VRMARK Cyan Room DX12 Benchmark - AMD VS Nvidia
Published: 24th November 2017 | Source: OC3D Internal Testing | Price: |
With VRMARK Cyan Room Futuremark wanted to showcase to the world what was possible when combining modern PC hardware, VR Technology and graphical APIs can accomplish. In this regard, Futuremark has achieved something great, offering an impressive VR graphical showcase, though the problem is that as a benchmark it isn't representative of much of today's VR software.
This benchmark is the answer to a chicken and egg style problem, do you build a DirectX 12 VR-oriented benchmark before the API becomes widely used amongst developers or wait for a time where there is more demand for dedicated VR benchmarking. It is clear here that Futuremark has done the former. The majority of today's VR titles shipping under DirectX 11 and with engine packages like Unity and Unreal Engine 4, something that is in stark contrast to Futuremark's purpose-built engine with deeply engrained DirectX 12 support. This means that this benchmark is not exactly representative of shipping games, but it is at least something for developers to aspire to.
AMD has a clear lead in this benchmark, though curiously, our benchmark results have varied somewhat when compared to AMD's recently released results, with our RX Vega 64 results being almost identical while our RX Vega 56 models have a significant divergence in performance. We have retested this several times with clean driver install and we have not been able to replicate AMD's result, though this is not a major concern, as our performance results place the RX Vega 56 well ahead of the GTX 1070 and very close to the GTX 1080.
When looking at these results, it is clear that DirectX 12-oriented features like Async Compute make a huge difference here when comparing AMD and Nvidia products, with Maxwell products simply being left behind by their usual Pascal performance competitors. It says a lot that our RX 480 is able to surpass Nvidia's GTX 980 Ti.
What these benchmarks show is that there is a lot of untapped potential within AMD hardware and that there is a lot to be gained from both AMD and Nvidia hardware by making use of advanced features like ASync Compute. Sadly, modern games software has not caught up with hardware in this regard, leaving these options unused in the majority of modern games.
While this benchmark showcases some crisp, clean visuals and has a lot of interesting technology under the hood, this results of these benchmarks must always be shown in the context of the software used. This tool was designed from the ground up with both DirectX 12 and modern GPU technology in mind and it shows, though this is not the case with a lot of shipping games, which most commonly release on a last-generation API in mind ignoring some of today's most interesting hardware/software innovations. Most of today's DirectX 12 games are also designed to also run with a DirectX 11 mode, which again leaves DX12 games shackled by APIs of old.
There are reasons why most games are like this though, as most developers would prefer to create a great game than a technical showcase, especially if the developers are not familiar with DirectX 12. There is also the problem that developers do not want to leave users of older hardware and software behind and maximise their user base, which continues to slow the growth of DirectX 12.
If we decide to use this benchmark for any future reviews it will need to be shown within the context of Futuremark's other DX11-based tools, as right now the performance shown here is representative of games software that does not exist right now, leaving older VRMARK tools like the Orange Room and Blue Room as a better representation of general VR performance for the time being.
You can join the discussion on VRMARK's Cyan Room Benchmark on the OC3D Forums.