Ex-Naughty Dog Dev Explains Difference Between DX12 And DX11, Less Gains On Consoles Compared To PC

John Hable on how DX12 will impact consoles and PC.

Posted By | On 24th, May. 2015 Under News | Follow This Author @GamingBoltTweet


Microsoft’s upcoming API DirectX12 has been under some serious discussion for quite a long time. It’s quoted to be a game changer for PC games development but what about consoles? Since the consoles already have a low level API, will the new APIs such as DX12 and Vulkan make that much of impact compared to what we have seen on PC gaming?

John Hable, Filmic World’s boss and former Naughty Dog developer believes that console games will benefit less from the new APIs. This is because console games are mostly GPU bound compared to PC games which are CPU bound.

“The short answer is that newer APIs will make the CPU faster, but will probably not have much effect on the GPU,” Hable said to GamingBolt.  “The improved APIs change how long it takes for you to tell the GPU what you want it to do, but they have no effect on how long it takes the GPU to actually execute those instructions. ”

“If your game is bottlenecked by the CPU, going to DirectX 12 or Vulkan will greatly help your game. But if you are bottlenecked by the GPU then the updated APIs will help little or not at all. Since many PC games are bottlenecked by the CPU, you will see massive gains there. However console games are usually bottlenecked by the GPU so I would not expect significant changes from newer APIs. The GPU is the same regardless of if you are using OpenGL, DirectX11/12, or Vulkan.”

Hable simplifies the difference between DirectX 11 and DirectX 12 with a straight forward example.

“Let’s say that you are drawing a cute little family of bunnies.  These bunnies are made of triangles and each bunny has its own color map, normal map, etc.  With OpenGL or DirectX 11 you would have to describe each of these bunnies one at a time.  The first bunny has a red color map.  The second bunny has a blue color map.  The third bunny has a green color map.  And every frame you have to tell the GPU the same thing over and over again.”

“DirectX12 and Vulkan are much more efficient.  In the first frame, you can describe all the bunnies to the GPU.  You tell the GPU that there is a red one, a blue one, and a green one.  Then they can all be drawn together.  With DirectX 11 and OpenGL you have to describe all the bunnies every frame but with DirectX 12 and Vulkan you can just say “draw all the bunnies”.  I’m oversimplifying but that is the idea.”

“The key idea is that the communication between the application and the GPU is much more efficient.  You can convey the same information with less overhead.  But the amount of time that it takes to actually render those bunnies is the same.  The GPU does not care if the commands came from DirectX 11/12, OpenGL or Vulkan.  It takes the same amount of time to actually draw those triangles.  But the communication (which takes CPU time) is much faster.”

“So if your game is bottlenecked by the overhead of telling the GPU what you want to do, then the APIs are a huge help.  This situation happens a lot on PC games where you have a powerful card sitting idle because it can draw things faster than it can be told to draw them.  But console games tend to keep the GPU working hard so there are less gains to be made.”

“Although the GPU might make some gains along the way.  Ideally you would render objects from front to back to minimize the amount of overdraw in a scene.  Unfortunately that would have too many state changes and it would take DirectX 11 and OpenGL too long to translate those commands to the GPU.  Many games are intentionally making “bad” decisions for the GPU to help out the driver on the CPU.”

“For example, let’s say that your bunnies have multiplied and now you have 5 red bunnies, 5 blue bunnies, and 5 green bunnies.  For the GPU, the ideal way to render the bunnies is front to back to minimize overdraw.  But the cost of telling the driver to do that would be too slow with DirectX 11 and OpenGL.”

“Telling the GPU to render red, blue, blue, green, red, blue, etc. would have too many state changes.  So you have to render all the red bunnies together, followed by all the blue and green bunnies.  With DirectX 12 and Vulkan, the overhead is low enough that we can render the bunnies in the optimal front to back order.  Of course I’m oversimplifying and there are other considerations but the point is the same.”

Stay tuned for more coverage from our exclusive interview with John Hable in the coming days.

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  • Cenk Algu

    a former Naughty Dod Dev who never touched DX12 and Vulkan before talkin out of his a….Sorry but this not a reliable source,nothing at that.,

    • d0x360

      Easy killa he’s still a dev and has a basic understanding of how hardware and software work together…jesus

    • Cenk Algu

      Ok killa I just ask a question:Did he realy try to develop a game with DX12 and Vulkan for consoles? No he did not.All he does is nothing assumptions and opinionsWe do not have any solid evidence according to this interview.

    • d0x360

      He’s a game developer. He understands concepts which clearly you do not. You dont need to build a plane to understand how they fly. Go back to school.

    • Cenk Algu

      probably a PS4 fan liked the idea that the DX12 won’t do much on XO right? Am I wrong?

    • Cypher-Unknown

      Probably a Microsoft fan annoyed that DX12 won’t do much on the One. Am I wrong?

    • Cenk Algu

      Yes I am a MS fan.%100 sure tha this guy has no idea what he is talking about.


