Last month Microsoft Announced the newest version of its famous DirectX gaming API at Game Developers Conference 2014. Microsoft showed off DirectX 12 alongside partners including Nvidia and AMD during a sponsored GDC session dubbed “DirectX: Evolving Microsoft’s Graphics Platform.”  DirectX will have support for PCs, laptops, Windows Phone devices, and Microsoft’s own Xbox One console.


Devs Response to DirectX 12 Doubling Xbox One GPU Speed Claim – New API Will Help but not as Much

Since its release, Microsoft’s Xbox One video game console is making its way through stiff criticism and condemnation. Many factors have contributed to build up this situation including some manufacturer’s mistake. However, Microsoft is trying its best to flip the cards in favor of Xbox One and it looks like DirectX 12 is coming very handy in this situation.

The upcoming DirectX 12 will bring along with it a new version of Direct3D API. Boasting a lower level of hardware abstraction for improved CPU utilization and enhanced multithread scaling, Direct3D 12 will offer reduced GPU overhead and a number of new rendering pipeline features that will help in improving algorithm efficiency. Microsoft claims that Xbox One will equally benefit from all new DirectX 12 features.

Microsoft recently had a series of livestreamed talks about DirectX 12 during this year’s BUILD conference. Following the showcase, some articles claiming that the DirectX 12 can or might help in doubling Xbox One’s GPU speed surfaced on the internet. Neowin published an article covering Brad Wardell, founder and CEO of Stardock. Wardell talked about how DirectX 12 was a game changer for Microsoft’s latest video game and claimed that it would help double the speed of Xbox One’s GPU.

When asked to clarify and confirm his statement of DirectX 12 giving “every Xbox One owner a new GPU that is twice as fast as the old one” by a user on Twitter, Wardell said, “It’s not literally (it’s software, not hardware) but yes, dx12 games will likely by more than 2x as fast.”

“It’s not literally (it’s software, not hardware) but yes, dx12 games will likely by more than 2x as fast.”
“It’s not literally (it’s software, not hardware) but yes, dx12 games will likely by more than 2x as fast.”
“It’s not literally (it’s software, not hardware) but yes, dx12 games will likely by more than 2x as fast.”

A number of industry professionals and programmers responded to Wardell’s claim while being more skeptical. Rich Forster, programmer on SCE’s R&D PhyreEngine team, tweeted,  “Well that made me smile: … DX12 will push GPUs twice as hard leading to overheating.”

PS4 ICE Team programmer Cort Stratton was asked if Wardell’s claim about DirectX12 doubling Xbox One’s GPU speed was plausible. In response, he stated that, “New SDKs can significantly improve performance on the same hardware, yes. Dunno about DX12/X1 specifically, of course; not my dept.

Stratton also added that people have a right to be skeptical about performance gains.“Good; always be suspicious of ANY perf. improvement claims. e.g. what *exactly* got 50-100% faster? Faster than what? Details!”

Treyarch software engineer Dan Olson also tweeted regarding the matter but with a less assumed take. “Here’s an article… no idea why people go on record for stuff like this.”

Programmer Dean Ashton was not to impressed by Wardell’s claim and he took it as a hilarious joke. He tweeted, “2x perf on Xbox One when using DX12? That article nearly made me choke on my cup of tea.”

Phone Kévin Gosse, Software developer for .NET and Windows said, “RyuJIT/SIMD, DX12, Mantle…Moving back to lower abstraction levels. Programming is about rediscovering the same principles again and again!”

Billy O’Neal’s, a C# and C++ developer at Microsoft went on record in response to a user and said,“Both major consoles have a large number of weak sauce CPU cores. Hence the motivation to optimize that case.”

Regardless of the various claims and skeptical comments, people have large amount of hope that DirectX 12 will definitely prove to be a game changer for the Xbox One or at least it will take Xbox One a step further. DirectX 12 will be available in the 2015 holiday season. What do you think about DirectX 12 alongside Xbox One? Let us know in the comments.

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