Will DX11 help end MicroStuttering?

Micro Stuttering is seen on multi card setups in alot of cases, where with lower fps, one line is drawn quickly, while the other is often waiting or lagging behind, causing the MS effect.
Its my understanding, having DX11, not the cards, will boost cpu usage, and cause a really decent showing on the effects of minimal fps, and thus possibly also reduce MS, thru the use of DX11' MT.
Here is a perfect example of why 'microstuttering' is a non issue http://www.overclockers.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4420:microstutter&catid=60:videocards&Itemid=4266 How much onboard cache does that CPU have?, overclocking the crap out it is not going to compensate. There's an old adage from the drag racing world that sort of applies here "you can't beat cubes" or in this case onboard cache, if that rig was running an e8400, e8600 or a Q9550 or suchlike with those cards there would be no 'microstutter'.
Thats my point. Speed can be obtained 2 ways, faster or wider. If the MT available in DX11 helps the cpu to get more/sooner, it could theorhetically help eliminate MS.
Looking at alot of examples, using AFR, theres all those micro gaps in time from 1 line to the next, causing the MS.
Dont want to be attacked, but Annand said the P2 seemed smoother when tested in games, similar to the i7. To me this sounds like quicker communication between the cores on a native quad vs running thru the FSB, as seen on C2Ds. Multiply the imput by using 2 cards, with mainly (currently) just 1 thread available, and youll still see MS, or something not as smooth as native, having that extra time to go thru the FSB.
DX11, for the first time allows for more than 1 thread out, and more than 1 thread in, thru the gpu (tho, this is now standard), but by having more going out, the cpu will have its data faster, even on slower cpus, and if those cpus are multi cored, will be able to push/use the data faster as well
I don't think there will ever be a software compensation for lack of onboard cache, it's been noted by many over a long period of time that the more onboard the better especially when it comes to gaming, things might be a little different with the i7's and the new 'Lynnfields' but as long as onboard cache is part of the CPU I reckon it will always be the decider and those who choose to buy the lowest CPU in the range thinking that they can simply OC to make up the difference will be the one's who will the complain of 'microstutter' whereas those who understand about matching components to each other will get the better suited CPU's and not have any issues other than having to put up with the ceaseless whining from the uneducated who have no idea how to put together a gaming rig.
At a certain point tho, cache becomes redundant, as most cpus today have enough, at least the uppers tiers do. Some games require alot from the cpu, and using 2 cards as well is usually when/where MS is seen, as the flow of data is bottlenecked, causing the MS, even with a decent cpu. Of course, as youve said, its determined by many things, res can also play a part as well. Im just hoping for a better thruput using DX11, which will help alleviate things like MS, and itll certainly raise the minimal fps in games, thats the good news, and its where MS shows its ugliness
Only time will tell, as it's going to take the game devs a while to start using DX11 exclusively as the hardware to run it on is yet to appear and mature and as long as people are still running older kit the previous incarnations of DX will still have be around to cause coding issues for the devs, Assasins Creed's DX10.1 being removed by it's latest patch is a case in point (if true).
I think MS is intrinsic to the whole set up personally by which i mean i agree with mousemonkey that matching components is by far the most important aspect of trying to stop these types of issues.
As far as i know there are a few theories about why MS happens but nothing proven to be the cause. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
While i understand where JDJ is coming from with the theory, i believe its equally possible for the increase in CPU usage to actually cause the issue rather than alleviate it.
Personally, and i have no proof here but i think the issue is something to do with the internal timings. That includes things like the lag you would get from running a CPU with low cache right through to the timings of the refresh interval and the whole host of issues that can occur with frame buffers etc, which would cause tearing or general lagging in a system with a single card. I believe MS is just an extension of these issues when occurring in a dual card set up.
As i said i have no proof, its just my theory based on what i know of the issues that can blight the whole graphics process.
When you start trying to compensate for any issue with any process be it computing,engenering etc, you end up adding variables that have the possability of causing further issues later. Much better to fix the problem at source than put a sticking plaster over it.

