Nvidia responds to AMD’s GameWorks allegations

Earlier today, I spoke with Cem Cebenoyan, Director of Engineering for Developer Technology at Nvidia, who offered a rebuttal to a Forbes story we covered yesterday. In that story, AMD’s Robert Hallock alleged that Nvidia’s GameWorks program prevents AMD from working with game developers on GPU optimizations.

According to Cebenoyan, Hallock’s claims are baseless. “It’s definitely not true. We’ve never done anything like that, where we preclude people from working with our competition or taking suggestions from our competition or getting access to builds,” Cebenoyan told me. “I don’t know the specifics, because it’s not really our business as to who has access to our games developers partners’ builds. That’s up to them, right? But my assumption is . . . all the competitors have equal access in terms of getting builds.”

By builds, Cebenoyan meant pre-release game builds, which developers normally share with GPU manufacturers prior to launch. Nothing in the GameWorks licensing terms precludes that type of collaboration, Cebenoyan said. The terms do, however, forbid developers from sharing Nvidia’s GameWorks middleware code—which, when that code is integrated into a game engine, may mean AMD doesn’t get access to that portion of a game’s source code.

As I understand it, these licensing terms are new. They’ve only been in place since March or so, coinciding with the release of GameWorks 2014. Prior to that, Nvidia’s collaboration with developers on middleware was “ad hoc.”

Cebenoyan conceded that AMD is “concerned” about not having the code for Nvidia’s GameWorks modules. However, he seems to believe that shouldn’t hinder AMD’s optimization efforts. “Historically, in all the games we’ve worked with, we don’t typically need the source code to a game to optimize for it,” he told me. “We don’t typically have the source code to most games. Our driver engineers typically—actually almost never have looked game source code. So that’s not really the operating model.”

I asked whether, prior to the establishment of the GameWorks licensing model, AMD would have had access to the code for games with Nvidia middleware. “No, I don’t think so,” Cebenoyan replied. “In general, most game developers don’t really give people source code, anyway.”

Addressing AMD’s specific complaint about code samples disappearing from Nvidia’s website, Cebenoyan pointed out that the samples are still there. “Someone just failed in navigating the website,” he said. The samples can be downloaded here, and Nvidia doesn’t intend to remove them; indeed, the company says it wants to add more of them.

Of course, those samples shouldn’t be confused with Nvidia’s proprietary GameWorks modules, which aren’t available to the public. (According to Cebenoyan, GameWorks modules are bona-fide middleware. “There’s all kinds of things—software engineering type things—that go into building something that’s a real piece of middleware that is not what you worry about when you just have a sample,” he said.)

So, if GameWorks isn’t the problem, then why do certain Nvidia-backed titles (such as Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Arkham Asylum, and Watch Dogs) perform so comparatively poorly on AMD hardware? Nvidia’s PR team butted in there, hinting that AMD’s developer relations efforts are thinly spread. Considering AMD’s ongoing financial hurdles, that’s not outside the realm of possibility.

Cebenoyan then chimed in, “We spend a lot of energy on those titles. We really look at them carefully and try to make the experience as good as possible for Nvidia customers. Maybe in the process of doing that, that makes it so that it’s noticeably better than on AMD. I don’t know. But it’s not a functional way to work with developers where you suggest things to them that hurt a significant portion of their user base. That’s just not gonna fly with any competent developer. So that’s not something that we ever do.”

Somewhat contradictorily, Cebenoyan went on to tell me that, in “at least” two instances, AMD’s own developer relations efforts impeded Nvidia’s work with game developers. “We know of real examples where we have actually explicitly been forbidden from seeing builds—forget source code, even just binary builds—of games that include high-end effects,” Cebenoyan said. “The full game with all of the effects, the important PC ultra quality settings, [was] hidden from us until say a few weeks before launch, something like that. These were things that were contractually obligated.”

Cebenoyan wouldn’t name names, but his description sounded an awful lot like the allegations Nvidia made after Tomb Raider came out last year. Cebenoyan doesn’t think the developers set out to disenfranchise Nvidia users willingly. Rather, he blames a hidden clause in their contract with AMD.

For what it’s worth, AMD has denied that its Gaming Evolved program involves such clauses. The program “undertakes no efforts to prevent our competition from optimizing for games before their release,” the company stated last June.

So, yeah. We’re looking at some very similar allegations from both Nvidia and AMD—and, in both cases, emphatic denials of wrongdoing.

Without talking to developers, it’s hard to know for sure exactly what all those licensing agreements and contracts stipulate, either explicitly or implicitly. That said, it’s possible that there’s some truth to what both companies are saying. The world of PC gaming hardware is a highly competitive one, and bending the rules of fair play even slightly can pay some very real dividends.

Comments closed
    • semitope
    • 8 years ago

    and they would be too cheap even if nvidia was asking for their firstborn and $1 billion… right?

    • nanoflower
    • 8 years ago

    And they are too cheap to buy the source license.

    • wow&wow
    • 8 years ago

    Companies and comsumers have the freedom of choice, don’t they? If the developer and nVdia behaved improperly, don’t buy their products, simple and easy.

    Why Intel isn’t nagging? Winners punch but losers nag!!!

    • exilon
    • 8 years ago

    I can tell you are not impressed.

    • PixelArmy
    • 8 years ago

    Developers don’t always have full source to everything (often dictated by license*)… and when things don’t work with closed source, you talk to the vendor for support… you know, that whole “developer relations” thing, which might be a lost art for some companies…

    Unless you think these developers go “hey, there seems to be an issue with Gameworks! Let’s twiddle our thumbs instead of talking to Nvidia.” -> this is definitely [b<]not[/b<] how developers work. (* Ex. CryEngine and Unity, don't give you source except with the highest levels of "please contact us if you need this" licensing, with unlisted pricing, Unreal 4 gives you full source but not dedicated support. Etc. Etc.).

    • Krogoth
    • 8 years ago

    Such fanboy tears
    Much proprietary code
    Many performance bumps
    Wow

    • Deanjo
    • 8 years ago

    Am not! ;D

    • Chrispy_
    • 8 years ago

    During the festive season last year, most of the $40 Radeon Gold rewards were in the steam sale for £4.99 or less
    (£3.99 excluding tax, so closer to $6 in American green)

    To be charged $120 for three games is stupid, but I’d put the blame with Steam’s “no refunds” policy rather than AMD. You were gifted these games and the language used everywhere is “FREE GAMES”. Returning the games should be the only option, not charging you – because you never made a transaction to Valve in the first place, and the only agreement between AMD and you is that the games are “FREE”.

    • Chrispy_
    • 8 years ago

    That’s not how developers work. If the building blocks were 100% trouble free, and platform agnostic (ie, not vendor-locked to Nvidia) then it *might* work, but there are several problems with this approach.

    One of the most prevelant accusations from developers is obvious: Gameworks has its own bugs and flaws. When stuff doesn’t work they can no longer tell if it’s their own code, or Nvidia’s code that’s halting progress, because there’s no way to look under the hood of the Nvidia bit.

    Anyway, after all that effort, you’re only working to optimise 45% of the market. The other 55% is split between AMD and Intel, and you’ll have to arse around tweaking the open-standard codepaths seperately even after you fix the dumbass Nvidia Gameworks issue that’s been keeping you working 80-hour weeks for a month.

    • Deanjo
    • 8 years ago

    [quote<]You guys are treating Mantle as if it's a finished product.[/quote<] It's being used in games right now isn't it?

    • Bensam123
    • 8 years ago

    What’s wrong with proprietary? A ton of things are proprietary. Generally speaking, that’s how a lot of companies make money.

    Open source != proprietary != vendor locked.

    You’re ridiculing them for a beta. The product is not done yet. It’s sad the AMD hate here has reached such epics levels that people are trying to slap them for half finished software, then pretending that it’s not going to change, it’s not in development, and it’s not a planned feature.

    • Bensam123
    • 8 years ago

    Arguing for a feature that doesn’t exist?

    The product is not out. It’s part of the end product they talked about. You guys are treating Mantle as if it’s a finished product.

    Shit do you know what a beta is or when something is in development?

    • Chrispy_
    • 8 years ago

    Summary:

    All the developers are complaining about Gameworks too, because nobody enjoys working with proprietary black boxes that they can neither fix nor improve nor understand.

    • itachi
    • 8 years ago

    Yea..I’m eager to see a high end card pumping out half the power too, wonder if it’s scalable from what they did on the GTX 750Ti..

    @AMD they gonna feel pretty stupid when they find out…

    Dig the reference :).

    • itachi
    • 8 years ago

    I would hope they offer better value 😀 lol.

    I was tempted to get a second hand HD 7950 for the wait, however even that feel like wasting money because that would be 150+$…

    And I’ve told myself I would boycott AMD for now due to horrible memory leak problem I’m encountering on BF4 with my HD5870 lol. non paged pool memory leak..

    I know the 290 would be my choice if I didn’t wanna boycott AMD.. lol.

    Thanks for the tip though.

