The more I hear about DirectX 12, the more I consider it the holy grail of APIs. The upcoming upgrade with Windows 10 is already making waves for all the right reasons, especially after it was revealed that multi-card GPU solutions would no longer be bad at math. Memory can now be stacked with the new API behind it, meaning SLI and CrossFire configurations can stare the future in the eye without a fear. But imagine, for a second, using AMD and Nvidia cards together – because that could happen too.
According to a new report regarding DX12, the API will feature support for multi-GPU configurations between red and green hardware. That essentially means that you can take the very best from Nvidia, and the very best of AMD, and smash it all into one desktop. That puts an end to arguments over exclusive features between the two, as they can finally be shared. Do you like ShadowPlay but want TrueAudio or FreeSync? That’s a possibility now, instead of a wild dream.
While DX12 might allow for such configurations to exists, it ultimately comes down to two deciding factors. Firstly, everything is let up to developers to make possible. In the same way that memory pools will have to be optimised for stacking, developers will have to specifically code solutions for AMD X Nvidia hardware – something which could be far too niche for the time it requires.
It’s also going to be interesting to see how the card manufacturer’s themselves respond to this. Will either of them try to block this functionality through drivers? It’s not too unbelievable considering Nvidia did just that with their cards and PhysX – barring the use of a dedicated PhysX card being used in tandem with another AMD GPU. I would think that technology like this poses a threat to both sides, as consumers can mix and match cards as they please for custom performances.
Still, the fact that DirectX 12 allows for this is simply mind blowing. It could mean a far more interesting future for both laptops and desktops, as graphical power is no longer imprisoned behind impenetrable walls that the rest of the system can’t really use.
Last Updated: February 25, 2015