Bethesda Softworks announces partnership with AMD

Post » Fri Mar 03, 2017 5:01 am

This is bad news for Intel users big companies that make multiplatform gages shouldn't take sides with hardware manufacturers like for instance Tomb Raiders times exclusive meant very low sales on the neglected platforms. Ultimately behind everybprocessor there is a human user and Intel is a large fraction of the pc gaming market.
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Russell Davies
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Post » Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:53 am

You know AMD makes GPUs and they have a long running cooperation program called Gaming Evolved, similar to Nvidia's The Way It's Meant To Be Played program?
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Your Mum
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Post » Fri Mar 03, 2017 10:00 am

Yes, I want everybody to be evolved and meant to be played, but once they puck one of the two big manufacturers, they can't just do the same with the orhers, the deal is sealed. In Oblivion the game runs better with ati cards, what will happen to Intel cpu + nvidia gpu users now that they made a long term partnership? They might even bundle new games with amd cards which I haven't seen since Morrowind and that was a MSI deal.
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Mr. Allen
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Post » Fri Mar 03, 2017 6:34 am

These partnerships usually don't mean much aside from some marketing cooperation and support commitments. It's unlikely this is anything that's going to hurt Intel or nVidia users. :shrug:

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Kelvin Diaz
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Post » Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:34 pm

I hope you're right. I just bought new Intel/Nvidia gear. I'm never willingly going to buy AMD anytime soon (edit: unless forced to, via MS or Sony).

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Janine Rose
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Post » Fri Mar 03, 2017 8:18 am

Yeah, nothing to worry about. These partnerships have been going on for many, many years, and I've never had issues. In fact, in some cases there have been games that display the logo of one company or the other, and actually run better on the competing platform. ;) In most cases it's just a marketing partnership.

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Post » Fri Mar 03, 2017 3:12 am

Popped on over after AMD announced this collab. The OP is rather peculiar.

What exactly do you think AMD will do, to hamstring intel CPU-side? If anything, it's Intel that strangled AMD in the past (and are likely to do so again). Agner Fog wrote extensively about the software side (only using x87 instructions when the Intel Compiler detects an AuthenticAMD CPUID string), whereas Ian Cutress over on Anandtech gave examples of Intel forcing OEMs to completely ignore AMD's hardware, lest they be muscled out of business by Intel.

I'd have to say it's absurd to the point of hilarity that you'd suggest AMD would do that, what with the AMD Compiler using, you guessed it, Intel's Fortran Compiler. That has CPUID dispatching. Far as I know, it's been abandoned to the annals of history as a complete failure.

What AMD talked about in their presentation, was that they are collaborating with Bethesda to:

Bring Vulkan support to current franchises. This is great for: Intel GPUs, AMD GPUs, NVidia GPUs, Intel CPUs, AMD CPUs, and VIA CPUs. Vulkan, an extension of Mantle, is a vendor agnostic API that reduces the CPU burden of draw calls by a large magnitude (almost 10x more efficient than D3D 11 draw calls, almost 20x more efficient than D3D 9 dra wcalls), as well as making them embarrassingly parallel. So if you have a quad core, with all four hardware threads submitting draw calls? Thae draw call ceiling is around 200k draw calls per frame.

For reference, D3D9 has a draw call ceiling of 3k, and 6k for D3D11. Bethesda's open world games, even going back to Oblivion, constantly break past that. Ever wondered why performance is utterly atrocious in the Imperial City Market District at noon when it's raining? That's right, draw calls. Every object gets re-rendered for every light present, and if reflections are enabled, the same process repeats.

Or looking over Boston whilst at the top of the Corvega factory. With a shadow distance of 7.5k, the game makes around 8k draw calls. That's below the High preset's shadow distance of 14k. Ultra has a shadow distance value of 20k game units. The draw calls go way higher, and performance suffers terribly. This is solely due to the traditional APIs being slow beyond slow.

