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Intel: DirectX 12 is "the most significant leap in Windows Graphics in many years"

Microsoft unveils DirectX 12

GDC was the stage for Microsoft’s big DirectX 12 reveal today, with Nvidia, AMD and Intel all gushing about the significant leap it will bring. Microsoft is planning to have it function across all of its platforms, once again trying to homogenize PC, mobile devices and consoles. 

It will be a more efficient API, offering applications more direct control over graphics memory usage and hardware resources while allowing developers to get better performance from multi-core systems. 

Anuj Gosalia, development manager of DirectX said that developers want a console-like API, more control, the elimination of overhead between apps and the GPU and broad availability; he claims DirectX 12 provides this. 

Nvidia has said that it will support the DX12 API on all the DX11-class GPUs that it’s already shipped: the Fermi, Kepler and Maxwell architectural families. It won’t require new hardware. By the time it ships, Nvidia says, 50 percent of gamers will be DX12 capable. 

Intel claims that it’s “the most significant leap in Windows Graphics in many years,” and that it’s good for devs, their games and the gamers themselves. Intel’s 4th Generation Core processors will be will be ready with DX12 support at launch and it aims to support it across a broad range of its products. 

Epic’s Tim Sweeney confirmed Epic Games’ support, saying, “Epic will be working closely with Nvidia and Microsoft to create a world-class implementation of DirectX 12 in UE4. DirectX 12 is a great step forward, exposing low-level hardware functionality through an industry-standard API to give developers more control and efficiency than ever before.”

Microsoft is targeting Holiday 2015 games, with a preview release coming later this year and early access. It plans to have it in 100 percent of new desktop GPUs, 80 percent of gaming PCs and in the hands of 50 percent of gamers upon release. 

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Shoom's picture
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If it won't support Windows 7 they can shove it.

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TenClub's picture
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Some more info:

It has been in development for about 4 years.

They used 3DMark as a demo and CPU utilization was cut down by about 50% and the workload was more evenly spread out between cores

They also demoed Forza 5 running on a PC with Nvidia hardware (No, Forza 5 PC release wasn't confirmed) they just used it to show the d3d12 performance improvements.

They said that they know Windows 7 support is a popular request but no OS support was announced yet. Since it's backwards compatible with hardware I'd imagine Win 7 will support it. Their claims of having it in the hands of 50% of gamers upon release hints at it too I think.

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Belimawr's picture
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since you are saying they used Forza 5 as a tech demo, most the X1 systems back at E3 were Windows 7 PC's with GTX780's (was found out due to a few of them crashing and having to be fixed or rebooting into windows 7) so it seems probable if they were using X1 games as a demo for DX12 and they used windows 7 and Nvidia cards as X1 demo machines that those test machines were running some form of DX12, meaning it is likely it will come to Win 7.

I'm still interested to see how much of a graphics increase it is since it can use DX10 cards and nearly every other "big" DX upgrade has required new hardware or if it is just purely a backend optimisation.

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TenClub's picture
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Interesting, I wouldn't be surprised if it is Win 7 compatible.

It only supports DX11 cards btw. It goes as far back as Fermi which were the first DX11 cards.

I think it is purely backend optimization because they didn't talk about any graphical upgrades. I was following the liveblog on pcper and it was purely optimization and reducing CPU overhead.

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Belimawr's picture
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I meant DX11 cards, I just wasn't paying enough attention while typing numbers lol.

but yeah from all the talk it does all seem to be back end, what seems more worrying is Intel claiming they will have compatible CPU's out in time for it, so it seems more worrying that they could be trying to force a CPU upgrade.

but I was waiting to upgrade my pair of GTX 470's assuming this would need new hardware now I don't know what to do lol.

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TenClub's picture
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What they meant by 'compatible' is the iGPU the chips use not the CPU itself.

http://techreport.com/news/26199/directx-12-to-support-existing-hardware-first-games-due-in-late-2015

"Finally, Intel said the integrated graphics in its existing Haswell processors will also have DX12 support"

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Belimawr's picture
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since I can't reply to you last post, I honestly never gave the on chip GPU's a thought I keep forgetting they have those, since there is never a need to use them for most people.

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subedii's picture
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"By the time it ships, Nvidia says, 50 percent of gamers will be DX12 capable. "

Is this really likely? IIRC Windows 8 uptake has still been relatively slow, and MS have always maintained it's impossible to separate DX11.2+ from it.

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Belimawr's picture
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I wouldn't rule out windows 7 support, MS is aware that 8 isn't selling well and are also very aware that making DX10 Vista only more or less made it irrelevant meaning most firms just jumped from 9 to 11.

also MS even used Win 7 in their X1 demo units at E3, despite Win 8 having been around a while before then, showing even MS had reservations about using Win 8 in an important situation.

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subedii's picture
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On the whole MS has always been startlingly able to resist such an approach and simply push on with the 'marketing' led ideas that always cause them to make these decisions.

I'll be candid, MS has always had a clear conflict of interest between the XBox and the PC when it comes to gaming. And in every decision they've ever made, it's always been the PC games market that lost out.

Name your poison.

- Forcing DX10 as a Vista exclusive (which basically killed it until Windows 7 came out).

-GFWL and all its baggage (really its own separate list).

-Forcing a paid certification process on patches because that's what happens XBox-side (was so bad that Relic literally re-wrote their multiplayer back end, breaking compatibility, to port Dawn of War 2 to Steamworks. That was the best possible option left for them).

-Refusing to listen to even the most sensible community requests (external client? A decent patching system? Nope).

-Eventually killing it off _without_ a viable means service alteration enabling what games that used it to run without it (that's left to the publishers, most of which won't bother with old games).

- Repeatedly paying for platform exclusivity (timed or permanent) for the XBox to the extent of excluding the PC even though those are _BOTH_ Microsoft platforms (Alan Wake is a good example, particularly since it was a leading cry for "PC gaming is dying" to be splashed across forums and websites again.)

- Killing off all their PC focused games developers (even the profitable ones like Flight Team) to re-direct funds for more XBox development.

- Refusing to port what licenses they DIRECTLY own in order to maintain the XBox's 'killer exclusives'.

- On the rare occasion that they DO port a title, unnecessarily force it to be exclusive to an OS it doesn't need to in a misguided attempt to force upgrades (Halo 2, Skulls of the Shogun)...

- ... And once they predictably fail to sell, basically kill off the idea of any further ports because they're 'not profitble' (Halo series).

- Killing off cross-platform play (perhaps their ONE killer feature over Steam) because it might make the XBox look bad in various ways.

I could go on

Frankly, that conflict of interest hasn't changed, and neither do I see that their marketing-department led PC games strategy has either. I say marketing department led because to MS, PC games aren't a business, they're a marketing tool to sell OTHER products, and it shows in how things have panned out over the past 7 years.

I say all this because I honestly _don't want_ MS or DX12 to succeed. MS's behaviour to date only leads me to believe that they'd only use any increased influence in the PC games market to force further detrimental practices.

It's a longshot, but I'm genuinely hoping that SteamOS wins through, and is as open as any Linux distro ought to be. If nothing else, it would at least mean that conflict of interest is removed as a factor.

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Apocalypsy's picture
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Just read at AMD's site, that the GCN architecture will also be supported !

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