DirectX 12 for Windows 10 could allow GPUs from NVIDIA and AMD to work in one PC

Fable Legends coming to Xbox One and Windows 10
Fable Legends coming to Xbox One and Windows 10

A new rumor about DirectX 12, the upcoming graphics API from Microsoft that will be include with the launch of Windows 10, suggests that it will allow graphics cards from both NVIDIA and AMD to be used in one PC gaming rig.

According to what unnamed sources told Tom's Hardware, DirectX 12 will have a feature called Explicit Asynchronous Multi-GPU, which will allow for multiple GPUs to be combined for use in a game, such as Fable Legends or an application. What does this mean? It states:

"The source said that with binding the multiple GPUs together, DirectX 12 treats the entire graphics subsystem as a single, more powerful graphics card. Thus, users get the robustness of a running a single GPU, but with multiple graphics cards."

The same article also claims that DirectX 12 will let PC gamers install an NVIDIA GeForce graphics card inside their rig alongside an AMD Radeon card. It says:

"This is especially interesting as it allows you to leverage the technology benefits of both of these hardware platforms if you wish to do so. If you like Nvidia's GeForce Experience software and 3D Vision, but you want to use AMD's TrueAudio and FreeSync, chances are you'll be able to do that when DirectX 12 comes around. What will likely happen is that one card will operate as the master card, while the other will be used for additional power."

Microsoft should reveal more about DirectX 12 and what it can do for PC gaming next week at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. Windows Central will be attending the event to give you first hand reports on Microsoft's announcements. For now, have a look at our collection of the best graphics cards on the market today.

