Originally Posted by silent_guy
When the CPU constructs a draw call, the GPU executes a different one in parallel, right? So a GPU should not be slowed down by draw call overhead. With PCs getting ever more CPU cores, will draw call overhead really be an issue within the next couple of years? It's not as if games right now are making 100% use of all the CPU power. I don't think this is going to change. Or am I missing something (which is very likely) ?
Draw calls are primarily a CPU problem, not a GPU problem. And strictly speaking it's not the number of draw calls that is the problem. It's the amount of state switching and figuring out where D3D/OpenGL resources actually are in hardware.
If you have lot's of vertex/index buffers then CPU will have to translate API handles to actual hardware addresses all the time. This isn't even an CPU problem that you could solve by having more cores or more threads. It depends alot on memory latency.
I did some test a while ago... Basically it goes from one draw primitive call to 100k draw primitive calls with a total budget of 15M triangles that's the same throughout entire run. Same texture, same shader just flipping vertex and index buffers each draw primitive call and uploading some constants.
This is D3D 11: https://static.slo-tech.com/52734.jpg
And this is mulithreaded D3D 11 vs NV properitary OpenGL extensions: https://static.slo-tech.com/52736.jpg