    • itachi
    • 8 years ago

    But if it’s Q1 2015 it’s gonna be hella long ;(, oh well, maybe I should focus on finding a real job by then then…

    • wow&wow
    • 8 years ago

    “From a developer’s point of view, the idea is to sell the game to as many folks as can possibly buy it”

    “talking to Forbes about this won’t accomplish anything”

    Well said and to the point.

    Talking to Forbes about this just broadcasted how imcompetent that AMD employees is and the image of crying little kid saying “Mom, nVidia won’t let me follow them around.”

    To Mr. Rory Read,

    That AMD employee has no use to AMD but creating damage and got to let him go for avoiding further damage he may cause.

    • Dashak
    • 8 years ago

    Aren’t we all just very large children?

    • jessterman21
    • 8 years ago

    Like HALF the power consumption, judging by the GTX 750Ti.

    • WaltC
    • 8 years ago

    All I can add is that if game developers are willing to allow their games to deliberately support one IHV over the other, then they are either new and desperate, or just plain stupid, or all three. From a developer’s point of view, the idea is to sell the game to as many folks as can possibly buy it–that cannot be done if you allow an IHV a noticeable performance and/or IQ advantage over his competitor when *competing* products are compared. I should clarify that by “noticeable” I mean something like 20%-30% differences in performance, or IQ which is obviously below the standards achieved by the IHV’s hardware in every other game, etc.

    But if we’re talking about differences of 5-10 fps in scenarios where both IHV’s products run the game @ 60-120 fps, or more, then we aren’t talking about anything noteworthy in terms of differences at all. Now we’re talking benchmark bar-charts, where a 1% fps difference can be made to look like a 25% disparity when grossly out-of-scale bars are employed for just that purpose–probably everyone in these forums has seen that little trick done more than once, I’ll wager…;)

    I come away from all of this thinking that both AMD and nVIdia are shooting a big wad of hooey here. Hallock should know that talking to Forbes about this won’t accomplish anything–talking to the developers he thinks are engaging in this behavior just might, however. Even better: having one of the developers Hallock refers to get up and say: “nVidia makes us do x, y, and z, and we don’t like that because we want to work with both IHVs as it is in our interests to do so.”

    • wow&wow
    • 8 years ago

    People and companies have the freedom of choice. Make your choice and stop nagging!

    For example, I don’t like to be locked by Apple, so I haven’t bought a single iSomething no matter how good or ineresting they are : ) I don’t bother nagging about it. Other PC vendors and users don’t nag about it. Apple charges premium and people enjoy paying premium for getting themselves happily locked : )

    • BIF
    • 8 years ago

    I’ll just leave this here:

    Please give some summary. Some of us cannot/will not go to twitter.

    • wow&wow
    • 8 years ago

    To Mr. Rory Read and The Incompetent AMD Employee:

    If I understand correctly, even as a AMD investor, I don’t see AMD having any logic sense on this.

    Do you or are you able to understand “building block” approach? When people choose using building block approach, do the building bloack providers provide all the details of the building blocks other than specs, how to use, and the detail interface?

    Do you or are you able to understand “IP?” When people choose using IP, do the IP providers provide all the details of the IP other than specs, how to use, and the detail interface?

    Why not splitting the game console business with nVidia?

    That incapable employee with illoigal mindset needs to be held accountable for generating AMD’s image of incompetency.

    Stop wasting time on non-sense and go back to work to produce meaningful earnings, not $0.02 a quarter!!!

    • JustAnEngineer
    • 8 years ago

    GPUs fabricated on TSMC’s new 20nm process will be available in early 2015. The smaller feature size should offer better performance / power consumption / price than the existing generation of GPUs fabricated at 28nm.

    If you need a new GPU before then, the Radeon R9-290 4GB is an excellent value for under $400, especially when compared to the GeForce GTX 780 6GB at $586.

    • Milo Burke
    • 8 years ago

    Wait.

    • maxxcool
    • 8 years ago

    Until *I* can download the SDK it is vendor locked though ..

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 8 years ago

    I like AMD fine. I mean I have an AMD GPU… only thing of value they make anymore.

    But they are CLEARLY pushing proprietary solutions. Maybe one day it will be open, but today it is not. So we can only critique what they’ve done, not what they promise they’ll do. Far as services go for AMD there are lots of promises that they make and not as much follow up. Just look at their ongoing struggle with driver optimization.

    Its not even that bad of a thing, other than the fact that they pick a fight claiming the competition is beating them at their own game. ~Nvidia is now more proprietary than we are to counter act our proprietary DX work around~

    • Terra_Nocuus
    • 8 years ago

    Wait, wasn’t PowerVR the one working on real-time Ray Tracing? that’s pretty cool, actually

    • Terra_Nocuus
    • 8 years ago

    Interesting how you shortened that initial quote. You left this out: [quote<]and that feature [HBAO+] doesn’t have to be enabled in the game’s settings[/quote<] A Gameworks feature that a) doesn't have to be enabled in the settings, b) apparently [i<]isn't[/i<] enabled by default*, and c) that Nvidia spent time/money (time^2) developing for their GPUs doesn't mean that Nvidia "de-optimizes" for AMD cards. If Nvidia writes a graphical effect library that is [i<]in addition[/i<] to the standard DX11 libraries, they [i<]do not[/i<] [b<]have[/b<] to optimize it for AMD's GPUs. They are writing it for [i<]their[/i<] GPUs. Just as Mantle is written for GCN [i<]and only works on GCN[/i<], the Gameworks libraries are intended for Nvidia's GPUs. The fact that AMD cards can [i<]run[/i<] HBAO+ [b<]nearly identically[/b<] to Nvidia cards is a sign that they're not "de-optimizing". Writing special code for your GPU != Actively sabotaging the "other guy" * I'm going by this quote, as I don't have the game myself (yet): [quote<]When using "Ultra" quality settings only MHBAO is enabled. To receive better HBAO quality you need to manually increase the HBAO setting up to HBAO+ High for the best quality. [i<]from [url<]http://www.hardocp.com/article/2014/05/28/watch_dogs_image_quality_preview/2[/url<][/i<][/quote<]

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 8 years ago

    Not super keen on either companies proprietary solutions push. That being said you are totally off base arguing for a feature that doesn’t exist as adding virtue to a product or service.

    If Mantel is not Nvidia compatible RIGHT NOW it is a proprietary solution. Its vender locked. Its whatever they claim Nvidia is doing.

    What it one day might become isn’t the point, allot can change between now and then and all we have to make judgement on is what they’ve done to date.

    • Deanjo
    • 8 years ago

    Or is he?

    • sweatshopking
    • 8 years ago

    I think you mean “I’ll never forget he first gaming PC I had when I was a kid”. As your sentence is currently written, you have forgotten it, since you’re likely no longer a kid.

    • jihadjoe
    • 8 years ago

    Doesn’t shader replacement happen only in the confines of their own driver, which is closed-source anyway? I don’t think they’re altering anything inside X or the kernel itself.

    • itachi
    • 8 years ago

    Hey guys anyone think it’s worth waiting for the 800 series ? I’m tempted to buy a 780 6gb now..

    • WiseInvestor
    • 8 years ago

    I’ll just leave this here.

    [url<]https://twitter.com/repi/status/452812842132332544[/url<] comments made from big names in PC gaming regarding GameWorks proprietary modules John Kloetzli from Firaxis Bart Wronski、Michal Drobot from Ubisoft Montreal Timothy Lottes ex-nVidia now works for Epic. Johan Andersson from DICE [url<]http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/173511-nvidias-gameworks-program-usurps-power-from-developers-end-users-and-amd/2[/url<]

    • BlackStar
    • 8 years ago

    Quoting directly from your link:

    [quote<]According to NVIDIA, the only feature of GameWorks the game uses that is [b<]forced[/b<] to run on AMD hardware is HBAO+ [...] NVIDIA claims that AMD’s hardware performs nearly identically to NVIDIA’s in that specific feature, to “within a fraction of a millisecond.”[/quote<] [b<]"Forced"[/b<] to run? Why would they use the word "forced"? This implies that (a) the rest of the gameworks features simply don't work on AMD and (b) they would have preferred the same for HBAO+ but they were forced to enable it. I don't know about you, but this statemen appears to support AMD's allegations that Nvidia deoptimizes games on non-Nvidia hardware... Also, from the same link: [quote<]After coming to AMD with the statement from NVIDIA about offering source code to developers, of which many of AMD’s complaints were based on, AMD directed me towards several public statements from major developers on public outlets like Twitter. @BartWronsk @JJcoolkl @thinkinggamer @TimothyLottes @kenpex Nvidia has lost huge amount of respect w/ the unusable black box GameWorks — Johan Andersson (@repi) April 6, 2014 @JJcoolkl @repi @thinkinggamer @TimothyLottes @kenpex libraries and dlls with only parameters to pass,no source code.Intel is much better! — Bart Wronski (@BartWronsk) April 6, 2014 @BartWronsk @repi @JJcoolkl @thinkinggamer @TimothyLottes @kenpex can't understand a $$$ model-pay to hack games with 'features'-blasphemy;) — Michal Drobot (@MichalDrobot) April 6, 2014 [/quote<]

    • arbiter9605
    • 8 years ago

    Yea sad cause AMD is guilty of same thing they are whining about nvidia is doing. Showing how bad AMD’s PR and marketing is, was a video on youtube “the fixer” they had a guy say games don’t run good on “this card” which if you look at the cooler of said card puts it as at like nvidia 650ti at most, then AMD guy hands him a radeon 7970 and act’s like nvidia is not even on same level.

