Microsoft’s Game Changer: New GPU Optimization in DirectX 12

Recently, Microsoft announced a new DirectX 12 GPU optimization feature, integrating Resizable-BAR and introducing the “GPU Upload Heaps” function, currently available in the Agility SDK. This enables concurrent access to VRAM by both CPU and GPU, enhancing DirectX 12 gaming performance while reducing system memory usage, as data duplication from CPU to GPU is avoided.

Although the precise characteristics of the new feature remain unclear, the performance advantages are apparent. Contemporary video games consume ever-increasing amounts of memory and VRAM, necessitating a growing volume of data transfers between the CPU and GPU. This function decreases CPU and memory utilization during gameplay, obviating the need for CPUs to store data copies in both system and video memory for interaction.

Another benefit is the remarkable speed of modern VRAM, which may reduce latency if data is stored exclusively in video memory. In fact, on high-end graphics cards equipped with rapid VRAM, latency improvements may become more pronounced as CPU access time increases. Players need only enable Resizable-BAR or Smart Access Memory to unlock the potential of this new feature.

For developers, NVIDIA and Intel graphics card drivers presently support the function, with the former requiring GeForce Game Ready 531.41 WHQL or later and the latter Intel Graphics Driver or later. AMD graphics card users must consult their AMD partner manager to obtain the appropriate driver.

As the feature has only recently been introduced, players should not anticipate immediate game support. Developers will require time to fully comprehend its implications and ascertain whether significant performance improvements warrant game integration.