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With the latest release of NVIDIA’s GeForce 451.48 WHQL driver we see the first full Direct X12 Ultimate compliant support from any GPU maker. Paired with the latest Windows 10 May 2020 Update (2004) we now have access to the new Hardware-Accelerated GPU Scheduling feature within Windows 10. The gist of this feature is simply to let the GPU handle its own memory directly without influence from the operating system. This could theoretically lead to better performance and lower latency based on its claims. If you want to read more about the driver itself we’ve got an article ready on that as well as the full rundown on DX12 Ultimate.

Today we have a simple goal, does it impact performance? I suggested we look at a card that might benefit more obviously from a memory management standpoint, but Hassan (I’m calling you out) suggested I use the RTX 2080Ti. I did, but I also used the GTX 1650 SUPER with it’s 4GB of VRAM to see just what would shake out.

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Testing Methodology

Only two games were tested here, which is why this is called a Snapshot vs a performance evaluation. We tested Forza Horizon 4 and Gears Tactics since both are Microsoft DX12 games we thought we might see some more obvious performance benefits here if there were any to be had.

Once we had the results from 3 runs, after discarding an initial burner run for loading purposes, we took the average of average frame rates as well as the 99th percentile results from the run. We report our performance metrics as average frames per second and have moved away from the 1% and .1% reporting and are now using the 99th percentile. For those uncertain of what the 99th percentile is, representing is easily explained as showing only 1 frame out of 100 is slower than this frame rate. Put another way, 99% of the frames will achieve at least this frame rate.

Test System

Components Z370
CPU Intel Core i9-9900k @ 5GHz
Memory 32GB Mushkin Redline DDR4 3600
Motherboard EVGA Z370 Classified K
Storage Kingston KC2000 1TB NVMe SSD
PSU Cooler Master V1200 Platinum
Windows Version 2004 with latest security patches

Graphics Cards Tested

GPU Architecture Core Count Clock Speed Memory Capacity Memory Speed
NVIDIA RTX 2080ti FE Turing 4352 1350/1635 11GB GDDR6 14Gbps
ZOTAC GTX 1650 SUPER Turing 1280 1530/1725 4GB GDDR6 12Gbps

RTX 2080 Ti Performance Results

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GTX 1650 SUPER Results

 

 

Conclusion

With only two cards and two games, I can’t draw a hard conclusion across the board but we can see a tale of two different expectations. High-end enthusiast cards with plenty of VRAM to go around seem to not be impacted at this point, that could easily change over time as this is still a very new feature. BUT, if you’re a bit more down the rung and your card has less VRAM or is in the entry to mid-range when we see the GTX 1650 SUPER gain 7-8% performance in Gears Tactics and 8-9% in Forza Horizon 4 there’s no denying that this update gives graphics card users in that range a welcome push upwards in performance.

DX12 Ultimate features are really proving to be a game-changer for the entry-level to mainstream PC gamer with features like Variable Rate Shading, Mesh Shading (still waiting for that one to pop up in games), and now Hardware-Accelerated GPU Scheduling. These are showing the potential to raise the performance floor for those who can’t afford or justify moving to the enthusiast tier of graphics cards but would like to get a bit more out of their investment.  And having something as simple as this boost comes from an OS and driver update to EXISTING hardware is an excellent thing indeed. But for now, only one vendor has you covered on being able to use it.

The question I have for you fine folks in the comment section is:

Should PC Games Performance Evaluations Be Done With Hardware-Accelerated GPU Scheduling Enabled?

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