PCPer Mailbag #7 - 9/1/2017

Subject: Editorial | September 1, 2017 - 10:24 AM |
Tagged: video, pcper mailbag

PC Perspective's weekly Q&A series where Ryan and the team answer YOUR questions about the tech industry, the latest and greatest GPUs, the process of running a tech review website, and more!

On today's show:

  • 00:38 - The future of Vulkan?
  • 05:00 - The end of Moore's Law?
  • 07:57 - Is 4GB VRAM enough for future 1080p gaming?
  • 09:33 - RX Vega64 for triple-monitor gaming?
  • 11:28 - Why do we need 4K displays on 15-inch laptops?
  • 13:27 - Watching 4K UHD Blu-rays on a PC?
  • 15:04 - Why don't GPU makers build super expensive, power hungry mega GPUs
  • 18:45 - Monitor refresh rates: 60Hz vs. 144Hz vs. 165Hz vs. 240Hz?
  • 22:14 - How to allocate component costs when building a PC?

September 1, 2017 | 02:30 PM - Posted by Mr.Book


Do you have any information regarding the RX Vega experience on Windows 8.1, specifically around the use of Windows 7 drivers?
Curious about stability, performance, driver feature set, etc. Thanks.

September 2, 2017 | 08:26 AM - Posted by Audio-Listener (not verified)

Is there an audio-only version with RSS feed? I prefer to listen. Thanks!

September 3, 2017 | 01:32 PM - Posted by largestInstalledBaseIsVulkan (not verified)

Vulkan is cross platform and it's not only graphics it's compute. And Game's makers have always relied on the Gaming Engine makers' Respective SDK's for their games as most games developer "Programmers" mostly have always been script kiddies and they have never really been progremmers to begin with.

So whatever Hand-Holding was done for them under DX11/OpenGL will still be there under the gaming engine SDKs under DX12/Vulkan in the form of middleware to automate all that complex automatic state machine management that was available under OpenGL to work under Vulkan for those who can not make the transition. So in the gaming engine SDK's there has been/will be atomated code desigers to generate the Vulkan to the metal code and really most games developers use scripting anyways with the gaming engines SDK doing the hard parts.

There are even folks working on OpenGL to Vulkan translation layers to help those that are used to working with OpenGL get their code working under Vulkan. So some automated OpenGL to Vulkan tools and code designers that are used by even most programmers to generate the base game projects where systems programmers can go in and hand tweak the code libraries if need be.

DX12/Vulkan is not hard for the games companies's hired systems programmers or gaming engine systems programmers it just that it's a costly process for games companies/gaming engine companies to undertake at one time. So conversion over from DX11/OpenGL to DX12/Vulkan will have to be done gradually and within budget over a longer time frame.

That's why more games companies are turning to the gaming engine makers products, now more than in the past, because the cost of DX12/Vulkan conversion is best done across the gaming engine makers rather than the games compnies reinventing the code in-house. It's the same economy of scale motivation with the gaming engine SDK's as it is with some companes becoming fabless Chip Companies and letting the chip fab industry spread the Fab/Process development costs acrosee the entire fabless chip industry.

The gaming industry is mostly made up of Graphics Artists, and folks that use script driven Gaming Engine SDKs, Maya/other software, with the various gamimng companies using the gaming engine SDKs to develop their gaming titles. So the Gaming Engine makers are the ones that are doing that conversion towards DX12/Vulkan with provided libraries/compilers/tool chains that the games companies few programmers can make use of for any specilized tweakes with the rest of the game driven mostly by scripts.

Vulkan will be used across the mobile market as that represents the largest number of devices relative to PCs and game consoles. So Vulkan will have the largest install base on non Apple based mobile devices, way larger than Apple's Metal(Limited to Apple hardware) or Micosoft's DX12(limited to Windows 10/Xbox console). Any Linux Kernel based devices will be using Vulkan mostly and even OpenGL converted into Vulkan and that represents billions of devices including Windows 7, and 8.1 devices that have Vulkan installed by their users, or by the games companies that make use the Vulkan API in their games.

Most gaming companies are also producing games for the mobile markets so look for the Vulkan API to be used more than any other gaming/graphics API.

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