Microsoft Shares First Details on DirectX 12

A whopping 50% better CPU utilization and “console-level” efficiency on PC. That’s the promise Microsoft is making with its long awaited new API, DirectX 12.

Microsoft took the wraps off of DirectX 12 at GDC yesterday, stating that it will likely first appear in new games beginning in holiday season 2015.

DirectX 12 introduces a new version of Direct3D, the graphics API at the heart of DirectX, as well as a new suite of graphics tools for developers. At GDC, Microsoft focused on what Direct3D 12 can do:

“What makes Direct3D 12 better?” MS stated. “First and foremost, it provides a lower level of hardware abstraction than ever before, allowing games to significantly improve multithread scaling and CPU utilization. In addition, games will benefit from reduced GPU overhead via features such as descriptor tables and concise pipeline state objects. And that’s not all – Direct3D 12 also introduces a set of new rendering pipeline features that will dramatically improve the efficiency of algorithms such as order-independent transparency, collision detection, and geometry culling.”

Translating that from tech-speak: developers will be able to control hardware resources more directly. In particular, it will allow them to wring the most performance out of multi-core systems and advanced GPU features. The end result will be games that take full advantage of the powerful hardware that’s now available.

So does that mean we’ll all have to buy new DirectX 12 graphics cards? Depends on your card, but most of you are likely in good shape. Here’s what Nvidia and AMD had to say:

“Nvidia will support the DX12 API on all the DX11-class GPUs it has shipped; these belong to the Fermi, Kepler and Maxwell architectural families,” Nvidia stated.

AMD, which recently launched its own DirectX competitor, Mantle, said it will “fully support” DX12 on all of its “Radeon GPUs that feature the Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture.”

We’ll keep you posted as Microsoft shares more details on DirectX 12.

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2 Comments on Microsoft Shares First Details on DirectX 12

David Hollinger

On March 21, 2014 at 9:32 am

So, this is awesome and all good to hear, but why is there no news on the Announcement/Presentation from Nvidia, AMD and Intel about how OpenGL has a 7x-15x better performance ratio than DirectX.

All 3 GPU manufacturers touting OpenGL as better than DirectX and no one is listening, wierd…..

Cyberg War

On March 22, 2014 at 1:40 pm

OK, but will I need to have crappy Windows 8 installed to run it? If so, then no thanks.