Microsoft to make using multiple graphics cards easier with DirectX 12 update

Image by: MAHSPOONIS2BIG on Reddit

One of the most exciting aspects of DirectX 12 is that it allows users to pool together different video cards, with different models and performance, to improve a system’s power. But so far, that promise has only been sporadically fulfilled, because it’s up to developers to support all the coding needed for this feature to work. But Microsoft is about to change that.

Explicit Multi Adaptor (EMA) support is the feature that allows DirectX 12 cards to work together, regardless of their maker and performance. Unfortunately, very few titles support this feature, so most users can't really take advantage of it. That’s because EMA is a low-level tool, which offers great performance boosts if used properly, but is tricky and time consuming to implement. It can even degrade performance if used incorrectly.

Now Microsoft has confirmed that it’s taking away some of the complexity in multi-GPU systems, with a new abstraction layer. This will allow developers to take advantage of multiple GPUs on a system with only minimal coding. Of course this is only "basic multi-GPU support", so developers looking to access the full power inside of your video cards will still need to implement EMA properly.

This is great news for both users and developers. If the latter have an easier time implementing this feature and taking advantage of it, then end users may need to spend less money to get high-end performance out of their systems.

Microsoft mentioned that it’s currently putting the finishing touches on this new abstraction layer and that it will be made public soon. There’s no exact timeline but there’s hope the company will announce an update to DirectX 12 drivers coming as part of the Anniversary Update for Windows 10.

Source: GitHub | Thanks to Jose Fajardo for the tip and help with this story!

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