Before the launch of Windows 10, the team behind DirectX12 teased a new technology called Multiadapter. Theoretically, Multiadapter allows system builders to mix and match graphics cards from different vendors, enabling an NVIDIA card and an AMD Radeon card to work together in the same PC.
Having spent our gaming lives being told that we have to support either Team 0Green or Team Red, we were sceptical about how well this configuration would perform, but Anandtech has run some benchmarks and the results are surprisingly good. As it turns out, a combination of an AMD and an NVIDIA card performs better than two cards from each manufacturer.
Using a version of an Early Access game called Ashes of the Singularity that has special support for Multiadapter technology, tests were run using high-end graphics processing units (GPU) such as the GeForce GTX980Ti and Radeon R9 Fury X, among others.
A pair of older cards, a GTX680 and Radeon HD7970, were also used to test any performance gains older graphics cards might see when using Multiadapter.
Ashes of the Singularity was run at high quality with its resolution set to 2 560 x 1 440 with 2x MSAA enabled. The first test paired an R9 Fury X (primary card) and GTX 980 Ti (secondary card) and received an average frame rate of 70.8 frames per second. When the primary and secondary cards were swapped around the performance dipped slightly to a 69.4 frames per second average.
This number represents a 75% performance increase over a single R9 Fury X and a 64% increase over a single GTX 980 Ti.
Old cards, new tricks
But most promisingly, older GPU cards such as the GTX680 and Radeon HD7970 show a drastic improvement over both cards’ individual performances.
Alone, the HD7970 ran Ashes of the Singularity at an average 30 frames per second while the GTX 680 struggled along at 24.5 frames per second. Once Anandtech mashed the cards together in the same system, the configuration scored an average, 46.4 frames per second. That’s pretty impressive.
Theoretically Multiadapter could be used to give you an extra bump in games using an older card paired with a primary card. Unfortunately this means developers have to build the API into the software which they have no incentive to do, yet.
DirectX12 is an integral part of Windows 10 and isn’t available to previous Windows versions, so if you want to enjoy these benefits when more PC games take advantage of them in the future, you’ll need to upgrade.
If you haven’t made the jump to Windows 10 yet, you have until the end of July 2016 to do so for free.[Source – Anandtech, Image – Microsoft]