Whenever it comes to graphics cards, two names ring a bell, Nvidia and AMD. The relation between the two manufacturers are not known to be the strongest, everyone knows the age old battle between Nvidia’s Geforce and AMD’s Radeon series of graphics cards, when it comes to gaming.
With Microsoft’s new API, DirectX 12, this age old clash seems to get over soon, as some initial tests suggest that DirectX 12 will allegedly have Explicit Asynchronous Multi-GPU Capabilities. That is, it will enable mixed configerations of Nvidia and AMD GPUs to work together through the explicit asynchronous multi-GPU feature, according to the Tech Website Tom’s Hardware.
As the source suggests, DirectX 12 have the potential to combine different graphics resources and club them together. Previously, multiple GPUs used to render an Alternate Frame (AFR) each, there’s a new method in town called Split Frame Rendering (SFR), being introduced which will enable developers to automatically, or manually, divide texture and geometry data between GPUs that can work together on each frame being processed and designate a seperate portion of the screen for each GPU. Unlike the AFR, which requires both graphics cards to have every piece of data in the buffers and leaves a 4GB space for frame buffer despite the fact that the two cards used are each of 4GB memory, This will, significantly reduce latency.
This new feature was tested by PCworld with the RTS game Ashes of the Singularity. This game allows GPUs of any manufacterer to work together, and is intensely multithreaded and it is recommended by it’s developer Stardock to test it on a quad-core CPU and at least 16GB of RAM. For this test, they have used an 8-core Core i7 5960X, 32GB of RAM, a pair of stock Nvidia Geforce GTX 980 and a stock AMD Fury X and Windows 10 with latest public WHQL drivers for each brand of card.
The game was tested on the “Crazy” preset with 2560×1600 screen resolution, running two GTX 980 cards with SLI and another single Fury X, together. The results of this test is given as Follows:
While the above picture suggests, that both cards brought together gives a huge boost to FPS, and although this new feature of combining AMD and Nvidia cards sounds great, but for the time being, it only works on this one single game. It will be still up to the game developers and the Manufacturers of the GPUs, namely Nvidia and AMD to utilize the Explicit Asynchronous Multi-GPU Capabilities for various games and software.