Thursday, July 4th 2013

DirectX 11.2 Exclusive to Windows 8.1 and Xbox One

Our recent editorial on adoption of Windows 8.1 by PC enthusiasts concluded saying "...and Microsoft isn't stopping with its innovations that will get increasingly out of reach for Windows 7 users." It looks like the first of such innovations is DirectX 11.2. Microsoft revealed that the latest version of its multimedia API will require Windows 8.1 on the PC, and comes built into its next-generation Xbox One console. With this, Microsoft established that you will need Windows 8.1 or later, to access future versions of DirectX.

Microsoft has often used the tactic of limiting DirectX versions to certain versions of Windows, often citing driver-model changes, to force PC enthusiasts to either upgrade, or lag behind in PC technology, and in the past it worked. Windows XP capped out at DirectX 9.0c, forcing gamers to upgrade to Windows Vista, to experience cutting-edge games of the time, such as "Crysis," with new visual effects that DirectX 10 brought to the scene. DirectX 11.0 had the unique distinction of spanning across Windows Vista and Windows 7. DirectX 11.1 was exclusive to Windows 8 and above, as it required WDDM 1.2 (Windows display driver model). The Direct3D component of the API didn't bring anything substantial to the scene. With Windows 8.1, Microsoft is introducing DirectX 11.2, it requires WDDM 1.3, which the operating system introduces. Since Windows 8.1 will be offered as a free upgrade to current Windows 8 users, it's effectively the Windows 7 user-base, that's being asked to take a hike.

DirectX 11.2 introduces a few new Direct3D features that could matter to games. The "D3D tiled resources" feature is analogous to OpenGL MegaTexture, implemented on id Software's "Rage." The feature offers a better alternative to the current model of streaming textures as a 3D scene is being rendered; by letting developers use larger textures that are fewer in number. Portions of these giant monolithic textures would be accessed by an application, as they become relevant to the scene being rendered. The complete texture needn't be loaded to the memory. In essence, mega-textures heralds a sort of virtual memory system to GPUs, and shifts the focus from increasingly larger video memory to faster memory.

With Windows 7 user-base being cut out from DirectX 11.2, game developers may think twice before spending time to implement D3D tiled resources, but there's also Xbox One to consider. DirectX 11.2 is at the heart of the console, and Microsoft could recommend developers to take advantage of tiled resources, to optimally use the console's limited hardware resources. That could hasten the adoption of DirectX 11.2 by developers, on the PC front.

Among the features DirectX 11.2 introduces are:
  • HLSL shader linking
  • Inbox HLSL compiler
  • GPU overlay support
  • DirectX tiled resources
  • Direct3D low-latency presentation API
  • DXGI Trim API and map default buffer
  • Frame buffer scaling
  • Multithreading with SurfaceImageSource
  • Interactive Microsoft DirectX composition of XAML visual elements
  • Direct2D batching with SurfaceImageSource
Sources: Microsoft, NextPowerUp
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192 Comments on DirectX 11.2 Exclusive to Windows 8.1 and Xbox One

#1
Prima.Vera
Gamers should be using linux. it is time for the devs to move over to the open platform and work with opengl. let the consumer have a real say and not let microsoft push people around.
While I agree with this, please tell this to Creative, Leadtek or Logitec to release Linux drivers for my soundcard, videocard, keyboard, external Wi-Fi dongle, etc, etc. I think the main problem nowadays is the extremely high lack of quality Linux drivers for a lot of PC peripherals.
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#2
ice_v
by: TheMailMan78
Ahem.......

http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/showthread.php?t=182646&highlight=decline
Ahem......



Steam's active user base is by the way somewhere around 54-55 millions by now, and growing...

