DX12 to Allow Better Use of CPU Cores, Xbox One Already Has Similar API For Freeing Up CPU

Confetti CEO Wolfgang Engel also talks about the advantages of Mantle.

Posted By | On 25th, May. 2014 Under News

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Since Microsoft first revealed DirectX 12, set to release in Holidays 2015 for Xbox One PC, its graphics the API has faced some sort of scrutiny. Would it be able to speed up the Xbox One’s CPU significantly or simply allow for more efficient hardware speeds.

Confetti CEO and co-founder Wolfgang Engel gave his thoughts on the same. The name may sound unfamiliar but Engel worked as the lead graphics programmer for Rockstar’s RAGE group, implementing graphics for titles like Grand Theft Auto 4, Read Dead Redemption, Midnight Club Los Angeles and many more. Engel has since gone on to form Confetti, a middleware company that specializes in developing solutions for global illumination, Sky dome and Post FX system, and has consulted and worked on several other big name releases besides aiding studios in better understanding and implementing graphical techniques.

Regarding DirectX 12, Engel said to GamingBolt, “I like it. It’s great and it’s a fantastic opportunity to raise the bar again. It works with the same piece of hardware, so it’s the same CPU and the same GPU, and certainly we have much more CPU time to spend.

“The workload on the CPU decreases substantially, because you can utilize better the cores of the CPU. In this way you are less likely to be CPU limited. One of the cool features of modern games is that we have physics, and they have been traditionally implemented on the CPU and as a game developer you have to go back and ask ‘do I have to spend 40% of my CPU time’ on rendering or ‘can I reduce this so that I can use it for physics’ and this is one of the things that DirectX 12 allows you. This makes sure that the developers can get more out of the existing hardware.”

“AMD’s Mantle is also going in the same direction and has the same structural idea, reducing CPU time so that it can be free up for other tasks. One CPU usage case is multiple GPU set ups which is kind of an interesting development because when you have multiple GPUs, say two GPUs, you would not expect to be actually CPU limited. But now the CPU has to feed two GPUs which are really fast, suddenly your CPU becomes the bottleneck. DirectX 12 and Mantle are resolving that situation.”

There are plenty of similarities between DX 12 and Mantle but what about their respective advantages? “The advantage of Mantle is that it’s able to squeeze out of a few more cycles from the AMD platforms. The advantage of DX12 is that it runs on all GPUs,” says Engel.

We know that DX 12 will have a fairly strong impact on PC games when it launches late next year but will it have the same technical impact on the Xbox One? Interestingly, Engel revealed that, “The Xbox One already has an API which is similar to DirectX 12. So Microsoft implemented a driver that is similar to DirectX 12 already on the Xbox One. That freed up a lot of CPU time.”

What are your thoughts on the same? Let us know in the comments.

This is just a snippet of our interview with Confetti and we will have more in the coming days.

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