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Nvidia Responds to Witcher 3 HairWorks Controversy

Nvidia Responds to Witcher 3 HairWorks Controversy

Witcher 3 Dev calls Nvidia HairWorks unoptimizable for AMD GPUs

Nvidia Responds to Witcher 3 HairWorks Controversy

 

At the end of last week I had written about how CD Projekt's Marcin Momot said that Nvidia's HairWorks could not be optimized for AMD GPUs and thanks to the Guys at PCper we now have a response from Nvidia saying that AMD's performance issues are a hardware issue and not due to bad optimization.  

HairWorks is based on DirectX 11 tessellation, which has been a place where AMD has always had a disadvantage compared to Nvidia, meaning that AMD GPUs simply do not have the throughput to run Nvidia's HairWorks well.

Here is the statement made by  CD Projekt's Marcin Momot, claiming that Nvidia's HairWorks code cannot be optimized to perform well on AMD GPUs;

"Many of you have asked us if AMD Radeon GPUs would be able to run NVIDIA’s HairWorks technology – the answer is yes! However, unsatisfactory performance may be experienced as the code of this feature cannot be optimized for AMD products. Radeon users are encouraged to disable NVIDIA HairWorks if the performance is below expectations."

 

 

PCper's Ryan Shrout Approached  Nvidia's Brian Burke and received this response regarding the issue;

 

"We are not asking game developers do anything unethical.
 
GameWorks improves the visual quality of games running on GeForce for our customers.  It does not impair performance on competing hardware.
 
Demanding source code access to all our cool technology is an attempt to deflect their performance issues. Giving away your IP, your source code, is uncommon for anyone in the industry, including middleware providers and game developers. Most of the time we optimize games based on binary builds, not source code.
 
GameWorks licenses follow standard industry practice.  GameWorks source code is provided to developers that request it under license, but they can’t redistribute our source code to anyone who does not have a license. 
 
The bottom line is AMD’s tessellation performance is not very good and there is not a lot NVIDIA can/should do about it. Using DX11 tessellation has sound technical reasoning behind it, it helps to keep the GPU memory footprint small so multiple characters can use hair and fur at the same time.
 
I believe it is a resource issue. NVIDIA spent a lot of artist and engineering resources to help make Witcher 3 better. I would assume that AMD could have done the same thing because our agreements with developers don’t prevent them from working with other IHVs. (See also, Project Cars)
 
I think gamers want better hair, better fur, better lighting, better shadows and better effects in their games. GameWorks gives them that. " 

 

MSI R9 285 GAMING 2G

 

Knowing that Nvidia has a large performance lead when it comes to Tessellation is no doubt that Nvidia developed HairWorks in order to put this performance to good use. While AMD have made a 2x Performance increase in their tessellation performance with with GCN 1.2 (Tonga), they have yet to release any high end GPUs based on that or newer silicon, meaning that only their R9 285 is able to take advantage of these improvements.

If AMD were to release a new GPUs with GCN 1.2 or Newer silicon it seems they would not be as affected by this issue as they already have made a 2x improvement in GCNs tessellation capabilities.  AMD's lack of GPUs with new silicon over the past few years is definitely coming back to bite them.

Right now AMD has very little it can do about this issue, but if AMD can deliver new silicon and soon they could bring themselves back into the game by force. Nvidia are no doubt the graphics leaders right now, so they have no reason to share their tech or to play nicely with AMD. 

CD Projekt do give users the option to disable HairWorks, so if you do suffer from performance issues, there is your place to start. All those who have seen it cannot deny that HairWorks is a fantastic visual affect, so to some AMD users it may be worth the performance hit, or perhaps to lower other settings instead.

 

You can join the discussion on Nvidia's response to Developer comments on HairWorks on the OC3D Forums. 

 

 

Nvidia Responds to Witcher 3 HairWorks Controversy, saying that AMD's Tessellation Performance is to blame, not...

Posted by OC3D on Monday, 18 May 2015
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Most Recent Comments

18-05-2015, 05:24:00

barnsley
Quote:
According to Nvidia, developers can, under certain licensing circumstances, gain access to (and optimize) the GameWorks code, but cannot share that code with AMD for optimization purposes.
http://i.imgur.com/nwPBbZP.png

I'm sure AMD cards could run it better if they were allowed access to the code. But no, as usual both companies are gonna flat out refuse to work together. Understandable but so f*cking annoying.Quote

18-05-2015, 05:34:02

Thelosouvlakia
Quote:
Originally Posted by barnsley View Post
I'm sure AMD cards could run it better if they were allowed access to the code. But no, as usual both companies are gonna flat out refuse to work together. Understandable but so f*cking annoying.
http://i.imgur.com/1rbOJjA.pngQuote

18-05-2015, 05:48:52

SPS
Literally don't get what the issue is.

Nvidia provide an FX SDK for devs that runs fast on their own cards - where's the harm in that?
If you don't have an Nvidia card then disable it - it's the same thing with Physx - there's literally no point trying to run it without an Nvidia card. There's no reason why the devs couldn't have also integrated TressFX for dual options. It's all about the time and cost to support both options.Quote

18-05-2015, 05:56:59

Thelosouvlakia
Quote:
Originally Posted by SPS View Post
Literally don't get what the issue is.

Nvidia provide an FX SDK for devs that runs fast on their own cards - where's the harm in that?
If you don't have an Nvidia card then disable it - it's the same thing with Physx - there's literally no point trying to run it without an Nvidia card. There's no reason why the devs couldn't have also integrated TressFX for dual options. It's all about the time and cost to support both options.
Yeah, be honest about it as AMD was with TressFX, like "Listen, TressFX is proprietary technology" If NVIDIA said the same about their HairWorks all would be fine and good, but don't blame AMD for bad tessalation because they don't have access to the code anywayQuote

18-05-2015, 06:24:50

ShaunB-91
Who cares, this isn't an issue. The issue is HAS THE GAME BEEN GRAPHICALLY DOWNGRADED? :OQuote
Reply
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