NVIDIA Keeps saying Async Support…
“You keep using that term. I do not think it means what you think it means.” Inigo Montoya. Before anyone gets upset about my rant, I want to mention that AMD has been just as guilty of marketing hype. That’s what Pascal’s Async Support is looking like it amounts to and I’m getting tired of companies using our politician’s tactic of repeating the lie to try and convince “dumb” consumers to believe it. A.) We’re smarter than that. B.) The GTX 1080 is such a great release that it doesn’t need false hype to brag it up! Admittedly, while the technicality of the matter could actually mean the 1080 has Async support, it’s beginning to look like NVIDIA is using some marketing tricks to smokescreen what’s really going on.
A benchmark came out showcasing various tests with Ashes of the Singularity and a GTX 1080. While Pascal fared better than Maxwell, the results aren’t particularly good. In some cases, we see the performance drop again from DirectX 11 and the gains that were made were practically unnoticeable. The key quote from WCCF in understanding how Pascal supports Async is here. ” Dynamic load balancing and improved pre-emption both improve the performance of async compute code considerably on Pascal compared to Maxwell. Although principally this is not exactly the same as Asynchronous Shading or Computing. Because Pascal still can’t execute async code concurrently without pre-emption. This is quite different from AMD’s GCN architecture which has Asynchronous Compute engines that enable the execution of multiple kernels concurrently without pre-emption.” Here’s what looks to be the smoke screen. Sure, NVIDIA can say they have support but this seems like a tricky and less efficient way to add support without dedicating a better architectural platform to the technology.
The biggest reason this bothers me is in the fact that if Asychronous Computing is a genuine benefit to gaming, then NVIDIA is simply muddying the waters with their PR stunt. Rather than admit they don’t have full support, found another way to improve performance, and give hope that they might be trying to do a fuller implementation down the road, they give game developers a chance to disregard the benefits of Asych Compute. What if it’s the future!?! To be fair, I’m not a hardware engineer and I can only go on what I’ve read in articles, but it’s very hard for me to come to any conclusion other than what I’ve mentioned. I’m sure time will reveal more once we see what Polaris does, but here’s hoping that companies quit trying to use dirty politician techniques and just be upfront and honest about what they’ve accomplished.
(Just to re-iterate, I love the release of the GTX 1080 and I think it’s a phenomenal GPU!)