Source: Tom's Hardware

John Callaham
  • Gaming equality! But what about Intel HD Graphics? /s
  • Yeah they said any graphics but we really need to see if it would pair them all up
  • A little off and little connected to article will there be direct x12 for windows 10 on Lumia comin ahead .? Because earlier there was a news on the fact that there will be direct x12 for Lumia :). plz any1 confirm it
  • DirectX 12 will be on all Windows 10 devices, including Lumias.
  • Directx 12 is on w10 devices ;) If i type in dxdiag dx12 shows up
  • Thnxxxx man forjo and arjan .!! ;)
  • From what I understand, even though DX12 is identified in dxdiag in Windows 10 devices, the actual DX12 APIs are not yet present. That makes the DX12 in dxdiag just cosmetic. Microsoft just recently released a WDDM 2.0 driver for Nvidia graphic cards through Windows Update last week, so it looks like true DX12 APIs to test may be coming soon.
  • They are talking about real graphics cards. *rimshot*
  • Thats what m also not able know, what about the Intel Graphics performance ? :/ will it increase ?
  • Why on earth would you want to use igp when you have a dedicated card? Lol. Usually people running a older cards have older cpus (which are no way on par in terms of graphics).
  • Its was a general question... wil it increase or not thats what u are supposed to reply if u r replying i think so ? M asking for the Intel Hd Graphics 5500 for surface pro ?
  • They already demonstrated dramatic improvements on Intel HD Graphics on a Surface. DX12 intelligently bonds GPU AND CPU allowing workloads to be distributed between them where appropriate. And if the interpretation of this article is correct, it'll aggregate multiple GPUs as well -- like discreet and on-CPU chips.
  • Hmmm thnx for the answer :)
  • There is already a 3rd party solution for that on some select gigabyte desktop mb's and I believe you could & still can do it on amd based chipsets(amd cpu paired with ati gpu) since vista
  • That's actually not a bad questions. If you have an Intel integrated GPU and you add a dedictaed graphic card it would be nice if the Intel gpu can still be used to a little extra processing power and not just sit there.
  • Question seemed dumb at first until I thought about it more. Actually on my PC I have a dedicated graphics card that is just mid range and I can run most games on ultra with 4x antiailiasing super smoothly. If I increase the antiailiasing to 8x that is when I start to notice stutter. Maybe if my PC could utilize the Intel Integrated graphics my mobo has then maybe that would be enough to allow me to play games at a little bit of a higher setting without stuttering.
  • Currently rocking with a hd 7770 (I know it's cheap :P)
  • My laptop has 7670, but am able to play far cry 4 at high settings(60fps) without any lag! Serious Sam 3 at ultra!
  • NVIDIA + AMD = NVIDIA So AMD = 0 True story.
  • That was harsh :)
  • @ furkanavshar , what do u mean amd=0?? , according to pc advisor out of the 6 best graphic cards in the world , 4 are AMD!!
  • Calm down Rocky! Also Intel + AMD = Intel So AMD = 0   True story.
  • You + idiot = you idiot. => you == 0; /// Q.E.D. True story of your life
  • Cool, but just asking it wasn't possible to use before? Like 2 same or different graphic card in one assembly?
  • You've been able to multiple of the same GPU for several years now. NVIDIA also allow you to use two different GPUs where one is dedicated for PhysX. AMDs and mix the integrated graphics in their APUs with a discrete AMD GPU.
  • This is only with the same brand of video card though. NVIDIA with other NVIDIA cards, AMD with other AMD. Not AMD with NVIDIA in the past. One card would disable and in NVIDIA case, physx would disable regardless.
  • Thanks for the reply :)
  • Also with mobile graphics Intel HD can be used in not so demanding situation and have a NVIDIA GPU kick in when its time for gaming.
  • That's called NVIDIA Optimus technology. They developed this to work with Intel GPU. Computer manufacturers like Dell and HP had to implement their own switching to go between Intel and AMD GPU. AMD built in Crossfire to go between their APU and GPU.
  • AMD also has a switcher, I personally use manual mode as the switcher is flaky.
  • yes.. but not using in a task (game, software, etc) at same time from different vendors :)
  • Patiently waiting
  • Impatiently waiting too...i mean, I'm patiently.... You know what? Nevermind. =P
  • I'm curious I that means I can use my on chip Intel processor for some additional kick?
  • Hope its nothing like AMDs attempt at GPU mixing with and APU and discrete GPU. Sometimes that turned out be to slower than just the discrete GPU...
  • It depends on which one you used non of the recommended pairings ever worked worse. Previous attempts need to sync the cards making it only as powerful as the bottom end gpu it was tied too. Now this seems to negate that sync tie in.
  • Several of the recommended pairings worked worse in a range of games. I've read loads of reviews on Toms as I've tried to find a cheap solution to get good graphics.
  • One of my systems is an a10-6800k and it works quite well. It is bundled with 16gb of 1866 ddr3 of ram paired with an ssd this system runs bf4 @ 1080p60 no problem. I was thinking of getting whatever gpu works with the apu in crossfire but I've never needed to. If this dx12 thing works out like that's been stated so far it will take PCMR to a whole new level.
  • This is very interesting. I've always wanted to run physx but I've always been so happy with my AMD cards that I've never gotten an nvidia one. Currently rocking a 280x :D
  • Yes. Same here. My AMD PC works so much better with the catalyst software and AMD cards for overclocking that I've never really gotten a chance to try physx out.
  • Physx really does nothing more than what physics middleware like Havock already do perfectly well on a CPU. Physx is based around single threaded x87 code rather than the faster and far superior SSE instruction sets.  Nvidia keep it this way so that it can't be done efficiently on the CPU.  So its not that physx support means that nvidia cards get better physics simulations, but rather that non-nvidia cards don't because of the antiquated x87 set and nvidia's refusal to bring it up to date and use modern sets instead, thus eliminating the need for ANY special hardware that only they sell.  SSE (just the vanila version, not SSE2,3 etc) is already around x10 faster than x87 (which has only been included on CPUs for backwards compatibility purposes since 2005), so why does nvidia stick with such a crappy codebase? Besides, the outrageous price difference between similarly performing nvidia and AMD cards is astonishing, especially at the high end where nvidia cards can be 4-5 times the price but still perform worse (the GTX Titan for example)
  • BTW, x87 is a 1978 standard.  Pretty scary that they're still using that as the basis for ANYTHING.
  • Thanks Zybch.  
  • Did not know that! Interesting!
  • AMD is sooo cheap right now. Only problem is I need efficiency for my mITX :(((
  • I have a 280x in my mItx build. I did have to get a slightly bigger case than my original one but its better than keeping my old 7770 in there.
  • I wonder what nvidia will do to block the use of there cards when paired with AMD cards?
