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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. Re: AMD Knocks DirectX Mar 23, 2011, 09:11 Ojojojoj
 
I dont like that the company that pays millions of dollar to keep some games from the PC (Microsoft), to sell more off its own hardware(Xbox) in charge over the preferd API, Microsoft dont want the PC plattform to outshine and embarras the XBox.So clearly its an conflict of interrest. And Microsoft is in charge bigtime.
The best scenario for Microsoft is if they could separate the APIs so they could be in contoll over the visuals and performance. DX9 for XBox and DX10-11 for PC and... Magic! even the latest High end PC only runs a little bit better with some minor visual tweaks.
 
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44. Re: AMD Knocks DirectX Mar 20, 2011, 13:13 m0deth
 
I get nightmares thinking about going back to having separate code-branches for every vendor and architecture

Just a question here, so don't bash me over the head, but really?

I'm seeing two viable code branches you could cut to, maybe 3 if your game/app is capable of running on intel architecture, but....otherwise, it's AMD and nVidia no? CPU optimizations aside of course.

I can't help but think that this massive push for a unified codebase in development is nothing but a cost measure, and has little to do with what can be done and still make a profit. I for one am sick of shitty PC ports from console games. This is a symptom of this mindset. It's also part of the reasoning for those harbingers of the PC gaming death crowd. It's artificial, and from a consumer point of view, stems from laziness(or corporate money tightening), neither of which are acceptable to someone paying a premium for a game.
 
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43. Re: AMD Knocks DirectX Mar 19, 2011, 08:08 Jono
 
By coding directly for the silicon gaming companies could probably get better performance out of one or two of the leading "brand API's". I can see why this is attractive to AMD Personally i think it's a step back to the dark ages. Obviously standardization has a price in terms of developement freedom but it also makes writing code that works well on lot's of diffrent hardware possible, and that's imo is the corner stone of the PC. I get nightmares thinking about going back to having separate code-branches for every vendor and architecture, just when it was starting to get decent. As for DirectX it seem to be beating OpenGL, partly for the same reason AMD advocates. A it's a corporate standard and thus evolves quicker than a consortium (of diffrent interests).. or maby it's just that Microsoft's got more money than SiliconGraphics :].
 
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42. Re: AMD Knocks DirectX Mar 19, 2011, 06:45 Jackplug
 
i cant see devs wanting to change all their gfx engine just to satisfy amd and their new ideas cos they have fallen out of bed with dx.  
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41. Re: AMD Knocks DirectX Mar 18, 2011, 22:45 Suddenly_Dead
 
=WTE=MavericK wrote on Mar 18, 2011, 22:26:
Isn't the fact that Microsoft, starting with Vista, moved the video graphics adapter from kernel-mode to user-mode for more stability the biggest performance drain?

It was an initial drain because the drivers had to be largely rewritten for WDDM. It's fine now, and 7 performs at least as well as XP overall (not even taking into account the stuff you get from having a good x64 OS). Hell, the drivers were mostly there by the time Vista hit retail.
 
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40. Re: AMD Knocks DirectX Mar 18, 2011, 22:26 =WTE=MavericK
 
Isn't the fact that Microsoft, starting with Vista, moved the video graphics adapter from kernel-mode to user-mode for more stability the biggest performance drain?

PC games still look/perform much better than console games imho due to the fact of more texture memory and rendering at full HD instead off upscaling from 720. Just my opinion
 
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39. No subject Mar 18, 2011, 21:22 AnointedSword
 
Do not know enough about Directx to make an educated comment. However, it does make sense with the recent pics we have seen. Instead of it being the power of the consoles keeping up, maybe it is the lagging of the pc that keep the two so close graphic wise.  
If you were right, I would be agreeing with you.
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38. Re: AMD Knocks DirectX Mar 18, 2011, 21:13 Acleacius
 
Creston wrote on Mar 18, 2011, 11:02:
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
It makes sense to me, m$ directs the development of games based on console abilities and this is done with foresight years ahead of time. While it's true Currently only PCs can use dx 10+, imo the point is m$ is directing the future of dx not in the best interest of PC gaming but for FUTURE plans of the console industry development.

m$ only says they care about PC gaming when they profit from saying it, like when a new OS is released. They have been behind the scenes for 10 years doing exactly opposite in reality.

Despite what m$ Talking Points are atm, they STILL want to dominate the gaming market through consoles. Atm, there's really one thing keeping m$ from overthrowing PC development again for another 5 years (well really two) but the major one is MMOG market. If they break into that market, there will be a major funding shift to consoles again and in this economy it could devastated the PC market.

I personally don't believe m$'s intentions are speculation, at all.
 
The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.That is easy.All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.It works the same way in any country.
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37. Re: AMD Knocks DirectX Mar 18, 2011, 20:11 Luther
 
I used to think this, 15 odd years ago when I had to abandon my software rasterizer because it couldn't compete with hardware acceleration in terms of speed. I found OGL and D3D very restrictive and they still do get in the way a bit at times.
That said, I don't want to write software that will be obsolete as soon as the next model of ATI card comes out - not because I don't enjoy getting all low level with these things, just because I like shipping games and getting paid for shipping games. The amount of time you'd have to invest in getting a totally custom renderer working across many different boards would mean less time for actually making decent games.
If draw calls are that expensive either improve DX so their less expensive for batch more - you should always batch more using DX anyway, we're all used to that now.
 
