Nvidia and AMD have patches on the way and hotfixes for drivers to address GameWorks and performance issues in The Witcher 3. In the case of Nvidia, they’ll be releasing a driver to help boost performance for Kepler brand GTX cards, while in the case of AMD they’ll be releasing a driver to help bolster performance of Radeon cards to better utilize Nvidia’s HairWorks.
First up, DSO Gaming spotted an update from an Nvidia customer care representative who stated…
“We discovered a couple of issues in regards to Kepler GPUs and are working on driver updates”
You can check out the image below or visit an archive of the GeForce thread in question (backed up for posterity purposes) to get a full picture of what some Nvidia owners have been reporting to the company regarding Kepler performance when using GameWorks features.
As you can imagine, the fanboys in the comment section of the article went ballistic. Some yelled that this confirms the conspiracy theories true and that Nvidia purposefully crippled Kepler GPUs to push Maxwell cards; others professed that this was just a bug and Nvidia slipped up in giving more attention to Maxwell cards over Kepler GPUs.
Regardless, it proves that AMD wasn’t entirely at fault for GameWorks tanking the performance of The Witcher 3 as some Nvidia fanboys have been leading people to believe.
Speaking of AMD… DSO also reported that Robert Hallock, Global Technical Marketing at AMD, talked about optimization, TressFX, HairWorks and tessellation with AMD’s global corporate marketing manager, John Taylor, stating…
“[…] there is nothing wrong optimizing the performance of a title for your hardware, that happens all the time. You know the issue is, I think, how this optimization is done. You can do it in a way that… there is certain baseline average and your performance rises above that level, or you can do it in a way where you bring the baseline down and you bring up your level to create this artificial gap. And it doesn’t have to be that way, right? You can do the optimization in a way that benefits your customers without harming millions of other people too. And that’s the argument that we are making in our position here. “
Many people have exclaimed that AMD just has terrible hardware and that the issues of their cards underperforming with The Witcher 3 was just a result of them not coming up to par. Well, if that were true then the same could be said of Nvidia’s Kepler hardware, which also has been underpeforming in The Witcher 3 when it comes to HairWorks and advanced tessellation, as noted by forum goers on Nvidia’s own Geforce website, where one user named ExGreyFox wrote…
“I had to update to 352.86 for my SLi 780 Ti’s because only that driver has an SLi profile for Witcher 3. I can run it maxed at 60fps at 1080p but GPU usage on both cards doesn’t go past 60% So now it takes 2x 780 ti’s to effectively do what a single 970 can do at 1080p just because of some drivers and nvidia wanting to push Maxwell down our throats?! I am officially up in arms now and heading over to the red side if this doesn’t change.”
This ties back into what Nvidia recently acknowledged above where they mentioned there were performance issues they discovered with the Kepler hardware.
AMD’s Robert Hallock further commented about the difference between Kepler and Maxwell hardware, and the conspiracy theory that Nvidia may have crippled their own brand of hardware to push the newer cards, saying…
“Hairworks, judging by the analysis of the title, is using 64X tessellation factor. But comments from the community have pointed out that even if you scale it back to 16X, there is no change in the quality but the performance is substantially improved. Not just on Radeon hardware, but on NVIDIA’s own Kepler architecture as well.
“Of course Maxwell has more powerful tessellation than Kepler does, and of course they want to promote their newest graphics cards but it’s coming at the expense not just of Radeon, but the previous generation of NVIDIA’s hardware as well.”
If Nvidia is having problems on their own brand of cards with the GameWorks implementation, then doesn’t this disprove that AMD is just poorly optimizing their hardware for high-end games like The Witcher 3 or Project CARS?