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DirectX 12 could let all games run at 1080p on Xbox One – developer

Although Microsoft Corp. said last October that its DirectX 12 application programming interface would not dramatically improve performance of its Xbox One game console, some game developers think otherwise. Brad Wardell from Stardock Studios believes that DX12 along with optimizations from game developers can improve performance so significantly that all new games will be able to run at 1920*1080 resolution on Xbox One.

“The part I think that users will care about is that it [DirectX 12] should address the resolution stuff for most people,” said Mr. Wardell in an interview with GamingBolt web-site. “That is what I think is the most glaring thing that people are upset about.”

Unlike Sony PlayStation 4, which is equipped with high-performance GDDR5 memory with 176GB/s total bandwidth, Microsoft’s Xbox One features DDR3 memory with total bandwidth of 68.3GB/s. In order to speed up memory operations required to display high-resolution graphics, Microsoft equipped memory subsystem of the console with 32MB/s of embedded static RAM, or ESRAM, with a memory bandwidth between 109GB/s and 204GB/s.

Game developers have to use the ESRAM efficiently to improve performance of their titles. However, DirectX 11.1-derivative API that Xbox One uses today cannot use the 32MB memory pool efficiently all the time, which is why many game developers cannot take advantage of the large cache. According to Brad Wardell, not only DirectX 12 will let game designers to better use the ESRAM, but Microsoft now also provides a special tool to game developers that is expected to automatically optimize usage of the ESRAM cache by games.

“They also released a new […] optimization tool that will actually algorithmically try to come up with an optimization for the developer,” said the game developers. “So instead of the developer trying to hand set-up what uses eSRAM, they have their own app to try and do as much of it for them as they can.”

microsoft_xbox_one_bundles

While DirectX 12 API will not speed up current games, or even all upcoming titles, software developed for DX12 properly will run faster on Xbox One than current games. Still, game developers will have to use Microsoft’s tools and all their own magic to make high-quality titles run at 1080p resolution.

“DirectX 12 won’t do anything magically,” said Mr. Wardell. “The developers still have to use it, it’s not like your old games will magically be faster.”

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KitGuru Says: If it is true that current Xbox One API cannot take advantage of the console’s ESRAM, then it is a clear shame because memory sub-system was named the system’s Achilles’ heel long before its commercial release. Hopefully, game developers will finally find out how to use the ESRAM properly with the help of DX12 and Microsoft’s tools in the future.

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69 comments

  1. “While DirectX 12 API will not speed up current games, or even all upcoming titles, software developed for DX12 properly will run faster on Xbox One than current games”

    I don’t understand this sentence. DX12 will not speed up current or future games, but DX12 will speed up future games. So will game run better if built with DX12 or no?

  2. It’s saying it has the capability to speed up upcoming titles, but probably not ALL future titles as developers will have to make a dedicated effort with DX12 and they don’t believe all developers will.

  3. Cheers. I wonder what is the point of having DX12 then, it will most likely be used for Microsoft exclusive tiles only.

  4. DX12 won’t add extra graphics cores or faster RAM to the XBO. It’s a software update, not a miracle.

  5. DX12 will also make pc games easier to port to xbox.Considering games are made on pc for consoles its safe to say dx12 wil be implemented in alot of titles.l

  6. It will only be microsoft platform exclusive games. Microsoft already said that DX12 will not go to PS4 and with PS4 having the most user base at the moment, developer will not build games with DX12.

    To be honest it sounds like DX12 will flop so bad.

  7. most likely backfire, yeah okay, it’ll be more optimized, but the console won’t have a better graphics chip, will probably make it throttle more than it already is XD

  8. True PlayStation has a bigger sales base than xbox but not as large as PC. If direct x is a miracle working program which developers are claiming it is. I think tables will turn. Lets be real, the only reason PlayStation is leading in sales is because Microsoft messed up th3 launch. Sony really has nothing to be proud off. They are winning a race because Microsoft stumbled. Microsoft had bad policies and a 100.00 plus higher price tag. You cant compete with this.