So I'm having a really hard time believing this "PC is dead" mantra...as I see it, the PC is a sleeping giant, that year after year is having less and less good sleep and might just wake up on the wrong side and tear other platforms a new one in a year or two... and by the looks of it, he's not wearing a full blown Win 8 pajama...more like a Win 8 sock :laugh: :

http://i.imgur.com/YRhhF3P.jpg
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#3
nt300
PC gaming has been growing faster than console growth. By 2014 PC gaming would have surpassed all consoles combined in revenue.
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#4
theoneandonlymrk
by: nt300
PC gaming has been growing faster than console growth. By 2014 PC gaming would have surpassed all consoles combined in revenue.
If you consider how many of us should have playable games for life on steam etc I can't help but feel that in a decade or so consoles will become less attractive to most.
And with the feature harmony 11.2 brings is another shovel of dirt on the consoles coffin
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#5
Mussels
Moderprator
the big advantage to steam is that we can fire up our one steam account on many generations of PC's to have access to outdated titles (or run a virtual machine).


whereas consoles... well, servers shut down GG no worky.
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#6
theoneandonlymrk
by: Mussels
the big advantage to steam is that we can fire up our one steam account on many generations of PC's to have access to outdated titles (or run a virtual machine).


whereas consoles... well, servers shut down GG no worky.
Exactly and before this generation there was little parity In experience and performance but I think m$ is leveling the field with each Dx release , I just think they are going to kill there own baby (xbone) eventually maybe one day bringing the xbone experience to actual home pcs just to keep it alive but this is years away I admit.
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#7
Mussels
Moderprator
consoles need to be PC compatible, but a closed market for hardware and software.


quite literally the xbox would be the 'standard' and you could get your own custom built PC for better performance/higher res gaming, but at the end of the day its the same thing.

the only reason it wont work is because controller Vs mouse and keyboard would destroy competition for those who are not of the PC master race.
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#8
BiggieShady
by: TRWOV
I pretty much suspect that W9 will have metro and metro only
Lol, I'm trying to visualize Visual Studio 2015 metro style :roll:
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#9
scoutingwraith
by: BiggieShady
Lol, I'm trying to visualize Visual Studio 2015 metro style :roll:
Just thinking about it makes me shiver. :rolleyes::wtf:
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#10
Mr McC
Does anyone envisage 11.2 as being a paradigm shift? I know it will be sold as that and I heard that it entailed some sort of symbiotic memory set up that would be exploited in the new Xbox, but does that mean fireworks around the corner? In short, say I was toying with the idea of upgrading to a 760, should I hold off for the 11.2 compatible generation of cards?
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#11
theoneandonlymrk
by: Mr McC
Does anyone envisage 11.2 as being a paradigm shift? I know it will be sold as that and I heard that it entailed some sort of symbiotic memory set up that would be exploited in the new Xbox, but does that mean fireworks around the corner? In short, say I was toying with the idea of upgrading to a 760, should I hold off for the 11.2 compatible generation of cards?
Its not going to be important for a year or two and is best suited to apu platforms so your fine imho

It essentially opens the memory of the gpu and cpu up more to each other but its mostly going to be future hardware that benefits.
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#12
hellrazor
by: Mr McC
Does anyone envisage 11.2 as being a paradigm shift? I know it will be sold as that and I heard that it entailed some sort of symbiotic memory set up that would be exploited in the new Xbox, but does that mean fireworks around the corner? In short, say I was toying with the idea of upgrading to a 760, should I hold off for the 11.2 compatible generation of cards?
No, no, and no.
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#13
Mombasa69
Wait for a true DX11.2 GPU (Radeon 9000 will be the first range in Oct).

Current GPU's are 'compatible' with DX11.2, but you certainly wont get all of the features unless you get a new GPU that's dedicated to DX11.2, wait until October for the new Radeon 9000 series, that will be a true DX11.2.

Glad I waited, will have to stick with my trusty old 3 way 570s until then, no way am I buying a new GPU until then.
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#14
BigMack70
by: hellrazor
No, no, and no.
Pretty much nailed it. There is no reason to make any purchasing decisions around DX 11.2 at this time.

