy the single best GPU that they can afford, avoiding multi GPU setups when possible until you get to the highest end GPUs in order to avoid the issues which plague Multi GPU setups. This may be about to change, but we will need to see the improvements for ourselves before we change out way of thinking. 


You can join the discussion on DirectX 12 and Multiple GPU setups on the OC3D Forums


«Prev 1 Next»

Most Recent Comments

13-08-2015, 05:33:44

Wonder what the vram requirements will be soon.Quote

13-08-2015, 05:49:39

Nice post here WYP i'm particularly interested in the combined memory poolsQuote

13-08-2015, 06:10:16

Originally Posted by Tolemac View Post
Nice post here WYP i'm particularly interested in the combined memory pools

SLi and Crossfire scalability / usefulness would be affected HUGELY by this if they really can make it utilise it as one big pool instead of two identical smaller ones.

Instantly better 4K experiences and beyond! Quote

13-08-2015, 06:38:46

We can only hope DX12 will come faster.Quote

13-08-2015, 07:19:31

Damien c
DX12 does sound good but since it's going to mean extra work for game devs I cannot see it being used properly for a long time, since most devs of AAA games cannot release a game that is not either in a worse state at launch than a Alpha, or cannot be bothered to actually fix the game.

The whole experience of games on the pc the last 3 years is what is keeping me from coming back to playing, games primarily on my pc instead of on a console even though I cannot play multiplayer on the consoles because of the controllers, the single player experience is still better than any game I have played on the pc in the last 3 years thanks to bugs etc.Quote

Register for the OC3D Newsletter

Subscribing to the OC3D newsletter will keep you up-to-date on the latest technology reviews, competitions and goings-on at Overclock3D. We won't share your email address with ANYONE, and we will only email you with updates on site news, reviews, and competitions and you can unsubscribe easily at any time.

Simply enter your name and email address into the box below and be sure to click on the links in the confirmation emails that will arrive in your e-mail shortly after to complete the registration.

If you run into any problems, just drop us a message on the forums.