      If DX12 doinf this even on Surface Pro 3.Just think what it is capable of on XO;)

    • Cypher-Unknown

      It’s like you didn’t even read the article that you’re comnenting on…

    • Cenk Algu

      An this is a dev as well:

      “In general – I don’t really get why they choose DX11 as a starting point for the console. It’s a console! Why care about some legacy stuff at all? On PS4, most GPU commands are just a few DWORDs written into the command buffer, let’s say just a few CPU clock cycles. On Xbox One it easily could be one million times slower because of all the bookkeeping the API does.”

      So what is your conclusion now?

    • such.wow

      Could != is.

    • Cypher-Unknown

      My conclusion is that you’re still scrabbling around and clinging to whatever tidbits you can find that you feel proves your belief that the One is something greater than it appears.

      As for the One and DX12, I’m happy to accept what Microsoft have previously said – DX12 will have a modest effect on the One and that there is no secret hardware in the console. If you want to carry on believing the nonsense that Misterxmedia puts forward, then knock yourself out.

    • JerkDaNERD7

      DirectX 12 has less to do with hardware and more to do with innovative rendering features showcased in Dx11.3 SKU leak last year. It’s about fully utilizing the eSRAM to it’s full capability to implement the “feature sets” showcased here (http://gamingbolt.com/directx-12-analysis-new-rendering-features-executeindirect-performance-comparisons ).

      So in terms of major hardware performance, far from it. People like me who understand Dx12 for XOne don’t favor it because i’ts going to bring 1080p/60fps (not next-gen feature anyways), but because it’s going to offer developers innovative rendering implementations that will allow more creativity and less technicality.

      I wouldn’t be surprised to see Halo 5 being the first game to utilize DirectX12 rendering features. But there is a trade-off to using these feature sets and that is the game has to be open-world or sand box type gameplay. So Halo 5 might be the first to showcase that.

    • Cenk Algu

      so what kind of hardware secrets did I talk about here all the time?

    • Cypher-Unknown

      Did I say you talked about secret hardware? No, I said that I’d listen to Microsoft over their fevered fanboys when it comes to DX12 or the Xbox One hardware.

    • Cenk Algu

      LoL It is even more interesting.A guy on Project Cars forums asking the dev should I get the PS4 for Project Cars and look how he answered:


    • Cypher-Unknown

      Well, he never answered the question, that’s for sure. That said, his comments are interesting. I’m sure you hold him in high regard seeing as you can use him to support your views. Not quite sure how you feel about his comments on Forza 5, the PS4 and the “lunatic fringe” that are hyping the One to unachievable levels (the lunatic fringe being Misterxmedia and his cronies). These views must get your inner fanboy into right state.

    • Cenk Algu

      lol.Look at me brother.It is so obvious that this guy did not touch nor DX12 neither Vulkan.The devs who had chance to work with it actualy telling a different story.So you better give up speaking crap too.

    • Cypher-Unknown

      What crap have I spoken? I’ve simply tried to highlight that you’re a rabid fanboy on a pointless crusade (not sure I needed to bother as one only needs to look at your post history to confirm this).

      It’s funny that all the Misterxmedia zealots speak in the same broken English and push the same ridiculous message. Are you all just one and the same person?

      Truth is, neither of us know what DX12 will do for the One as all of the benchmark tests have been done on PC. If you want to believe that it’ll have the same impact on the One, then go ahead. You can trawl the internet for comments that support your theory and I can do the same that’ll throw doubt on them. Who wins? I’m betting that you’ll end up being the more disappointed simply because my expectations are more realistic.

      No doubt in you’ll still be here in months to come, pushing your poorly understood grasp of technology, treating your opinion as fact and slating all and everything Sony related in the belief that your really supporting Microsoft when you’re actually doing nothing but harm.

      Until next time,

      One United We Game On! 😉

    • Kreten

      Funny how you are calling him a fanboy who is going out of his way showing you proof while you sit there and state no it isn’t so. What proof do you have? No Dx12 will not give xbox 200% boost like on PC, but it sure will be 20%+. This guy that is commenting on DX12 and Vulcan has only worked with PS4, so how would he know what effect it will have on xbox? If he knew the outcome of everything then they wouldn’t need countless hours writing and testing code, they would instantly know what works best.

    • Cypher-Unknown

      He is showing me proof no proof, just cherry picked comments that support his biased viewpoint.

      I’ve already said I have no idea what DX12 will do on the One, just as he does. If you engaged your brain, you’d see my argument is with his behaviour, not with the One or DX12. All I do is point out the quite obvious counter arguments to his.

      Don’t think he’s a fanboy? Check out his post history. His mentally disabled p***k comnent is a personal favourite.

    • Kreten

      Yeah like Spencer said about 20% performance improvement. And just the other day studio head of project cars said DX12 will give 30-40% performance increase on xbox. Which goes whith what was being said as PC gets 200%+ increase. Now this ex Naughty Dog dev is a dev that worked with PS3/4 not Xbox one, so for him to claim to understand hardware 100% is wrong. Also any dev who claims to understand it so much without testing then should have all their games 100% efficient and not need to test different techniques. If they test different things ie. optimise that means that they are not certain of the codes outcome and hope it’ll be better.

