AMD and Nvidia Trade Blows Over PC Version of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

AMD claims Nvidia is sabotaging game performance on competing products.

Posted By | On 22nd, May. 2015 Under News | Follow This Author @Pramath1605


The two titan giants of the consumer grade PC GPU industry are at it again, trading blows and smack talking. In the wake of the release of the highly anticipated technical showcase The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, AMD has come out and claimed that by encouraging developers to use GameWorks (including HairWorks) technology, which includes proprietary code for things such as HairWorks and HBAO+, Nvidia is deliberately making it difficult for AMD to make sure their cards and drivers are optimized for the newest releases- since they cannot gain access to proprietary technology.

Nvidia, however, has responded indignantly, claiming that the problem lies with the performance of AMD products, and nothing else.

“We are not asking game developers do anything unethical.
GameWorks improves the visual quality of games running on GeForce for our customers.  It does not impair performance on competing hardware.
Demanding source code access to all our cool technology is an attempt to deflect their performance issues. Giving away your IP, your source code, is uncommon for anyone in the industry, including middleware providers and game developers. Most of the time we optimize games based on binary builds, not source code.
GameWorks licenses follow standard industry practice.  GameWorks source code is provided to developers that request it under license, but they can’t redistribute our source code to anyone who does not have a license. 
The bottom line is AMD’s tessellation performance is not very good and there is not a lot NVIDIA can/should do about it. Using DX11 tessellation has sound technical reasoning behind it, it helps to keep the GPU memory footprint small so multiple characters can use hair and fur at the same time.
I believe it is a resource issue. NVIDIA spent a lot of artist and engineering resources to help make
Witcher 3 better. I would assume that AMD could have done the same thing because our agreements with developers don’t prevent them from working with other IHVs. (See also, Project Cars)
I think gamers want better hair, better fur, better lighting, better shadows and better effects in their games. GameWorks gives them that.”

I’m not quite sure whose side to take on this entire issue- still, it appears that the community, at least, has decided to take matters into its own hands, as it is now possible to enable GameWorks even on AMD cards, without taking a performance hit.

Stay tuned to GamingBolt for more coverage.

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  • Starman

    lol … REMIX !!

  • Riggerto

    “The bottom line is AMD’s tessellation performance is not very good and there is not a lot NVIDIA can/should do about it”

    Bottom line – Nvidias MAXWELL architecture is good for tessellation. If you have AMD or pre-Maxwell NVIDIA card you are dicked by Nvidia.

    So a large percentage of Nvidia customers know how AMD feel right now.

    • Daniel evans

      That’s not true about the tessalation as my gtx 760 runs it fine. I run it fine in every game in fact. The 760 is showing its age everywhere else though of course but I’m running the witcher 3 mostly high without game works and it runs fine for now, better than I expected from the gtx 760

    • Riggerto

      I know it’s just a matter of luck/timing when you purchase a GPU but on Witcher 3 especially I find the comparative benchmarks between a 960 and a 780 a little disturbing.

      I was thinking of upgrading to a 980 ti when they come out, but next year Maxwell will be replaced with Pascal so I don’t wanna be in a situation where a $200 gtx 1060 (or what ever it will be called) will match a $600 980 ti in benchmarks after just 12 months – what a waste of money that will be.

      I guess for Nvidia it’s technological progress vs. consideration of the consumer – if Nvidia/developers keep leaping too far ahead the low-to high spec consumer can get a bit frustrated (the enthusiast is happy though).

      Note: I understand Maxwell tessellation performance (amongst other things) is up to 3 x faster than Kepler.

    • Daniel evans

      right ok i see what you are saying. nothing is worse than buying a new gpu these days as its scary to think it could be dated very quickly. if i was to take a wild guess then the 980ti should last many years and i can only really base that on the performance im still getting from the gtx 760.
      im upgrading to gtx 970 very soon though.

      if i was to take a wild guess about the 960 vs 780 then id take a guess at either

      A) nvidia have not actually optimized drivers for their 7xx series or:
      B) Nvidia have deliberately crippled the performance of the 7xx series in an effort to sell more new cards.

      if the answer is going to be B then i dont think i will stick with Nvidia either to be perfectly honest as that just sucks if thats how they do business.
      a gtx 960 should not be remotely close to the gtx 780.

    • The bottom line is, AMD’s tessellation performance has nothing to do with it. This is evidenced by the fact that you can use the AMD driver (Catalyst Control Center) to override the game’s settings and force 8x tessellation – and lo and behold, the HairWorks effects run beautifully, with less of an FPS hit than on Maxwell cards.

      It’s almost as if the game detects the presence of an AMD card/driver, and deliberately gimps the performance in software – and CCC is overriding the gimping by overriding the game’s tessellation settings.


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