    • arbiter9605
    • 8 years ago

    Sad part of that “gaming evolved” program, most games on that list if you get gold are not worth avg of 40$ each. most then are 10-20$ at most. Of games on the list there is only 1 new game, 1 that was out in last 6 months mostly all rest are 1-2+ years old and likely most people own.

    • Lans
    • 8 years ago

    From your link and from my own comment at the time (quoting Rage3D):

    [quote<]...actually seems to show that there's a bug with the DX10 pathway, given the fact that DX9 has the same, more intense, lighting as 10.1, and UBi said that 9 and 10 (and by extension 10.1) should be nearly identical visually (shadowing is different between versions)[/quote<] (in response to your original reply to me: "... mising code making it broken?") I don't know the pains of using SSE code path but I'll take Kanter's words over yours, from same TR link: [quote<]In fact, as he points out, Nvidia has PhysX layers that run on game consoles using the PowerPC's AltiVec instructions, which are very similar to SSE.[/quote<]

    • HunterZ
    • 8 years ago

    Everyone I knew with K6-2 CPUs had motherboards with terrible VIA Apollo MVP3 chipsets that had horrible AGP performance even with VIA motherboard/AGP drivers installed.

    I opted for an Intel PII-450 based machine because of this, and never regretted it. I also chose an nVidia TNT1 based GPU instead of a 3dfx Voodoo 3 or whatever, and only regretted that temporarily due to the fact that Unreal 1 didn’t run so well for a couple months while Epic was working on Direct3D support.

    While I did eventually use AMD in later builds (and am now back to Intel), I always saw AMD as a “value” brand for CPUs because of that experience (well, and because of previously unwisely choosing an AMD 486DX4-120 CPU over an Intel Pentium, which resulted in Quake running pretty slow). I do prefer their GPUs because they’ve seemed to be a bit less marketing-driven than nVidia.

    • sweatshopking
    • 8 years ago

    IS IT ABOUT MICROSOFT?!?!? NO? THEN IT DOESN’T MATTER.

    • Klimax
    • 8 years ago

    I think I understood some of his points bit differently. But since quite few things are sounding familiar even in DX field, might be,

    But I don’t see many points you are writing in linked blog post. Strange.

    • Klimax
    • 8 years ago

    Crysis 2 was mostly controversial for tessellation, that was IIRC all and only because AMD failed for several generations to do it properly. (Kind of odd all things considered)

    • Klimax
    • 8 years ago

    Cirrus Logic! Or Matrox…

    • Klimax
    • 8 years ago

    [url<]https://techreport.com/news/14707/ubisoft-comments-on-assassin-creed-dx10-1-controversy-updated[/url<] IIRC never reintroduced, so we will never know final outcome. As for SSE code paths, you need to rework paths to enable vectorization. Hard and brutal. And that would be for sane ready code. And just switching to SSE scalars won't give you anything. (Maybe older CPUs, but timings are since SB quite close)

    • Klimax
    • 8 years ago

    Vectorizing code is brutal. If you never did it you won’t know. And just switching to scalar SSEx won’t do much. (Timings are since SB close between X87 and SSE)

    It takes time and testing. And it is often interspersed with bugfixing…

    • alientorni
    • 8 years ago

    and you are being upvoted sir? aren’t we talking about consumers complaints about watch dogs performance? be it from users from steam forums or from gaming/tech webs.

    • Bensam123
    • 8 years ago

    Ermm…. since when are they locked in? What happens to DX and OGL?

    I think you’re playing with semantics here… But with a statement like this “It’s disingenuous to claim that Mantle is ‘open’.” it’s hard to argue for that.

    • Bensam123
    • 8 years ago

    Because Nvidia didn’t change anything since the time they acquired PhysX?

    • Bensam123
    • 8 years ago

    So Punkuser, please read through all the comments following yours then go back to my initial response.

    • Bensam123
    • 8 years ago

    Do you believe there is some anti-AMD sentiment in this community?

    Putting that aside, how about arguing with logic rather then beating your chest and stating your -3 votes are better then the rest of the communities +1.

    • Bensam123
    • 8 years ago

    Do you have examples of Gameworks code paths being executed on AMD hardware? Just because a game runs on AMD and Nvidia hardware does not mean they’re both executing the same code.

    Now if we’re looking at the detail of the future again, putting aside the legitimacy… Do you think Nvidia will continue to allow AMD to execute Gameworks code (unhindered)?

    • Bensam123
    • 8 years ago

    I love operating on technicalities… so because it barely functions, it’s not vendor locked? PhysX operates on AMD hardware with some hack arounds (or did till they disabled that). Are we going to say that’s not vendor locked too?

    There is a point at which they reach where it’s definitely vendor locked and you’re just stipulating to make Nvidia look good. If you were being remotely logical (funny coming from MathMan) and impartial, you would note that it doesn’t matter if it barely works… because it’s not the same as it actually being able to be used.

    The future is irrelevant? Great… MathMan to the rescue!

    • Bensam123
    • 8 years ago

    Why do we only hold AMD to the standard of ‘Guilty till proven innocent’?

    It’s in closed beta. It’ll be out this year. They stated this. That’s a development cycle.

    If it was next year and they still haven’t release it or given a status update, then we poke fun, boo, and make fun of them for having EXACTLY THE SAME strategy as Nvidia.

    But now if we’re actually basing this on the way AMD has been doing things over the last few years, it’s highly likely we’ll see a SDK this year. You know, if we’re using history and trends.

    • Meadows
    • 8 years ago

    Don’t act like you’re above it all.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 8 years ago

    Thanks for the correction. 🙂

    • sweatshopking
    • 8 years ago

    You know what’s even worse than this stupid situation? you nerds picking sides and whining.

    • Meadows
    • 8 years ago

    I’ll take six Voodoo 5 cards and use a hacked Lucid Hydra chip and logic to make them all work at the same time on my games. I expect as much as 17 fps in most of last year’s games!

    • NeelyCam
    • 8 years ago

    PowerVR FTW

    • Terra_Nocuus
    • 8 years ago

    [quote<]In the case of Watch_Dogs, only HBAO+ was integrated from GameWorks and runs on both AMD and NVIDIA hardware and as we have mentioned before, the performance difference between the two GPU vendors in that feature is close to zero. Thus, we can state that the performance differences between AMD and NVIDIA hardware on Watch_Dogs today is not due to the implementation of GameWorks technology.[/quote<] [url<]http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Editorial/NVIDIA-and-AMD-Fight-over-NVIDIA-GameWorks-Program-Devil-Details/NVIDIAs-Response[/url<]

    • Austin
    • 8 years ago

    ;o) For me the 2 most memorable examples of potentially foul play by nVidia date back to the odd implementation of DX11 in Crysis 2 and the removal of DX10.1 from the ‘update’ for Assassin’s Creed. That’s 3 and 6 years ago respectively … wow, how time flies.

    [url<]https://techreport.com/review/21404/crysis-2-tessellation-too-much-of-a-good-thing/6[/url<] [url<]https://techreport.com/news/14707/ubisoft-comments-on-assassin-creed-dx10-1-controversy-updated[/url<]

    • ronch
    • 8 years ago

    That’s it! Boycott Nvidia and AMD graphics! From now on, I’m using S3.

    • PixelArmy
    • 8 years ago

    The original ExtremeTech article (about Arkham Origins) stated GameWorks features caused the [b<]same %[/b<] performance hit on both Nvidia and AMD (they actually blame tessellation not GameWorks). The equal performance drop is pretty compelling IMO. I suppose one could make the argument the 290x should still cope better than the 770, after all it is the more expensive card. However, IIRC when the cheaper (announced MSRP) 290x nearly (or did) matched the 780, this was called "a good deal". Back to Watch Dogs, I can spin this to say Nvidia cards are better suited for "next-gen" games and/or new engines, AMD is long in the tooth, blah, blah, blah. How about Mantle? You say it doesn't affect DirectX performance of Nvidia cards, yet I can spin this and say any work done supporting Mantle is work not optimizing DirectX for [i<]everybody else[/i<]. My point is spin, spin, spin!

    • chuckula
    • 8 years ago

    No, Warsam is polite, respectful, and doesn’t invent fantasy worlds where even AMD’s own marketing material is interpreted as an anti-AMD conspiracy foisted upon us by the dark forces of Intel and Nvidia.

    • NeelyCam
    • 8 years ago

    I always wondered if Bensam is related to Warsam

    • superjawes
    • 8 years ago

    Can I nitpick something? AMD’s new API is “Mantle,” not “Mantel.” It is a reference to the layer of rock below the Earth’s surface that behaves like a very viscous fluid.

