Radeon team talks Vulkan, VR and more in Reddit AMA

— 8:34 AM on March 4, 2016

Yesterday, members of AMD's Radeon Technologies Group fielded questions from the public in a Reddit AMA. If you're hoping for details on the upcoming Polaris GPUs, prepare for disappointment. Aside from promising to come back later this year for another round of questions, Team Red kept a lid on those products. The company did provide a fair bit of detail with the questions it could answer, though.

As PC Perspective points out, AMD says it'll soon add support for exclusive full-screen mode to its driver for DirectX 12 titles. That API feature, called DirectFlip or FlipEx, apparently wasn't present in the most current version of the company's Radeon drivers. PCPer had surmised that the lack of FlipEx support was part of the reason behind the strange performance characteristics of Ashes of the Singularity's latest benchmark, so it's good to know that some of the performance issues for that game will be resolved.

Many users asked about graphics APIs past and present. Even though Mantle moved in a different direction than originally intended, and even left the house to become Vulkan, AMD remembers Mantle fondly. It thinks that Mantle influenced Microsoft to speed up work with DirectX 12, and AMD has been pleased with how DirectX 12 is working out. As AMD said, "We've lead in performance on every DX12 app/test so far."

AMD is also excited about Vulkan. When asked about the performance increase users might see when moving to the new API, the company's spokesperson said, "it could be total BS when all is said and done: but I think 7-15% in GPU-bound scenarios, and up to 25% in scenarios where the game is binding the CPU." AMD sees benefits for both low-end and high-end computers, as Vulkan is "designed to eliminate CPU binding on modest CPUs, and then expand performance on powerful CPUs."

Another user asked about developments in the LiquidVR SDK. One feature that AMD is very interested in is Affinity Multi-GPU, which devotes a separate GPU to each of a user's eyes. Unsurprisingly, the company thinks this is the path to the best possible VR experience. AMD notes that the SteamVR Performance test already makes use of this technology.

Finally, AMD dug into a hardware question about interposers. It said, "High-performance silicon interposers permit for the integration of different process nodes, different process optimizations, different materials (optics vs. metals) or even very different IC types (logic vs. storage) all on a common fabric that transports data at the speed of a single integrated chip." AMD  thinks that interposers could be particularly helpful as the company continues "to collapse more and more performance and functionality into a common chip, like we did with Fiji and the GPU+RAM."

While the AMA is no longer active, it does offer interesting information on other isssues, like a future Linux driver, asynchronous compute, and FreeSync. If you haven't yet gotten your fill of AMD news, take a look.


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