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AMD Knocks DirectX

Farewell to DirectX on bit-tech.net hears from Richard Huddy, head of GPU developer relations at AMD, who states that DirectX is holding back game performance. He blames this on consoles, though it seems logical that this would probably be less of an issue for AMD if they manufactured CPUs or GPUs for the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3. Though programming more directly for the hardware on two different GPU architectures would be more difficult, he claims the most common request he gets from developers is to "make the API go away." Here's a bit:

'It's funny,' says AMD's worldwide developer relations manager of its GPU division, Richard Huddy. 'We often have at least ten times as much horsepower as an Xbox 360 or a PS3 in a high-end graphics card, yet it's very clear that the games don't look ten times as good. To a significant extent, that's because, one way or another, for good reasons and bad - mostly good, DirectX is getting in the way.' Huddy says that one of the most common requests he gets from game developers is: 'Make the API go away.'

'I certainly hear this in my conversations with games developers,' he says, 'and I guess it was actually the primary appeal of Larrabee to developers not the hardware, which was hot and slow and unimpressive, but the software being able to have total control over the machine, which is what the very best games developers want. By giving you access to the hardware at the very low level, you give games developers a chance to innovate, and that's going to put pressure on Microsoft no doubt at all.'

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45 Replies. 3 pages. Viewing page 2.
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25. Re: AMD Knocks DirectX Mar 18, 2011, 15:59 KilrathiAce
 
What matters is that most games that hit PC nowdays are console ports and thus they never take full advantage of PC capibilities.  
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24. Re: AMD Knocks DirectX Mar 18, 2011, 15:49 eRe4s3r
 
Uh what you describe is a console, and they already exist. As for the rest of your development wishes... It seems pointless to "unbloat" something that works fine as a gaming platform. Windows is not just for games - its for browsing the web, listening to music, watching videos, streaming of TV and Audio etc.

If you want a dedicated gaming system then consoles and handhelds already cover this.

This comment was edited on Mar 18, 2011, 15:56.
 
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23. Re: AMD Knocks DirectX Mar 18, 2011, 15:37  Blue 
 
Creston wrote on Mar 18, 2011, 11:00:
though it seems logical that this would probably be less of an issue for AMD if they manufactured CPUs or GPUs for the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3

Errr.... am I missing something? Confused

http://interviews.teamxbox.com/xbox/1458/The-Power-of-the-Xbox-360-GPU/p1/

"Fast forward to 2005, Microsoft revealed that the Xbox 360 will feature a custom ATI graphics processor that clocks in at a blistering 500 MHz, with 48-way parallel floating-point dynamically scheduled shader pipelines and 10 MB of embedded RAM."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XCGPU#XCGPU

The Xbox 360 S introduced the XCGPU, which integrated the Xenon CPU and the Xenos GPU onto the same die, and the eDRAM into the same package. The XCGPU is the first mass marketed chip that combines a desktop class CPU, a powerful GPU, memory controllers and IO. It also contains a "front side bus replacement block" that connects the CPU and GPU internally in exactly the same manner as the front side bus would have done when the CPU and GPU were separate chips, so that the XCGPU doesn't change the hardware characteristics of the Xbox 360.

XCGPU contains 372 million transistors and is manufactured by GlobalFoundries on a 45 nm process. Compared to the original chipset in the Xbox 360 the combined power requirements are reduced by 60% and the physical chip area by 50%.[8][9]
 
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22. Re: AMD Knocks DirectX Mar 18, 2011, 15:35 Steele Johnson
 
What should really go away is Windows as a gaming platform. It's getting to the point where you don't need a bloated operating system anymore. I'd like to see a stand-alone gaming platform that will run on any operating system, like Google Chrome, HP WebOS, etc. Those are the types of OS's we'll see in the near future (light, thin, and boots up like a light switch). DirectX does need to go away because just like anything Microsoft, it prevents advancements in technology.  
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21. Re: AMD Knocks DirectX Mar 18, 2011, 15:32 Wowbagger_TIP
 
Coming from the "bootable floppy for cd game era",...if a dev really wanted to squeeze the most,...why not dev a game with it's own API and runtimes and make the game boot around the OS.
Probably because that would be extremely expensive compared to using a well-tested set of APIs like DX.
 
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20. Re: AMD Knocks DirectX Mar 18, 2011, 15:31 Tom
 
Richard Huddy has been around since the early days of DirectX. ~10 years ago he was working in dev relations for NVIDIA, then somewhere along the line he changed over to ATI. He knows what's what. IMO these statements were either not considered very carefully, or this is part of some agenda.

