Jen-Hsun Huang: Nvidia GameWorks to Run on Any DX12 Compatible Platform

Zarathustra[H]

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Amid all the excitement about the announcement of the new GeForce 1080 Ti last night at Nvidia's GDC event, and the confusion as their live feed kept dropping out across all services it was on, one key announcement almost got drowned out and lost. While I have been a long time Nvidia user, I tend to consider myself brand agnostic, open to trying any brand of GPU, as long as it meets my needs. Because of this, it has irked me in the past to see Nvidia try to divide the PC gaming market with effects exclusives that only run on Nvidia GPU's through their GameWorks platform.

Last night Jen-Hsun Huang announced that this is about to change. GameWorks, in its entirety, has been ported to DX12, and will run on "any platform that is DX12 compatible". Check out the announcement in the embedded video below.


While it may have taken some time, I commend Nvidia on doing the right thing. The overall PC gaming market thrives in the absence of proprietary solutions, with artificially limited and blocked off exclusives. Next I hope they will open up on G-Sync, and maybe even support FreeSync or the new Game Mode Variable Refresh Rate standard in upcoming HDMI 2.1 TV's.
 
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JosiahBradley

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nVidia will just redifne DX12 to a feature set only their GPUs support. Business as usual. Until PhysX runs on any compute hardware, I'm not happy. They killed the one thing I was really behind back in the Ageia days with the BFG cards.
 

Snowdog

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trick0502

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i wonder if this was done because of backlash by game devs. theres been a lot of games recently that have had gameworks and suffered performance issues.
 

Brent_Justice

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Most GameWorks features have always worked on both NVIDIA and AMD GPUs, like HBAO+, PCSS shadows, etc....

Only HFTS and TXAA require NV GPUs, otherwise I haven't run across any setting recently in GameWorks that didn't work on an AMD GPU in DX11 just fine.
 

admiralperpetual

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Most GameWorks features have always worked on both NVIDIA and AMD GPUs, like HBAO+, PCSS shadows, etc....

Only HFTS and TXAA require NV GPUs, otherwise I haven't run across any setting recently in GameWorks that didn't work on an AMD GPU in DX11 just fine.

well, there's two features greyed out in arkham knight under the "gameworks" section on my r9 390... I believe it's the volumetric smoke and enhanced paper or something like that?
 

Brent_Justice

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well, there's two features greyed out in arkham knight under the "gameworks" section on my r9 390... I believe it's the volumetric smoke and enhanced paper or something like that?

Those are PhysX API effects, something completely different.

A lot of people put PhysX under the umbrella of GameWorks, perhaps it technically is by name only, but in reality it's two very separate things. PhysX is the API purchased by NVIDIA from Agea a ways back for dedicated hardware Physics.

It is best to think of PhysX as separate from GameWorks features like HBAO+, PCSS shadows etc.....

You also do not see PhysX stuff a whole lot anymore, it's kind of faded. Instead now replaced by common DX11/DX12 render paths. The physical simulation water demo for example is all DirectX.
 

Anarchist4000

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Does not make much sense to port GameWorks to DX12.
Actually it does if you consider Nvidia might actually want physics code running on AMD hardware efficiently. Theory being AMD APUs or future Intel+AMD integrated solutions potentially being nice co-processors. Won't apply to all effects obviously, but may ultimately be the better solution. Competitors product, but also a product they won't necessarily be in direct competition with.

Most GameWorks features have always worked on both NVIDIA and AMD GPUs, like HBAO+, PCSS shadows, etc....
Definition of "works" might be open for interpretation on some features (Hairworks) prior to Polaris.
 

Brent_Justice

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Actually it does if you consider Nvidia might actually want physics code running on AMD hardware efficiently. Theory being AMD APUs or future Intel+AMD integrated solutions potentially being nice co-processors. Won't apply to all effects obviously, but may ultimately be the better solution. Competitors product, but also a product they won't necessarily be in direct competition with.


Definition of "works" might be open for interpretation on some features (Hairworks) prior to Polaris.

Working is working, even if its slow.