  9. This is not true. Watch this. It will inform you.
    The Inner Circle special – DX12 Tech Talk with Br…: http://youtu.be/47cnFWK0dRM

  10. You are right but multiplatform developers have no choice but to stick with DX11 as they cannot choose to support microsoft platforms only, which I believe is the reason why DX12 can be programmed the same as DX11 with little to no improvement as mentioned by the article.

    The tables won’t turn, sadly just a graphic API will not do miracle and let Xbox caught up in terms of raw power compare to PS4. People need to realise too that Xbox One is not a dedicated gaming console, it is an entertainment system that focus on everything they do but Sony kept PS4 as a dedicated gaming system.

    Even when Xbox One almost permanently cheaper now, it only managed to caught up for one month but falls behind again, the user base is almost 1:2 right now and we are still not getting any quality exclusive games yet. True that PS4 is releasing tons of indie and past exclusive remasters but that is mainly because majority xbox 360 user base migrated to PS4.

    I am really really hoping Xbox will be getting some great titles soon. My Xbox been gathering dust for the last 6 months, the last game I actually played on it was Titanfall and MCC 🙁

  11. The Inner Circle special – DX12 Tech Talk with Br…: http://youtu.be/47cnFWK0dRM
    This is a little better explanation of DX12. Xbox is playing catch up now but really both consoles are similar. The bullshit resolution gate is media hype. You cant tell the differences between 1080 and 900p ,Maybe if you had a magnifying glass. I dont see either system with a advantage on exclusive yet.

  12. Lol what resolution gate, come on man 1080p and 900p is different. 2073600 pixels and 1440000 pixels are very different. Even counting pixels, 1080p have 30% more pixel which makes the image 30% sharper than 900p. These are real facts in graphics and you can ask other graphic designer and they will tell you it is true.

    http://cdn2.wccftech.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/resolution-comparison-one.png

    Seriously don’t bring the resolution gate and tell people there is no difference between 1080p and 900p. It is a losing argument. Saying 1080p, 900p and 720p has no difference is like saying there is no difference between 30fps and 60fps. Then only type of people who can’t see the difference, are blind people, no offence to blind people, but it is very noticeable.

  13. It will not give the XBO 50% more GPU cores and GDDR5 memory. Stardock are not exactly experienced developers. DX12.s main beneficiaries will be PC Gamers.

  14. The only people who can’t see the difference are Xbox One gamers, apparently.

  15. Bahahaha what are you trying to prove? Resolution is only a factor depending on how far you are away from the tv , viewing angle and size of your tv. If you aren’t playing on a 60+ inch television, you are delusional. Anyways its a gate that xbox is closing. Lately certain games perform better on both systems.
    http://www.dualshockers.com/2014/02/23/1080p-vs-900p-vs-720p-screenshot-comparison-can-you-tell-the-difference/

  16. The reason Sony are ahead is because they produced a better console, not because Microsoft stumbled, though Microsoft did stumble.

    Developers are not claiming DX12 will perform miracles, and even Microsoft are being conservative with their performance talk on the Xbox. DX12 will have the most benefit on PC games, because consoles already have many of the hardware optimisations in the API.

    EDIT:

    And DX12 isn’t going to flop. It will become the standard on PC games, just as DX11 is the current standard. DX10, now that flopped.

  17. This is coming from someone who is working with it. I think ill take there words over yours…

  18. So you are telling me, if I sit far from the TV, perfect viewing angle, 32 inch tv, my dvd will look like my blu ray?

    Btw the report you linked is fake. Upscale does not work that way, you don’t take screenshot and photoshop it and calling it “upscale”. That technique is call bullshot. My image above clearly shows the difference between Ryse, running on Xbox 1 at 900p and 1080p on PC, even better, you can see the difference even when the image is small aka small screen 🙂

    You know, a Ferrari is a Ferrari. You can’t say a random car on the street is as good as a Ferrari, unless you are blind of course.

