AMD shows off new frame-rate boosting DX12 tech that gives us a glimpse of the future of PC gaming

Microsoft recently brought in a new feature for DirectX 12 that could considerably improve gaming performance, and thanks to AMD, we have a clearer idea of what it might mean for frame rates in the future.

This is Work Graphs, a tech previously in testing but now officially introduced for DX12. It’s a feature that aims to reduce CPU bottlenecking effects on PC games, shifting some of the heavy processing work from the processor to the GPU. (And reducing communication between the CPU and graphics card, cutting out overheads in that respect, too).

As Tom’s Hardware noticed, AMD has announced that it’s using draw calls and mesh nodes as part of Work Graphs to usher in better gaming performance, and has provided us with an idea of what impact those advancements will (or should) have.

We are told that a benchmark using an RX 7900 XTX GPU produced a major performance gain for Work Graphs with mesh shaders compared to the frame rate without the shaders. Indeed, in the latter case performance was 64% slower.

This is while “using the AMD procedural content Work Graphs demo with the overview, meadow, bridge, wall, and market scene views.”

AMD has a demo video to watch in its GDC 2024 blog post on this development.

Analysis: Managing expectations

This is exciting stuff on the face of it – we’ve already been tempted by the sound of Work Graphs and how it could pan out by comments from a couple of game developers. This feature has serious potential for faster fps and this benchmark from AMD illustrates the gains that may be in the pipeline – may being the operative word.

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As ever, a single benchmark on a particular test system is of limited use in gauging the wider implications of Work Graphs, so let’s keep a level head here. As we’ve mentioned previously, there could be a broad range of gains dependent on all sorts of factors, and we have to remember that Work Graphs itself does use resources to function – this isn’t a free boost.

But by all accounts, it could be a large step forward, and Work Graphs is an enticing prospect for the future of smoother gaming, there’s no denying that. More testing and benchmarking, please…

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