GDC pro wrestling: Nvidia deliver smackdown to AMD over graphics APIs | PCGamesN

GDC pro wrestling: Nvidia deliver smackdown to AMD over graphics APIs


The vast majority of our news coverage on AMD in the past six months has concerned the Mantle API: a nifty bit of tech which bypasses DirectX completely to improve performance in games like Battlefield 4.

The results have been undeniably impressive: but the Mantle integration developers like DICE have worked on with Nvidia isn’t for the greater good of graphics - but specifically for owners of AMD cards to enjoy.

That’s the opposite of Nvidia’s philosophy, which they outlined during DirectX 12’s reveal at GDC yesterday: they’d rather work within existing APIs than make their own thing.

Nvidia told GDC attendees that API efficiency was “important” for PC games, which have long been subject to additional performance costs from graphics driver overheads.

Engine manufacturers want more control over hardware, said Nvidia, and developers want “console-like” access to the machines they’re working with. And that’s something the company plans to provide without recourse to new DirectX alternatives.

“Supporting these goals should be done within the framework of existing graphics APIs,” they said.

That way, said Nvidia, the PC games industry retains the benefits of “hardware abstraction” and “cross-vendor support”.

For a demonstration of what cross-vendor support might look like, see Nvidia, AMD, and Intel’s public endorsement of OpenGL - the “vendor-neutral” Direct3D equivalent which they say can offer developers “seven-to-15-times” better performance in their games.

Would you prefer it if GPU-specific tech didn’t factor into your buying decisions? Or does the thought never cross your mind when upgrading a PC?

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B0GiE-uk- avatarSax avatarBelimawr avatar
B0GiE-uk- Avatar
4 Years ago

How two faced can you get?

That way, said Nvidia, the PC games industry retains the benefits of “hardware abstraction” and “cross-vendor support”.

"Phys-X" ring a bell Nvidia, is that cross vendor?


Belimawr Avatar
4 Years ago

PhysX can work without a Nvidia card, it just hammers your CPU, the fact is when AMD started doing the compute related upgrades to the AMD series (the same as happened with CUDA on the Geforce 8000's) AMD could of put a hook in to send the processing to the graphics card, but why support your rivals features when you can trying to make them irrelevant instead?

it's the same reason as Nvidia had to make their own AMD based motherboards as the AMD chipset refused to support SLi, they only changed that rule in recent years because they were taking a hammering from Intel and the fact Nvidia is still the larger market share.

but really all this is missing the point, the reason games take so long to come to all the different systems is because of changing the games for all the different API's, if Nvidia and AMD both went to their own personal API's you would have twice the work porting, this is why they are talking up openGL, as DX is only Xbox and Windows, while OpenGL can cover Playstation, PC, Linux, Steam OS, Nintendo, Mac and even smart phones/tablets are starting to make use of OpenGL, so the unified API is in the interest of gamers.

stuff like PhysX and TressFX (basically AMD's version of PhysX since it does a similar job) don't add anything to the games they are an optional extra developers can decide to use or not use, they don't make a game unplayable on one system because of your choice of hardware, where on the other hand a dedicated graphics API means double the work for developers if they wanted to support a Nvidia and AMD API meaning you would end up with developers choosing to just do one, meaning they would pick the brand with the largest market share then all the other people with the "wrong" card would be screwed.

DX and OpenGL are the only things that make PC gaming work as they unify the hardware, if AMD and Nvidia went into an API war (like mantel was trying to do) one side would eventually get screwed over with people finding their hardware useless, also taking the competition out of the market giving the remaining hardware manufacturer less reason to push boundaries and price competitively. this is why DX got in the state it is in and MS doesn't give a shit about gaming on PC as they have no compertition.

Sax Avatar
4 Years ago

"That’s the opposite of Nvidia’s philosophy..."

Er, that's the core of nVidias philosophy.