Developers have plenty of room to innovate within the framework of DirectX. Look at how much innovation happens in frameworks that build on top of DirectX like XNA and various game engines. Between shaders and GPGPU there's plenty of room for innovation.

What's holding back PC games compared to console games when it comes to taking advantage of the more powerful hardware? I really doubt it has much to do with DirectX. It seems much more likely to be simple economics. It's difficult and costly to make a game scale to take full advantage of a range of hardware. It's easier and cheaper to target consoles first and then throw in a few token improvements for the PC port, which we've seen more and more blatant examples of lately (like DA2).
 
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19. Re: AMD Knocks DirectX Mar 18, 2011, 15:30 raVen
 
Removed.

This comment was edited on Mar 18, 2011, 15:36.
 
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18. Re: AMD Knocks DirectX Mar 18, 2011, 14:32 badasscat
 
Coming from the "bootable floppy for cd game era",...if a dev really wanted to squeeze the most,...why not dev a game with it's own API and runtimes and make the game boot around the OS.
Granted hardware wise,..it would be VERY specific,..but with most sound cards now based around the same chipsets,...and there only being NV and AMD and Intel chipsets,...the PC hardware(2009 and up) is all very similar....

I actually miss booting into games on a PC....so call me nostalgic..
 
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17. Re: AMD Knocks DirectX Mar 18, 2011, 14:30 eRe4s3r
 
With DX gone there'd be no unified graphics, sound and controls API anymore, heck without DX you couldn't even have hardware accelerated sound or video. Meaning developers would have to code custom hackjobs for each device and maybe worse, for each driver revision. Just look at Linux to see why DX is the best thing MS ever did for us.

NO wonder AMD/ATI are on the fail-boat. If that is really what the dude said then that'd be unique
 
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16. Re: AMD Knocks DirectX Mar 18, 2011, 14:20 Silicon Avatar
 
This article smells.

It's like the guy doesn't know why DirectX came about in the first place.

 
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15. Re: AMD Knocks DirectX Mar 18, 2011, 14:19 TurdFergasun
 
directX is clearly great for the gaming economy, which inversely is terrible for creativity. guess it depends on what you want, creative games playable on most platforms, or homogenous best sellers that can be used to sell locked down hardware, and kitchy peripherals. a resounding hezah for the bean counters, marketers and the middle-man parasites!  
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14. Re: AMD Knocks DirectX Mar 18, 2011, 14:11 entr0py
 
raVen wrote on Mar 18, 2011, 13:51:
I believe Ben Hardwidge is trying to take those comments out of context to show an entirely different picture than what was intended. I'm almost certain some of the API comments were actually about OpenCL / PhysX APIs.
Comparing the short snippets to another article bit-tech wrote with Richard Huddy, I think they're just trying to get more hits about stupid shit.
Older Article

Can anyone find where Richard Huddy actually said 'Make the API go away.' ? I don't see it from google searches other than people quoting him from the bit-tech article.
I call BS.

Why are you using google? The link to the interview is right up there. There's no need to speculate about misquoting; go read it.

This comment was edited on Mar 18, 2011, 14:16.
 
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13. Re: AMD Knocks DirectX Mar 18, 2011, 13:51 raVen
 
I believe Ben Hardwidge is trying to take those comments out of context to show an entirely different picture than what was intended. I'm almost certain some of the API comments were actually about OpenCL / PhysX APIs.
Comparing the short snippets to another article bit-tech wrote with Richard Huddy, I think they're just trying to get more hits about stupid shit.
Older Article

Can anyone find where Richard Huddy actually said 'Make the API go away.' ? I don't see it from google searches other than people quoting him from the bit-tech article.
I call BS.
 
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12. Re: AMD Knocks DirectX Mar 18, 2011, 11:54 Optional nickname
 
mt2e wrote on Mar 18, 2011, 11:16:
AMD needs to do less talking and get that Bulldozer out, so that we can see if they're 1,2, or 3 steps behind Intel.