    • Cypher-Unknown

      It was never specified that the 30-40% was on the Xbox.

    • Psionicinversion

      thats just a field of asteroids… try put that as an actually game with lots of other stuff flying around and got no chance of running it

      Also it would of been cpu bound there, and DX12 relieves it, the problem is the consoles are generally not cpu bound. so wont have as big of a performance difference

    • The truth-ier

      you are assuming it wont do much, you really dont know, microsoft obviously does…and you dont work at ms, he does not either, so your comment sounds ignorant.

    • Kreten

      Are you a developer with special knowledge to claim as such?
      We have 3 devs one stating massive improvement, another stating 30-40% (pcars head) and another ex Sony employee stating how MS product won’t work for MS console which he doesn’t have understanding of.

    • Cypher-Unknown

      Where did John Hable say that “an MS product won’t work on an MS console”?

      He said the impact of DX12 won’t be as significant on the One as it will on PC.

      You then try to discredit him by claiming he is ex Sony (I assume you are calling his opinion biased?).

      I fear you’re falling into the same mind set as Cenk. Misquoting opinions and using ad hominem attacks to try and strengthen your argument.

      I’ll be clear on this. I have no idea what impact DX12 will have on the One. From what I’ve read so far, I think the impact will be small. I not dislike the One, it’s a very capable console that has hosted, and will continue to do so, some fabulous games.

      What I do question are the idiots (I do not include you in this) that wrap up their blatant fanboyism in apparent technical know how. Fans of a system will enjoy what they have regardless. Fanboys (of any persuasion) will insist on unreasonably hyping their product of choice whilst taking every opportunity to downplay the competition.

    • such.wow
    • JerkDaNERD7


      Dx12 “innovations” already in XOne. problem is they’re currently demos in Dx11.x versions, per last year sku leak.

    • Cenk Algu

      So nothing new here.Spencer said this one year ago via twitter:


      Then this the same thing tweeted by Spencer


      Having some codes does not make it a native language.Those codes have to be written under the right language;)

    • Kidd

      Phil said FULL DX12 COMING so put differences aside and game on!!

    • d0x360

      Or maybe its because the xbox one already runs an api like dx12 but nobody is using it yet except first parties. Both consoles allow direct hardware access to a developer can make their own methods of doing things. The reasons PCs haven’t allowed such access is system security which has been dealt with.

      You clearly have zero clue about what api is or how it works so have it it. argue away I’m done. You get the last word, enjoy it.

    • HAppY_KrAToS

      Why would a ps4 gamer be jealous of the inferior specs, ports, games, resolutions, everything, on a x1 system?
      Should a ps4 owner be jealous of, say, kinekt, that recognises perfectly-spoken English words 3 times out of ten. ..?
      Wait wait… I bet many ps4 owners can’t sleep well because they can’t ‘snap this’ on their ps4. So sad.

    • Cenk Algu

      Inferior? FH2 Open World,Jaw Dropping Gfx,4xMSAA,8xAF,1080p.Show me a PS4 game having thiose merits.The last time CD Projekt approved that the PS4 ha definitive inferiror hardware.The game running under 30fps all of the time.So you mean The PS4 has better hardware Kratos? The weather of Olympos did not worked for your body and brain conditions.Please come down and take a breath.

    • The truth-ier

      but you do need to understand why things on the plane are the way that they are, you sound stupid in your arguments

    • Cypher-Unknown

      You say his comments are nothing but assumptions and opinions, which is ironic considering your comnent history is nothing but the same. Who should we listen too? A developer with experience and understanding of the matter in hand or a Microsoft fanboy who hangs around comments sections trying to downplay the PS4 at every oppotunity and whose “knowledge” comes complete with a Misterxmedia seal of approval?

    • Cenk Algu

      And know you think that what you say is true? Why would we like to listen a PS4 fanboy like you?

    • Cypher-Unknown

      I see. If I don’t jump up and down with barely contained glee about DX12 and the One, I’m a PS4 fanboy? You’re definitely one of “those” people.

    • Cenk Algu

      lol!!!!! I see it.

    • The truth-ier

      devs do things different, ever wonder why ps4/x1 games look good and some look and run crappy…they are all devs, but with different skill levels, budgets, and all types of variables, so your he is a dev argument is like saying a scientist is a scientist so he understands everything new in science.

    • HAppY_KrAToS

      Even Microsoft engineers have stated the exact same thing countless times…
      Do you need Spencer to come to your parent’s house to explain, with some simple drawings and colors, that directx12 won’t multiply the x1 processing power by 3x … ?

      Look at your cloud processing: almost 2 years after release, no x1 game has used 1MHz of cloud cpu to draw a single triangle. 2 years.

      Start taking notes: the first aaa PC game that will fully utilise the dx12 specs won’t be out before mid 2016-mars 2017. That, if almost everything goes fine.

