Recently in a developer Q&A with the head of the Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 team and CEO of Asobo, some key community questions were sort of addressed by the team.
One of the questions was about DirectX 12 support. In the following timestamped embed, Sebastian Wloch says they have a big team working on Direct X 12 support.
If you’re time scarce or don’t want to watch the video, basically DirectX 12 support is summarised:
- There is a big team working on DirectX 12 support and they have been working on it for a while
- It’s not going to be for performance reasons mostly
- Dx12 support is being added for things like ray tracing and new effects
- Rendering work is already handled in a separate process/core
- Sebastian goes to say that it won’t provide big performance increases but quickly corrects himself
- No release date is given for Dx12 support
To understand why DirectX 12 support is such a big deal, you have to understand two of its big features. One of which is support for multi-CPU and multi-GPU setups. Traditionally, games on DirectX 11 and below could only support a maximum of 4 cores (as evident in the current Dx11 version of MSFS 2020).
The reason for the seemingly large amount of resources and time it is taking Asobo to support Dx12 is a classic case of, “easier said than done” DirectX 12 will potentially open up some new performance gains for multi-CPU users (able to spread rendering work across multiple cores) but it requires a lot of work from Asobo to support it.
Coupled with another highly anticipated feature in DirectX 12 asynchronous compute, it allows compatible cards to perform multiple operations at once on the card itself. Effectively, by supporting asynchronous compute, latency is reduced resulting in better graphical performance.
What kind of performance gains we will get from Dx12 remain to be seen in MSFS 2020.