Nvidia Actively Working To Implement DirectX 12 Async Compute With Oxide Games In Ashes Of The Singularity

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Sep 5, 2015

Whether Nvidia hardware supports DirectX 12 Async Compute or not has been a hot issue of debate, exacerbated by the company’s silence. Nvidia continues to be silent on the matter and despite the best efforts of the media to get the company to comment and elaborate on the matter we have yet to see the company come out with any statements thus far.

Nvidia GeForce DirectX 12 DX12
Fortunately however, the vocal nature of Oxide Game’s engagement in this debate may help us answer some of the leering questions about Nvidia’s support for Async Compute. We’ve seen several comments from a developer at Oxide Games talking about the DirectX 12 benchmark for Ashes Of The Singularity in the past week. In which the developer elaborated on several aspects of the DirectX 12 benchmark and why Nvidia GPUs seemingly struggled with it, or at least did not perform as gracefully as their AMD Radeon counterparts in it. And the developer concluded that it was down to an advantage that AMD GPUs posses over their Nvidia counterparts with a feature dubbed Asynchronous Shading/Shaders/Compute.

Nvidia Is Actively Working With Oxide Games To Implement DirectX 12 Async Compute Support For GeForce 900 Series GPUs In Ashes Of The Singularity

Yesterday the same developer issued a status update on the very same topic of DX12 Async Compute via a comment in that same vibrant Ashes Of The Singularity overclock.net thread.

Regarding Async compute, a couple of points on this. FIrst, though we are the first D3D12 title, I wouldn’t hold us up as the prime example of this feature. There are probably better demonstrations of it. This is a pretty complex topic and to fully understand it will require significant understanding of the particular GPU in question that only an IHV can provide. I certainly wouldn’t hold Ashes up as the premier example of this feature.

We actually just chatted with Nvidia about Async Compute, indeed the driver hasn’t fully implemented it yet, but it appeared like it was. We are working closely with them as they fully implement Async Compute. We’ll keep everyone posted as we learn more.

As we have already detailed in an in-depth editorial two days ago, Nvidia GTX 900 series GPUs do have the hardware capability to support asynchronous shading/computing. A question arises however if that can only be achieved through the heavy use of pre-emption and context switch, which in turn adds substantial latency and defeats the purpose of the feature which is to reduce latency / improve performance. AMD claims that this is indeed the case. Nvidia however has not yet provided us with an answer to this question when asked although they have promised to do so and as soon as that happens we will make sure to bring you an update.

In the meantime the Oxide Games developer has stated that Nvidia is actively working with them to implement support for the feature. As Async Compute has not yet been implemented fully in the latest DirectX 12 ready drivers from Nvidia. We will make sure to revisit the benchmark again once some type of support for Async Compute is achieved on GTX 900 series GPUs to see what effect it may have on performance. Although we should point out that older GeForce generations, prior to 900 series, do not have support for asynchronous shading, so the feature should have no bearing on the performance of any of those GeForce graphics cards.