  • Good point.
  • I imagine they embed some sort of rogue code so the AMD cards run at 1/4 of what it is capable of....
  • Nice Microsoft. Let's hope they make an improvement for mobile gaming as well with Direct X 12. Current games on WP has some really bad frame rates comparing to a similar chipset SD200/400 on android. I don't know if it is developers fault(gameloft in this example) but MS should do everything in their power to improve that.
  • Didn't some expensive mobos allow you to use different model cards as long as they were from the same company? This is huge if its true.
  • Yep, but it used a special bridge chip to make it work. It didn't always work well though. Posted via the Windows Phone Central App for Android
  • Hey, hey, hey now.... What does this mean for WP????.... If anything.
  • Nothing for WP. I've yet to see a Lumia with dual graphics :D
  • Hummmm.
  • Come with dual batteries too.
  • Hummmmm
  • Wonder where my old geforce card is at so I can use physx
  • Hmm, what could possibly go wrong?
  • It's cool, but this won't happen at all. They will block it either in the graphics-cards or in the software.
  • Read again.
  • No, what I am basically saying is that NVIDIA and/or AMD will block it. I do not see how these manufacturers would let each other GFX collaborate, I mean NVIDIA already tries to create its own ecosystem.   
  • This is why I am a PC.
  • This exact reason? You must have been able to see in the future!
  • Wait, then who is your User..? O_O
  • Have to wonder what this means for the Xbox One. Will we see a Xbox One with multiple gpus in the near future? Posted via the Windows Phone Central App for Android
  • I doubt it, they use a custom AMD chip (albeit low end when compared to the PC equivalent). However simply put it uses HSA, to get the most out of the custom chip.
  • I believe the Xbox one already has the tech built in... Along the lines of a virtual bus for the GPU. This would mean that games, apps, etc talk to the virtual bus and the bus does all the talking to the gpu pool.
  • Absolutely not.  The whole point of a console is that its a reasonably competant and stationary target for developers to code to.  As soon as different render paths have to be created for different versions of a system it becomes a moving target, optimizations fly out the window and devs have to divide their time between various 'levels' of capability which impacts costs, time and audience size. Do they ignore sales to large numbers of gen1 owners because gen2 has better capabilities, or do you waste the extra power the gen2 device has by slavishly making sure your game still plays on gen1 devices? The 360 is still being made almost 10 years after its launch and its capabilities haven't changed.  A brand new slim-2 320Gb model runs exactly the same games at exactly the same performance level as the original 20Gb 360.  The only difference is the nm process used for the CPU/GPUs and some consolidation of components plus a differerent cooling and case design to fit the reduced power and heat levels of new versions. You can't change much and not break compatibility, quality, sales.
  • Not true, i had my old 360, next to a new slim both running Destiny and i was messing some graphics, like shining and some lighting, it was intresting and remember the smaller the NM the faster the processer :)
  • I wonder if this includes laptops.
  • It should.... MS and Nvidia said it will come to all recent gpu's... Even the old fermi based ones. So I think laptops will get it.
  • DX12 will most likely allow this but lets be real here. NVIDIA won't let it happen. They already have detection built into the driver for non NVIDIA cards. Unless Microsoft issues some stipulation saying artificial limiting of GPU function is prohibited as a requirement of DX12, I don't see why they would not tru to stop this. Both NVIDIA and AMD want to remove choice from the occasion.
  • Mainly nvidia based on their shady history of gimping their own products if the drivers detect any ATI/AMD hardware present (even if its just a non-used IGPU). Just look at the crap nvidia is trying to push regarding variable frame rates.  The NV 'standard' is proprietary and LCD makers have to pay licence fees which get passed on to the consumer.  AMD has a free open source solution they won't make any money from, just give gamers a better experience.
  • Would it be beneficial if you already have an NVIDIA SLI setup?
  • Depends on the software (game)
  • NVIDIA yea, and ATI Radeon hell no. That's the worse gfx card performance I ever tried. Most of the description on the boxes are wrong.
  • Joking right? What can you get for $250 in the Nvidia camp? R9 290x was just $250! :OO
    If only it were efficient enough to be in my ITX, waiting for gtx970 to drop a little more
  • I want external gpu dock for surface pro 3!!
  • I think you can
  • I have an HTPC that has onboard radeon hd 5400 or some such and I have an 8800gts in there with it. Would dx12 do anything for this system or does the hardware have to support dx12. I'm hoping its the former but we shall see.
  • Nothing, nothing at all ;)
    8800gts is getting old right? Newer software not being optimized for the old arch.
    My guest PC has a 9500gt, the newer Intel integrated graphics on my laptop performs faster with newer software :(
  • talk a out driver hell,.lesson learned, just because you CAN do something does not mean you should do it
  • Off topic but what is the firmware version of denim update?
  • I'm more interested in this for a PC that pulls double duty. Let's say you want to use a Quadro card to leverage CUDA for rendering tasks, but then switch over to a Radeon when it's time for some after hours gaming. It might even mean staying within the same brand, but still having a pro (Quadro/FirePro) alongside a consumer (GeForce/Radeon). Rather than uninstall cards and drivers, just close one program and launch the other!
  • Interesting
  • The title of this article is misleading. Because I use to run a NVidia and AMD in one PC. It worked just fine, but this is about them working together as one.
  • Did not ever have a machine with two discrete cards, but I had an AMD APU laptop with an Nvidia card
  • DX12 is supposed to make multi GPU transparent on the game software side. Seems impractical to have AMD and Nvidia on a single system
  • I only need CUDA but I don't like Nvidia, but companies and developers using CUDA for GPU render engines and other 3d software, it's what makes me buy Nvidia.   it sounds good, I hope Nvidia doesn't block it like when they didn't let a nvidia card be used along AMD card only becuase they wanted people to just buy Nvidia, and not have a cheap nvidia for physx and stuff. so hopefully they won't block it! it would be nice to get a nice AMD card and a cheap nvidia just for the nvidia only stuff. of course times have changed and maybe they have allowed in years but I still don't like Nvidia so much. and I still hate there is so much renders that only work with nvidia. because it's impossible to escape that.
  • LOL I can see all the problems that will bring!
  • Abomination!
  • I can just see either manufacture breaking this functionality on purpose with a driver or embedded code. 
  • This is awesome news if it is true! The windows platform keeps getting better and better.