      And still, you guys still believe there will be 50 x1 games in 2015, using full dx12 specs. Dear God…

      A few years ago, most games were only using one single core , even if the cpu had 4,6,8 cores. Not so long ago, games weren’t even full dx12 compatible, let alone dx11.
      Not too long ago, most pc games , textures, everything was compressed so it all could fit in a 9gb double layer dvd. Just a few years ago, most games weren’t even using 3-4 gb of ram. Still today, mid 2015, no PC game, even at ultra with ultra had textures pack, won’t make usage of the fantastic 16-32gb of ram people have. .. lol at the optimization. ..

      Stop dreaming of these secret sauces…

    • Cenk Algu

      Secret sauces? What I have got to do with this secret sauce statement? X1 is already DX12 ready machine no doupt about that.Ian Bell head of Slightly Mads Studios explained that DX12 working great and extremely well for them

      Sorry a dev’s words whose actualy working with API on XO million times legit than a man’s word who never touched it before but accuring assumptions..It is glass clear.

    • Michael

      I agree. All he did was repeat what we already know. He has no experience with DX12.

    • GotNews4Ya

      Ehh… I have heard several times that the PS4 might actually use a API that runs a lot like a modified version of Vulcan… So I am sure since he works at one of the best game studios in the world that he might know a little bit about what he is talking about.

    • benbenkr

      Well at least he is a former ND dev and has his own company now. At least he is something and someone.

      But you?
      Lol. You’re not even a former of a nobody.

    • Cenk Algu

      why are you triyng to be funny? definetly not a talent for you…

    • NuLogic

      Exactly what i said last article xbox one is lacking shading power(gpu) not draw calls(cpu).

  • d0x360

    Excellent way to simplify the issue. He’s 100% right BUT one area where it will help consoles is for example games like assassins creed or basically any open world game. ACU had major frame rate issues because with all the characters on screen it was cpu bound. The cpu could not feed the GPU fast enough. Now true you would never see a console running that same game at 60fos regardless of api but it would have allowed a stable 30. The xbox one version has a slight edge in ACU because it runs at a slightly higher clock rate and uses ddr3 for cpu memory which is less latent and better for CPU tasks.

    Basically for consoles a switch to everyone using an api like dx12 means every game is designed that way from second 1. Instead of the way it currently is where its designed to work with dx11 style and console style which means concessions are made at the games core to allow for compatibility

  • Psionicinversion

    Exactly pc gpu’s sir around doing nothing because the api is to slow in processing info to keep it busy. Which means performance explosion incoming. The main things that consoles have to give them the edge are tumbling down hahaha. 2x as efficient as aPC gpu hahaha not anymore

    But you know all it means is when games keep getting downgraded because of the consoles will mean we will have alot better performance for free :d

  • GHz

    “Naughty Dog developer believes that console games will benefit less from the new APIs. This is because console games are mostly GPU bound compared to PC games which are CPU bound.”

    This guys a seasoned dev so his opinion is valuable. But an opinion is only an opinion. And lets not over exaggerate what he means by less.

    • Kidd

      Why would Microsoft build a console that would benefit less from dx12 when they knew about Dx12 from the start? Why not build for all benefits for Dx12 like a Pc?

    • GHz

      Thats exactly what they did. XB1 is the only device on the market today that is FULL DX12. But as usual, becuase its MSFT saying it, most want to believe that its B.S.

      @ExploderMouse We knew what DX12 was doing when we built Xbox One.— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) January 23, 2015

    • XbotMK1

      You seem really desperate and upset that this ex Naughty Dog devs is echoing what everyone has been telling you. Your Phil Spenser quote doesn’t discredit what the dev stated. This dev is stating facts, not opinions.

      This means that the PS4 will receive the same improvements because the PS4 has had these abilities since the beginning, but devs haven’t been using them because Direct X11 and prior versions has been holding everyone back.

      The CPU inside the PS4 and Xbox One are trash which is why devs have been saying DX12 won’t have a great impact on consoles. Consoles all ready have lower level.

      It seems like Asynchronous compute is something that will have more of an impact on these consoles which are GPU dependent. There are 8 ACE units in the PS4. There are only 2 ACE units in the Xbox One.

      Direct X holds everyone back. It also meant for PC, not Xbox. Vulkan is better for PC so I’m not sure why you’re so defensive of DX12 unless of course you’re a Microsoft fan boy trying to justify your weaker console.

    • GHz

      LOL ooh look folks. It’s Sony’s #1 mascot, the sensitive deaf monkey. Let’s get to it and address your lies.

      LIE#1 – “this ex Naughty Dog dev is echoing what everyone
      has been telling you.”

      Really? Everyone was saying that? Then what’s this deaf monkey?

      “So Ride will benefit from this and run at full 1080p on Xbox One too. It’s not due to eSRAM, a very small but very fast bank of memory, but to the ever evolving libraries from Microsoft that grant access to the hardware. Version after version, you have to sometimes re-learn and get advantage of the optimizations offered.” – Milestone’s Game director Andrea Basilio,

      Read more at http://gamingbolt.com/rides-xbox-one-resolution-bumped-from-900p-to-1080p-dev-praises-x1s-ever-evolving-code-libraries#1kSjeyESZicSRliv.99

      “No, it’s (DX12) important [for Xbox One]. All the dependency
      tracking takes a huge slice of CPU power. And if we are talking about the multi-threaded command buffer chunks generation – the DX11 model was essentially a ‘flop’, while DX12 should be the right one.” – 4A Games’ Chief Technical Officer, Oles Shishkovstov

      Read more: http://wccftech.com/metro-redux-xbox-gpu-boost-solid-10-directx-12-mantle-api/#ixzz3bD5Univf

      “With DX12 the Xbox will perform extremely well for us. With the upcoming imminent patches it’s
      already much better.” – Ian Bell, Head of Slightly Mad Studios.