This is just marketing to get people to buy a version of Windows they otherwise don't want.
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#15
rtwjunkie
by: BigMack70
This is just marketing to get people to buy a version of Windows they otherwise don't want.
THIS! Like I've said several times, these features are irrelevant to PC gaming, and will be for several years yet.
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#16
Mr McC
Thanks for the responses.

That's pretty much what I thought. Sure my 5870 is DirectX 11 compatible, but it clearly isn't as powerful as subsequent generations. I envisage a similar scenario here: if and when DirectX 11.2 does become relevant, the initial releases of compatible cards will probably be obsolete.
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#17
Mombasa69
by: BigMack70
Pretty much nailed it. There is no reason to make any purchasing decisions around DX 11.2 at this time.

This is just marketing to get people to buy a version of Windows they otherwise don't want.
Until around November when the new console ports start to appear, PC Games are nearly all direct ports from consoles, current gen cards will be obsolete by then, you'll still be able to play games, but if you want all the features, you'll have to get a new GPU...
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#18
BigMack70
by: Mombasa69
Until around November when the new console ports start to appear, PC Games are nearly all direct ports from consoles, current gen cards will be obsolete by then, you'll still be able to play games, but if you want all the features, you'll have to get a new GPU...
:laugh:

:roll:

Oh man, that was a great laugh. Thanks for that. No games are going to be using DX11.2 in any meaningful way for a long time, if ever. Can you even find an upcoming game right now listed as supporting it? No.
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#19
rtwjunkie
Cards won't be obsolete. Even in a couple years, if a game employs 11.2, you might have one or two features greyed out in your options. And I disagree about PC games almost all being ports...big name titles, yes. But there are a heck of alot more PC games than just the AAA titles.
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#20
Prima.Vera
The next Crazy Birds will have exclusive support for D3D 11.2. :D
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#21
oNyX
by: birdie
Ah, journalism.

Crysis 1 had no extra effects in DirectX 10 mode - via a special hack all those things were made available in DX9.0c.
I used the DX10 hack for Assassin's Creed on XP. Worked like a charm and the graphics looked the same on hacked XP than on vanilla Vista/7.

I also used the DX10 launcher for Bad Company 2. :pimp:
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#22
oNyX
by: Mussels
the big advantage to steam is that we can fire up our one steam account on many generations of PC's to have access to outdated titles (or run a virtual machine).


whereas consoles... well, servers shut down GG no worky.
:laugh:

With PC even if they do shut down the servers you can join various unofficial servers or you can LAN via Hamachi.
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#23
Am*
by: FordGT90Concept
Don't underestimate the power of Xbone. Because developers have to code for 11.2 means they have no reason not to use 11.2 for Windows titles as well. Of course, they'll have to put some backwards compatibility in the Windows release but there should be strong support for 11.2 on Windows soon after Xbone launches.
The Xbone has no power over developers, consumers or anybody else -- as it stands right now, it barely survived the huge user backlash from DRM. At this moment in time, about 89% of people are on either DX10 or DX11 GPUs on the PC and 360 and PS3 will still be sold for the next 2 years at least. That means about 95% of multiplatform console games in the next 2-3 years will be ported in some form on the 360 and PS3 which are not going anywhere. That still means developers will be making games in engines that are DX9 compatible. Once PS3/360 die, the developers will jump on the next most common API, which will be DX11.

by: TheMailMan78
Everyone in this thread is just butt hurt and crying like 12 year old girls on their first ovulation because they are going to have to upgrade to get the latest DX.
...................
So at the end of the day this whole thread is the inevitable fact all you people bitching will be upgrading to windows 8. Taste that?...........That's what they call crow.
by: TheMailMan78
Nope. Installed Mint for a week realized its as user friendly as a colonoscopy and went back to windows. I mean honesty you guys ain't fooling anyone. If DX is no big deal why the 80 something posts of butt hurt raging. This forum has become so predictable. If you guys can't afford Windows 8 that's fine. But don't trash it because you can't afford it. That's very unbecoming of a technology forum member.
Kindly take a minute to unwedge your head from your behind. Are you seriously stupid enough to try and suggest that people here -- who spent anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars' worth of cash on their rigs -- can't afford a $25 OS upgrade?