    A “mantel” refers to a shelf above the fireplace.

    Anyway…carry on…

    • superjawes
    • 8 years ago

    So I’ll repeat what I’ve already said…most of the [i<]Watch_Dogs[/i<] performance issues seem to trace back to the consolization of the title. These are things that will not change much on AMD or Nvidia hardware (although you would think that AMD would do better considering that their chips are in the PS4 and XBOne). And performance issues stemming from console ports are not new at all...

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 8 years ago

    So on one end we have Nvidia who has not always made the best hardware but generally has been a champion of software. There are many examples of this, between the generally superior performance of their consumer products in workstation scenarios, to the generally more limited release and controlled nature of their drivers. Also, because of how committed they’ve been to consumer services they have been very slow to add features because they don’t like rolling out things as marketing gimmicks then rolling them back or not properly supporting them so that they flounder after the buzz has warn off. (Eyefinity AMD!!!)

    They release far less driver updates for their products than AMD and yet it still appears that when hardware is similar that Nvidia eaks out a lead through pure driver efficiency. So much so that in many benchmarks for comparing Mantel it appeared that with the oblong pipeline of DX Nvidia still wins when Mantel supposedly circumvents that issues entirely.

    Going off of AMD’s record for making AMAZING hardware but not having the management capacity to handle the service end of their products (AKA drivers, or product supply for that matter), I side with Nvidia on this one. Not that in the past this wasn’t an issue but its been nearly a decade since the insane benchmark gaps for products was so horrible universally across different games.

    • MathMan
    • 8 years ago

    You are making a major assumption that GameWorks is the reason for the poor performance in general of Watch Dogs.

    There is no proof of this. It may be, but it just as well may not be.

    Until there are a number of future games with GameWorks that show the same characteristic, it will only be a correlation with a sample of 1. That’s not nearly enough to declare causation.

    • MathMan
    • 8 years ago

    You’re 100% right. Except for the fact that AMD GPUs doesn’t seem to perform any worse at all.

    But that’s just a minor detail…

    • chuckula
    • 8 years ago

    No No No, you’re missing the point: After AMD made sure that it had locked up the console market, it expected that every single console port would work flawlessly on its PC parts without having to spend a dime on developer relations.

    The fact that Watch Dogs runs crappy to mediocre on Nvidia AND AMD parts is just proof that Nvidia has been engaging in illegal sabotage since AMD set things up so that they would always have an advantage without having to do any work!

    AMD’s philosophy is that after they rigged the table fair & square, it’s illegal for Nvidia to do anything at all to even the odds.

    • MathMan
    • 8 years ago

    It is very strange that AMD choose Watch Dogs to whine about GameWorks: they must have known that their GPUs don’t perform any worse than those of Nvidia on this game? Why not wait until a game comes along where there is a big disparity?

    You can only cry wolf so many times…

    • alientorni
    • 8 years ago

    Yeah, it clearly works, like a ferrari on the mud. And that is what it is f*d up with gameworks, it works on top of directx (or maybe not so top, it’s probably more low level), and it’s notably preventing amd cards to run decently.

    • alientorni
    • 8 years ago

    I just wanted to repeat something i’ve already said.
    Nvidia’s gameworks is implemented above directx. i don’t know in wich level, but judging on performance issues for amd cards is pretty low, so this involves everything higher than it.
    mantle, is implemented apart from directx. It is low level but is a different api so mantle has nothing to do with nvidia’s performance on directx.

    And this is why this isn’t equal competition on the optimization side. What is more sad is that watchdogs performance on nvidia isn’t any good either, which probably means that gameworks isn’t good for giving developers the tools for optimizing their games.

    • moose17145
    • 8 years ago

    Every company I have worked for has had lots of miscommunication. And I look at that and some of the (honestly rather large at times) oversights that have happened purely on accident or because of in house politics and am like “why would it be any different in the gaming and videocard industries?” Some of them, I could honestly see how they could be interpreted as shady deal making when it honestly wasn’t the case. In fact inside the business is was more “Oh SH*T! Well that ain’t good! LOL OOPS!” *mad scrambling in the background to try to put a band-aid on said oversight**

    Partly what I think a lot of people forget about that leads to these big conspiracy theories is that people forget these companies are led by exhuasted humans who have a million and one things on their plate just like the rest of us, and sometimes the big things slip through the cracks because you end up focusing on the 200 smaller things in front of you all the while singing to your yourself “Tomorrow is Friday! Oh thank god! Im gonna get home and I’m gonna nap SOOO hard!!!”

    Heck maybe the reason NVidia didn’t get tomb raider until two weeks before the release day was because the person handling that had to go home early or couldn’t make it into work that week because they had a sick kid or something. Leading back to my original theory… Crap just happens…

    • Lans
    • 8 years ago

    Sure and I can see why Aegia would want PhysX using x87 but I can also see Nvidia wanting to continue the practice. Nvidia had a little over 2 years to switch before this TR article was written: [url<]https://techreport.com/news/19216/physx-hobbled-on-the-cpu-by-x87-code[/url<] [quote<] Kanter even expects using SSE would ease development: "In the case of PhysX on the CPU, there are no significant extra costs (and frankly supporting SSE is easier than x87 anyway)."[/quote<] If the desire is not to advantage itself and cost of competitors, I am not sure what else to make of that (lower development cost and CPU PhysX gets a boost or higher development cost and CPU PhysX continues to be hobbled). EDIT: Or at least there was incentive to drag its feet. According to Wikipedia: "PhysX SDK 3.0 was released in May 2011 and represented a significant rewrite of the SDK, bringing improvements such as more efficient multithreading and a unified code base for all supported platforms." Good for them for owning up but why we need strong independent reporting/reviewing. As for DX10.1 vs. DX10, page 1 explains the performance delta: [url<]http://www.rage3d.com/articles/assassinscreed/index.php?p=1[/url<] Page 4 even notes quality improvement: [url<]http://www.rage3d.com/articles/assassinscreed/index.php?p=4[/url<]

    • bfar
    • 8 years ago

    Even if AMD releases the Mantle SDK, they’ll still ultimately control the specification and it’s future direction. They could close all or part of the SDK on a whim, or time the release of updates to suit their own agenda.

    There is absolutely no way that AMD’s direct competitors would even think of implementing Mantle on their hardware without risk to competitive advantage, so it’s highly disingenuous to say that Mantle is open.

    If either AMD or Nvidia had any real intentions of embracing open standards and competing on a level playing field, they would both have diverted all of their software resources to the support of OpenGL a long time ago. As it stands, they seem to be embarking on a strategy to buy up performance at developer level, through various software support strategies, divergence from API standards and the spirit on which those standards stand.

    The real villain in all this are the developers themselves. They’re happy to do a deal with the devil, even when it involves offering at least half of their customers a sub par experience.

    • Silus
    • 8 years ago

    Let’s not forget AMD’s smearing/making fun of NVIDIA’s products campaign with video ads and the sort.

    That’s how AMD works. Since they can’t compete with proper products (and I mean products as a whole, not just the hardware – the hardware is fine – but also the software, which in their case sucks) so they resort to these tactics, plus the constant whining. Last year they had dozens of games under their “wing” (Gaming Evolved) and they still sucked performance wise, in some of them.

    AMD always blames others for their mistakes and their driver woes continue to be one of their biggest. It’s so bad, that they had to develop a whole API from scratch just to cover up how bad their drivers for DX/OpenGL are.

    • jessterman21
    • 8 years ago

    It is interesting the descriptions of Nvidia, AMD, and Intel. Unfortunately everything I’ve seen over the past few years confirms their driver teams’ interests and capabilities. AMD just doesn’t have the talent or manpower, and Nvidia can optimize a game or demo to perform better than AMD in a period of two weeks – even with Mantle – which is really just a multithreaded-CPU-optimized API.

    • jessterman21
    • 8 years ago

    Haha, you’re probably more right than most people will give you credit for. Incompetence and miscommunication are staples in any business these days…

    • moose17145
    • 8 years ago

    Just for sake of playing devils advocate here…

    Is it possible that crap just happens? That a few game companies forgot or were unable to get builds off to either company “in time” because of internal politics. I would imagine that when a game gets sent off to NVidia or AMD before it gets released, there is a lot of paperwork being signed with the publisher as well as the studio making the game. And a company like EA is so large, and probably has so much internal bureaucracy that I am not convinced that the Right hand even knows what the Left is doing. Like with Tomb raider, maybe AMD was working more closely with the developer, so they were more in the visible radar than NVidia was, and maybe paperwork for getting the game off to NVidia got delayed or lost for a period of time. I mena yea it kinda sounds crazy considering how important of a deal it is… but crazier things have happened… It’s a large industry and I am sure delays, internal politics, NVidia/AMD not submitting requests for the game code in time combined ith delays in processing, and various other factors have cause similar issues in the past. Quite honestly the industry is large enough and complex enough I am surprised this type of stuff doesn’t happen more often.

