AMD accuses Nvidia’s Gameworks of being ‘tragic’ and ‘damaging’

Chip maker and graphics card specialist AMD has launched another scathing attack on its rival Nvidia.

AMD’s gaming scientist Richard Huddy has said that his rivals Gameworks functionality – which offers a range of in-game visual extras such as detailed hair and physics – is detrimental to the performance of games. He’s also insinuated that, despite this, Nvidia sticks with the tech only because it is more detrimental to AMD users.

Nvidia Gameworks typically damages the performance on Nvidia hardware as well, which is a bit tragic really,” he told PCR. It certainly feels like it’s about reducing the performance, even on high-end graphics cards, so that people have to buy something new.

"That’s the consequence of it, whether it’s intended or not – and I guess I can’t read anyone’s minds so I can’t tell you what their intention is. But the consequence of it is it brings PCs to their knees when it’s unnecessary.

If you look at Crysis 2 in particular, you see that they’re tessellating water that’s not visible to millions of triangles every frame, and they’re tessellating blocks of concrete – essentially large rectangular objects – and generating millions of triangles per frame which are useless.

"Now, bringing down AMD’s performance is pretty dodgy, but when they bring down their own consumers’ performance, then it makes you wonder what they’re up to. Their QA must be appalling if it’s a mistake, and if it’s not a mistake, it makes you wonder what their motivation must be. So I think it’s very unhelpful for the business.

"If you look at the way the performance metrics come out, it’s damaging to both Nvidia’s consumers and ours, though I guess they choose it because it’s most damaging to ours. That’s my guess.

"So I think it’s unhealthy for PC gaming. And I wish they would go back to the way everyone else develops their SDKs – give it a source code, let the games developer work with it as they see fit, and let us take the industry as a whole forward. That would be a better place to play."

Last May AMD’s Robert Hallock said that Gameworks represents a clear and present threat to gamers by deliberately crippling performance on AMD products”. Nvidia retorted a month later by saying: If AMD spent as much time working on their drivers and actually making investments in gaming than they did talking about us, then maybe their customers would not be stuck with sub-par gaming experiences in today’s cutting-edge titles."

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