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Intel demos DirectX 12 power savings

Intel demos DirectX 12 power savings

Intel's booth at the Siggraph conference is demonstrating the advantages to Microsoft's upcoming DirectX 12, showing the power savings possible on mobile platforms.

Intel and Microsoft have unveiled a new benchmark at the Siggraph 2014 graphics conference that appears to prove DirectX 12 will be a serious boon for gamers on mobile platforms, significantly lowering power consumption during 3D rendering.

Announced at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) back in March, DirectX 12 is Microsoft's latest application programming interface (API) update. Microsoft's Matt Sandy introduced the new version with the promise of 'a lower level of hardware abstraction than ever before, allowing games to significantly improve multithread scaling and CPU utilisation.' At the time, the company showed off 3DMark benchmark results that showed a halving of the CPU time required to render a scene - but since then the company has been somewhat silent on the new technology.

Intel, rather than Microsoft, has become the company to reveal a few more details, as part of the company's Siggraph 2014 booth. The company's booth is playing host to a Microsoft Surface 3 tablet, powered by the company's Core processor and HD Graphics hardware, running what is claimed to be a genuine implementation of DirectX 12 alongside DirectX 11. The results speak for themselves: at locked framerates, the CPU power consumption drops dramatically when in DirectX 12 mode, with a slight but noticeable drop in GPU power draw at the same time.

For mobile users, that's great news: a drop in power draw means an extension in battery life. For desktop users, Intel demonstrated the flip-side of the equation: at unlocked framerates, the benchmark in use jumped from 19 frames per second to 33 frames per second for the same overall power draw - roughly doubling the performance of the hardware.

Intel's little demonstration also proved something else: hardware that is DirectX 11 compatible, like the Intel HD Graphics integrated into the Surface Pro 3, should be able to benefit from the improvements to DirectX 12 without hardware modification. Sadly, Intel - like Microsoft - has remained silent on a firm launch date for the new DirectX release. More details of the test setup are available on the Intel blog.

9 Comments

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Corky42 14th August 2014, 13:13 Quote
So if DX12 is compatible with DX11 hardware does that mean when Microsoft makes it a Windows 9 exclusive we can all have a good old whine about it ;)
Margo Baggins 14th August 2014, 13:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
So if DX12 is compatible with DX11 hardware does that mean when Microsoft makes it a Windows 9 exclusive we can all have a good old whine about it ;)

Yes, and I personally can't wait for a good moan :D
SMIFFYDUDE 14th August 2014, 15:33 Quote
The graph looks like it was drawn using MS Paint.
mi1ez 15th August 2014, 05:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SMIFFYDUDE
The graph looks like it was drawn using MS Paint.

Over a Windows 95 wallpaper
Skiddywinks 15th August 2014, 05:40 Quote
Quote:
...at unlocked framerates, the benchmark in use jumped from 19 frames per second to 33 frames per second for the same overall power draw - more than doubling the performance of the hardware.

Either I am just reading this wrong and being an idiot, or the math here is a bit off...

More than double the performance would be more than 38fps, surely?
Gareth Halfacree 15th August 2014, 07:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skiddywinks
Either I am just reading this wrong and being an idiot, or the math here is a bit off... More than double the performance would be more than 38fps, surely?
No, it's not you: I had a brainfart, apparently. Should be "roughly," not "more than" - I'll go fix, ta!
Alecto 15th August 2014, 10:10 Quote
Well, if same hardware can achieve almost 100% higher frame rates solely due to software changes existing software (DX11 in this case) must be really really shitty piece of junk.
Corky42 15th August 2014, 11:59 Quote
That's a bit harsh, DX11 is almost 5 years old, things move on, developers and consumers demand better graphics as time goes by. Would you say a GTX 295 was a shitty piece of junk when compared to a GTX 780 ?

FYI I'm not saying having to wait 5 years for a new DX version is a good thing, it's just saying DX11 is rubbish because DX12 may improve things is a little disingenuous.
schmidtbag 15th August 2014, 15:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
That's a bit harsh, DX11 is almost 5 years old, things move on, developers and consumers demand better graphics as time goes by. Would you say a GTX 295 was a shitty piece of junk when compared to a GTX 780 ?

FYI I'm not saying having to wait 5 years for a new DX version is a good thing, it's just saying DX11 is rubbish because DX12 may improve things is a little disingenuous.

wow you're right.... it is almost 5 years. Feels like only 2 or 3, and even that is relatively long. But in another perspective - there are still way too many games that use DX9.
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