      “Microsoft took the lid off its graphics API, DirectX 12.
      According to the company, developers will have more direct control over their
      visuals than ever, with more complex scenes and rendering features. And yes,
      these changes should translate to Xbox One games”


      There are more but I’ll leave it @ that. Moral of the story,
      there are 2 sides to this story. Its wise that we listen to all.

    • GHz

      You’re a sad lying deaf monkey 😉

      LIE#2 – “The PS4 has had these abilities since the
      beginning, but devs haven’t been using them because Direct X11 and prior
      versions has been holding everyone back.”

      So you’re telling me that Sony’s 1st party is held back from utilizing PS4’s current full strengths when they are making games in their homegrown API GNM? Deaf Monkey you crazy LOL

      Lie#3 – “The CPU inside the PS4 and Xbox One are wek which is why devs have been saying DX12 won’t have a great impact on consoles. Consoles all ready have lower level and they are GPU dependent.”

      Deaf Monkey DX12 is all about maximizing modern multiple core CPU abilities. True console APU is weak compare to i5’s & i7’s but they are sufficient to take advantage of console closed design. But what do I know.
      Lets listen to a respected Dev instead.

      “Every time I hear someone say “but X allows you to get close to the hardware” I want to shake them. None of this has to do with getting close to the hardware. It’s all about the cores. Getting “closer” to the hardware is relatively meaningless at this point.” ” DirectX 12? In theory, all your cores can talk to the GPU simultaneously.” _ Brad Wardell

      Deaf monkey you’ve been outed.

    • GHz

      Deaf monkey keeps lying LOL

      LIE#4 – “Direct X holds everyone back and DX12”

      Deaf monkey lives on his own planet, where he only hears bad XB1 news. HAHA 😀

      Meanwhile on planet earth, DX12 is the talk of the town.


      One dev even described DX12/Mantle as a paradigm shift.

      “Aside from them being much more close to the (modern) metal, those APIs are a paradigm-shift in API design.” – 4A Games

      Read more at http://www.worldsfactory.net/2014/08/27/metro-dev-kinect-gpu-boost-isnt-actually-10#SEiYssAjeefbiz3B.99

      All these nice compliments about DX12 but deaf monkey only wants to focus on the bad. I listen to everyone to get a better picture. I think Hable’s opinion is valuable. But we can question him. He mustve missed Build 2015. I showed proof that there is another side to his story. Whats wrong with that?

    • GHz

      Deaf monkey signs on with different accounts and upvote himself. WOW! Youre a piece of work. LOL 😀

    • Terminator

      His obsessed? Coming from you? That’s rich. XboxMK1 (AKA John Doe, I’m Flat Out Right, XtremeDerp or whatever other suck account you like to use) the only obsess person here is you. You are obsessed with anything related Microsoft/Xbox. You are the one who looks desperate coming everyday into an Xbox article to try and lie, misinform and what not just to feel better about yourself and your purchase. Oh and try to come up with your own comments not copy someone else’s.

    • Arcnail

      Spencer said himself that there wasn’t going to be much if any improvement on the XB1 with DX12. Feel free to Google it. I wish there would have been mind you, but seems to line up with this story well.

    • GHz

      Yeah he did. I have absolutely no prob with that, because Phil and his team were also the same ones who were telling devs to undermine dx12 PC performance because the real %’s were unbelievable. Am I right? It was just recently we found out the amazing truth. 200% -500%. Let the tech to the talking. So who knows what Phil & Albert is up to.

      Then there is the logic of it all. Not a big difference in comparison to what? How are we to find logic in using 1st Gen games as a bases for your graphic measurement. That make no sense. Not when we know that games will look and behave way better in a few more yrs. So there will be no improvement in graphics compared to what? Ryse, FH2, Quantum Break, sunset overdrive? Imagine anyone telling that xb1 graphic improvements will be minimal after those very early games. Apply that reasoning to any console. Does it make sense.

    • Arcnail

      If Phil is bluffing and there actually will be a noticeable improvement on the XB1 with DX12, I’m all for it.

      I assume we’ll see at E3.

    • GHz

      My point is everyone’s laser focused on graphics improvements via DX12, when the real story is that graphic improvement is not DX12’s job. Graphic fidelity can improve w/o that. You can improve graphics using middle ware tools from 3rd party companies that specialize in that stuff. Dx12 simply make a dev’s job a whole lot easier and give them access to locked features. AMD told the world that benefits of D3D12 will extend to XB1. Doesnt mean that it’ll make more powerful than the best PC, but these benefits/features will be utilized by the XB1 in proportionate to its hardware strengths. So the question is how improved will games get when DX12 uses the jaguar multiple(8) cores clocked @ 1.75GHZ effectively, when it spreads out the work load?

