There is some pretty big news out there. AMD recently released mantle, a low level API that eliminates heaps of CPU overhead (draw calls). It now seems that both DirectX and OpenGL will follow that same route as AMD’s API. Over at this years GDC some slides where shown demonstrating that DirectX and OpenGL will start offering low-level access in order to reduce draw overhead. This should excite gamers with slower processors alright.
Below you can find some quotes from the DirectX and OpenGL presentations that will take place in GDC 2014:
“In this session we will discuss future improvements in Direct3D that will allow developers an unprecedented level of hardware control and reduced CPU rendering overhead across a broad ecosystem of hardware.”
“For nearly 20 years, DirectX has been the platform used by game developers to create the fastest, most visually impressive games on the planet.
However, you asked us to do more. You asked us to bring you even closer to the metal and to do so on an unparalleled assortment of hardware. You also asked us for better tools so that you can squeeze every last drop of performance out of your PC, tablet, phone and console.”
“Driver overhead has been a frustrating reality for game developers for the entire life of the PC game industry. On desktop systems, driver overhead can decrease frame rate, while on mobile devices driver overhead is more insidious–robbing both battery life and frame rate. In this unprecedented sponsored session, Graham Sellers (AMD), Tim Foley (Intel), Cass Everitt (NVIDIA) and John McDonald (NVIDIA) will present high-level concepts available in today’s OpenGL implementations that radically reduce driver overhead–by up to 10x or more. The techniques presented will apply to all major vendors and are suitable for use across multiple platforms. Additionally, they will demonstrate practical demos of the techniques in action in an extensible, open source comparison framework.”
When these optimizations kick in is still unknown and wether or not they will be able to compete with Mantle also remains to be seen of course. It will also be interesting to see if this will be a final DX12 feature, obviously available for Windows 8.1.
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