Saturday, June 19th, 2021 Posted by Jim Thacker

AMD unveils Viewport Boost

AMD has introduced Viewport Boost, an interesting new feature of its Radeon Pro Software for Enterprise drivers that boosts viewport frame rates in apps like 3ds Max when running on AMD GPUs.

The feature, which AMD says “offers up to 43% more navigation performance” in 3ds Max, is supported on AMD’s new Radeon Pro W6800 and Radeon Pro W6600 GPUs.

Boost viewport frame rates in compatible DCC and arch viz apps on new AMD workstation GPUs
In AMD’s press briefing for the new Radeon Pro W6000 Series cards, the firm was reluctant to give away too much of the Viewport Boost system’s “secret sauce”.

However, it seems to work by focusing computational effort on updating those parts of the display most likely to change over time: the software’s 3D viewport, as opposed to its UI.

As well as 3ds Max, it is supported in Revit, Twinmotion and projects packaged from Unreal Engine, which AMD’s website namechecks specifically as “DirectX 11 applications”.

Support for “other professional software products” will follow.

Up to a 43% increase in viewport frame rate in 3ds Max on a 4K display
According to AMD’s own benchmark tests, the speed boosts can be quite sizeable: up to a 43% increase in viewport frame rate in 3ds Max when working with a Radeon Pro W6800 running a 4K display.

For Revit, the effect was even larger: up to a 114% increase – that is, more than doubling viewport frame rate.

AMD didn’t provide figures for Unreal Engine projects, but for Twinmotion, which has a core architecture powered by Unreal Engine, the maximum speed boost was 39%.

How significant that is for your own workflow will depend on what kind of scenes you typically work with.

In our own GPU group tests, viewport frame rate isn’t always a limiting factor for individual production-quality assets, in the sense that it’s already above a workable 30fps on mid-to-high-end professional cards.

However, if you’re laying out large scenes, working with computationally intensive materials or lighting set-ups, using high-resolution displays – or all three – viewport performance becomes far more significant.

System requirements and availability
Viewport Boost is available in AMD’s Radeon Pro Software for Enterprise, available free for the firm’s workstation GPUs, starting from the 21.Q2 release.

It is compatible with the software listed in the story above, running on Windows 10.

Hardware compatibility “includes Radeon Pro graphics based on RDNA or newer architectures, including mobile applications”, although currently the Radeon Pro W6800 and W6600 are the only GPUs listed.

Read more about Viewport Boost on AMD’s website