AMD is clearly paving its way away from desktop environments, they are doing everything possible to dumb themselves down. Perhaps they are shifting company strategy and realizing that there are new market segments to grow in. As I work in computer distribution, I now sell Intel CPU to AMD CPU, in a ratio that is clearly devastating to AMD. Who knows what happens behind closed doors, we all know there are secret negotiations behind closed doors between Intel, AMD, and Microsoft, and all the big guns out there. These guys can play poker and Ante in a Billion dollars for the fun of it now. In anycase, clearly, AMD could have kicked Intel where it hurts, during the Sandy Bridge shortage/revision. Clearly, AMD has not for some very specific reasons. I think AMD is targeting Digital signage, and low power venues. Low power CPU / server, major key term for 2011 and beyond. I still love AMD, and look forward to Bulldozer platforms, however Intel has been generous lately, by offering Sandy Bridge unlocked CPUs reaching 4GHz for less than $200.
 
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11. Re: AMD Knocks DirectX Mar 18, 2011, 11:53 MajorD
 

mt2e wrote on Mar 18, 2011, 11:16:
AMD needs to do less talking and get that Bulldozer out, so that we can see if they're 1,2, or 3 steps behind Intel.

TICK, TOCK, TICK, TOCK......

 
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10. Re: AMD Knocks DirectX Mar 18, 2011, 11:16 Tim Collins
 
AMD needs to do less talking and get that Bulldozer out, so that we can see if they're 1,2, or 3 steps behind Intel.  
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9. Re: AMD Knocks DirectX Mar 18, 2011, 11:14 InBlack
 
Creston wrote on Mar 18, 2011, 11:02:
Acleacius wrote on Mar 18, 2011, 10:56:
I maybe reading it wrong but think he means directx design is being based on what consoles can and can't handle. In other terms he means "Dumbing Down" of directx the same way we all complain about game development.

Which of course if he does mean this, he would be correct or I'm just giving him too much credit.

That makes no sense. Why would DirectX be "dumbed down" for the consoles? The 360 runs DX9. DX10 and DX11 aren't being dumbed down for the sake of the DX9 implementation on the 360.

Creston

We can all speculate, but im pretty sure that DX10, 11, etc. (and whatever future iteration) are developed with the next Microsoft console in mind. With that said they probably favour a certain architecture thats not to the liking of ATI/AMD.

Or maybe the problem is that DirectX doesnt favour any particular architecture at all, in which case both Nvidia and ATI/AMD cant really get full performance out of their hardware.

This comment was edited on Mar 18, 2011, 11:34.
 
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8. Re: AMD Knocks DirectX Mar 18, 2011, 11:03 MajorD
 
Arithon wrote on Mar 18, 2011, 10:27:
He's got a short memory. Like most older gamers, I remember DLL hell, games not running simply because you had the wrong make or model of video card and the constant tweaking needed to get games to work at all. I remember having a very powerful PowerVR video card but not being able to run most games because they all ran with 3DFX.

DirectX has many flaws, but they are more than compensated for by the advantages of a unified development platform for the PC, regardless of video hardware.

Performance issues are more likely caused by code being developed to run on Intel or AMD and not optimised for just one. Innovation is being "limited" in games by politics not hardware matters, such as the decision to NOT have a battlefield commander in BF3, as DICE says they want to "Simplify" which in my opinion means "Dumb down". That's not caused by restrictions of the DirectX API, or the hardware limitations of consoles, but an attempt to appeal to the lowest common (console) audience.

I think Huddy has it wrong.

Well said!

 
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7. Re: AMD Knocks DirectX Mar 18, 2011, 11:02 Creston
 
Acleacius wrote on Mar 18, 2011, 10:56:
I maybe reading it wrong but think he means directx design is being based on what consoles can and can't handle. In other terms he means "Dumbing Down" of directx the same way we all complain about game development.

Which of course if he does mean this, he would be correct or I'm just giving him too much credit.

That makes no sense. Why would DirectX be "dumbed down" for the consoles? The 360 runs DX9. DX10 and DX11 aren't being dumbed down for the sake of the DX9 implementation on the 360.

Creston
 
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6. Re: AMD Knocks DirectX Mar 18, 2011, 11:00 Creston
 
though it seems logical that this would probably be less of an issue for AMD if they manufactured CPUs or GPUs for the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3

Errr.... am I missing something? Confused

http://interviews.teamxbox.com/xbox/1458/The-Power-of-the-Xbox-360-GPU/p1/

"Fast forward to 2005, Microsoft revealed that the Xbox 360 will feature a custom ATI graphics processor that clocks in at a blistering 500 MHz, with 48-way parallel floating-point dynamically scheduled shader pipelines and 10 MB of embedded RAM."

Creston
 
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