    Again, there could be some shady behind closed doors things happening, just felt like playing devils advocate.

    • Deanjo
    • 8 years ago

    [quote<]I thought that's why things like DirectX were invented.[/quote<] A better example would be openGL. DirectX is still vendor locked in, just at the software level. ie only used on MS products.

    • Chrispy_
    • 8 years ago

    Yeah, we know (thanks the outbursts of rage from Linus Torvalds etc) that Nvidia are very good at manipulating the truth.
    We also know that AMD fired it’s entire marketing department and couldn’t manipulate their own dinner with a fork, let alone the truth.

    If you have to point finger at one or the other for devious schemes and weasly cheating, I know which side I’d rather bet on.

    • USAFTW
    • 8 years ago

    Enter Sharks vs. Canucks…

    • SCR250
    • 8 years ago

    Words a lawyer or politician would be proud of.

    • chuckula
    • 8 years ago

    Uh… doing an RTFA operation:

    [quote<]Historically, this vendor will do things like internally replace entire shaders for key titles to make them perform better (sometimes much better). [b<][i<]Most drivers probably do stuff like this occasionally, but this vendor will stop at nothing for performance.[/b<][/i<] [/quote<] 1. "Most drivers" sounds like AMD to me! 2. Oh the existential horror that Nvidia optimizes for performance! Thank ${DIETY} that we don't have to worry about that sort of behavior out of AMD.

    • Drachasor
    • 8 years ago

    Maybe I’m missing it, but where does it say they do the same thing with regards to software development? There’s a big difference between working on a driver vs. modifying a graphics engine to support one driver (and vendor) without regard for how it impacts the engine on other systems.

    “This vendor is extremely savvy and strategic about embedding its devs directly into key game teams to make things happen. This is a double edged sword, because these devs will refuse to debug issues on other vendor’s drivers, and they view GL only through the lens of how it’s implemented by their driver. These embedded devs will purposely do things that they know are performant on their driver, with no idea how these things impact other drivers.”

    I don’t see anything like that in the AMD discussion.

    And of course this also relates to the fact that if their driver doesn’t follow the exact openGL spec, then stuff that works well for them in the engine might well cause problems for others.

    That said, I’m not saying AMD is entirely innocent of bad behavior (certainly how they have handled Mantle doesn’t look good and might bode ill for the future). But it seems like Nvidia is a lot more focused and organized about it. Well, ignoring the driver mess/incompetence problem AMD seems to have.

    • JustAnEngineer
    • 8 years ago

    Not to mention that NVidia’s evil marketing geniuses are remorseless sharks, while the AMD graphics guys… well, they’re Canadian.

    • chuckula
    • 8 years ago

    The strongest accusation I’ve seen is some charge of “shader replacement” on the part of Nvidia.

    Let’s assume that is true:
    1. How does that harm AMD exactly? Those “evil replacement” shaders might not even run on AMD hardware so if Nvidia forced them into the main game code, it would actually hurt AMD in a real way instead of the imaginary “waah, it’s not fair” way.

    2. Why can’t AMD do the same thing? Even the article you post flat out says that AMD [b<][i<]does[/i<][/b<] do the same thing, just that Nvidia is much better at doing it.

    • Drachasor
    • 8 years ago

    I think replacing/adding Open Source driver code for something that’s supposed to work on hardware from multiple vendors with something that you only care if it works on your stuff is pretty shady.

    It would be like if Intel had a bunch of their engineers modify parts all over the Linux Kernel only caring about how it affected Intel-hardware, and in doing so made changes that were detrimental to other x86 and non-x86 platforms.

    And it’s not like the guy only talked about shader replacement. That’s just an example of an overall trend where Nvidia help comes with your product not working as well with other graphics cards. Combined with their tools which apparently are designed to encourage you to work with them directly (wherein they hurt your product on other cards). And the beauty is they don’t have to try to do the harm in particular, because of how hardware optimization works — they just have to not care.

    So assuming that description is right, I’d say setting up an ecosystem where you encourage developers to work with you to the detriment of others is indeed pretty shady.

    But I agree this sort of behavior isn’t unexpected. But AMD doesn’t seem to do it (they just seem incompetent but mean well).

    • bfar
    • 8 years ago

    Strategically speaking, Nvidia would be mad as beans to lock themselves into an API controlled by their primary competitor. They’ll never go there.

    It’s disingenuous to claim that Mantle is ‘open’.

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 8 years ago

    Whoever cries to Mama Press first loses.

    I guess that means AMD lost?

    I mean, think back. When AMD announced Mantle, what did nVidia do in response? Did they go to the press and start badmouthing AMD?

    Nope. They brought Carmack, Sweeney, and AMD’s Mantle front man together to discuss technology and then let the two most famous gaming engine designers take turns smacking the AMD chewtoy around. They didn’t go to the press and as far as I can tell, they made virtually no press comments about Mantle except when directly interrogated about it.

    So… yeah. I guess AMD lost.

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 8 years ago

    “Never blame on ignorance what can be blamed on elaborate conspiracy theory instead,” is wisdom I heard just now in my head when I was typing it up.

    Ever since that first time I heard it, I’ve known. It’s really something.

    Not sure what. But it’s something.

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 8 years ago

    He’s definitely trying…

    My patience. I keep going back from time to time, hoping he’s realized his mistake. If I hadn’t gone to that site for many, many years, I’d have given up already.

    He wouldn’t need MORE money than he gets in ad revenue if he’d stop doing bajillions of iPhone reviews and ignoring PC hardware releases while employing far more reviewers than he needs.

    • Klimax
    • 8 years ago

    Shader replacement? I remember only one time it happened. G FX… (Alias beginning of game specific optimizations) But they might do it. It is in the end valid strategy, if you can expend that much effort. (It is in the end done for their HW, not others)

    What you described, I recall seeing described over time. Nothing problematic there. (IMHO)

    As for Vendor C, I don’t recall trouble when playing some older OGL games or using some demos. Maybe I just missed others…But then most tiles are DX, so that gets focus…

    Interesting article, but nothing strange, shady or unexpected. (And shows why I hate extensions in OGL and whole Extension hell)

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 8 years ago

    Or perhaps something as simple as: “Your mama!”

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 8 years ago

    “Why is AMD running, Dad? They didn’t do anything.”

    “Because we have to chase them, son. They’re getting lazy and fat. They need the exercise.”

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 8 years ago

    Except he’s lost all sense of credibility he may have once had. All press may be good press, but… not so much for journalists if their integrity comes into question.

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 8 years ago

    From the ashes, the secret, operational heart of Transmeta remains in hiding. For years, they’ve avoided the nVidia search teams that have been hunting for them.

    From within their secret headquarters in the hollowed out VIA offices, they wait for their moment to activate their high level mole inside Intel and begin the end times.

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 8 years ago

    They could be secret characters that peek out at you in the backgrounds of the new Mortal Kombat game’s stages. If you do certain conditions properly, they come out and battle you.

    Beat them and you win them as characters to play as. Pit them against each other and begin a special battle royale extreeeeeeeme that has Jack Bauer pop out of hiding and run through dropping C4 everywhere and screaming. At that point, someone starts yelling, “Damn it, JACK!”

    Then a timer appears. Win in 24 seconds or everyone dies.

    • exilon
    • 8 years ago

    He’s going to get 500K hits at this rate. Well played.

    • exilon
    • 8 years ago

    That ExtremeTech article is sure reading deep into the shader replacement blurb. Of course the author is the same one that wrote the piece on GameWorks in January.

    • erwendigo
    • 8 years ago

    The driver overhead is a thing that you can find in the AMD drivers in almost all DX11 games, previously to the R337 driver release, with the nvidia drivers you need less cpu for the same performance level with nvidia, but with the R337 and its optimizations, the overhead difference is much more visible.

    • erwendigo
    • 8 years ago

    Very badly, it’s trying this thing. Neutrality? with a sponsored ($$$$) section of a website? No way.

    • Flapdrol
    • 8 years ago

    And this forbes contributer idiot gets even more hits…

    • Drachasor
    • 8 years ago

    I added a link to the blog to my post above. Here it is again: [url<]http://richg42.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/the-truth-on-opengl-driver-quality.html[/url<] It was widely reported at the time (2 weeks ago). I thought it was reported here too, but I couldn't find a link to a story here quickly.

    • Antimatter
    • 8 years ago

    AMD never claimed that Mantle was the Xbox One API, Anandtech made that claim. Also Microsoft started DX12 development later than usual hence AMD claiming that there would be no DX12. Why do you think that DX12 games will only be available 2 years after the first Mantle games.

    If AMD designed Mantle to ‘offload the game development chore to the developers and/or publishers’ then why would Microsoft be moving in the same direction with DX12. Nvidia also developed extensions to OpenGL for the same purpose. Were they also trying to reduce their driver development team? There are clear benefits to a low CPU overhead API, that seems to be so popular all of a sudden.

