Nvidia’s GTX 700- and 900-series graphics cards don’t have that dedicated hardware, relying instead on a software-based task switching technique called pre-emption that isn’t as efficient as the Radeon ACEs. As a result, while AMD’s cards see massive performance gains switching from DX11 to DX12 in Ashes of the Singularity, Nvidia’s GTX 900-series cards see none whatsoever. In fact, the Ashes developer disables asynchronous computing when Nvidia cards are detected because it could actually reduce frame rates. (Sadly, we can’t compare DX11 vs. DX12 in this DX12-only Total War benchmark.)
Nvidia isn’t taking the threat sitting down. The new Pascal GPU in the GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 packs a bevy of new hardware and software features dedicated to improving async compute performance. In our tests, its AoTS DirectX 12 performance skyrocketed despite the async hooks’ ostensibly being disabled.
Just how well Nvidia’s new GPU architecture responds to async compute tasks remains to be seen—as does the DX11 performance of Radeon GPUs in Total War: Warhammer. Like we said, this was more an exercise in fun than anything else. Happy Greenskin hunting!
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.