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DirectX 12 - The Holy Grail of API's?
Forum » General » Tech Discussion
Geekbyte 2nd Mar 2015

Joined: 10th Apr 2014
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DirectX 12 Can Combine Nvidia and AMD Cards

Microsoft could be on the verge of a graphics card breakthrough with the arrival of DirectX 12, as the new API will allow PC users to combine GPUs from different manufacturers.[

Presently, PC users who want to double the number of graphics cards attached to their motherboard are restricted by the manufacturer. So, two Nvidia GeForce cards of the same type would work via SLI, and two AMD Radeon cards can unite via Crossfire, but these cannot be mixed and matched.

Microsoft is already preparing to bring many of its Xbox One games to PC

However, Microsoft is preparing a major announcement at the Games Developers Conference, where it is expected to explain that DX12 can combine all the different graphics resources in a system and treat them as though they were a single card.

The rumour first emerged on  Tom's Hardware earlier this week. A source connected to the matter, who asked not to be named, has since explained to GameSpot that the feature is genuine.

Key to the new process is how DirectX 12 will bind multiple GPUs together. According to Tom's Hardware, the tech then "treats the entire graphics subsystem as a single, more powerful graphics card. Thus, users get the robustness of a running a single GPU, but with multiple graphics cards.

Such a breakthrough could bring about new levels of convenience for PC enthusiasts and developers alike. For the first time, it will also mean that multiple GPUs can pool their memory. In theory, this means that installing two 2GB GPUs into a system will get the end user a useable 4GB of memory, unlike the current system, which would only give a user 2GB of memory.

Tom's Hardware notes that the API includes a "frame rendering method called SFR, which stands for Split Frame Rendering." It explains: "Developers will be able to manually, or automatically, divide the texture and geometry data between the GPUs, and all of the GPUs can then work together to work on each frame. Each GPU will then work on a specific portion of the screen, with the number of portions being equivalent to the number of GPUs installed.

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Last Edit: 2nd Mar 2015 by Geekbyte
USnake93 2nd Mar 2015

Joined: 31st Dec 2014
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Well this sounds awesome! Would finally make sense to go SLI! Can't wait to see if this actually works

Madmat 2nd Mar 2015

Joined: 22nd Apr 2014
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So theoretically i could combine my two shit cards in to one big shit card?
JurGrady 2nd Mar 2015

Joined: 17th Feb 2014
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While it would sound awesome, there is 1 big 'BUT'.
Combining 2 cards using SLI or Crossfire has a huge advantage over doing that in DirectX.

First first methods (the one from the manufacturers) is a partial (not full) hardware combination.
While some of it happens in the drivers, some of it also happens on your motherboard (hence the physical connection between the different slots, what in early times was established by a seperate bridge connector but nowadays is built-in in your motherboard)

DirectX is pure software, so it will be your CPU and software who will do the ALL the work.

So while it will work, it will still be slower then having 2 cards of the same manufacturer.

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darkfireeye 3rd Mar 2015

Joined: 18th Feb 2014
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Well that sounds pretty interesting, I never run an SLI but would that mean that I could combine two cards of different age? Like I get a card that supports DirectX 12 next year or whenever , then in a 1.5 years after that I buy a new card. What do you think? Could (if the rumor is true) I then just plug in the new card in addition and get more GPU processing power in contrary to using the new card only? That would be something that really would benefit me personally.

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