      Whats going to happen when DX12 gives dev’s access to Execute Indirect, a DX12 feature that improves GPU performance? We will know the extent of it when the 1st true 100% DX12 game drops on the XB1. Until then, everything we see will always be less than what the XB1 can do.

      And this is what it can do now under DX11. 🙂


    • Jonathan Russell

      The error in your reasoning is you are thinking about the nex-gen consoles hardware like it’s new tech it’s not, it’s old PC tech! Developers have been work with PC architecture for some time now and with low level APIs just as long. There is nothing new here.

    • GHz

      AMD & Nvidia needed to built new graphic cards in order to have full access as in 100% support for DX12 -DX12.1. New hardware that wasn’t available before, needed to be manufactured. However XB1 support these features in full and maybe some of which are exclusive to MSFT XB1. So how do you come to the conclusion that all this is available to OLD PC tech?

    • Jonathan Russell

      Because consoles are already using low level APIs on tryed a true PC tech. PC’s however have never seen such advantages till Mantle. This only new tech for PCs not consoles.

    • GHz

      consoles being closer to the metal got nothing to do with whether or not they run on new or old hardware. Low level API’s are a whole different topic.

      If you are talking graphic FX features how to better exploit them, you will want to implement hardware to handle the load. You can go the software route in SOME cases, but it will not be as efficient as hardware support.

    • Orion Wolf
    • Kreten

      He said there won’t be much improvement in one twitter post and in another when he was talking about additional cpu resources being released to devs he mentioned 20% performance increase from DX12 on xbox

  • James

    DirectX 12 started out as low CPU overhead for free. Now there is ExecuteIndirect, Asynchronous Shading, Multi-Adapter and Tiled Resources. Asynchronous Shading will probably have the most profound effect on quantity and quality of shading/physics.

  • Dirkster_Dude

    I’m a programmer and while I don’t code video games I know exactly what he is talking about and he is correct. So while the XB1 will see an advantage of DX12 over DX11 and/or current dumbed down version of DX12 it will not be as huge of an advantage as the PC will see. It will still be an improvement because if nothing else it will make coding easier. Less code to process = quicker responses from the CPU.

    • benbenkr

      Right. You just said what he said and that makes you a programmer.


      I think I need to say what Obama just said earlier this morning so I’m also a president.

    • Dirkster_Dude

      Is it that you want him to be wrong or something? If you have a counter argument then let us hear it instead of venting your spleen on me.

    • Kreten

      He is right that every hardware has a set limit. But would you not agree that nothing is 100% efficient, so even though you are pushing GPU 100% are you pushing it 100% efficiently? It’s easy to push even PC GPU 100% but it doesn’t mean it’s being done efficiently. So with ability to send more instructions you are that much closer at making the GPU work as efficiently as possible no? Which in term equals to GPU being able to output more.

      I get that you can only shade at certain speed to the limit of hardware, but efficiency is everything. This is why turbocharged V4 engine can outrun N/A V8 engine (efficiency)

      Then is this dev forgetting Tiling? Tiled Resources and MegaTextures? I mean 1080p was possible even on xbox360 so it’s not about shading for sure.

      If anything better utilisation of bandwidth is limiting factor because it can play a major role of getting 109GB/s out of eSRAM or ~200GB/s

    • Dirkster_Dude

      This was a forum post about DX12 on X-Box One that a Project Cars developer responded to. Basically, once they have DX12 implemented fully on XB1 for there game they expect 30-40% improvement:


  • GHz

    “The short answer is that newer APIs will make the CPU faster, but will probably not have much effect on the GPU,” Hable said to GamingBolt.


    “This is actually I think is the fun part of my portion of the talk. So we’ve told a story for the last year about how we’ve greatly reduced CPU overhead and dramatically increased scalability across cores. The part we haven’t told you much about, but it’s still really awesome, we have GPU improvements as well. And so I’m really happy that I can really reveal all this to you today.” – Max McMullen Principal Development Lead for Direct3D and DXGI at Microsoft


    Its a developer who has no access to DX12 vs the engineers who do. Even though I value Hables opinion because it sheds light on what he BELIEVES to expect, there is another side to this story that some just want to blatantly ignore. I’m saying we have to look at the whole story and wait for full DX12 games to drop before we judge. Only then we’ll know.

    I only see good news. The fact is we’re playing games like Ryse, The Order, FH2, DC in the 1st couple yrs of these consoles. We are going to see improvements. Thats a fact! It’s been like that since the 1st consoles existed. Nobody loses. We all win!

    • Psionicinversion

      The main gpu improvements will be the big gpu mode when it sees all the graphics hardware in your system as one entity and can process stuff more efficiently also things like pixel detection rates like instead of it having to through at least 50% of the pixel it only had to touch it recognize it, things like that

    • GHz

      The feature you’re talking about is called Linked Explicit
      Multiadapter. That’s a totally different topic.

