Update, October 11, 2016: Eidos have unveiled the latest beta code for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided which adds in multi-GPU support for DirectX 12.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is seriously system intensive, so you’ll need a quality GPU to cope. Check out our pick of the best graphics cards around.
There are a few slight graphical issues for some configurations, but we only saw a few slight artifacts when running the Nvidia cards in dual-GPU mode at 4K. But restarting the benchmark afresh from the menu screen solved those problems.
But as a beta test it's surprisingly robust and delivers an impressive performance uplift going from one card to two. To try it out for yourself simply right-click on the game in your Steam library, select 'properties' and select the DX12 mGPU preview in the beta drop-down.
Deus Ex is still a mighty testing game, but there is an almost doubling of average frame rate going up to twin GPUs, displaying an impressively optimised multi-GPU implementation. Shame it wasn't running at launch...
This testing was carried out using a pair of Nvidia GTX 1080 and a pair of GTX 1070 cards, using a Core i7 6800K on a Gigabyte X99 G1 Gaming.
Original story, September 9, 2016: I’ve spent a little time today tested AMD’s RX 480 and Nvidia’s GTX 1060 head-to-head with the latest Deus Ex: Mankind Divided patch to see what benefits the new DX12 build has. Not a lot, if I’m honest…
The latest Deus Ex is a good game. Not a great game, but not a particularly terrible one either, though it’s not that well optimised for PC. If you even think about using standard MSAA to smooth out the jaggies on your screen you’ll get a massive performance penalty in return.
On either UItra or High presets the MSAA slider reduces performance to a crawl on either the Asus ROG Strix RX 480 and GTX 1060 models I've been testing with.
But a new DirectX 12 patch has just landed, so can that deliver improved visuals and smoother performance using the new API?
Well, it’s a familiar refrain. There are modest performance improvements available for AMD graphics cards and again nothing to write home about for Nvidia GPUs. Though the AMD performance increase isn’t really anything to get that excited about either before you get too hyped about your darling Radeon GPU.
There’s not much there for either of the graphics cards camps to be raving about then, so what about on the processor side? I switched from stock-clocked Core i7 6700K to a Core i5 6600K to see what difference having eight threads of processing power made as opposed to the four of the i5.
After all, the promise of DirectX 12 is the improved multi-threading capabilities baked into the API allowing for more of your expensive CPU silicon to be utilised by our game engines.
That’s the theory, but game devs still have to put in some work themselves. And either Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is already so brilliantly optimised for multi-core CPUs that there is no difference between using different processor specs, or the game has been left resolutely tied to a primary thread because there is precisely zero difference between the two CPUs.
So far then the promise of DirectX 12 gaming has yet to really bear fruit. Visually there's little you can point to in terms of definite improvements and there seems rarely to be any genuine performance difference to speak of either. Though at least AMD can point to some DX12 boost, while Nvidia have absolutely nothing to show right now.
Hit us up in the comments if you want us to have a go at testing some other hardware combinations or games.