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Folterknecht

DX12 and WoT

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Hi!

 

Today FTR posted the following statement from Storm:

 

"- some player insisted that WoT should run with Dx12, because according to some article, Dx12 assures higher FPS. Storm replied that he has seen the article and it’s just PR (advertisement)"

 

Yesterday:

 

"- WoT Dx11 support is being developed, Dx12 support development was not started yet"

 

And from a personal conversation with SS over email a few days back:

 

"Asked. Dx12 is not planned for 2015, but sometimes in (distant)
future, maybe 16/17."

 

 

As most of the more tech savy of you might know WoT is and has always been CPU limited, meaning that even mid range graphic cards were kept from stretching their legs, if you didnt have a CPU with a high single thread performance installed - meaning Intel. While in games like Battlefield 3/4 it doesn't so much matter whether you had an AMD FX8350 or i5 4690K paired up with your card, in WoT it makes a huge difference. A good example can be found here:

 

 

or in just one picture/graph

 

20140425062303a0drp61hrdqu.jpg

 

As you can see, especially the min FPS are a desaster with weaker CPUs, which causes disadvantages when playing meds or light tanks. Even a lowly i3 2-core Intel CPU is whipping the flor with the "best" AMD has to offer.

 

Now you may ask what this all has to do with DirectX (12)?

 

First I suggest you go and the read this article from Anandtech - for those that prefer to stay "ignorant" the short and very simplified version is in my own words:

 

 

 

While DX12 might bring some new eye candy, the really interesting thing will be the reduced load on CPUs. By taking a similar approach to how game developers can access the hardware as AMD did with its Mantle API, which btw was demonstrated to work - example "Thief". More or less bypassing some layers of code making the whole process of feeding the GPU with data from the CPU more efficient.

 

 

 

 

DX12 is sheduled with Win10 in late 2015, meaning only people with Win10 can take advantage of its benefits, making an OS "upgrade" mandatory. On the other hand MS already promised a "free" upgrade for one year after release for "all" Win7 or Win8 users.

 

 

Reading Storms replies on that topic, I really feel the urge to bang my head on the table ... . Personally I d think that dropping work on DX11 implementation and going for DX12 at least the performance feature part of it, would benefit the WoT playerbase more than some new useless eye candy.

 

 

 

Folterknecht

 

 

P.S.: Perhaps someone with more knowledge of graphic APIs and the limitations of the WoT engine in regards to CPU performance can shed more light on this. Would DX12 really improve the situation with WoT, or am I on the wrong track here???

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Trying to explain poor performance from any application without access to source code is extremely difficult.

 

If you want a good explanation, steal the code from WG and post it someplace.

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it wont magically make the game multi threaded and most of dx12 advantages are allowing the cpu required tasks to run better on more threads, though it might be possible for them to put most of the cpu tasks in a separate thread, which would help a bit.

 

or in other words, yes dx12 could help but it still requires the wot coders to not be terrible. and it would be more difficult.

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^Sure it wont solve the multicore problem, but reduced load is reduced load.

 

I think there was an article (series) once on FTR dealing with WoT performance, by someone kho knew his shit ... .

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P.S.: Perhaps someone with more knowledge of graphic APIs and the limitations of the WoT engine in regards to CPU performance can shed more light on this. Would DX12 really improve the situation with WoT, or am I on the wrong track here???

The reason WG is avoiding DX12 is because it'll be difficult for them to code it properly. Wargaming is very inefficient and have shown that they'd rather do things the easy way. Instead of improving performance for everyone they'd rather tell us to all get a better single threaded CPU.

Basically, they want to save time and money. DX12 would not suddenly make a very big difference but it would be a very good step towards having a game that can actually be run "decent" by AMD CPUs.

 

-Guy with an AMD CPU.

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I think there was an article (series) once on FTR dealing with WoT performance, by someone kho knew his shit ... .

 

http://ftr.wot-news.com/2014/07/18/world-of-tanks-client-analysis/

 

 

The author identified a bunch of things that could be optimized from multicore, and could be optimized for rendering.  Without being WoT specific, these things have side effects that WG probably does not consider worthwhile.  Things like texture atlasing is a tedious thing to do, and it would require a new atlas for each build.  You'd think Wargaming would have the manpower/expertise to do so, but it is Wargaming so bleh. 

 

Also multicore optimizations that are run on a single core system usually will decrease performance compared to the single-thread version.  Wargaming's testing department could literally be some jackass sitting in Belarus trying to run the game on a Pentium 4, and rejecting *anything* that decreases performance.