      I’m addressing Hable’s “belief” that APIs (DX12/Vulcan) will
      make the CPU faster, but will probably not have much effect on the GPU. I don’t know much about Vulcan’s features but DX12 have something called Execute Indirect and that improves GPU performance. That’s also a MAIN GPU improvement in DX12.


    • Psionicinversion

      Yeah I’ll watch it tomorrow. Stuff like that is good just hope they do a good implementation on pc and not screw it all up

    • GHz

      These talks involve all hardware that will support W10/WDDM2.0 + D3D12. Majority of the demos so far are on PC. So you good!

    • Psionicinversion

      I mean game devs messing up with it, I know the primary developer to watch out .. Ubisoft

    • GHz

      Oh! Yup! In the end, its up to the devs to use these features. Which is why 1st party games is where its @!

    • Psionicinversion

      3rd parties will use it to because it will benefit them on pc more than console. It will allow them to really push it far more than the consoles can handle but they need to see the windows 10 adoption rate. A problem with it though is gamers will upgrade and that’s there core market but they will probably just see an overall view where the majority isn’t affected because they aren’t gamers. So they may think its slow and not bother when in actual fact the people who do buy the games are ready to roll

    • GHz

      They’ll use it (DX12) because of the OVERALL benefits period. Its not a PC vs console thing for Devs. + consoles have a dedicated user group who spend billions on games. Devs are looking at how DX12 talks to a wealth of form factors. One code fits all. That’s why they’ll use it.

    • Psionicinversion

      That Asteroid demo is nuts 28fps dx11 jumping to 90 on dx12 execute indirect. Star citizen needs this and will accelerate all pc gamers to that coveted 4k really easily

    • GHz

      I’m not too verse on PC gaming, but I like how you get the fact that more advanced GPU’s wont see a massive gain performance wise, but will have access to newer DX12 features. And that’s because they already have the hardware necessary to better exploit DX12. While lesser older GPU’s have much to gain performance wise, but @ the same time wont have access to newer features. Most pple cant wrap their heads around that.

    • Psionicinversion

      well thinking about it its dependant on the game as well. Take ashes of the singularity by stardock, its got 1000’s units with its own light source for units and every shot fired

      By using DX12 you get a 70% improvement over DX11 because its heavily API bound. a £150 i5 can beat a £800 intel 8 core 5960x because the API is extremely slow at handling all that because its way over the limit of what it can handle.

      So there wont be many games like that of course but pushed hard enough you can run into a brick wall with the API

      also from the video you showed me dx12_0 should be able to be run on all the gpu’s dx12 supports meaning all fermi, kepler, maxwell and GCN. DX12.1 is conservative raster and ROV’s which might need new hardware. well maxwell should be 12.1 compliant and GCN 1.3 (390/390x)

    • GHz

      If by game you mean code then yes. It’s more accurate to say depends on the code. The code still have to anticipate and take advantage of what the API can offer so that when you decide to factor in DX12, you can see significant gains.

      “By using DX12 you get a 70% improvement over DX11 because its heavily API bound.”

      If we’re still talking about AOS, dont you mean CPU bound?

      “a £150 i5 can beat a £800 intel 8 core 5960x because the API is extremely slow at handling all that because its way over the limit of what it can handle.”

      You mean an i5 +DX12 vs an i7 + DX11? And that the i5 + DX12 would win? If so, I really dont know. I dont game PC. I imagine you’d have to factor in what kind of GPU’s are housed in. i7 with a serious GPU +DX11 still kicks some serious A$s. But if they’re using the same GPU then I imagine the i5 setup with DX12 all the way for sure.

      And yup! All I know from reading is that some present GPU’s will take advantage of some of DX12 features, the same ones that are supported in DX11, but there will be DX12 specific features not available in DX11 that you’ll need new hardware for.

      NVIDIA wording is very tricky with current maxwell cards and their support for DX12. It is true that they fully support DX12, because they belong to the 70% of gaming PC’s that are DX11 based that will. Thats what you have to pay attention to, the DX11 based part. If you’re part of that group, you only have access to the “new” DX12 features that are also available in more recent DX11 ver.. Once Full Dx12 drops, there will be newer features that you wont find in DX11. Thats where the new hardware comes to play. NVIDIA needs to sell their current cards quickly hence the way they word their DX12 support. They are not lying, but they aren’t being completely clear either.

    • Psionicinversion

      Ashes of the singularity. i5 (4core/4thread) + 290x + DX12, beats i7 (8core/16thread) 5960x + 290x + DX11

      Ashes of the singularity is a real game that has been demoed at a gaming convention. Its Brad Wardell’s baby, the guy whose been bigging up DX12 for a long time.

      I think the reason why Nvidia is so cagey about it is because not all of the DX12 features have been revealed yet. They should be revealed at computex i think or maybe E3’s AMD/PC Gamer event and GCN 1.3. i.e. 390/390x should have all of it at least

      Tbh if you havnt got a GPU that can run DX11 then your GPU isnt running any of the current games anyway because it will be way to slow and will be at least 5 years old. If you have a GPU before 2010, its time to upgrade anyway.

