3DMark has just added a new DX12 Ultimate feature to its suite of tests called Sampler Feedback. This is the 4th and final DirectX 12 Ultimate feature to be added to 3DMark's suite of tests along with DirectX Ray Tracing, Mesh Shading, and Variable Rate Shading. This new sampler feedback test allows you to visualize the performance optimizations the new feature can offer in a 3D environment and is available as part of 3DMark's testing suite for $29.99 on Steam. If you currently own 3DMark, this new test should be available to you without extra cost.
Sampler Feedback (opens in new tab) is a new texture streaming optimization that was introduced with Microsoft's DirectX12 Ultimate API. The feature significantly optimizes texture streaming technology by accurately predicting when texture details (mips) will be used in-game, reducing overall demand on GPU memory. Texture streaming technology that does not use sampler feedback would have to guess which texture details (mips) will be required in the future. This in turn, forces the game to upload more texture data into the GPU memory to ensure the right texture is ready to be used when needed.
In a small demo Microsoft created, Sampler Feedback was able to reduce memory usage from 524,288 KB down to 51,584 KB. This was just a demo, but it shows how much of an advantage sampler feedback can provide for reducing VRAM consumption. Something we bet 8GB RTX 30 series GPUs will largely benefit from in the future.
ComputerBase tested 3DMark's Sampler Feedback test on a RTX 3080 and RX 6800 XT and found a 5% performance difference between having the setting on and off. For a technology that focuses on improving memory usage and not GPU performance, the small 5% performance boost is not bad at all.
When you run the 3DMark sampler feedback test, you'll be able to see how much of a performance improvement you get in frame rate and frame times from turning the feature on and off and get a visualization of how the technology works.
This test is not something your average gamer will probably care about, but it could be beneficial for tech reviewers and game developers once sampler feedback becomes mainstream.
Sampler Feedback is just one of the benefits DirectX 12 Ultimate can offer, and if paired with the rest of its exclusive features like Mesh Shading and Variable Rate Shading DX12 games could see some massive performance enhancements over games on older APIs.