You have always had the option to toggle them off if performance is too demanding.
 

admiralperpetual

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Those are PhysX API effects, something completely different.

A lot of people put PhysX under the umbrella of GameWorks, perhaps it technically is by name only, but in reality it's two very separate things. PhysX is the API purchased by NVIDIA from Agea a ways back for dedicated hardware Physics.

It is best to think of PhysX as separate from GameWorks features like HBAO+, PCSS shadows etc.....

You also do not see PhysX stuff a whole lot anymore, it's kind of faded. Instead now replaced by common DX11/DX12 render paths. The physical simulation water demo for example is all DirectX.

hmm. maybe I should stick in an older nvidia card and see if I can get "hybrid physx" working then :p
 

renz496

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nVidia will just redifne DX12 to a feature set only their GPUs support. Business as usual. Until PhysX runs on any compute hardware, I'm not happy. They killed the one thing I was really behind back in the Ageia days with the BFG cards.

believe it or not nvidia have the interest to make it happen before. but it is AMD themselves did not like it to happen because it does not give them PR advantage by promoting competitor tech on their hardware.

https://www.techpowerup.com/64787/r...dia-offered-to-help-us-expected-more-from-amd
http://www.ngohq.com/news/14254-physx-gpu-acceleration-on-radeon-update.html
 

Armenius

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hmm. maybe I should stick in an older nvidia card and see if I can get "hybrid physx" working then :p
You can't because NVIDIA drivers will not install with an AMD card present in the system.

But to Brent's point, saying PhysX is separate from Gameworks means the former is an API specific to NVIDIA hardware while the latter is a middleware that is mostly hardware agnostic.
 
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hmm. maybe I should stick in an older nvidia card and see if I can get "hybrid physx" working then :p

You can't because NVIDIA drivers will not install with an AMD card present in the system.

NV has tried to lock out users but where there is a will, there is a way.

http://physxinfo.com/wiki/Hybrid_PhysX

Needs Win 10 and compatible with most GPU and drivers up to 378.66.

TBH, seems like a lot of hassle for the few games that currently use GPU PhysX.
 

JosiahBradley

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Working is working, even if its slow.

You have always had the option to toggle them off if performance is too demanding.
The thing is TressFX ran beautifully on BOTH companies hardware, even better on nVidia. Only nVidia decides they needed a competitor to the already open sources TressFX code and added tessellation knowing it performs better on their geometry engines but adds nearly no noticeable difference (see hairworks capped at 6x on AMD for comparisons). The open DX solution worked better and looked on parity to the closed solution that purposefully crippled the competitor see Crysis 2 they will never live that shit down.
 

Pieter3dnow

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Actually it does if you consider Nvidia might actually want physics code running on AMD hardware efficiently. Theory being AMD APUs or future Intel+AMD integrated solutions potentially being nice co-processors. Won't apply to all effects obviously, but may ultimately be the better solution. Competitors product, but also a product they won't necessarily be in direct competition with.

I see this as a blatant check mark feature, Nvidia ported their stuff for x86 consoles as well , wonder how well that went ?
 

Pieter3dnow

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renz496

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I don't believe any of it , maybe that is the reason why AMD did GPUopen project

this is long time ago. if you remember back in 2009 nvidia mentioned that they have no problem if AMD want to license the PhysX tech from them. but it seems AMD rather start from the scratch (their partnership with Bullet) rather than working with nvidia. so from that point on nvidia aware it is useless for them even if they try to work with AMD.

GPU open is more AMD effort to provide similar effect to gameworks but fully open source. well to make it short AMD simply did not like the idea have to pay nvidia if they want access to the source code. and this is the norm in middleware business. take havok for example. you can't have the source code unless you pay the licensing fee to havok. right now PhysX is more open than havok in regards to source access.
 