  • Aw Snap

    What happens if you make a white bunny?

    • OC Guy

      You are called a racists by liberals.

  • angh

    dx12 and vulcan is basically same idea as AMD Mantle. We seen how games and on what systems has been improved by mantle and that is exactly what he is talking about.

  • Mike G.

    The fanboyism on the Microsoft side is strong here. All this ex ND dev is doing, is echoing what everyone else has been saying.

    The problem is that he was once affiliated with a Sony first party studio, so they’re using that to call foul. What’s foul is their stupidity.

    The guy is an ex developer for a major 1st party game studio. He isn’t required to work with DX12 to have some knowledge on it. It’s an API. He’s worked with them before. He’s as qualified as anyone else. It’s like saying a Domino’s pizza cook isn’t qualified to comment on Pizza hut.

    • GHz

      “The guy is an ex developer for a major 1st party game studio. He isn’t required to work with DX12 to have some knowledge on it. It’s an API.”

      I gotta disagree with you on that one. API’s can contain specifics that a dev dont know about until told. There is such a thing where as a developer work on their code, new SDK’s can force them to go back and code differently in order to take better advantage of the changes in features in the API. So this dude is guessing. Hence the Reason why he said it’s his “belief.” He did not say that it is absolutley the case with DX12 & Vulcan. His opinion is valuable non the less because he is drawing from what he commonly knows to be standard practice. But this is the tech world, and practices change.

    • Orion Wolf

      “It’s an API. It’s like saying a Domino’s pizza cook isn’t qualified to comment on Pizza hut.”

      Knowledge of an API is not the same as knowledge of making pizzas, mate.

      In addition, as GHz said there are differences between Vulcan, GNM and DX … if there weren’t they would be used interchangeably, but that’s not me trying to discredit what the dev has stated, he does know his stuff and he’s making logical assumptions based on his knowledge, but his knowledge is derived from the PlayStation API for the most part.

      In an interview, Wardell has stated

      “Whereas right now if I want to develop the game for the PlayStation 4, I have to learn their special custom API, that has shader languages that are different than what I’m used to, and I’m pretty sure that I have to send stuff in text instead of binary form.

      I hate OpenGL (laughs). They’re old, their current one is just archaic. I don’t want to have to learn that, my brain is already full of OS2 and Linux crap, I don’t want to learn yet another short-term API. If I can just learn Vulkan then I can get to a lot of platforms, I don’t want to have to learn Sony’s special API, even if I would gain a few frames-per-second in doing so.”

      I would be saying the same thing if a former Xbox developer started commenting on the PlayStation API.

    • Psionicinversion

      Actually knowledge of an API is the same as knowledge of making pizzas. All pizzas are not made equal from whats in the tomato sauce, whether they make there own in house BBQ sauce different types of cheeses mushrooms used on it etc which effects the final result… the taste. So unless you know all those factors when you can give a general view on how its made but you dont know the specifics of every ingredient


    • Orion Wolf

      I have to admit making pizzas is not as easy as I thought it would be. =)

    • Psionicinversion

      yes its very complex haha

  • WEL

    “console games are usually bottlenecked by the GPU”

    Maybe true when talking last gen but this gen the real bottleneck of consoles is CPU.

    • Icaraeus

      Nope, it’s the GPU. The CPU is more than capable when used properly. Naughty Dog had a 1 hour presentation on it this year and how The Last of Us: Remastered was optimized. It used less than half of the CPU (where it completely used the PS3’s CELL which is insanely powerful), and TLOU runs at 1080p60fps.

  • ImOnaDrugCalledSheen

    No matter how right he is (and he is right) it wont stop the xbabbies from raging and whining like they do every time they hear any truth they dont like.

    • GHz

      1st off, it’s his personal belief based on what he knows. It is great that he shares his opinion, but that’s all it is, an opinion. Dont make it bigger than what it is. We dont know about Vulcan, but @ Build 2015, they discussed features in DX12 that improves GPU performance. It was a late, & surprising reveal. And like AMD already stated, benefits of D3D12 will extend to XB1.

    • Mark

      Good notes, thx

    • GHz

      No prob!

    • Fayz the Lad

      oh great, another insecure sony fanboy who graduated from clown college.

    • Terminator

      No matter how much you cry, beg and hope that DX12 wont do anything for the Xbox One it wont stop what DX12 and Xbox One were made for. It will improve the Xbox One! So deal with it PS Drone.

  • Hvd

    well duh!!! no kidding less gains on console

  • GHz

    May 25/26 2015, Head of Slightly Mad Studios Ian bell answers some questions regarding XB1 optimizations WITH DX12 . It relates to the subject of this article, so you know me, I had to share. I always said experience amongst Devs vary & that their opinions/knowledge reflect that. What do you guys think?


  • Graeme Willy

    one thing not pointed out is that the cpu gains are the same across the board. So if a console gains, say 40-50% on the CPU side, you can handle more there. So things like physics or other general purpose tasks that the CPU can handle that go to the GPU, can be CPU bound, thus freeing up GPU…like physics.


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