Benchmarking World of Warcraft’s DirectX 12 Support

Benchmarking World of Warcraft’s DirectX 12 Support

Our detail settings are shown below:

Benchmarking World of Warcraft’s DirectX 12 Support
Benchmarking World of Warcraft’s DirectX 12 Support

Our testbed, in this case, was my own system — an Ivy Bridge-E Core i7-4960X with 16GB of DDR3-1600 installed in a quad-channel configuration.

We picked two separate tests for our evaluation. Our first is a simple circular fly-around of the city of Dalaran. Circling the cities outer perimeter via flying mount takes almost exactly a minute and constitutes a simple test of API performance in non-challenging conditions. Our second test is a five-minute play session in the Seething Shore PvP battleground. The Seething Shore BG went into the game back in February, but it’s the closest thing to Battle for Azeroth content we can currently benchmark (the BG is focused on the collection of Azerite, which also plays a major role in BfA). Obviously, PvP matches can play out differently, which is why we chose a relatively long play-through period to compensate.

It’s possible that lower-end CPUs would see different results in these tests. As we’ve discussed before, DirectX 12 doesn’t really help you recover much in the way of GPU performance, though features like asynchronous compute can improve GPU perf in certain ways if supported in hardware. The major advantage of low-overhead APIs and the place where we always saw them do the most good was when paired with low-power or weaker CPUs, not GPUs. Here, they can make a significant difference, sometimes cutting CPU utilization by 10-30 percent and allowing for corresponding improvements in power consumption or giving developers more flexibility. We’ve also seen some specific cases where AMD’s DirectX 12 performance has given it better competitive standing against Nvidia, though again, the shifts here tend to be on the smaller side.

But at least in WoW, for now, the message seems clear. If you have a higher-end CPU and reasonably new GPU, DirectX 11 is the better API. We’ve got an eye on the situation and will re-test and/or revisit this question if Blizzard makes any formal announcements about improving the newer API’s performance relative to the older one.

Continue reading

Gigabyte Now Baking 32GB of Optane Directly Into Z370 Motherboards

Gigabyte is now bundling Optane drives directly with Z370 motherboards.

Stanford Researchers Build AI Directly Into Camera Optics

As AI in the form of deep neural networks infiltrates nearly every portion of our lives, there is a mad scramble to make the systems that run these algorithms more efficient. Custom silicon is one way; resistive computing is another. A team from Stanford has shown how computing using optical elements is yet a third approach.

Hands On With CyberLink Director Suite 365

CyberLink has just released version 17 of its PowerDirector video editor and version 10 of its PhotoDirector image editor, with plenty of new AI-powered features and clever add-ons.

New World of Warcraft Optimizations Send DirectX 12 Performance Soaring

Initial tests didn't show DirectX 12 offering much benefit to World of Warcraft, but new benchmarks on the Public Test Realm show dramatic improvements coming with Patch 8.1.