AMD and NVIDIA have been sharing the gaming GPU market for nearly a decade now. Both companies have drawn in many loyal fans, and their products each have their own list of pros and cons. Choosing between the two companies can be a hard choice, and no matter what side you pick you will always be missing the features of the competing hardware. Fortunately, DirectX 12 appears to address this issue by allowing users to mix and match video cards from both companies.
Earlier in the week, an anonymous source told TomsHardware about an API that will break the barrier between AMD and NVIDIA hardware. While the source didn’t specify the API, it was very likely that they were talking about DirectX 12. GameSpot was then contacted by a source “connected to the matter,” who further confirmed this as a DirectX 12 feature.
Simply put, DirectX 12 will be able to pool all the available resources (VRAM and processing power) from multiple GPUs, regardless of their brand, and use them to render the same game. The biggest change this could bring is that gamers will be able to leverage the numerous company-exclusive features. The most notable ones are PhysX and AMD True audio, but there are also a lot of other features only available to select GPUs.
Before we get too excited, we have to remember that the fate of this feature lies within the hands of developers. The current exclusive features haven’t been adopted by a majority of game developers, and I’m skeptical as to whether DX12 will change this. The main factor to consider is that mixing two GPUs will likely be done only by enthusiasts, and the average consumer will likely just stick to using one video card. It should also be noted that using and AMD and NVIDIA set-up will likely give less performance at a higher cost (compared to a single GPU or traditional SLI/Crossfire).
Previously, I wasn’t all that excited for DX12 and was more hyped about Mantle. However, this is a huge game changer and I am really looking forward to see what both AMD and Microsoft have to say at GDC 2015 next week. My only concern is when, or even if, we will see this adopted by game developers. Regardless, this has massive potential to change the way gamers buy their computer parts.
Thanks to Creative Cloud for bringing this to our attention