AMD Says Nvidia Sabotaged Witcher 3 Performance

/ 1 year ago

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There was an internet war  earlier this week as gaming fans decided that, once again, Nvidia’s GameWorks technology was messing with the performance of its games on AMD hardware.

At first it was the racing game, Project Cars that attracted the attention of the vast Reddit community, with people stating that the game is built on a version of PhysX that doesn’t work on AMD hardware.

In response, AMD’s corporate VP of alliances Roy Taylor responded with a tweet, saying “Thank for supporting/ wanting an open and fair PC gaming industry.”This was  followed by a Reddit reply from Nvidia’s GameWorks director Rev Lebaredian, saying that “PhysX within Project Cars does not offload any computation to the GPU on any platform, including NVIDIA. I’m not sure how the OP came to the conclusion that it does, but this has never been claimed by the developer or us; nor is there any technical proof offered in this thread that shows this is the case.”

With complaints flowing in, Project Cars developer Slightly Mad Studios joined the ongoing battle, and proceeded to place the blame for the game’s issues squarely on AMD. “We’ve provided AMD with 20 keys for game testing as they work on the driver side,” said Ian Bell. “But you only have to look at the lesser hardware in the consoles to see how optimised we are on AMD based chips.”

Whilst AMD seems to have made up with Slightly Mad Studios, the company is facing yet another supposedly GameWorks-related struggle with CD Projekt Red’s fresh release The Witcher 3. The game makes use of several GameWorks technologies, one of  which adds tens of thousands of tessellated hair strands to characters, dramatically decreases frame rate performance on AMD graphics cards, sometimes by as much as 50 percent.

A developer from the company stated :

“Many of you have asked us if AMD Radeon GPUs would be able to run NVIDIA’s HairWorks technology—the answer is yes! However, unsatisfactory performance may be experienced, as the code of this feature cannot be optimized for AMD products. Radeon users are encouraged to disable NVIDIA HairWorks if the performance is below expectations.”

AMD make it sound that Nvidia isn’t willing to share the source code for its proprietary graphics APIs like HairWorks and HBAO+. Without that source code, AMD can’t optimize its drivers for Nvidia’s tech. Nvidia responded to the claims and refused to go along with the argument that access to source code would solve AMD’s problems.

You can disable the HairWorks feature to return your frame rate, but obviously, you will lose some of the phenomenal detail.

Thank You to arstechnica for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of GameSpot

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  • IFeelPrettyLow

    So first they blame nvidia for sabotageing Project Cars and now Witcher. Why not blame their shit cards instead?

    • roendale

      Because they are anything but shit. That’s why! But how will the dumbfucks know that?

    • 12John34

      Have you seen how Nvidia’s 700 series perform in Witcher 3? Go and check, then talk about AMDs cards.

  • KhaineGB

    Running an R9 290X. I can run Witcher 3 on Ultra, with AA turned on and using SSAO with 55fps minimum but easily hitting 60 most of the time.

    Hairworks? Forget that. Turn that crap on and my FPS plummets to 30. That, to me, screams unoptimized instead of being a crap card. HBAO+ isn’t -that- much of a performance hit. Turning that on makes FPS hit 45 lowest and 55 highest… perfectly playable.

    But hairworks? Jesus that thing murders frame rate. I think access to the source code, or at least some damn good documentation would allow AMD to optimize their drivers properly.

    However. That’d require them to stop being lazy bastards and actually do the damn work! Don’t get me wrong, I love AMD cards… I love nVidia too but they’re far too expensive… but jesus christ AMD need to stop slacking with their drivers.

    • tomekkk1

      If you are one of many gamers, who running on AMD card, go to Catalyst driver settings, change max. tessellation to the value x8. Will do the job.

      Now how about having Hairworks and no lack of frame-rate? You need to change AA at Hairworks mode “on”. How to do it? There you go: find the file Rendering.ini in game folder, open, change value “HairWorksAALevel=8” to =4 or =2, save it and run the game again 🙂

      • KhaineGB

        Aha. I didn’t know about the AA thing. Cheers for that 🙂

        • tomekkk1

          You welcome. Have a good hunt bro 🙂

    • γιαννης

      so you are implying that nvidia will give ANY source code to amd and loose the only thing they have against them?
      the whole reason of gameworks is to play well ONLY on nvidia cards and that is the problem developers are fucking everything with moves like that

      • 12John34

        You mean only on Nvidia LATEST cards. GameWorks murders 700 series in Witcher 3.

        • γιαννης

          yeah for some reason they do (well the some reason is because they are fucked up company and only wants money but oh well..a card not even one year old its already legacy..)
          but the funny part IS with the latest drives 780ti is doing fine on windows 10 while on 7/8 is getting raped
          with the 347-350 drivers is doing fine on 7 and getting raped on 8/10
          go figure

      • KhaineGB


        I’m outright SUGGESTING they could give decent documentation to game devs and AMD in order to properly optimize drivers for these features. That way they don’t compromise the source code.

        • γιαννης

          there is a reason why they call it “closed down” system i highly doubt nvidia will give any sort of thing to amd in order for them to maximize their perfomance on a propiertary closed down mumbo jumbo

  • 12John34

    What the author of the article doesn’t seems to know, is that GameWorks is killing Nvidia’s Kepler cards also. And Kepler cards see more performance problems than AMD cards.

    At least with AMD cards you have a choice to change tessellation settings from Catalyst. I don’t know if Nvidia 700 series owners have a way to improve the performance on their cards. GameWorks is not only sabotaging performance on AMD cards by pushing the tessellation setting to 64, it is also sabotaging 700 series cards. Nvidia wants to sell 900 series cards, not just to those who keep using Radeon cards, but also to those using 700 series cards.

  • Etienne Boutet boucher

    I think this game murder alot of low-mid end cards, my R9 270X barely get 60fp at low-med setting overclocked =/

    • Porkalicious

      Funny, my R9 270X Sapphire Dual-X get the same results, but with med-high. And I don’t overclock anything in my PC… CPU is AMD Phenom II x6 1090t, btw.

  • phreeon

    AMD needs to come up with solutions instead of complaining and making excuses for their shoddy performance of their cards. If anyone played Tomb Raider on nVidia cards, the same thing could have been said about AMD with the tressfx hair, which nVidia was never able to fully optiimize.

    • Porkalicious

      So you’re saying developers need to make the hair work for TWO DIFFERENT programming codes? That’s both stupid and a waste of effort/money. No the problem lies in Nvidia in this case.

      • phreeon

        No, I’m saying playing the blame game isn’t going to solve anything. AMD just needs to optimize the best they can, like Nvidia did on Tomb Raider.
        And you’re saying it’s the GPU company’s fault that a developer chose to makes it’s game based around technology it runs more effectively? Nvidia didn’t make Witcher or write the code for it. That’s a developer issue, not the GPU company issue.

  • kaisersoser

    NVidia have a history of playing unfairly so I am not surprised.
    Besides using proprietary technology in public domain games is always a recipe for disaster. The onus lies on the game developer for not making the best possible game for “ALL” devices.