AMD: DirectX "getting in the way" of PC gaming graphics

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AMD believes there is a lack of a great disparity between PC gaming graphics and console gaming graphics, despite the huge advantage the PC has over consoles in terms of hardware. Despite the hardware giant's great relationship with Microsoft, Richard Huddy, AMD's worldwide developer relations manager of the company's GPU division, blames the software giant.

"It's funny," Huddy told bit-tech. "We often have at least ten times as much horsepower as an Xbox 360 or a PS3 in a high-end graphics card, yet it's very clear that the games don't look ten times as good. To a significant extent, that's because, one way or another, for good reasons and bad - mostly good, DirectX is getting in the way.' Huddy says that one of the most common requests he gets from game developers is to "make the API go away."

This quote comes hot on the heels of a related statement from id Software co-founder John Carmack. While Huddy offers one perspective from the hardware side of things, and says that game developers agree with him, Carmack recently gave a different opinion from the game development angle. Despite being an OpenGL house, he stated that DirectX is a better API than OpenGL.

While Huddy said nothing about OpenGL, he clearly has not talked to Carmack. "I certainly hear this in my conversations with games developers, and I guess it was actually the primary appeal of Larrabee to developers not the hardware, which was hot and slow and unimpressive, but the software being able to have total control over the machine, which is what the very best games developers want," Huddy said. "By giving you access to the hardware at the very low level, you give games developers a chance to innovate, and that's going to put pressure on Microsoft no doubt at all. Wrapping it up in a software layer gives you safety and security but it unfortunately tends to rob you of quite a lot of the performance, and most importantly it robs you of the opportunity to innovate."


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