DirectX 12 has been something gamers and consumers have been wanting to use for the better part of a year now, and even more so now that Windows 10 is here. Developer Oxide Games alongside Stardock provided us with a copy of Ashes of the Singularity Benchmark II, a tool that allows us to do many things - including use different GPUs together. Yeah, we can use NVIDIA and AMD GPUs, together, in the same system, for added performance.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty behind DirectX 12's multi-GPU Explicit Multi-Adapter (also known as Multi-Display Adapter) functionality, let's explain what Ashes of the Singularity is. Oxide Games explains AotS as a "war is raging across the galaxy, world by world in this epic new real-time strategy game". It sounds pretty damn fun, but I'm not here for the game. I'm here for the benchmarks and making all of my GPUs hitting 100%.
Playing around with DX12 is also going to be interesting, as we'll be able to see the excellent Explicit multi-GPU support that Ashes of the Singularity Benchmark II includes. Oxide Games and Stardock Entertainment also provided "significant general performance optimizations" to AotS Benchmark II, as well as "increased the benchmark's overall load to test expanded gameplay features". We also have "new graphics effects" and the "advanced use of D3D12 multi-queue and signaling mechanisms", with Oxide noting that "this is often referred to as asynchronous compute".
DirectX 12 - What to Expect
We hear about DirectX 12 all the time, but what are the benefits? DX12 has three key features that are beneficial to users: parallel rendering, explicit multi-GPU support, and asynchronous compute. Starting with parallel rendering, where every core on your CPU is used better - matching with the GPU in parallel.
Explicit multi-GPU support is what I'm most interested in, as you can combine various GPUs together for added performance. This means you can mix and match NVIDIA video cards with AMD Radeon video cards, for added performance. Asynchronous compute support allows GPUs to multitask within themselves, providing large performance improvements.
Ashes of the Singularity is the first game to make use of DX12's explicit multi-GPU support, and until now multi-GPUs were mostly hidden from applications that didn't include pre-baked support in the form of SLI and Crossfire profiles. DX12, on the other hand, allows developers to take 100% control over all of the GPUs in the system, including the integrated GPU on your CPU, or APU.