EvilWays

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The thing is TressFX ran beautifully on BOTH companies hardware, even better on nVidia. Only nVidia decides they needed a competitor to the already open sources TressFX code and added tessellation knowing it performs better on their geometry engines but adds nearly no noticeable difference (see hairworks capped at 6x on AMD for comparisons). The open DX solution worked better and looked on parity to the closed solution that purposefully crippled the competitor see Crysis 2 they will never live that shit down.
TressFX ran like shit on nVidia hardware at the beginning. I had to turn in off when playing Tomb Raider when I had the GTX 680 in my desktop (currently has an R290X) until a few hotfix driver releases and a standard driver update after the oiginal driver update for Tomb Raider was released. That might have been a case of a lack of communication between the devs and nVidia though, as I vaguely remember the argument that nVidia didn't have the final game to work on the drivers properly vs. Team DAAMiT having more time with the final game to get drivers working.
 

GDI Lord

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Working is working, even if its slow.
That's the equivalent of saying that one can drive from Cape Town to London (or New York to San Francisco) in a broken, shaky VW Beetle going 1 KM/h. One CAN do it, but it would be better to travel through three continents in something like a Land Rover or a Jeep.

I don't believe any of it , maybe that is the reason why AMD did GPUopen project
I generally <3, support and advocate open source projects over proprietary one, unless the proprietary ones are spectacularly better and/or are better for the computing or gaming industry.
 

renz496

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TressFX ran like shit on nVidia hardware at the beginning. I had to turn in off when playing Tomb Raider when I had the GTX 680 in my desktop (currently has an R290X) until a few hotfix driver releases and a standard driver update after the oiginal driver update for Tomb Raider was released. That might have been a case of a lack of communication between the devs and nVidia though, as I vaguely remember the argument that nVidia didn't have the final game to work on the drivers properly vs. Team DAAMiT having more time with the final game to get drivers working.

if i remember correctly nvidia have the final game. just not with the final version of tressfx that supposed to ship with the final game.
 

Pieter3dnow

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Because as a developer you are not bound to the restrictions of the high level API your engine might work so much differently and have features which dwarf the blackbox Nvidia approach that you have no need for another API since your engine would handle it a thousand times better without the drawback of screwing over another IHV.
If the developer used GPUopen counterparts it could benefit even more developers.
 

Pieter3dnow

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this is long time ago. if you remember back in 2009 nvidia mentioned that they have no problem if AMD want to license the PhysX tech from them. but it seems AMD rather start from the scratch (their partnership with Bullet) rather than working with nvidia. so from that point on nvidia aware it is useless for them even if they try to work with AMD.

GPU open is more AMD effort to provide similar effect to gameworks but fully open source. well to make it short AMD simply did not like the idea have to pay nvidia if they want access to the source code. and this is the norm in middleware business. take havok for example. you can't have the source code unless you pay the licensing fee to havok. right now PhysX is more open than havok in regards to source access.

And Havok is Intel owned and has been for a while now: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Havok_(software)

Like I said before I don't believe any of the physics story , not that it was offered and not that AMD had to pay for it.
 

Creig

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TressFX ran like shit on nVidia hardware at the beginning. I had to turn in off when playing Tomb Raider when I had the GTX 680 in my desktop (currently has an R290X) until a few hotfix driver releases and a standard driver update after the oiginal driver update for Tomb Raider was released. That might have been a case of a lack of communication between the devs and nVidia though, as I vaguely remember the argument that nVidia didn't have the final game to work on the drivers properly vs. Team DAAMiT having more time with the final game to get drivers working.
It only took a week for the patch to be released that fixed the performance issues on Nvidia cards, IIRC. That's pretty fast.
 

Creig

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believe it or not nvidia have the interest to make it happen before. but it is AMD themselves did not like it to happen because it does not give them PR advantage by promoting competitor tech on their hardware.

Nvidia most certainly did NOT want AMD owners using PhysX. Hardware PhysX has been proven to operate correctly on an Nvidia card with an AMD card as the primary renderer through a simple patch. Nvidia deliberately added driver code that prevents hardware PhysX from working to keep it locked into an "Nvidia-ONLY" ecosystem. Nvidia even went so far as to disable Ageia cards from working with ATi cards back when Nvidia purchased PhysX, screwing over the people who had purchased the cards prior to Nvidia's takeover.
 
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