    Mantle was what game developers wanted according to AMD. AMD cannot force developers to use Mantle, they would be completely at the mercy of third parties for the success of Mantle. AMD does not have the financial capability to buy over developers and if they had why would they develop Mantle rather than invest in improving their current drivers. Moreover since AMD supposedly knew about DX12 why would that waste money (which they don’t have) to replicate the same functionality?

    • Ninjitsu
    • 8 years ago

    VIA via proxy. Nice.

    • Klimax
    • 8 years ago

    LOL.

    But yes, Intel can screw up everybody. Fabs…

    • Klimax
    • 8 years ago

    Anand still tries to at least maintain appearance of neutrality. This would kill it outright.

    • Klimax
    • 8 years ago

    Only because they see AMD failing with drivers. Also maybe some are longing for 90s, but there was a reason everybody got out of that mess. (For one thing, current mess is far cry from what was back then. Replace strong optimization for vendor locked by way of API nobody else does or can do.)

    They want GPU space to be more like CPU space. I don’t think that is good idea.

    • Klimax
    • 8 years ago

    Just note: PhysX x87 predates NVidia back to Aegia…

    As for AS 1, wasn’t there issue with missing code making it broken? (Also causing it to be much faster)

    • Klimax
    • 8 years ago

    Is there link to that? Also has it been verified. (As evidenced here, allegiations are easy to find, facts are much harder…)

    • Klimax
    • 8 years ago

    Interesting. Frankly, the only way to fully solve this, there would have to be two full leaks of those agreements. One for Gameworks and one for AMD’s side. And I doubt anybody with access to them has much of interest of leaking them.

    • Drachasor
    • 8 years ago

    Correct me if I am wrong, but didn’t the OpenGL discussion on graphic vendors indicate Nvidia had very skilled engineers but acted like total jerks — including adding/replacing code to make their stuff better and not caring if it was compliant or broke the competition. AMD’s complaints here seem to be about the same sort of behavior, so it doesn’t strike me as all that unlikely.

    With OpenGL, AMD was described as being more interested in supporting open source, but also less competent and horribly disorganized.

    While it is possible that these are isolated to just OpenGL, it seems to me that it is at least worth considering if they affect other areas of driver development. And I’d be wary of false equivalency — if Nvidia and AMD both engage in bad behavior, it doesn’t mean they do so in equal amounts.

    Personally I like both companies, but I wish Nvidia would support Open Source in a more productive manner and that AMD could get its act together a bit more. I’m withholding judgment on the current back and forth.

    Edit: Here’s a link: [url<]http://richg42.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/the-truth-on-opengl-driver-quality.html[/url<] It was widely reported when it came out a couple weeks back. I thought there was something on it here. Edit2: I think I must have come across it on ExtremeTech: [url<]http://www.extremetech.com/gaming/182343-why-we-cant-have-nice-things-valve-programmer-discusses-wretched-state-of-opengl[/url<]

    • USAFTW
    • 8 years ago

    [quote<]Someone failed in navigating the website [/quote<] Love that one. Cyril, just copy paste this for the title of the next one: AMD responds to NVIDIA's response to AMD's GameWorks allegations

    • Deanjo
    • 8 years ago

    If there is a response from AMD I would expect it to sound something like:

    “Oh ya nVidia, well, you’re a poopoo head and your mom couldn’t cook!”

    • pandemonium
    • 8 years ago

    [quote<]"It's definitely not true. We've never done anything like that, where we preclude people from working with our competition or taking suggestions from our competition or getting access to builds," Cebenoyan told me. "I don't know the specifics, because it's not really our business as to who has access to our games developers partners' builds. That's up to them, right? But my assumption is . . . all the competitors have equal access in terms of getting builds."[/quote<] Read as: "Haha, we win. Our competition is inferior and we're awesome. *smug face*"

    • exilon
    • 8 years ago

    You mean SDK11? That kit has been archived ever since they remade their developer website … because it’s almost 3 years old. It should be under Support -> Archives -> SDK11. The link was broken at one point, but the direct download link never changed and external sites announcing SDK 11 still had the download link active.

    See this article from 2011:
    [url<]http://www.geeks3d.com/20110406/nvidia-graphics-sdk-11-available-direct3d-11-only/[/url<] In any case, here's the exact complaint from AMD: [quote<]This change coincides with NVIDIA’s decision to remove all public Direct3D code samples from their site in favor of a ‘contact us for licensing’ page.[/quote<] This is bullshit. The GameWorks samples have always been up since the site redesign.

    • danny e.
    • 8 years ago

    I’m going to reserve my judgment till I hear AMD’s response to Nvidia’s response. Well, unless of course, Nvidia has a brilliant response to that response…

    • Tech Savy
    • 8 years ago

    This is interesting. Someone mentioned this in the other topic related to this: maybe the 770 and 290x were performing on the same level because the Editor’s computer was cpu bound so no matter what card you used that would be the rough top out performance.

    Food for thought.

    • Lans
    • 8 years ago

    [quote<]If only we lived in a just world where everything people said was true and they never tried to mask things.[/quote<] Yeah if only. Maybe AMD did shady stuff with TressFX like not letting Nvidia get pre-release binary builds but at least I have not seen any developer admit to it (not that I expect to see it even if it is true). On other hand, I have seen in detail articles that strongly suggests/proof Nvidia did shady stuff with DX10.1/Assassin's Creed and PhysX using x87 instead of SSE. I agree with others that if anyone wants to keep score (more detailed than my post) then they should list issues with credible 3rd party sources that details the problem. Otherwise is just mud slinging and I am sure every for profit corporation does stuff to advantage itself and disadvantage its competitors.

    • UnfriendlyFire
    • 8 years ago

    Here’s a fun fact:

    The consumer always loses in the end when this kind of crap occurs between Nividia, AMD, Intel, and the developers.

    • Delphis
    • 8 years ago

    Ugh.. either get along or just don’t allow any hardware manufacturer to dictate ‘optimizations’ for any architecture. I thought that’s why things like DirectX were invented.

    We really don’t need fragmentation on the PC development space that makes it an easier decision to just lose the PC and concentrate on consoles.

    • Deanjo
    • 8 years ago

    My bookmark hasn’t changed since that page existed.

    • Myrmecophagavir
    • 8 years ago

    Nope, just used the web.archive.org to check. At the last snapshot, the old samples had been removed. Looks like they just put them back up. (Note: we’re not talking about the smattering of new samples, but the older ones.)

    [url<]http://web.archive.org/web/20140318153314/https://developer.nvidia.com/gameworks-samples-overview[/url<] vs. [url<]https://developer.nvidia.com/gameworks-samples-overview[/url<] I was going to contact dev rel asking about them, but, well, they're certainly back up there as of today 🙂

    • Ryu Connor
    • 8 years ago

    He’s not the hero AMD needs, but the one they deserve.

    • entropy13
    • 8 years ago

    But for just one driver guy they have, he’s doing quite well already, all things considered.

    LOL

    • Andrew Lauritzen
    • 8 years ago

    > “And for the last **** time. Mantle is not vendor locked.”

    So at what point do you start considering the possibility that it’s you who is wrong here? Clearly not when told by people who work in the industry or after getting lots of down-votes… 😉

    • exilon
    • 8 years ago

    It’s like 5 clicks from developer.nvidia.com

    [url<]https://developer.nvidia.com/gameworksdownload#?tx=$gameworks,graphics_library[/url<] You failed.

    • albundy
    • 8 years ago

    The most important thing you will ever learn in business is…

    Lie…Lie like the wind, lie.

    • MathMan
    • 8 years ago

    In my world, vendor locked means that the application only works on the hardware of one vendor.

    GameWorks very clearly works with AMD GPUs. It’s an layer that sits on top of standard DX11.

    Mantle is, at this time, completely vendor locked. Maybe not in the future, but that’s irrelevant for all games that make use of it now.

    • cynan
    • 8 years ago

    Yes, but their historically brutally ineffectual DRM is a fact, while the poor optimization of Watch Dogs, irrespective of recent evidence, is still, at least somewhat, conjecture (just like all of the accusations flung around comprising the topic of this article). ;-D

    But yeah, from what I’ve seen, it looks like Watch Dogs rendering is a little broken at 1080p or above.

    • nanoflower
    • 8 years ago

    Why do you keep saying that when AMD hasn’t released the API to Intel and Nvidia. Until they do that neither company can begin to work on implementing Mantle on their hardware which leaves Mantle as vendor locked in with the potential of it not being locked in at some date in the future (but no guarantee AMD will follow through on their promise.) This is the reality. No one is denying that Gameworks is locked in to Nvidia, just like PhysX but that doesn’t change the fact that Mantle is also vendor locked for now. Though it is likely even if AMD released everything needed to implement Mantle on another platform that no one would do so because DirectX 12 is coming.

    • nanoflower
    • 8 years ago

    Oh they have plenty of issues with optimizing their code. It’s obvious from the reports I’m seeing that they could have used another year (in addition to the extra months they took) to optimize Watch Dogs for the PC. Even then I doubt they would have updated the graphics for the PC as it looks like they must be using the same textures between the consoles and the PC given how flat many of them are.

