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Th Latest DirectX 12 Update lets CPU and GPU Directly Access VRAM, Concurrently

Microsoft has recently announced a new DirectX 12 GPU optimisation feature called GPU Upload Heaps where, in conjunction with Resizable-BAR, the CPU is allowed direct access to the GPU memory, even while it’s being accessed by the GPU itself. This will increase performance in DX (DirectX)12 games, while reducing system RAM usage – this is because the new feature discards the need to copy data from the CPU to the GPU. The new feature has just become available in an SDK (software development kit) called Agility.

We are not yet sure how exactly this feature will be implemented; however, it has the potential to lead to large performance advantages. As the amount of VRAM needed to run the latest titles increases, so the amount of data needed to be moved from the CPU to GPU increases.

This means that both GPU and CPU usage could also drop, since they don’t have to constantly use valuable resources moving data back and forth. It also means the CPU no longer has a need to keep copies of data on both the RAM and VRAM of a system. Since GPU memory is very fast, leaving data on the GPU alone could also improve latency with CPU access times on high end GPU’s with high speed memory.

For the gamers among our readers, the only requirement to make use of this new feature is Resizable-Bar or Smart Access Memory support on both your GPU and GPU. The foundation of GPU Upload Heaps is Resizable-Bar as it allows windows to manage GPU VRAM directly.

For the developers in the crowd, the feature is already supported by Nvidia, Intel and AMD drivers. It’s included in Nvidia’s latest game ready and studio drivers and Intel’s A-series/Xeon GPU’s. As for AMD GPU’s, you would need to consult your AMD alliance manager to get a supported driver.

Since this is a brand new feature, it won’t be implemented in games immediately, so a small wait will be involved, but with the potential to have such a streamlining affect on system performance – it should be worthwhile the wait.

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