Right now there has lots of talk going on around DirectX 12 and in what way new and current graphics cards might use the recent API to leverage overall performance in forthcoming gaming titles. In a meeting with Computerbase relating to DirectX 12, AMD’s Robert Hallock ( Head of global technical marketing ) said that their present GCN cards don’t offer complete DirectX 12 support as they are limited by Feature Level 12.0 although the competitive Maxwell graphics cards include full Feature Level 12.1 support.

DirectX 12 will likely be the newest API from Microsoft which is created to leverage performance across many platforms. It will be created for PCs, Consoles, Tablets as well as for mobile phones which are running on the Microsoft Windows 10 OS. Since its announcement, graphics makers like Intel, AMD, NVIDIA as well as Qualcomm have believed that the hardware they constructed can totally supported DirectX 12 features. We have come a long way because the revelation and bits by bits, we get extra information about the various feature levels and benefits of the API. The initial thing we understood about DirectX 12 API was that it had been constructed for low CPU overhead by limiting the CPU bottleneck dealt with by the graphics card and entirely use the processor to its optimum potential . The additional features included extra control over hardware by the designers along with a completely asynchronous computing method that is much faster and efficient.

The reference DirectX 12 API ( offer Level 11.0 ) offers performance targeted capabilities although the additional two level provide graphical enhancement and this is exactly what really matters in enhancing the games visually. The feature level 12.0 comes along with Tiled Resources, Typed UAV Access and Bindless Textures support. Feature Level 12.1 bears the Raster Order Views, Conservative Raster and Volume Tiled Raster capable on the API. We now have discussed each of these features in earlier articles describing the performance improvement, explicit multi-adapter technology as well as graphical upgrades. But to allow the latest technologies, the hardware constructed by companies should be total compliant with it.

AMD has just verified that their recent cards can support Feature Level 12.0 at the best although NVIDIA’s Maxwell 2.0 architecture has support for Feature Level 12.1. The cards that feature level 12.0 support consist of Radeon HD 7790, Radeon R7 260( X ), Radeon R9 285, Radeon R9 290( X ) and also R9 295X2. The old cards like the ones based upon Tahiti, Pitcairn which include almost all the 7000 series cards ( not including HD 7790 ), Radeon R9 270( X ) as well as Radeon R9 280( X ) offer around Feature Level 11.1 support. Robert Hallock thinks that there’s no issue with not feature DirectX Feature Level 12.1 support due to the fact that the features are performance improving products are already found in 11.1 and 12.0 and the majority of games won’t depend on utilization of 12.1.

According to Hallock, “the absence of the feature level 12_1 is no problem in principle. So the key for games features are all included in the feature level 11_1 and 12_0. In addition, most games would already geared to the console and thus hardly rely on 12_1.”

This although might damage AMD in the future against Maxwell ( GeForce 900 series ) cards which are compliant with DirectX 12 feature level 12.1 and that was proven in their recent GeForce GTX 980 Ti release. NVIDIA’s old cards, like Kepler and also Fermi coming with Feature Level 11.0 supported with limited Feature Level 11.1 support.

Perhaps it will mean that AMD’s just Feature Level 12.1 compliant card could be their new Fiji GPU based cards unveiling this month. Although, comparing and contrasting by Robert Hallock’s announcement about how DirectX Feature Level 12.1 is not essential for them, it can also mean that that they can also provide confined support on Fiji but which is still to be confirmed.





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Hardware enthusiast, Gamer, Writer. I enjoy picking up games, putting them back down, and then writing about it.