This MS thing is the visual representation of a mismatched system IMHO, in the same way that a flaming fireball would be the visual representation of using the brakes from a Nissan micra on an F1 car, it would be cheaper and allow for more cash to be spent on making the engine more powerful and in the pit garage the car would stop when you pressed the brake pedal but at the first corner in the race you would soon be regretting your spending strategy.
Part of my point is, that having an underpowered cpu, DX11 will help alleviate these problems. i5 is said to be a screamer, with its fast abilities cpu/pci. That, and having the MT will/should make MS a thing of the past
I'm still waiting to hear what the exact cause is. I have my own theory...

Lets assume you arge getting 60FPS. That means that every second, 60 frames are drawn and displayed to the screen. The assumption we always make, however, is that we assume that a new frame will be ready every 1/60th of a second.

I believe Microstutter is the result of frames being delayed in the short term, causing skipping of frames without affecting the actual FPS count. For instance, instead of 1 new frame being created every 1/60th of a second for a full second (like we always assume), I think we get something more along the lines of (using a 10 frame sample)

Frame: Frames Drawn: Frameskip (from last drawn frame):
1 1 --
2 1 0
3 0 --
4 2 1
5 1 0
6 2 1 (A forward skip)
7 0 --
8 1 1
9 0 --
10 2 1

Hence, we get 10 frames as we expect, but over the corse of the run, we skip a total of 4, or 40%. Yet, if this pattern were to hold, we'd be getting a constant 60FPS on the screen. Hence: MicroStutter. And considering the latencies involved, it would be no shock why Dual GPU's would suffer from this type of behavior.

As such, I see the only solution to Microstutter as faster, low latency, GPU's. Thats my theory anyway, and it makes more sense then most of the other ones out there.

To you perhaps.

If this were the case, then wed see it more on single gpus, and not on just on CF/SLI, where itd be even worse than it is now.
D3D allows the cpu to render 3 frames ahead, which having an even faster gpu, would put even more strain on the cpu, just like having CF/SLI does. Having a higher amount of cache on the cpu allows for this, and its what mm is refering to, so the cpu has enough room for rendering 3 frames ahead, without lag.
My understanding is, the input from 2 or more cards pushes the cpu beyond its limits, whether its cache, or just plain old speed, and we lose that constant 3 Fr Ahead. When this happens, the frames jump in lag time, not that theyre not drawn at all, just that theyre not drawn in a sequential timing, but a varied timing, and is detectable by the human eye.
I dont know all the intricacies of DX11, but getting MT out to the cpu should help in some instances, preventing the lag, or its at least what I hope itll do, that, and create better minimal fps
True, based on my theory, we probably should see more M$ on single GPU's; then again, I never hear of Microstutter cases where FPS is high...I think there might be a threashold where the GPU simply can't keep the buffers filled, leading to my theoretical behavior. I'd love to hear alternative theorys on MS though;

I also doubt that the CPU will have any impact that is positive on rendering. Rendering is by default a highly mathematical function that requires a massive amount of percise data, and I for one would expect the low bus width/register size that CPU's use to bottleneck everything if the CPU were to get involved. Heck, we already know the GPU is faster then the CPU for PhysX, another heavily mathematical function, so why would the CPU suddenly help with rendering, let alone MS?


I jsut realized i missed a major point: yes, D3D does allow frames to be rendered ahead. Of course, if your only getting 45FPS, i'm willing to take a guess at how often there is spare time to build a frame ahead of time...

Um sorry what ??? CPU have no impact on rendering??? The whole second part of your post just dosent make sense. Im assuming you actually know how the computer gets the image on the screen and as such are aware that the CPU is already heavily involved in the process.

For rendering, the only purpose the CPU serves is to give the renderer (the GPU) the data needed to create the image. This includes any other mathematical calculatons (Status, AI, Physics, etc) that are needed to determine the placement of objects in 3D space. In that regards, a slow CPU can effectivly bottleneck the process, but a faster one may not speed it up. Basically, the CPU, for gaming purposes, exists to CREATE the picture that will be sent to the GPU to be rendered (through Razterization).