  19. You don’t need to take my word for it, just use your head and common sense. DirectX 12 is a software update, not a hardware update. It isn’t going to give the Xbox One 50% more GPU cores and faster memory. The two things that set it behind the PS4.

    And this is the wonderful thing about the internet. You get to talk shit to someone without knowing a thing about them. I’ma software developer, and I’ve worked with DirectX 9, 10 and 11 (mainly the HLSL of DX11, but yeah).

  20. I think I’m speaking to one, he seems to refuse to accept the fact that 1080p have more pixel count than 720p. I guess logic doesn’t work for him, probably thinks apple and orange is the same.

  21. Trying to give him the benefit of the doubt and assuming he’s got himself muddled up over the DX12 update, because it seems like he thinks it will make the XBO spawn new hardware.

    PS4 has 50% more GPU cores. can produce 50% more pixels at a good framerate.

    I think DX12 will be a good thing for the XBO. It will benefit PS4 gamers as well, since XBO multiplat games will be able to do more, so all these parity forced games can look better on the PS4 as well.

  22. What are you taking about. Xbox One have a hidden core and power of the cloud! With the power of the cloud, even 720p games will look like 1080p and 30fps and 60fps will look the same!

  23. DX12 will enable a hardware part that was not being used. 32MB is big cache with a memory bandwidth between 109GB/s and 204GB/s. Caches are used in CPU or GPU to improve bandwidth significantly and resolution benefit from higher bandwidth.

  24. eSRAM is being used right now. It’s perhaps not being used to it’s full potential, but it’s being used. DX12 isn’t going to enable that, the new SDK algorithm that comes with DX12 (but isn’t part of DX12) will help to optimise. Though, to be honest, I doubt development studios will leave the default optimisation in place. Each game engine is different.

    Cache is not used in CPU’s and GPU’s to improve bandwidth, they’re used to store code ready to be executed, rather than having to access it from RAM, it’s more efficient to have it on the same die as the CPU, very close, and with quick access. http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/188776-how-l1-and-l2-cpu-caches-work-and-why-theyre-an-essential-part-of-modern-chips

  25. The only people who can’t see the difference between 30 and 60 FPS are PS4 gamers, apparently.

    Seems like all console owners only see what they want to see.

  26. I’m a PC gamer, and if you can’t tell the difference between 30FPS and 60FPS then you’re stupid. It’s like night and day.

  27. Why mention a Ferrari ? In this case (ps4 and Xbox one) it’s more like a Ford and a Honda.

    There should be far more concern that neither of these consoles can hit 60 FPS without cutting back elsewhere, Sony seem to of more or less given up on the idea of ever having 1080p 60 FPS games and aim everything at 30 FPS despite it making the graphics look tacky, Erm especially if you sit close to the screen !.eh.

  28. I agree also mainly use PC, but as it’s a thing the PS4 is bad at apparently only PS4 gamers can’t see the difference.

    Remember they released Xbox One Forza 5 at 1080p and 60FPS ? (a launch title) what did we hear from PS4 owners ?, “Oh its easy to do racing games at that resolution and FPS” only they found out with Drive clubs 30fps its not actually easy to do at all, but it’s all ok as apparently no one can tell the difference between 30 and 60 FPS on driving games now.

  29. A miracle ? As you can see most games are 900p so it just needs a little push not a miracle.

  30. Can the esram render up to 6gb? Will dx12 unlock multi gpu in the x1 and will multiplat devs start using dx12 as base platform? PLEASE ANSWER

  31. Your a developer? More like a PlayStation fanboy

  32. You have those super pixel counting eyes fanboy

  33. You don’t understand what you’re commenting on. FPS and resolution are in no way related. 1080p does NOT make the image ‘sharper.’ Increasing resolution simply hides pixel boarders, and pixel color transition as you either, A. get closer to your screen, or B. increase screen size. For some, that sit close to their TVs, it matters, but for most console players 720p and 1080p will look identical. Consoles are a completely different animal than PCs. On a PC, when sitting 8 inches from your screen resolution is paramount, but when you’re sitting 12 feet from a 50 inch screen, the benefit is just meh.

