Today at GDC, Microsoft revealed the newest version of its graphics API, DirectX12. As we’ve been expecting, it’s a “thinner,” lower level API, with less abstraction between software and hardware. That means more involved development, but access to much better performance. Microsoft said that it allows for console-level efficiency on PC, a point they stressed with a ported tech demo of Forza Motorsport 5 running on PC. Forza was running on an Nvidia Titan Black, however, which is a much more powerful GPU than the Xbox One's.
So far, the only real world example of AMD’s new graphics API, Mantle, is some less-than-convincing performance in Battlefield 4. Now though, AMD have teamed up with Eidos and are set to release a new update to the latest Thief game, wrestling it away from the Microsoft clutches of DirectX and giving it some Mantle lovin'.
For the uninitiated Mantle is a rival graphics layer AMD have created to replace DirectX on their Graphics Core Next graphics cards. Its promise is of giving developers much closer access to the hardware they’re coding for, and reducing the processor overheads that have recently become synonymous with Microsoft’s API.
We’ve already spoken about the possibility of Microsoft changing their DirectX API to be more like AMD’s new Mantle API - bringing developers more access to the actual performance hardware. Now it looks they are going to be announcing a whole new iteration of the Microsoft API and not just an update.
A new Twitter account has appeared, called DirectX12, and has teased an announcement set to take place at the Games Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco in a couple weeks time.
Over on the Neogaf forums one of their members has dug up a couple of interesting sessions from the next Games Developer’s Conference (GDC) taking place in a couple of weeks in sunny San Francisco. Both of which are talking about bringing Microsoft’s DirectX API a lot closer to the metal.
That means giving developers much more open access to the actual hardware that’s available inside modern PCs, without hiding it behind layers and layers of performance-sapping software code.
If that sounds familiar it’s because that’s exactly what AMD have been trying to do - relatively successfully by what I’ve seen in the StarSwarm demo and high-end Battlefield 4 benchmarks.
News and rumors are still buzzing around Valve’s battle for your living room. Developers from all walks of life have shared their thoughts on Valve’s flurry of announcements, and now Oculus Rift Chief Technology Officer and id Software co-founder John Carmack has entered the fray, discussing how SteamOS devices might benefit from AMD's new graphics technology.