For your computer to figure out which of your monitor’s pixels should be, what color at what time on your screen within a matter of milliseconds? It has to do a ton of calculations very quickly. In modern computers, this
is accomplished by the “Graphics card”.
A term many are familiar with but might not understand all that well now a graphics card is like a smaller version of your entire computer. But, one is dedicated to the task of figuring out how to put images on your screen.
Particularly images that represent a three-dimensional world like your computer, the graphics card has its processor inside of it known as the GPU or graphics processing unit.
The GPU is to your illustration card, what the CPU is to your computer. As a whole, the primary difference between a GPU and a CPU is in how several bodies they have. The bodies of a processor are like small calculators that can very quickly do the calculations required for your computer to think.
A modern CPU usually has about eight cores, at least while a modern graphics card has anywhere between 1,000 and 4,000 of them. Although a CPU has rarer bodies, each body in the CPU is far more powerful than each one in the graphics card.
This is because CPUs are used for things like logic and instructions. Which can get very complicated even though these cores are more powerful. They can each only do one task at a time.
Now when you’re talking about instructions that’s okay. But, the individual tasks that are required for graphics rendering aren’t all that complicated. There’s just a lot of them.
So utilizing a CPU to provide graphics would result in all of the potentials of those cores being wasted. We end up with all the tasks waiting in line and being rendered slowly, not ideal for graphics.
The cores in a graphics processing unit being simple but very numerous are perfect for this task. So in summary a CPU can do eight complicated things at once. While a GPU can do thousands of very simple things at once.
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Think of one person with two big strong arms and another person with ten very weak arms. If you needed two big heavy things lifted, the guy with two legs is adequately for that assignment. But if you need ten lightweight things, lifting someone with ten weak arms is better than the ability to do a bunch of calculations quickly.
Is particularly important for the rendering of three-dimensional worlds. When computers create 3d worlds. They use something called vector graphics, this means they plot out the coordinates on a three-dimensional graph and then draw lines in between them based on mathematical calculations.
Similar to what you likely did in geometry class, every object in shape just comes down to that. Where are these points about each other and what is the curvature of the line between them that all just comes down to math doing a whole bunch of calculations quickly?
This is also why graphics cards are so useful in the process of acquiring cryptocurrency. The type of calculations needed to participate in what’s known as Bitcoin mining is far more suited to a bunch of small cores than a few very powerful ones
Now because your graphics card is like its own computer, it not only has its CPU but also has its RAM. This is often referred to as video RAM or VRAM and like with your computer’s primary ram.
The ram and your graphics card stores small amounts of very easily accessible data in the image creation process. Some types of data are very important and need to be used regularly.
So the RAM in your graphics card stores that data and sends it to the GPU as needed. So those are the basics of why and how a graphics card does?
If we say two graphics cards in one personal computer, your first thought is probably something like SLI or crossfire and that’s completely understandable. These give either Nvidia or AMD graphics cards running identical GPUs to work in tandem.
The result is not a perfect two-time scaling factor when it comes to frame rates but, it’s still an acceptable 50 to 80% roughly boost. When it comes to most games for Nvidia graphics cards SLI requires exact GPUs, exact VRAM amounts, and of course an SLI bridge.
As for AMD things are a little less strict for newer cards, you’ll only need two cards with identical GPUs and that’s pretty much it crossfire bridges aren’t required for the latest series of the raid on cards and VRAM does not have to match either meaning that you can crossfire.
For example – Two r9 380 s1 with 2 gigs of VRAM and the other with 4 games simply recognize the lowest VRAM card as specified by the current configuration. But, what about combining two cards with totally different architectures is that even a thing, and if it is what is that called well.
It is a thing because that’s what this article is about. It’s called explicit multi-adapter or EMA, a term dubbed for the ability of DirectX 12 to recognize and utilize GPUs of different architectures.
Theoretically, you can even run both your CPU’s integrated graphics, alongside your discrete GPU. Although it is recommended that you pair GPUs of similar performance for the best results. Currently, only ashes of the singularity have support for this feature and it’s because EMA requires a complete remapping of a game’s architecture for the sake of implementing SFR or split frame rendering.
This has the effect of splitting individual frames into multiple tiles to be rendered by separate graphics cards for instance in this particular frame of total war Warhammer. If both an r9 290 say and a GTX 970 are running in an EMA fashion.
Which Warhammer does not support currently, by the way than the 290 might render these tiles and the 970 might render. This dramatically reduces latency improving frame rates and response time.
The GTX 980 ti and GTX 1070 were thrown into the same rig. Do keep in mind that these cards will not SLI and a few we were confused about.
That’s understandable, I didn’t explain what I was doing at the time but I didn’t try to do SLI. This she’s not gonna work, it’s gonna be a complete waste of time not compatible end of the story.
Our work also boasts an Intel Core i7 6700 K at 4.6 gigahertz, 16 gigabytes of Gil super loose ddr4 at 3000 megahertz, and an EVGA supernova 700. What power supply in case you’re wondering.
How do we power this pair of cards with both cards powered and plugged into the two uppermost PCIe 16x slots windows? It was ready to go from the get-go now because the explicit multi-adapter relies on DirectX 12 to function.
We’ll need to make sure that we run ashes of the singularity in DirectX 12 mode. This can be done by signing in to Steam right-clicking on the game within your library and selecting run in DirectX 12 mode.
Simple as that after loading hop on over to the Options tab select video and select enable multiple GPUs ashes of the singularity, will now utilize DirectX 12 and both of your installed graphics cards to render the images.
You’ll see when gaming remember for our test we’ll be using both a GTX 980ti and a GTX 1070 two cards that are very similar When it comes to performance.
Let’s find out how these cards do when paired together and as you can see quite the boost in performance for ashes of the singularity. No doubt but here’s the funny part.
When we compare these results to those obtained from the solo tests we are aid pair received exactly a 50% frame rate increase for the overall average FPS from that of just a running single 980ti.
I mean exactly 50% what a coincidence the overall average for the combo was 80 point 4 FPS. While our 90 DTI alone managed only 53.6 another important find here is how well the combo did during the heavy batches of the benchmark.
When the cards were being stressed to unorthodox levels both the 10, 70 and 90 DTI struggled. When paired they nearly doubled this average frame rate to 70 3.5 FPS versus about 43.
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So for this particular combination, it appears as though the extra intensive segments of the game benefited. The most are great news and from this, we can make inferences about the current state of explicit multi adapters.
It behaves quite a bit like SLI or crossfire does in terms of performance benefits 50% is a solid frame rate gain for any graphics card combo and with ashes being the only game not in beta 2 currently supporting EMA.
We were quite surprised by how well this game scaled, also given the current state of asynchronous computers for both AMD and NVIDIA cards. You’ll be better off opting for an AMD graphics card as your primary display device for games like this.
At least until Nvidia gets their async problems figured out. If they ever do come on the green team.
In conclusion, we were presently surprised but we found our pair of cards. Even though the GPUs are based on entirely different architectures. They managed to render separate titles of each passing frame without a hitch.
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