My point is a simple one: The CPU is already overloaded as it is. Think about it: The CPU already needs to track everything that goes on in the game; every status, AI routine, Physics, etc, and now you want to RENDER as well? I believe all this would accomplish is delay the execution of all the other functions to the point where the CPU would be delayed in creating the next image the GPU needs to render (as a result of delayed AI/Physics/Status updates), creating a situation where adding CPU horsepower could theoretically slow performance due to delays elsewhere.

Dedicating one core to the cause might be worthwhile, but I don't belive there would be any significant impact for performance, while with the Windows OS itself becoming more optimized, might cost some overall system performance.
And how do you come to that conclusion? The data that passes over a PCI-E lane is determined by the card, not the API. The API has nothing to do with the PCI-E interface whatsoever.

Again, I'd love to hear alternate theorys for MS, other then the usual "It exists".
Rendering 3 frames ahead. If at any time the gpu has to wait, I believe is when we see MS. I believe a decent cpu, that gets its info quicker, or more widely/wisely dispersed will/should keep better pace, thus my question.
Since most games are single threaded, and theres no getting around that in many instances, as theres just too many things being done serially, having the use of MT to the cpu should be a boon
Um am i being thick here or are JDJ and gamerk316 talking at cross purposes here.
First JDJ you are saying that DX11 will make more use of the CPU as in Multi threading capabilities not just putting more load on it ?
It seems to me that gamerk316 seems to think you are talking about putting more load on the CPU as is, ie single threaded.

Thats i hope has got to be what you mean otherwise gamef316 is definatly right in saying they are asking for trouble trying to get the CPU to do more.

@ maximiza

I to would be interested to see some links supporting your statement about PCIE 3 being needed for DX11 to be seen at its best.
I mean if there is going to be that much more trafic over teh bus then we all need i11's now.

Yes, its what I mean. Instead of coming in single threaded, and the cpu having x amount of work to do in y amount of time, itll be MT'd, and should be processed quicker, and allow for the timing to be smoother

But thats where I disagree. More and more, we are seeing games taking advantage of more cores, yet even in quad optimized games (Lets use GTA:IV) we see MS. Also remember, even in non-threaded apps (there are very few "single threaded" apps), the second core will be used simply due to the way the OS handles the data.

I do not think MS is a timing issue with the CPU. If that were the case, we could just plop in a old P4 and see the MS.
DX11 changes all that. A game may be MT optimized, but theres still only a single thread coming thru, which is now changed. In other words, its currently viable to send out 1 string, from muliple sources, or multi strings from 1 source. Now, we have both.
So, even if todays games are MT'd, its not the same. Its better, and it does help, but the source is still lacking. Thats the way I understand its going to be, and not what we have now.
"Multi-threaded rendering? "But," you’re saying, "we’ve had multi-core CPUs for several years now and developers have learned to use them. So multi-threading their rendering engines is nothing new with Direct3D 11." Well, this may come as a surprise to you, but current engines still use only a single thread for rendering. The other threads are used for sound, decompression of resources, physics, etc. But rendering is a heavy user of CPU time, so why not thread it, too? There are a several reasons, some of them related to the way GPUs operate and others to the 3D API. So Microsoft set about solving the latter and working around the former."


Read this, itll explain it better than I.

"But as you can see, a large share of the workload was still on the main thread, which was already overloaded. That doesn’t ensure good balance, needed for good execution times. So, Microsoft has introduced a new interface with Direct3D 11: a programmer can create one Device object per thread, which will be used to load resources. Synchronization within the functions of a Device is more finely managed than in Direct3D 10 and is much more economical with CPU time."



Just my humble opinion, but no, I don't think DX 11 will end the dreaded MS issue. It's a hardware bug. SLI is over 10 years old and still, it's problematic.

For the race car buffs, why would you put a second engine in a car hoping it'll mesh and synchronize perfectly with the tranny box?
The car will go faster of course but you introduce a new set of performance issues.

In most cases, isn't it more economical to get a single faster GPU that usually cost less than the two cards it outperforms? If SLI went away, went extinct like the Dodo bird, I wouldn't miss it.