First off, nobody gives two shits about upgrading from 7 to Windows 8, be it for the new DirectX, the counter-intuitive UI or anything else, as it is not worth the extra hard drive space, let alone the price of admission --and this is coming from someone who owns Windows 8. I've been using it for most of the past year or so on my second laptop and have come to the conclusion that there is absolutely nothing that Windows 8 has that 7 can't do or be tweaked in some way to do the same. Better multithreading? Bullshit -- turn off core parking in Win7. Less resource usage? Turn off Aero. The only thing Windows 8 technically has over 7 is faster boot speed -- considering every single decent PC/laptop in my house now runs a Samsung SSD, the difference between them is maybe 2-3 seconds at best, and you can have your 3 second faster boot speed bragging rights, as I will never trade it for a useable UI.

The biggest performance change documented in Windows 8 is in regards to increased speed of text rendering (supposedly increased by 300%-something pecent) -- I can't remember having performance problems or even giving a flying shit about text rendering speeds since Windows 95. DirectX 11.1, 11.2, 11.5 and any more bullshit APIs they decide to introduce are not going to shift any more copies or Windows 8 or make the fake APIs any more relevant for developers or users.

If you take a look at any upcoming big multiplatform release, you will find it in some form on the 360 and PS3, which means developers will still be building on game engines that will scale down all the way to DX9 and OpenGL 2/3, because no publisher is going to be stupid enough to turn down potential ~200 million buyers on consoles alone. That will be the case for the next 2-3 years at least, since Sony wants the PS3 to outlive the PS2 and Microsoft only just released another Xbox 360 (Xbone/Cable Box Edition with the new case).

If you enjoy buying the same shitty service packs for Vista every 3 years and the crapfest UI that comes with it, more power to you -- but don't start trolling people for not sharing your views on it or Microshaft's bullshit tactics of selling people service packs packaged as a new operating system -- because no matter if I have $3000 or $300,000 to spend, I'm not going to buy another single Windows NT 6. OS release that's not a complete overhaul in every way and which has features that cannot possibly be implemented on an older OS. I'll admit, I bought into their potential BS of "driverless printer support" and the "return of hardware accelerated audio stack" with Windows 8 this time. Not going to happen again.
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#24
TheMailMan78
Big Member
by: Am*
because no matter if I have $3000 or $300,000 to spend, I'm not going to buy another single Windows NT 6. OS release that's not a complete overhaul in every way and which has features that cannot possibly be implemented on an older OS. I'll admit, I bought into their potential BS of "driverless printer support" and the "return of hardware accelerated audio stack" with Windows 8 this time. Not going to happen again.
And I'm sure when Windows 9 comes out you will be crying about how Windows 8 can do everything it can with some tweaks and how you won't be fooled into buying Windows 10. You will still find funny ways to spell Microsoft like "Microshaft" and "M$" while they provide you with a platform that gives you a place to not only bitch but, to provide a platform that has given you THOUSANDS of hours of entertainment. The saga continues....WU TANG!
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#25
Tatty_One
Senior Moderator
Thing is, nobody really cares, when ever Microsoft announces a plot like this, such as DX10/Vista etc etc most people just ignore them, carry on playing their favorite games and NEVER noticing that almost unnoticable improvement that the DX .1 or .2 brings becuase hey..... there is not any real notable improvement, and of course you NEVER miss what you didn't have in the first place.

Personally, I like Windows 8, installed it on my daughters desktop and after a few days was well into the new flow of things, clearly Microsfort looks upon me as a minority otherwise why would they be doing this if they were selling the OS like hot cakes? The strategy didn't work too well with Vista, possibly because the games devlopers didn't seem very interested. So, until DX11.whatever allows me to smell the fart of my teammate in some coop battle, rather than notice a few more dust particles when the ground erupts from a shell I will stay where I am thanks very much.
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