AMD Framepacing Catalyst 13.8 driver examined with FCAT -
We are going to give credit where credit is due as AMD deserves that. In a relatively short time period the driver team has been able to tackle micro-stuttering significantly. Though they are not there 100% yet the overall latency differential has improved dramatically. We have a feeling that with future generation GPU's the framepace algorithm will be dealt with in hardware, just like NVIDIA. From there onwards the latency differential should become as good as the competition. Mind you that frame pacing only works with DX10 and DX11 titles for now. AMD is still working on DirectX 9, but that will be addressed in the upcoming Beta's. AMD will also have to deal with higher resolutions above 2560x1600 and of course directly related to that high resolution, Eyefinity.
Comparing apples to oranges, when you look at the charts NVIDIA still has a better overall solution as their latencies differentials for each even and odd frame are a hint better. But the difference with AMD is very close, so close that we doubt very much it can be seen visually. We are pretty sure that over time, AMDs frame pacing algorithm will get even more refined as remember, NVIDIA has been working on this rendering anomaly (or byproduct if you will) for a much longer time.
In the end we as consumers all benefit from what was exposed back in April, latency issues as shown back then for the normal eye might have been hard to see, but they have been there. For AMD to make such a significant step into the right direction is, we believe, positive and it will eliminate pretty much most concerns that AMD multi-GPU users have had.
Our FCAT measurements do show that AMD is dropping frames more then you'd typically expected. Spread out over the game anywhere from 3 to 6 frames dropped per 30 seconds is what we see. You can't notice it visually and 5 out of say 3000 frames won't have a positive effect on performance either. So while it is not a problem, it remains a small curiosity as to why we see/measure it.Anyway, let's not drift off and make this conclusion too long. In a 4 months time-frame, AMD has been able to make very significant improvements to multi-GPU rendering, eliminating that dreaded and much discussed effect called micro-stuttering. If this implementation works on all games and future games then I have no reservation recommending AMD multi-GPU solutions any longer. The output AKA rendering quality you retrieve on your monitor is very good.
For now we end this update, obviously in the future we'll be monitoring framepacing with other and newer titles. We have also embedded FCAT into our reviews so that you as a consumer can always see what card or combination offers the best on-screen results.
Hilbert out, peace :)
AMD Framepacing Catalyst 13.8 driver examined with FCAT. Today is the day that we look at AMDs Catalyst 13.8 frame pacing driver and examine the latest games to see if AMD has made progress.