WAITING FOR PS5 AND XBOX SERIES X: HOW DO MESH SHADERS WORK AND WHAT ARE THEY FOR?

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The month of March saw Sony and Microsoft present interesting new details on what architectures and technical features will be supported by PS5 and Xbox Series X.

The House of Redmond, for example, illustrated in detail the components of the Xbox Series X, revealing the solutions adopted to make the hardware optimized for the needs of contemporary gaming. Among the many examples, we can mention the choice of dividing the GDDR6 memory into two different sections, defined as “optimal” and “standard”. A further contribution now comes, this time from Martin Fuller.

Member of the Xbox Advanced Technology Group at Microsoft, the latter deals in particular with graphics and optimization. In the video found at the bottom of this news, Fuller has discussed the support for DirectX 12 API Ultimate on Xbox X Series. Technology-related features include the ” Mesh Shader “, an optimization whose goal is to improve image quality and performance when rendering a game scene that features a large number of polygonal models.

Take for example a very complex polygonal object (in English “mesh”) consisting of a large number of triangles: what the Mesh Shaders do is fragment the latter into further subgroups of smaller triangles, within which it is possible to optimize the reuse of the vertices shared between the various pieces. In essence, this technology allows you to render multiple geometric elements in parallel, loading fewer data. In addition, the Mesh Shaders allow you to use the power of the GPU’s generic CU to improve the efficiency of the work chain on the polygons, thus allowing developers to build more dynamic worlds without having to unduly affect performance.

Do not underestimate the acceleration and the implementation of advanced techniques such as the procedural generation of objects to create more diversified and random scenes, more effective LOD systems (i.e. the loading on the fly of increasingly defined models as they approach the player), and, again, multiple advanced techniques of dynamic culling (i.e. deletion from memory and calculations of objects not present in the virtual camera).

To get an idea of ​​the process, at the opening of this news you will find a Tech Demo published by NVIDIA in 2018. In the video proposed by Fuller, however, it is possible to observe the DirectX 12 Mesh Shader in action on NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti on Windows 10 (1440p resolution), while the Xbox Series X devkit allows you to reach 4K. The movie also focuses on the speed of the console in managing tendering processes, with Xbox Series X recreating one of the scenes shown in 100 micro-seconds in 4K.