  34. Jesus, you really need to do some research, before commenting. A DVD is 480p, and yes, for most living rooms you will see a huge difference between 480p and 720p/1080p.

  35. Indeed, DX11.x is already a low-level api on xbox, precisely because the hardware is standardized.
    Maybe DX12 will giove the devs more control, but it will require way more work/time to do this, and it won’t be such a big improvement as for the PC.

  36. if you cross your eyes, you can almost make this picture feel 3D
    cool

  37. get a bigger tv, and WHOA does the difference get enhanced

  38. Dale Peter Golder

    It wouldn’t give the Chipset more cores what so ever, however DX12 will utilize the hardware better, it does however spread more cpu load over the cores for better performance as mentioned.

    A software/firmware update isn’t going to increase the cores, unless there was locked cores, which Dx12 wont do, this would be down to AMD rather than a DX12 release/update.

    We’ll see what happens, but Dx12 will not give the xbox1 and ps4 more cores, that’s not right.

  39. Dale Peter Golder

    Dx12 is supposed to offer the same or better performance than Mantle which affected AMD’s previous line up of GPU’s and some of the 7*** hardware.

    We’ll see what really happens, it’ll really help PC gaming though wont it for mutli GPU configurations (SLI/CF) Vram Stacking will be nice for 4k, but that’s IF games will even take advantage of it.

  40. Dale Peter Golder

    They still probably believe the myth of “The human eye cannot see more than 60fps” 😉

  41. Dunno what it does. But idefinitely wouldn’t argue with someone who is developing on it already.

  42. Dale Peter Golder

    Just because they’re developing on it, doesn’t mean that they have all the knowledge about a chipset. The only way DX12 would increase core count is by cores that are already locked, and then unlocked by the update, however this isn’t the case.

  43. This article has been doing the rounds lately. While it is a no brainer that DX12 cannot magically provide new cores, it can utilise the existing ones much better, as they are currently being underutilised by a wide margin. So the net effect is looking like you get extra cores, that is, performance equivalent of adding a core or two. Not that this is across the board, not just X1. In addition, scheduling and batching functionality (not t mention ESram usage) increases parallelism and spreads load much better across the entire system, so you are getting an aggregated benefit when multiple aspects of a system are all marginally improved.
    How much will it be? Well, like others have said, it entirely depends on the dev and the game, much like it does now. I suspect PC’s will see a greater benefit, but the X1 definitely will see a benefit. Seeing as how many games are currently hitting 1080p on the existing API, I suspect all the extra benefits will indeed make 1080p a much simpler task.
    It will be a similar case for Sony as well, although they do have a pretty good API for the PS4 as it stands (Note, Sony PS4 does not use DX), I suspect they will also benefit indirectly from DX12 as they may put similar improvements into their own API.

  44. Your extremetech link gave proof to what I’m saying and developpers are saying. You just cannot throw links like that to look credible.

    “Recent research advocates using large die-stacked DRAM caches to break the memory bandwidth wall. ”
    http://parsa.epfl.ch/~jevdjic/papers/ISCA13_footprint.pdf

    Bandwidth and quick access is the same basic thing, read: bandwidth is your speed at which you access all of your central memory data and caching “accelarate access to useful data”.

    We are talking about accessing memory.

    From your own link:

    “Caching was invented to solve a significant problem. In the early decades of computing, main memory was extremely slow and incredibly expensive — but CPUs weren’t particularly fast, either. Starting in the 1980s, the gap began to widen very quickly. Microprocessor clock speeds took off, but memory access times improved far less dramatically. As this gap grew, it became increasingly clear that a new type of fast memory was needed to bridge the gap.”

    The 32MB added by MS is not part of the GPU as is, it’s an add-on a bit like the embeded CPU and DX11 is a standard graphics protocol and MS just admited that they did not yet implement efficient drivers for this cache.

