DirectX 12 is a Great Thing for AMD
And everyone for that matter! But let’s not harsh on my sacrifice of proper grammar for stylistic writing when we can focus on good things from DirectX 12. I’m a firm believer that by the end of next year, DirectX 12 and Vulcan are going to be taking the gaming world by storm. I got a chance to play around with Fable Legends and the graphics were down right amazing! Techspot recently did a comparison of DirectX 11 and 12 to show the FPS gain from a couple of different configurations in Ashes of the Singularity. While the improvements were nice overall, there were some particular gains with FX CPUs that I’ve been waiting to see for quite some time now.
Let’s start with the bad news. DirectX 12 is not Bulldozer’s salvation. If anything DirectX 12 is the final nail in that coffin, in the sense that new architecture is long overdue. Shifting away from single-thread performance was never a good move. I still believe AMD was on the right track in that we needed to move to more utilization of multi-threading, especially in gaming, but that shouldn’t have been at the sacrifice of single-thread. Zen is looking to solve these issues, but these initial results are showing an 8350 struggling to keep up with an i3. Even though the i3 is later gen, we’re still talking about a low budget range CPU beating out an enthusiast one for gaming. Now that we got that out of the way though, let’s get on to the good news for AMD.
We still have only one title that is thoroughly testing DirectX 11 and DirectX 12 so until four or five game titles start giving us an array of results, we can’t make definite conclusions. However, the latest tests done by Techspot were very encouraging for both AMD CPUs and GPUs. With the GTX 980 Ti, the FX-8350 saw a pretty sizable jump in performance, but it was still lagging behind the i3-6100 pretty bad in certain areas. However, with the R9 Fury X, DirectX 12 was giving the FX-8350 around a 20 FPS jump. That move is astronomical considering that the only change was the API. The other nice thing was, at higher quality settings, the 8350 did a much better job of closing the gap with INTEL CPUs across the board using the same AMD GPU. What is the big takeaway with all these results?
The thing is, we can’t take these figures and say that the Bulldozer architecture is hitting it out of the park. It’s nice to see it do better, but it will never keep up with what is happening on INTEL’s side of the fence. What we are seeing is the dawn of a new era where having six and eight core CPUs will be a genuine benefit to the gamer. Not only will that put our high-end processors to better use, but developers should also have more resources at their disposal to make even better games. The other thing is, if you already have an AMD system, you’re bound to see the biggest jump in gaming performance from DirectX 12. INTEL and NVIDIA did an excellent job getting the most out of DirectX 11, but even they stand to benefit from a “close-to-the-metal” API. AMD on the other hand, has long tried to be a front runner on software that wasn’t being utilized yet and we’re seeing the benefits of it, albeit a day late and a dollar short.
If anything, I feel like these benchmarks are furthering the case for an FX-6300 based system. If you don’t have much cash to spend, want something to last a bit, and want as much money as possible to go into a better budget oriented GPU, then AMD’s CPU is the best choice. There are multiple motherboards for that chip that will offer decent overclocking, and by the time you grab a Cooler Master Hyper 212 + or Evo, you’ll be bumping up that clock speed to a level that will easily handle a GTX 960 or R9 380. Check out the links below for the full read from Techspot, as well as some good motherboard options that are perfect for an FX-6300 budget build.
The 990FX chipset is probably overkill for a 6300, but they usually give the user a bit better VRMs and features. These are great if you want to make overclocking more of a hobby, rather than a once and done effort to get extra performance on a budget.
The 970 chipset may be slightly weaker with overclocking, but on a budget you’re not likely to run into any problems before finding the limit of your cooler. These boards save you those extra few dollars so that you can consider bumping the GPU up to the upcoming R9 380X. It will most likely have that extra bit of 1080p performance before hitting the $300 range of graphics cards.