 

All of these things, of course, are items that would improve rendering performance on any graphics API.  Taking WoT to DirectX 12 is probably like drafting pro sports athletes from a high school.

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It is funny.  AMD finally gives up trying to push CMP processor designs, just as the software world finally catches up. 

 

And by funny, I mean disparaging.  rip AMD

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The issue with MMOs is that you have a bunch of players constantly forcing updates, requiring your computer to do more work so that what you're looking at is correct. The CPU can be preparing a frame for the GPU when a player changes the direction of his tank. That frame is useless now cuz the player is facing a different direction, so the CPU has to construct a new frame for the GPU. You have 30 players all changing what they're doing every second. Once your PC gets that data from the server it has to modify what it's rendering. This basically "wastes" CPU power, and since there's a single thread feeding the GPU it can get bogged down easily.

 

DX12 makes enables the user-mode driver to work with multiple threads (it also has significantly less overhead), but the developer has to write their game engine so that it uses multiple threads on the CPU to feed the GPU. WG maintains a really crappy engine so I'm not confident in their ability to do that. To get the kind of results that you want from DX12 would require major changes to the engine that WG isn't interested in making.

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Necro'ing this thread, because a combination of reasons:

 

Storm in late September 2015 stated:

Regarding the new engine, what are its features?

  • There is going to be multi core support in the reworked engine (it is not a BigWorld engine anymore, but almost completely our own solution). It also allows support of Direct X 11 and 12, as well as a big number of modern graphics technologies.

 

 

Recently Arstechnica benchmarks for Direct12X show an older cheaper AMD R9 290x offering near the performance of more expensive Nvidia 980 TI video card, for Ashes of the Singularity.

 

Point being when Wargaming Inc moves to enable DirectX12 expect the masses on the Russian WoT server to look favorably at AMD's relatively cheaper video cards instead of Nvidia ones.  Similar performance at a less cost.  It wasn't that long ago, Storm complained about the prices to replace a laptop computer.  He knows the average Russian WoT player will feel the same way, higher price hardware is bad for a software business which Wargaming Inc possesses.

 

On the plus side for DirectX12 adoption, they would have the talent within the company now to do this.  Do note Xbox One will use DirectX12.  Wargaming's Xbox console WoT game will have to use DirectX12 in any case.

 

-----------------------------------------

 

Separately Wargaming Inc could decide to use Vulkan instead of DirectX12 on the PC, as that's what Google's Android has decided to use.  Wargaming Blitz game could use Vulkan in the future.  Vulkan is cross-platform, while DirectX12 is limited to Windows 10.  Any WoT customers who decide to stick with an older Windows OS, would not be able to see advantages if Wargaming only used DirectX12.  

 

 

An overview of Vulkan:

 

Vulkan allows applications to get closer to metal, thus eliminating the need for a lot of memory and error management, as well as a lot of shading language source. Drivers will be lighter, leaner and meaner. Vulkan will only rely on the SPIR-V intermediate language, and since it has a unified API for mobile, desktop and console markets, it should also get more tender, loving care from developers.

But wait, doesn’t this simply offload more work to game developers? Sure, they will be able to use hardware more efficiently, but what about their own man-hours? This is where the layered ecosystem approach enters the fray.

Developers will be able to choose three different levels, or tiers, of the Vulkan ecosystem.

  • Use Vulkan directly for maximum flexibility and control.
  • Use Vulkan libraries and layers to speed up development.
  • Use Vulkan via off-the-shelf game engines fully optimised over the new API.

 

One would guess the masses on the RU server, would most benefit from Vulkan over DirectX12. 

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http://www.computerbase.de/2016-03/hitman-benchmarks-directx-12/2/

 

 

 

DX12 - CPU scaling Hitman.jpg

 

And WG prioritiy is moving the sound to the 2nd core with yesterdays released 0.9.14 ... . Now just imagine what a modern game engine with DX12 could do for russian toasters when even modern Intel CPUs are the limiting factor in WoT.

 

 

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On 20/10/2015 at 10:41 AM, Valan said:

Point being when Wargaming Inc moves to enable DirectX12 expect the masses on the Russian WoT server to look favorably at AMD's relatively cheaper video cards instead of Nvidia ones.  Similar performance at a less cost.  It wasn't that long ago, Storm complained about the prices to replace a laptop computer.  He knows the average Russian WoT player will feel the same way, higher price hardware is bad for a software business which Wargaming Inc possesses.

Are AMD cheaper in Russia? I know they are in the USA and Europe, but IIRC they don't do as well for price/performance in the southern hemisphere. Be interesting to see where Russia falls on that spectrum.

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