Dog fighting: Nvidia and AMD clash over Watch Dogs and GameWorks | PCGamesN

Dog fighting: Nvidia and AMD clash over Watch Dogs and GameWorks

Nvidia vs AMD

Watch Dogs is now out; here's our Watch Dogs review.

The rivalry between Nvidia and AMD continues, and it’s now getting rather dramatic. AMD’s Robert Hallock is suggesting that Nvidia’s GameWorks program, which was most recently taken advantage of by Ubisoft for Watch Dogs, represents a “clear and present threat” to the PC gaming ecosystem. 

The program, which offers developers a range of graphical features and wizardry, threatens gamers by “crippling” AMD products, Hallock told Forbes. Not a minor accusation. 

The issue isn’t just Nvidia offering greater graphical fidelity and stability in games that use the program, said Hallock. It’s worse than that. “Participation in the Gameworks program often precludes the developer from accepting AMD suggestions that would improve performance directly in the game code—the most desirable form of optimization.”

Nvidia is making it difficult for AMD to even source or fix problems thanks to a lack of transparency. “The code obfuscation makes it difficult to perform our own after-the-fact driver optimizations, as the characteristics of the game are hidden behind many layers of circuitous and non-obvious routines,” said Hallock. “This change coincides with NVIDIA’s decision to remove all public Direct3D code samples from their site in favor of a ‘contact us for licensing’ page. AMD does not engage in, support, or condone such activities.

Yesterday, Nvidia’s Cem Cebenoyan, Director of Engineering responded to the accusations. “I’ve heard that before from AMD and it’s a little mysterious to me. We don’t and we never have restricted anyone from getting access as part of our agreements. Not with Watch Dogs and not with any other titles.”

Watch Dogs brought this issue to the fore with reports that AMD players were suffering from a slew of issues.

“Our agreements focus on interesting things we’re going to do together to improve the experience for all PC gamers and of course for Nvidia customers,” Cebenoyan continued. “We don’t have anything in there restricting anyone from accessing source code or binaries. Developers are free to give builds out to whoever they want. It’s their product.”

Cebenoyan denied any obfuscation, explaining that AMD not being able to access a game’s source code should not affect optimisation. “You don’t need source code of the game itself to do optimization for those games. AMD’s been saying for awhile that without access to the source code it’s impossible to optimize. That’s crazy.” 

Cheers, Forbes.

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tanepiper avatarUntoldAv3nGer avatarMrJinxed avatarApocalypsy avatarMountain_Man avatarBLACK KNIGHT avatar
tanepiper Avatar
3 Years ago

“clear and present threat” says the company who's the only GPU provider for the current generation of consoles (and can at best offer 30FPS @ 720p)

Apocalypsy Avatar
3 Years ago

I've seen some benchmarks and the AMD cards do score beneath their normal perfomance levels, even the R9 290x falls behind the GTX in Watch Dogs benchmarks, while it outperfoms it in almost any other game.

Mountain_Man Avatar
3 Years ago

Thing is, AMD has always had bad support and even worse drivers going all the way back to the days when they were called ATi, so I don't find this latest claim that "Nvidia is causing us to suck" to be particularly compelling.

3 Years ago

I was burdened with AMD cards for 3 years. Never again!

It might make me a nvidiot to pay more for the card but I rest assured knowing I can buy a PC game on Day 1 and it will work and work well.

Sometimes it took well over a year for certain games to become playable with the shoddy AMD/ATi driver support and there could still be glitches.

So yeah fuk dat

UntoldAv3nGer Avatar
3 Years ago

Cebenoyan = bullshit

MrJinxed Avatar
3 Years ago

I wonder where you base that from. Surely not just from what was written in the news story?

I'm sure neither of them are being totally forthcoming with the truth. That's just business, but shots were fired on both sides of the aisle. AMD comes off as huge whiners on the other side of that "bullshit" coin.

I don't know who's right either of course (how could I), but it just sounds like a lot of whining to me. Maybe I'm wrong. If so, I'd love some well construed argument to that fact.