DirectX 12 Sees 70% Performance Gain over Dx11 Using Intel CPU

By Published August 14, 2014 at 1:35 pm

DirectX 12 has been discussed by nVidia and Intel for a while now, with AMD only responding occasionally to recommit to Mantle. The API is still far away for gaming uses -- at least a year -- but it's making the rounds at SIGGRAPH 2014 in Vancouver.

Intel demonstrated a Haswell-equipped tablet running graphics stress test software that toggled between DirectX 11 and DirectX 12. During the demonstration, the company was able to yield nearly a 70% performance increase in Dx12 over Dx11, jumping from 19FPS to 33FPS. Intel attributes this gain largely toward reduced overhead in the API (putting developers "closer to the metal," as Mantle does), then pointed toward multi-threaded rendering optimization.

sp3 dx11 dx12 perf

In a further demonstration, the company locked the framerate in both Dx11 and Dx12, forcing an identical workload on the CPU's IGP. The power consumption graph (below) shows a heavy dip when switching to Dx12 from Dx11, implying that Dx12 is better optimized and requires less of the hardware to produce the same results. Aside from obvious performance gains in the FPS department, this could potentially allow more power-constrained users to game without draining the battery too quickly.

sp3 dx11 dx12 power

Intel had this to say about the experiment:

"These increases in power efficiency in DirectX 12 are due both to reduced graphics submission overhead and to an increase in multithreaded efficiency. Spreading work across more CPU cores at a lower frequency is significantly more power-efficient than running a single thread at high frequency.

The main takeaway is that power and performance are inseparably linked. Conventional notions of 'CPU vs. GPU bound' are misleading on modern devices like the Surface Pro 3. An increase in CPU power efficiency can be used for more performance even if an application is not CPU bound.'"

Intel plans to release the demo for consumer use along with DirectX 12, but that's still a ways out.

We'll keep you updated as Dx12 progresses.

- Steve "Lelldorianx" Burke.

Steve Burke

Steve started GamersNexus back when it was just a cool name, and now it's grown into an expansive website with an overwhelming amount of features. He recalls his first difficult decision with GN's direction: "I didn't know whether or not I wanted 'Gamers' to have a possessive apostrophe -- I mean, grammatically it should, but I didn't like it in the name. It was ugly. I also had people who were typing apostrophes into the address bar - sigh. It made sense to just leave it as 'Gamers.'"

First world problems, Steve. First world problems.

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