    ” Note that fragment shading and frame-buffer bandwidth are often lumped together under the heading fill rate, because both are a function of screen resolution.”
    “Before the advent of highly programmable fragment-processing GPUs, it was rare to be bound by fragment shading. It was often frame-buffer bandwidth that caused the inevitable correlation between screen resolution and performance. This pendulum is now starting to swing toward fragment shading, however, as the newfound flexibility enables developers to spend oodles of cycles making fancy pixels.”
    http://http.developer.nvidia.com/GPUGems/gpugems_ch28.html

    For your graphics cores concern I did a little extrapolation from a 1280 GPU cards at 4k gaming (4 times the 1080p pixels) and it was running between 15 and 40 average FPS depending on the game.
    These data indicate that a 768 cores XBOX One GPU could render at 1080p with enough bandwidth.

  45. Dale, whats your thoughts on it then? Do you believe it will give the xbox a boost?

  46. It increases core usage and utilisation. It does not add extra cores, hidden or otherwise. That notion is silly. It is well known that DX11 under utilises multiple cores. So net effect is more cores used, not more cores added.
    More cores will be used to help processing, but only from the pool of 8 already there (1 is reserved for OS stuff I believe)
    Cores are just one part of it though. There are multiple benefits to the API change and an aggregate benefit of those changes is what will make a difference,

  47. Dale Peter Golder

    DX12 will utilize the CPU and GPU side better, that’s really about it, the biggest boost however is in PC gaming rather than console gaming I’m afraid, however there will be a benefit for the Xbox1, but we’ll have to wait and see how big that improvement is.

  48. What a load of BS.

  49. You should shut up when you have no idea what you are talking about. And educate yourself or read before opening that trap, it will give you arguments.

    I should have bragged before posting like Kryten2k35. It could have saved you some spanking.

    I have a B.S. in computer science and I build my own 3D engine.

  50. Not really… 1080p is pretty much 50% more pixels than 900p ((1920*1080)/(1600*900)=1.4x) or 40% more specific dots to calculate.

  51. No it is not for exclusive titles, all developers will have access to what DX12 has to offer, but it is up to the developer to use these new features or not. The only reason DX12 is not offered to Sony is because it was built for Windows OS, however nothing stops the developers from using DX12 features for Xbox.

  52. Burn….

  53. Finally someone with brains.

  54. The bigger concern here is that while it may reach 1080p and 60 fps on titles, does not mean it will mimic the graphical fidelity of the PS4. You still have to fill those pixels with textures and shades which is GPU dependent, not memory. Developers are not cutting resolution on the Xbox One because it can’t reach that resolution but because they can’t mimic the graphical fidelity of the PS4 port at the same resolution. PS4 renders better benchmarks and graphical fidelity because it larger GPU with more CU’s/shaders.

  55. Yes the PS4 has an advantage of course with the CU’s/shaders. But you know what, that makes me think about the Nvidia Maxwell’s architecture built around a big L2 cache with lower cores count and lower memory bus bandwidth.

    http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/geforce-gtx-750-ti-review,review-32889.html

    “Where the two GPUs really diverge is their L2 cache capacity. In GK106, you were looking at 128 KB per slice, adding up to 256 KB in an implementation with two ROP partitions. GM107 appears to wield 1 MB per slice, yielding 2 MB of memory used for servicing load, store, and texture requests. According to Nvidia, this translates to a significant load shifted away from the external memory system, along with notable power savings.

    Going easy on memory bandwidth is smart, since GM107 exposes a pair of 64-bit memory controllers to which 1 or 2 GB of 1350 MHz GDDR5 DRAM is attached. Peak throughput is, interestingly, exactly what we got from GeForce GTX 650 Ti: 86.4 GB/s. The memory is feeding fewer CUDA cores, but they’re managed more efficiently. So, the big L2 is supposed to play an instrumental role in preventing a bottleneck.”

    GeForce GTX 650 TI __Kepler____768 cores ___86.4 GB/s
    GeForce GTX 750 Ti __Maxwell __640 cores ___86.4 GB/s
    GeForce GTX 660 ____Kepler ___960 cores __144.2 GB/s

    650 TI -> 17% more cores but 15% slower than 750 TI on Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag. The GTX 660 has 35% more cores but the GTX 750 ti has only 15% less frame rate than the 660 in Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag.

