WCCF Tech had the opportunity to talk with Jonas Meyer, the lead programmer of IO Interactive's Hitman game. A large part of the interview focused on DirectX 12 and how games like Hitman don't really live up to the massive DX12 performance gains promised by Microsoft. Meyer explains Hitman was more of a straight port to DirectX 12 and notes that it will take a bit of time until the full benefits of DirectX 12 materialize.
He explains Hitman's DirectX 12 performance could have been a lot better if the game was built entirely on it and says full-scale adoption of the new API will require dropping support for DirectX 11.
Several DirectX 12 games are out now, but the first outlook isn’t nearly as positive as Microsoft stated (up to 20% more performance from the GPU and up to 50% more performance from the CPU). Do you think that it’s just a matter of time before developers learn how to use the new API, or perhaps the performance benefits have been somewhat overestimated?
I think it will take a bit of time, and the drivers & games need to mature and do the right things. Just reaching parity with DX11 is a lot of work. 50% performance from CPU is possible, but it depends a lot on your game, the driver, and how well they work together. Improving performance by 20% when GPU bound will be very hard, especially when you have a DX11 driver team trying to improve performance on platform as well. It’s worth mentioning we did only a straight port, once we start using some of the new features of dx12, it will open up a lot of new possibilities – and then the gains will definitely be possible. We probably won’t start on those features until we can ditch DX11, since a lot of them require fundamental changes to our render code.