DirectX, OpenGL May Soon Allow Low-Level Hardware Access

AMD's just-released Mantle API cooked up a good bit of fuss recently, and it seems that there are already responses from the Khronos group (OpenGL) and Microsoft (DirectX). A user who goes by the username "Dictator93" on the Neogaf forum has spotted a couple bits of text from the GDC catalogue:

Come learn how future changes to Direct3D will enable next generation games to run faster than ever before! In this session we will discuss future improvements in Direct3D that will allow developers an unprecedented level of hardware control and reduced CPU rendering overhead across a broad ecosystem of hardware. If you use cutting-edge 3D graphics in your games, middleware, or engines and want to efficiently build rich and immersive visuals, you don't want to miss this talk.

For nearly 20 years, DirectX has been the platform used by game developers to create the fastest, most visually impressive games on the planet.However, you asked us to do more. You asked us to bring you even closer to the metal and to do so on an unparalleled assortment of hardware. You also asked us for better tools so that you can squeeze every last drop of performance out of your PC, tablet, phone and console. Come learn our plans to deliver.

Driver overhead has been a frustrating reality for game developers for the entire life of the PC game industry. On desktop systems, driver overhead can decrease frame rate, while on mobile devices driver overhead is more insidious--robbing both battery life and frame rate. In this unprecedented sponsored session, Graham Sellers (AMD), Tim Foley (Intel), Cass Everitt (NVIDIA) and John McDonald (NVIDIA) will present high-level concepts available in today's OpenGL implementations that radically reduce driver overhead--by up to 10x or more. The techniques presented will apply to all major vendors and are suitable for use across multiple platforms. Additionally, they will demonstrate practical demos of the techniques in action in an extensible, open source comparison framework.

When these changes are coming, how effective they'll be, or how widely-adopted they'll be all remains to be seen, but what we do know is that we'll know more once GDC 2014 comes around, so stay tuned!

Niels Broekhuijsen

Niels Broekhuijsen is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He reviews cases, water cooling and pc builds.

  • maxiim
    Rendering Mantle as a selling point for AMD basically useless?
  • gallidorn
    A little competition is good, because the end result will equal better performance in games. If AMD was smart, they would lease their api/programming to DirectX and OpenGL, but make the Mantle Option only available to newer Radeon Graphics cards. If DirectX & OpenGL had Mantle integrated, the technology could be cross-platform. This could give AMD a huge advantage over Nvidia!
  • ocilfa
    Hate to be that guy, but you know microsoft will require windows 8 for this new directx.
  • firefoxx04
    Mantle haters should not hate after all. Without the push for Mantle, the response for others (OpenGL and DirectX) would have been much slower. Obviously they think Mantle is a threat and in order to survive they need to try something similar. This is good for EVERYONE.
  • pistache007
    If this is true, then PC gaming awaits exciting times!
  • coolitic
    A guy from AMD is helping OpenGL become low-level? This confuses me.
  • airborne11b
    Well, mantle is officially useless. Maybe AMD can now focus on something that isn't a waste of time, like something similar to Gsync.
  • Soda-88
    Thank you AMD
  • PhilFrisbie
    Note that for DirectX/Direct3D they are speaking of the future, but for OpenGL they are speaking TODAY!
  • flogtr
    They finally woke up, thanks to AMD.