Leading up to Nvidia's GPU Technology Conference, the graphics company is making some noise about its own solution to compete against AMD's Mantle API. Instead of creating its own competing API, however, Nvidia's decided to see what it could do with its own drivers to speed up Direct3D.
An upcoming driver update promises some pretty substantial gains – in some cases even surpassing AMD's best performance with Mantle – if you'll believe Nvidia's own numbers. We'll have to do our own testing to be sure, of course, but for now we'll have to say that it sounds mighty impressive.
In Star Swarm, Nvidia claims that it has improved performance with double-digit gains, surpassing AMD's Mantle. To its credit, Nvidia did clarify that its new driver has a higher average frame rate, but still has more slow frames than Mantle – something that Nvidia will continue to chip away at. What's impressive is how much room there was for optimization out of the same hardware with just a driver update.
For Thief, which just got Mantle support, Nvidia's showing off its new gains from optimizing Direct3D, which is now faster than AMD's solution. The lead between Mantle and Nvidia's D3D driver is just a few frames, but the slow but steady gain from each new driver will be a nice sight for GeForce GTX 780 Ti owners.
Nvidia used these two cases as proof that it didn't need to go with a special new API for great performance, choosing instead to optimize for existing standards – particularly in instances where an application is CPU-bound. Nvidia did, however, concede that there is a lot of room for efficiency improvements in DirectX 11, which is why the company is putting its weight behind DirectX 12.
The new driver will be released sometime in April.
Stay tuned for more from Nvidia GTC.