A new API is the answer, and Vulkan is key. Not limited to one brand's GPU lineup (Mantle), nor is it limited to Windows 10 (D3D 12). Everybody wins.

How you could find this bad, I have no idea. Want to know why Bethesda (and Obsidian for New Vegas) segmented buildings and cities in all of the ES and Fallout games? You guessed it, draw calls would go through the roof if they didn't. The answer, is to use Vulkan.

If we're lucky, we'll get a Vulkan renderer for Skyrim SE and Fallout 4. If we're exceptionally lucky, this would be backported all the way to Oblivion. I sincerely doubt it will, but damn, having Oblivion (or dare I say, Morrowind!?) not be constrained by downright pitiful draw call performance, would be astounding. We'd finally be able to run Open Cities, run full detail models (to essentially function as dynamic LOD), and have tripled Mart's Monster Mod spawns, whilst having several times better minimum framerates than vanilla.

As for the GPU side, it's no accident that Gaming Evolved titles run exceptionally well on both AMD and NVidia GPUs, due to AMD allowing everybody to view their source code. GPUOpen is still a thing by and by. However, Gameworks titles run like [censored] on AMD and Intel GPUs. Why? Because NVidia denies competing hardware brands (AMD, Intel) from viewing their source code, as well as denying developers the ability to modify the source code as well. Gameworks will only run acceptably on the newest NVidia GPUs on purpose.

And the shaders aren't even that good. Boris Vorontsov was downright disappointed when he saw NVidia's HBAO. He was hyped up by the tech papers, but the result was a poorly made, hackish implementation of AO.

tl;dr, AMD working with Bethesda to bring Vulkan is the best possible thing ever, for both the devs, and we modders & users. There is no downside.

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Kate Norris
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Post » Fri Mar 03, 2017 2:25 am

That's one hell of a hefty post for just popping in here :D

Good to know though.

edit: Ahem. Cool avatar btw.. at least without the stache. One of my favorites..

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James Wilson
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Post » Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:14 pm

AMD really need competition right now.

I'm ok with Bethesda Softworks supporting AMD more for the PC versions of the video games that they publish and sell.

I prefer Nvidia because I love Nvidia's PhysX physics engine and Nvidia is doing a pretty good job lately trying to get more of their PhysX physics engine to run on AMD graphic cards.

However I don't think you will ever see from Bethesda Softworks support Linux for the PC versions of their video games because Linux PC gaming market share isn't even at 1% on Steam.

Vulkan support you might see more from iD Software, but from Bethesda Game Studios and Arkane Studios you will see more DirectX 11 support and DirectX 12 support.

The iD Tech 5 fork for the PC version of Dishonored 2 uses DirectX 11 and not OpenGL.

The PC version of The Evil Within apparently uses DirectX 11 instead of OpenGL and it runs on iD Tech 5.

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Post » Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:31 am

All well and good in theory, but for the foreseeable future it doesn't mean much for BGS. Most obviously, BGS still isn't developing in in anything past DirectX11 (check their latest job openings) compared to devs like Battlecry who are explicitly hiring for DirectX12 and Vulkan.

But even if they did start supporting it, it wouldn't mean much anyway - their development pipeline will still only accommodate the lowest common denominator, and support for certain PC-centric GPU tech (Vulkan / PhysX etc) will only ever be limited to optional peripheral stuff, which means they're not going to alter their overall approach just to fit top-tier AMD cards, and not include the 95% of the market that doesn't fall in that category.

So it's just going to be things like the tessellation and debris effects they added to Fallout 4 post-launch for PC, if they do anything at all. Their tech is, and presumably always will be, built using consoles as a baseline: PC versions will get some extra icing and sprinkles, but they're not going to de-segment their cities and interiors just because one type of high-end PC card can potentially handle it.

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Post » Fri Mar 03, 2017 10:00 am

I don't see how this really has any relevance at all to Nvidia or Intel users, it's not going to handicap us whatsoever. Like said earlier, all this is, is a marketing scheme.
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