    • chuckula
    • 8 years ago

    Delusional Bensam123 fantasy world: “Wut? You know a few months ago AMD mentioned that they essentially helped create DX by sending code snippets and help to MS, but MS didn’t actually respond to any of it.”

    Reality:
    [quote<]The High-level shader language or High-level shading language (HLSL) is a proprietary shading language developed by Microsoft for use with the Microsoft Direct3D API. It is analogous to the GLSL shading language used with the OpenGL standard. [b<][i<]It is the same as the Nvidia Cg shading language, as it was developed alongside it.[/b<][/i<][/quote<] [url<]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shader_model_4.0[/url<] So, not only did AMD *not* "invent" D3D only to be stolen by those evil nazis at Microsoft and Nvidia, but AMD's very own Mantle... that uses HLSL... is heavily indebted to both Microsoft AND Nvidia. Malignant narcissism + severe honesty issues + obessive-compulsive disorder requiring you to post the same tripe over, and over, and over again... your therapist must love you! Please put down the Flavor-Aid there Jimmy-Jones.

    • superjawes
    • 8 years ago

    Bingo. Evangelho really stepped in it when he posted that first article. It probably got hits, but I’m guessing that someone higher up at Forbes called him pretty quickly…

    • Myrmecophagavir
    • 8 years ago

    ‘Addressing AMD’s specific complaint about code samples disappearing from Nvidia’s website, Cebenoyan pointed out that the samples are still there. “Someone just failed in navigating the website,”‘

    Hmm…? Just the other week I was looking for these. Perhaps I failed at navigating the website too? Pretty sure the samples page was missing at that time.

    • superjawes
    • 8 years ago

    This deserves a bump.

    We’ve said many, many times that AMD [i<]can[/i<] fix problems, but they don't have the money to do so. Developer relations aren't going to be any different. In fact, I suspect that they would be hurt worse considering that it doesn't help put products on the market.

    • chuckula
    • 8 years ago

    ENTER THE DRAGON

    • Deanjo
    • 8 years ago

    Because VIA is secretly the majority share holder of intel and is secretly doing this via proxy.

    • chuckula
    • 8 years ago

    Look, when confronted with the options of there being an elaborate and Machiavellian conspiracy to destroy the world on the part of those evil slimeballs at Nvidia vs. a-fourth-grader-could-do-his-job-better level of incompetence from a so-called “tech” journalist, I’m going to to with the conspiracy every single time!

    • Terra_Nocuus
    • 8 years ago

    I’m mostly surprised that article showed up on Forbes, rather than Anandtech’s AMD Center…

    • Terra_Nocuus
    • 8 years ago

    [quote<]Once again Mantle isn't vendor exclusive.[/quote<] Until AMD releases the spec & documentation, Mantle [b<]is[/b<] vendor exclusive. I don't know why that's so hard to understand. AMD can say that they'll do this-or-that, but [i<]until they do[/i<], you can't call a duck a horse.

    • Bensam123
    • 8 years ago

    Wut? You know a few months ago AMD mentioned that they essentially helped create DX by sending code snippets and help to MS, but MS didn’t actually respond to any of it.

    I’m not sure how you can justify performance optimizations (like more calls) as offloading it to the developer. Is DX12 offloading work to the developer too? That is so vague you can say ANYTHING can be offloaded to the developer as work if they need to do anything to implement it, reguardless of how new and helpful it is. Take the gripe developers always spit out when the next generation of consoles come around. Developers do embarrassingly little work (on the programming end) for most console pieces of shovelware. The engine does the majority of it for you.

    Mantle isn’t AMD exclusive. It’s already been stated Nvidia and everyone else can implement it. They said they’re releasing a SDK later this year. It’s not vendor locked like Gameworks.

    Once again APIs aren’t offloading tons of burden to developers. They’re there so they can do less work. Is using OGL offloading burden to developers as well? They use what’s superior and works well. If it doesn’t work they don’t take the time to implement or use it. I think for some reason you got gameworks and mantle reversed. One being something that will have a readily available SDK anyone can use and implement and another that is only locked to Nvidia hardware.

    Once again Mantle isn’t vendor exclusive. That’s gameworks.

    Because something helps eleviate CPU bottle necks, it’s bad? That same technology is being put into DX12. Is that bad too? Or is it good because AMD isn’t doing it?

    • Tristan
    • 8 years ago

    Underdog AMD will always cry, and blame others for their mistakes.

    • Bensam123
    • 8 years ago

    If only we lived in a just world where everything people said was true and they never tried to mask things.

    Unfortunately there isn’t a way to verify what is true and what isn’t without a third party and I’m sure developers are smart enough to keep their lips shut for the most part. That would influence how willing either company would be to work with them in the future depending on their answer.

    And for the last fucking time. Mantle is not vendor locked. Gameworks is vendor locked. There are tons of people that still don’t seem realize this or willing just throw this to the side.

    • NeelyCam
    • 8 years ago

    Haha; JHH would turn Mr. Read into pulp. I mean, have you seen the [url=http://www.blogcdn.com/www.engadget.com/media/2010/09/nvidia-tattoo-09242010.jpg<]guns[/url<] on that dude?

    • jdaven
    • 8 years ago

    I think the CEO of Nvidia and the CEO of AMD should just get in the ring together and settle this like real men. Cyril can even be the referee.

    • NeelyCam
    • 8 years ago

    [quote<]the Forbes contributor should have contacted nVidia before taking AMD's word on the matter verbatim. [/quote<] Maybe he was paid to write that article...?

    • ShadowTiger
    • 8 years ago

    Why is everyone so blind? Obviously Intel is the one bribing game developers to screw over both AMD and nVidia make their integrated graphics look halfway decent.

    • xeridea
    • 8 years ago

    [quote<] "It's definitely not true. We've never done anything like that, where we preclude people from working with our competition or taking suggestions from our competition or getting access to builds,"[/quote<] Who needs to suggest to developers they intentionally hamper anything, just get the to use your middleware, and you can do the hampering yourself. Or make suggestions on what to do, knowing how said middleware works to your favor.

    • xeridea
    • 8 years ago

    You seem to have a misunderstaning on things. Developers have been asking for lower level access for years, because its is substantially easier to effectively program for when you don’t have a big peice of iffy software in the middle. Not having to constantly spend millions on driver micro-optimizations is just a plus. So its win for developers, and win for AMD.

    • Roo5ter
    • 8 years ago

    When I was a kid I will never forget the first truly competitive gaming pc I had. A wonderful machine that at its core was powered by a 450mhz AMD K6-2. During this time, we were at a narrow sliver of history in which AMD truly had dominance in the processor market. I loved that computer and I certainly ran it into the ground over the years. I was proud to have that AMD K6-2 square sticker on the front of my case because with no other basis beyond having one, I knew that AMD was simply better than Intel.

    At the time of course the K6-2 450mhz was only second to the 500mhz K6-2 and AMD was on top of the world. Over the years it seems like AMD has slowly lost their edge and my rampant adolescent fanboyism of something I knew nothing about slowly faded as I had to face reality, AMD was second, and American muscle cars were better than any rice-burner when it came to power and sex-appeal.

    AMD has been on the defensive for a long time and they have now been reduced from innovative powerhouse to ‘child on the playground screaming no fair.’ It seems like everyone else has their new tech ready and is just reducing R&D so they can slow walk their superior products above AMD’s figurative head and let them pretend they can compete. Meanwhile the competitors rake in massive profits as there is no real competition.

    AMD continually does embarassing acts publicly. Their PR department needs to get their shit together. Just two days ago I found out if you bought an AMD card with their ‘Gaming Evolved’ program and returned it you were screwed out of the price of the three games that came with it to the tune of $119.99. So if you buy a usually loud (not always) and power hungry AMD number crunching machine and it’s a pile of crap that has to be returned you can just deduct $119.99 from the price. You just ended up with three semi old, and not exactly the best, titles you could have asked for.

    There are a ton of people smarter than I am on these boards so feel free to correct me if I am speaking out of turn on anything but AMD is past the point of becoming pathetic. I would be ashamed to put out some of the products and statements that have come out over the last two years. I’m truly upset during 10 months out of the year I have no choice in brand when buying GPU and 12 months out of the year I have no choice when buying a CPU.

    • WillBach
    • 8 years ago

    That’s a lot of reasons for AMD to want Mantle 🙂 Some of those I’m familiar with, I was just remarking that nvidia’s “dominance” in driver/engine optimization was one I hadn’t considered yet. That said you’re right, it’s just another facet of removing all those layers and leaving it up to the developer: it nixes nvidia’s advantage and makes AMD’s support job easier.

    • cynan
    • 8 years ago

    My overly cynical, baseless comment was aimed at the sheer proposterousness of taking anything any representative from either company has said so far in these heresay fests without a healthy dose of salt.

    Until we hear official statements from the companies in question (and even then), this is all just fanboi fodder.

    • exilon
    • 8 years ago

    The difference is in driver overhead, not GPU power.

