Stardock CEO Explains Why DX12 And Vulkan Adoption Rates Are Low, Need Proper Documentation

‘It’s a matter of if, not when.’

Posted By | On 20th, Apr. 2017 Under News | Follow This Author @Pramath1605


DirectX 12 and Vulkan are supposed to be the wave of the future for PC gaming- that’s what we’ve been told. But while the two APIs continue to be engaged in a fierce battle for supremacy, uptake on them by most developers has been… slow, to put it bluntly.

So when we had the chance to speak with Brad Wardell, CEO of Stardock – who you may remember as one of the most vocal proponents of DirectX 12 – we made sure to ask him why developers aren’t using it and Vulkan all that well. According to Wardell, the lack of support right now comes down to the newness of both APIs, and the ensuing lack of documentation on properly exploiting them- but for both of them, widespread adoption is only a matter of time.

“DirectX 12 and Vulkan are certainly total game changers because they allow multiple threads to be talking to GPUs simultaneously,” he said. “It’s as simple as that. DirectX 11, no matter how fancy your engine was, only one of your threads could talk to the graphics engine at a time. And that was better than DX9, where only one fixed thread could talk to an engine at a time.

“But DirectX 12, if I have 8 or 16 cores, and all of them can talk to the engine at once- then that’s a hell of a performance boost. That was actually the reason I got a lot of scepticism about the benchmarks for Ashes of the Singularity, because we came out and said we are seeing a 400% boost in performance on an eight core machine. And when we shipped it, it ended up being even bigger than that. People thought the numbers were crazy, but think about it, they’re not. If in DirectX 11, only one core can talk to the GPU at once, and in DX12, we have eight- your theoretical limit would be eight times a boost. We don’t really get that, but a four times boost is not that crazy then.

Given how game changing these two are, the only reason they are not being supported right now is a lack of documentation, according to Wardell.

“The biggest reason is documentation. With DX11, there’s lots and lots of books out there for it. DX12 needs a lot more documentation before people will pick it up. The other thing is, people are now using off the shelf parts. And so, that can be tricky because if you have multiple threads talking to the graphics adaptor once, you have to be careful how those threads work, you can’t just- if you have two threads talking at once, your apps will crash. It’s actually quite tricky to do it right. And so because of that, it’s just slow going. I can say that Microsoft is doing some pretty exciting stuff on that end- but whether, in the long term, it’s all going to be DX12 and Vulkan, because you can’t just walk away from something like this. Wait until 16 core CPUs are the norm, if you’re using DX11 at that time still, you might be at 1/10th the speed of a DX12 game. That’s impossible to ignore.”

Given that multi-core CPUs are a wave of the future, and something that are only going to get more and more prevalent across all product categories as time goes on, it is only a matter of time before developers have to contend with programming for them. Given that, Wardell may be right- it will only be a matter of time before they are forced to come to terms with either DirectX 12, or Vulkan, or both.


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  • Poseidon team

    Microsoft is paving a interesting future for game development.

    Can Sony benefit from Vulkan too? Do they have something similar do DirectX12 in the PS4 SDK?

    • Daniel Lawson

      both console have hardware the supports it, but I’m not sure Sony supports the API… not sure that they wouldn’t allow it either though

    • kssxss

      Sony outright stated they won’t use Vulkan back when the API was first being announced.

    • Psionicinversion

      sony wont support vulkan unless its considerably better than there own API and its not, there api is controlled in house so they can make it specifically for the playstation which generally means itll be better. Xbox can support vulkan to but they wont cus they have dx12 and want devs to use that.

    • Hvd

      no vulkan isnt anything to be worried about.very few game devs on pc will use it.dx12 is what its all about and its built right in to the hardware of xbox scorpio.

      devs will make xbox scorpio priority for games because of uwp and that.dx12 is on the rise and will dominate vulkan.

  • Kageyama

    Wardell have been shilling for DX12 pretty hard for a couple of years now but so far it hasn’t delivered. Not even once.

  • Hvd

    vulkan will NEVER happen.xbox scorpio has dx 12 built right in the hardware and scoprio will be the devs first choice for games because of it.

    pc can just go back in to hidding they had their time.like good old days when the 360 launched and pc wasnt around at all.pc only came back towards the end of the xbox 360 era because it was a long gen.

    time for pc to go underground…lol

    • Yeah pc elitist are going to shut up when they see the scorpio doing 4k at 60fps for like $1000 less then what they paid for their rig 🙂

    • Hvd

      more like go in to hideing like when the 360 launched…lol

    • Hahah.. oh well it was fun while it lasted xD.. nice to see consoles taking the lead in hardware for a change.

      Pc gaming is dead anyway, they can’t make processors smaller.. in about 3 years all electronic devices will perform with the same computing power i.e. computers , phones , consoles etc..

      Speed and graphics will reach a limit and all this pc vs console crap will be finished.

      Pc can do 4k 60 fps.. consoles can do 4k 60 fps also.

      Above 60 fps it doesnt really make a difference to the human eye.

    • Hvd

      yep all they are doin with cpus is refreshes same with gpus.also consoles that can do 4k/60fps will drive pc parts down if not the pc parts industry will crash.

      when the ps5 and xbox 2 launch after scorpio if pc hasnt dropped its prices for 4k gaming it will fall heck xbox scorpio mite do that.the only reason pc took off over the last few years is because the 360 was out to long and the ps4 and xbox one wernt that great.

      xbox scorpio will change everything games 1080p/60fps and 4k natice games why bother with a $1000 pc at all.

    • The Scorpio might be the beginning of the end for the pc gaming industry even though i think AMD/Intel are shooting themselfs in the foot if they bank their future on console gaming alone.

      If the Scorpio can do 4k/60fps for around $500.. then yeah, game over for the pc.

      I want to wait and see what the Scorpio can really do before i buy one though.. i wont be a day one adopter but i might buy it after it has a bigger audience.

    • Hvd

      amd is in a win win situation because both consoles use amd and with the release of polaris and ryzen intel and nvidia are hurting.

      all nvidia and intel do is release refreshes…lol.titan x,titan x
      (pascal),titan xp…lol.intel kabby lake,wabby lake,mabby lake…lmao.

      fyi the price of xbox scorpio mite be $399 if what is going around is true.

    • Slaughter

      You can do 4k60fps console-like graphics (aka medium) with a $300 gpu…


 

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