    Say if the 750 TI had 17% more cores (boosted to 768) we might have performance similar to the GTX 660 with it’s 960 cores.

    So it’s interesting.

  56. Forza 5 and Drive Club a developed differently. Forza uses static graphics for a large majority of its elements. Where as Drive Club uses dynamic graphics through out the whole game which taxes the CPU and GPU more than static.

  57. Well said and very bias.

  58. Xbox One does not have a hidden core with-in its APU. Its has 8-Cores that are not utilized which means that with DX11.X is better off just utilizing 1-2 cores. Plus, the major contributor is the GPU when its comes to filling those pixels with texture/shades. DX12 is to utilize CPU resources which in turn will allow the GPU to do its job better but will only help it reach its full potential. The PS4 has a much larger GPU in its APU so it will always deliver better graphical fidelity with cross-platform games. Do not get your hopes to high with cloud computing because its better to have client side processing than server side.

  59. Um, why would something that is done almost automatically require more work?

  60. smaller header ( to enable more drawcalls) will be automatic, but smaller header is just the tip of the iceberg for DX12 (and 360/X1’s DX11 is already optimized for one hardware).
    It also provides more control over memory usage/partitioning, more control of shader compilation, and other little tweaks that will speed up performance, but which will need the devs to do things that were managed automaticcally by DX before.

  61. Thank you for that, but I was speaking specifically of esram management, which is optimised algorithmically, after which performance can be fine-tuned if dev so chooses.

    Also, while you may be correct that One may not benefit from being “close to the metal,” that is not the only benefit. DX3d 11 has a LOT of bookkeeping overhead that will be eliminated once One is switched to DX3d 12. That alone will give devs more headroom for gaming richness.

  62. DX12 won’t change anything for ESRAM managment, since it must already be managed manually depending on your game to reach good performances.

    I’m no X1 dev, but from what was reported by actual devs after DX12 improvements were made public, the majority of the DX11 overhead comes from the need for abstraction (DX12 will greatly reduce that but not to the extend of consoles API).

    DX11 on X1 may be called the same and may provides the same interface (-ish), behind this, this is already a low lovel api devoted for only one hardware.
    The same could be said for the GNM api for PS4.
    That’s why X1 (and consoles in general) can achieve way more drawcalls than PC, and why games can run surprisigly fine on what could be call “low-spec pc with a controller”.

    Of course, DX12 will improve things, but not that much on consoles compared to PC.

  63. selcuk suleyman

    just use a pc for main titles spend your money on pc upgrade because you wont be disappointed no matter what the result is

  64. Jeremy Freeman

    Sigh, puts head in hands, all my years of working on gaming rigs I’ve never seen such ignorance. People just want to believe things are more capable, then what they really are. I want world peace, but will it happen, no, probably never. Dx12 is for SOFTWARE!!. On PC’s it may make ripples in water look more realistic, skies, clouds, etc. But not graphics overall. Hell I remember when Dx 8-9-10 came out. They showed the differences. It was just mainly an “upscaling” tool. And it still is. Hardware is hardware, what’s done is done. But I’m through wasting my breath…..sigh. I like my Xbox One, but I know it’s a basic system with basic graphics. The PS4 isn’t to far ahead, but enough to where it’s closer to PC. Name one game that was 720p on PS4. Probably cant right? Also name tons of 900p games on PS4.Not to many….. IT’S BECAUSE SONY USED A BETTER HIGH END GPU!!! AGAIN SONY USED A HIGH END GPU……………wash rinse repeat………..

  65. Jeremy Freeman

    NO

  66. So microsoft nedds to update the ram and gpu on xbox one

  67. Which means a new console

  68. Christopher Mrwhite White

    Foh…PC install base (which also uses dx12) >ps4 install base….devs will write for dx_ before ANY sony-centric API

  69. maybe even 1080p/60fps.they said the console is more then capable of it and they have shown it can be done.