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36. Re: AMD Knocks DirectX Mar 18, 2011, 17:54 bhcompy
 
Mashiki Amiketo wrote on Mar 18, 2011, 17:12:
killer_roach wrote on Mar 18, 2011, 17:04:
OpenGL is flexible, but if you're talking about performance, it's an absolute joke.
That's probably more to do with the fact that most optimizations in drivers these days are built around DX, and DX related apps not OGL. OGL performance was 2nd to none behind 3dfx back 10 years ago(and sometimes higher) because everything was either OGL, or 3dfx. And DX was dead last, that changed after 3dfx folded, got eaten by nvidia, and MS decided that consoles were the latest hot shit, and gave special incentives for DX optimizations.

Well, 3dfx's GLIDE wrapper was OpenGL based.
 
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35. Re: AMD Knocks DirectX Mar 18, 2011, 17:22 Keilun
 
Mashiki Amiketo wrote on Mar 18, 2011, 17:12:
killer_roach wrote on Mar 18, 2011, 17:04:
OpenGL is flexible, but if you're talking about performance, it's an absolute joke.
That's probably more to do with the fact that most optimizations in drivers these days are built around DX, and DX related apps not OGL. OGL performance was 2nd to none behind 3dfx back 10 years ago(and sometimes higher) because everything was either OGL, or 3dfx. And DX was dead last, that changed after 3dfx folded, got eaten by nvidia, and MS decided that consoles were the latest hot shit, and gave special incentives for DX optimizations.

This article is a good read and may prove enlightening.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/opengl-directx,2019.html
 
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34. Re: AMD Knocks DirectX Mar 18, 2011, 17:12 Mashiki Amiketo
 
killer_roach wrote on Mar 18, 2011, 17:04:
OpenGL is flexible, but if you're talking about performance, it's an absolute joke.
That's probably more to do with the fact that most optimizations in drivers these days are built around DX, and DX related apps not OGL. OGL performance was 2nd to none behind 3dfx back 10 years ago(and sometimes higher) because everything was either OGL, or 3dfx. And DX was dead last, that changed after 3dfx folded, got eaten by nvidia, and MS decided that consoles were the latest hot shit, and gave special incentives for DX optimizations.
 
--
"For every human problem,
there is a neat, simple solution;
and it is always wrong."
--H.L. Mencken
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33. Re: AMD Knocks DirectX Mar 18, 2011, 17:10 Dmitri_M
 
A PC technology is holding back PC game graphics?

Give me a break. The titles that have the budget to looking amazing on the PC are not developed for the PC, they're developed for the "10 times weaker" consoles.

This isn't all maths and engine development. It's 70% art resources developed with consoles in mind. You model something with thousands of polys less\low res textures because that's all consoles can handle. I can only afford cinderblocks for my house not marble.

This comment was edited on Mar 18, 2011, 17:22.
 
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32. Re: AMD Knocks DirectX Mar 18, 2011, 17:04 killer_roach
 
Mashiki Amiketo wrote on Mar 18, 2011, 16:48:
KilrathiAce wrote on Mar 18, 2011, 15:59:
What matters is that most games that hit PC nowdays are console ports and thus they never take full advantage of PC capibilities.
You know if they could get dev's back on to the OGL train, after the 3.0 revision fuckup, this wouldn't be a problem.

That's kinda like saying "don't worry, we'll get rid of that anchor around you... let's chain you up to the Great Pyramid of Khufu instead." OpenGL is flexible, but if you're talking about performance, it's an absolute joke.
 
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31. Re: AMD Knocks DirectX Mar 18, 2011, 16:52 Creston
 
Blue wrote on Mar 18, 2011, 15:37:
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]

Huh, I never knew that. Thanks Blue.

Creston
 
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30. Re: AMD Knocks DirectX Mar 18, 2011, 16:51 HorrorScope
 
Steele Johnson wrote on Mar 18, 2011, 15:35:
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.

This is almost assuredly our future.
 
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29. Re: AMD Knocks DirectX Mar 18, 2011, 16:48 Mashiki Amiketo
 
KilrathiAce wrote on Mar 18, 2011, 15:59:
What matters is that most games that hit PC nowdays are console ports and thus they never take full advantage of PC capibilities.
You know if they could get dev's back on to the OGL train, after the 3.0 revision fuckup, this wouldn't be a problem.
 
--
"For every human problem,
there is a neat, simple solution;
and it is always wrong."
--H.L. Mencken
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28. Re: AMD Knocks DirectX Mar 18, 2011, 16:48 HorrorScope
 
I'm all for DX being a non-factor. That would make the Windows O/S for me a non-factor. I'm all for that. That assumes it's as good or better.

I've also believed both AMD and NVidia should be game developers themselves. Since few are pushing the boundaries, they should, it would be feeding HW sales for them. Both of these companies sitting on the sideline like this, imo means they get what they deserve and their future is in the hands of others.

It's all coming to a change soon, imo.
 
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27. Re: AMD Knocks DirectX Mar 18, 2011, 16:14  Blue 
 
Eric wrote on Mar 18, 2011, 16:11:
The Xenos GPU is an ATI design.

And it is manufactured by GlobalFoundries, which was divested from ATI over two years ago now.
 
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Stephen "Blue" Heaslip
Blue's News Publisher, Editor-in-Chief, El Presidente for Life
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26. Re: AMD Knocks DirectX Mar 18, 2011, 16:11 Eric
 
Blue wrote on Mar 18, 2011, 15:37:
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]

The Xenos GPU is an ATI design.
 
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