    [url<]http://i.imgur.com/LAVkEWp.png[/url<] Edit: Whoops, deep linked.

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 8 years ago

    What this proves to me is that the Forbes contributor should have contacted nVidia before taking AMD’s word on the matter verbatim. This is why you should ALWAYS give the other guy a chance to respond before you publish that article.

    Maybe your original source ain’t being completely honest or fair to the guy he’s saying screwed him. Maybe he’s just screwing them instead?

    How can you be sure unless you let both sides give their side of the story?

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 8 years ago

    Feels like there’s a “currently” implied somewhere in that AMD statement that comes and goes from time to time in a loose manner, depending on the circumstances.

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 8 years ago

    They’re not helping things when they waste money on the wrong things like Mantle or TrueAudio instead of focusing on righting the obvious things they could fix like multithreaded drivers or, hell, building a new frickin’ reference cooler for their cards besides the same one they used with the 5xxx series for the R9 290/290X.

    I think they should also hire back a few more PR guys because they’ve had some real screwups lately with PR that just should not happen. I’m thinking of the Battlefield 4 email (ie., “Everyone’s getting it.” “Yeah, the head of our PR department’s email sent on a FRIDAY was misinformed. I know we waited until the next Monday to correct it, letting the word percolate outward to get free advertising through LIES, but hey… it’s still wrong.”), the switcheroo/jedi mind trick with the release of Sea Islands and the schedule that had been previously handed out (ie., “Schedule? This isn’t the schedule we originally meant. Even if we gave it to you. This isn’t the one we were ever going by. Nothing’s delayed.”), and now this? One snafu in a year is fine, but three isn’t making you look great.

    AND THAT’S JUST THEIR SPIN TEAM I’M TALKING ABOUT. I didn’t even get to their driver team or the reference cooler design team…

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 8 years ago

    The biggest thing about Mantle is that AMD thought they could swing making Mantle into Xbox One’s API. When that failed, they intimated without promising anything to anyone that it would be “similar enough.” Which means not at all, of course. They also implied DX12 didn’t exist (while simultaneously working on it with Microsoft for both the PC and Xbox One since they built the APU’s that the latter uses) more than once as a way of justifying Mantle’s existence in the first place.

    So why would AMD want Mantle? Because if you offload the game development chore to the developers and/or publishers, then suddenly fixing performance becomes almost completely the work of the developer/publishers instead of as it is currently something that AMD needs a large driver team to work on.

    Really, Mantle was a crazy gambit that–had it worked–would have really given AMD a great advantage. Imagine it. A world where the high performance, best gameplay versions were exclusive to you and where the performance improvements came at the cost of greater developer/publisher responsibility of fixing performance issues while reducing YOUR own responsibility to mostly the bare minimum of maintenance.

    DirectX is an API that requires AMD and nVidia constantly to tweak their drivers to help smooth over fiddly problems that happen between it and the game itself. Mantle would let AMD basically just throw open that fiddly part and obliterate it, leaving only the game itself. Low level access is a great idea, but not when it is vendor-exclusive and especially only a small subset of even that vendor’s “recent” hardware (especially when it comes to APU’s).

    Another reason for Mantle for AMD is they need something to push APU’s, which seem to be destined to always fall JUUUUST below the performance level necessary to be great at PC gaming. Mantle can help with that, too.

    There are a lot of reasons for this to be something AMD is interested in, but when MS passed on using Mantle as their low level API and they knew they weren’t going to make an open standard around it, that’s when they should have sighed and waited for DX12.

    I get the impression they just don’t have the TIME to wait anymore. Perhaps they are running desperately low on cash?

    • Deanjo
    • 8 years ago

    Well they don’t have to say it publicly. Studios have complained for years about how hard it is to get good developer support from AMD. Besides, it is pretty easy to tell when you see their former senior graphics engineers popping up at other companies on a fairly regular basis.

    • puppetworx
    • 8 years ago

    Interestingly [url=http://www.techspot.com/review/827-watch-dogs-benchmarks/<]TechSpot[/url<] and [url=http://www.hardocp.com/article/2014/05/27/watch_dogs_amd_nvidia_gpu_performance_preview<]HardOCP[/url<] have both benchmarked Watch Dogs and they found competing AMD and NVidia cards to be roughly equivalent in performance. Neither used the inbuilt benchmark utility for benchmarking like the Forbes bloke did though perhaps that's relevant (I.e. perhaps NVidia tune for benchmark utilities).

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 8 years ago

    There is no good or evil. Just green or red. These aren’t lightsabers and you can’t tell the goodies from the baddies by the color of their whoom-whoom. (Except apparently purple is the color of the badass.)

    They’re both corporations and if corporations are people, then they are sociopaths, the lot of them.

    Trust a corporation and you’ll get swindled. It’s fun for some, I guess, to paint AMD with this, “They’re the hero, fighting for the little guy, standing up to the evil forces that threaten to swallow you whole!” brush, but the reality is AMD and nVidia are basically the same except for one crucial detail that really at the end will make all the difference:

    nVidia has tons of cash and AMD is dirt poor.

    Desperation makes people–corporations or otherwise–act in a desperate manner. Yeah, I know. News at 11.

    • Meadows
    • 8 years ago

    How did we go from development to DRM?

    • cynan
    • 8 years ago

    Of course it did. That and Mantle (or the core components thereof) was almost surely already mostly developed for work already done for the consoles.

    • Anovoca
    • 8 years ago

    Yeah perhaps you are right.

    (scratches elbow and goes back to spamming the F5 key in hopes of new news on Maxwell GPUs)

    • cynan
    • 8 years ago

    Well, we all know how incompetent Ubisoft can be (at least when it comes to cooking up and implementing useful DRM).

    • PadawanTrainer
    • 8 years ago

    [quote<]They are both dealers and we are all their crackheads.[/quote<] Ummm, perhaps that's a tad extreme.

    • nanoflower
    • 8 years ago

    Agreed. His statement should mean that they never did prevent builds from being delivered to Nvidia, but I wouldn’t bet on that. Nvidia’s complaints were quite specific and only came about those couple of games. So it sound like something AMD did (probably to hide the TresFX from Nvidia) for a time and doesn’t do any more.

    • nanoflower
    • 8 years ago

    Which is something AMD will never admit. Not that I blame them as no company would want to say that publicly even if everyone knows it to be true.

    • Anovoca
    • 8 years ago

    They are both dealers and we are all their crackheads. There are no saints here.

    • WillBach
    • 8 years ago

    These recent allegations from AMD make me wonder if nvidia’s real or perceived dominance in DX driver/game engine optimizations contributed to AMD’s decision to create the Mantle API.

    • puppetworx
    • 8 years ago

    If only I could decide which one is the saint and which the sinner…

    • odizzido
    • 8 years ago

    yeah I noticed that as well.

    • Meadows
    • 8 years ago

    You never know with these types. I work for an insurance firm.

    • Cyril
    • 8 years ago

    I’m not sure I agree with you there. Even if Nvidia did get access a couple of weeks before release, forbidding developers from sending them builds prior to that wouldn’t qualify as undertaking “no efforts to prevent our competition from optimizing for games before their release.”

    • Anovoca
    • 8 years ago

    [quote<] That's just not gonna fly with any competent developer. So that's not something that we ever do. [/quote<] ...On the other hand if they tell us they don't care,well......

    • exilon
    • 8 years ago

    [quote<]Cebenoyan conceded that AMD is "concerned" about not having the code for Nvidia's GameWorks modules. However, he seems to believe that shouldn't hinder AMD's optimization efforts. "Historically, in all the games we've worked with, we don't typically need the source code to a game to optimize for it," he told me. "We don't typically have the source code to most games. Our driver engineers typically—actually almost never have looked game source code. So that's not really the operating model."[/quote<] Maybe AMD should recruit people that can do the same into their driver team.

    • Meadows
    • 8 years ago

    [quote<]"For what it's worth, AMD has denied that its Gaming Evolved program involves such clauses. The program "undertakes no efforts to prevent our competition from optimizing for games before their release," the company stated last June."[/quote<] Cyril, may I bring your attention to the fact that the above is *not* a denial at all. It's sidestepping the question. (NVidia mentioned being able to start optimizing only mere weeks before Tomb Raider's(?) launch, but that's "before release" nonetheless, according to AMD's terms.)

    • Deanjo
    • 8 years ago

    [quote<]Nvidia's PR team butted in there, hinting that AMD's developer relations efforts are thinly spread. Considering AMD's ongoing financial hurdles, that's not outside the realm of possibility.[/quote<] And there folks is the real root of AMD's issues.

    • Deanjo
    • 8 years ago

    Ya, I loved that part. *snicker*

    • NeelyCam
    • 8 years ago

    In other words: “I will not tolerate these temper tantrums. Go to your room – no TV for you tonight!”

    My favorite:

    [quote<]"Addressing AMD's specific complaint about code samples disappearing from Nvidia's website, Cebenoyan pointed out that the samples are still there. "Someone just failed in navigating the website," he said."[/quote<]

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