Wednesday, March 13th 2019

DirectX 12 Makes Windows 7 Debut With Latest World of Warcraft Patch

In what is likely to create a good deal of controversy along with a few cheers, Blizzard will be adding DirectX 12 support to World of Warcraft on Windows 7 thanks to a bit of effort from Microsoft. You might be wondering how that is possible? Well after seeing massive performance gains in WoW when Blizzard released their DirectX 12 update for Windows 10 in late 2018, resulted in the company wanting to bring those performance improvements to gamers still holding out on Windows 7. To facilitate this, they began talking with Microsoft who after getting a great deal of feedback from Blizzard decided to act on it. To achieve this Microsoft decided to port the user mode D3D12 runtime to Windows 7, which will unblock developers, thereby allows them to take advantage of the latest improvements that the DirectX 12 API offers while still giving full support to customers on older operating systems.

For now, World of Warcraft is the first game to run in DirectX 12 on Windows 7 with the latest 8.1.5 patch. However, they will not be the last as more developers are working on porting DirectX 12 games to Windows 7 with more announcements to follow. Microsoft, of course, has taken it upon themselves to remind everyone that the best possible performance with DirectX 12 will still be had on Windows 10 due to numerous OS optimizations. How true this is remains to be seen, but for many curmudgeons still holding out on Windows 7, this will likely be seen as a form of vindication for sticking with the now venerable OS.
Source: MSDN Blog
Add your own comment

108 Comments on DirectX 12 Makes Windows 7 Debut With Latest World of Warcraft Patch

#76
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
lexluthermiester said:
While I agree generally, change for the sake of change is rarely positive.
To me if it ain't broke don't fix it.
Posted on Reply
#77
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
1.2 = introduction of "warps" for multithreading/scheduling (how GPUs handle compute and graphics workloads together)
1.3 = Miracast support
2.0 = allows closer to the metal graphics programming
2.1 = HDR10 support
2.2 = VR and AR support
2.3 = perfdata query (standardized way to get GPU load, GPU frequency, memory frequency, etc.--which lead to the detailed GPU performance view in Task Manager)
2.4 = D3D12 hardware video decoding and more perfdata (fan speed, temperature, etc.)
2.5 = DXR support and HDR tweaks

None of these things will ever come to Windows 7 because the display drivers simply don't support it.
Posted on Reply
#78
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
FordGT90Concept said:
1.2 = introduction of "warps" for multithreading/scheduling (how GPUs handle compute and graphics workloads together)
1.3 = Miracast support
2.0 = allows closer to the metal graphics programming
2.1 = HDR10 support
2.2 = VR and AR support
2.3 = perfdata query (standardized way to get GPU load, GPU frequency, memory frequency, etc.--which lead to the detailed GPU performance view in Task Manager)
2.4 = D3D12 hardware video decoding and more perfdata (fan speed, temperature, etc.)
2.5 = DXR support and HDR tweaks

None of these things will ever come to Windows 7 because the display drivers simply don't support it.
Wddm could be rebuilt in 7, just ms is too lazy to do such...
Posted on Reply
#79
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Again, no, because hardware vendors won't release drivers for it. They were annoyed with Microsoft when Microsoft announced they were extending support for Windows 7. Microsoft likely won't extend it again.
Posted on Reply
#80
R-T-B
lexluthermiester said:
I've done a few network drivers. Never had problems.
I'm guessing certain OEMs aren't using the new NDIS6+ features. At least Intel and Realtek are though.

eidairaman1 said:
Wddm could be rebuilt in 7, just ms is too lazy to do such...
It's not laziness as much as it is commercial viability. It would take kernel work. It would cost money. Where's the return? Windows 7 no longer generates revenue. They want you on the profitable product. There is absolutely no reason to put in effort to lose money. It actually would be a violation of shareholder law, and possibly an offense against the shareholders in it's own right (unless they argued they were banking on good press to make them money or something, I dunno).
Posted on Reply
#82
chrcoluk
rtwjunkie said:
Please read the thread. All answers are within. It’s been said several times.
I suggest you read the thread, you just told me to read the thread to find answers that are not in the thread, I know because I checked before posting, and I checked again after your post.

So the question remains if anyone knows, how do windows 7 users download dx12? Is it confirmed also if its not on windows 8.1? Answers pointing to google or other search are not valid.
Posted on Reply
#83
lexluthermiester
chrcoluk said:
I suggest you read the thread, you just told me to read the thread to find answers that are not in the thread, I know because I checked before posting, and I checked again after your post.
Actually, that was answered. You didn't read closely enough.
chrcoluk said:
So the question remains if anyone knows, how do windows 7 users download dx12?
You can't. All of the code/libraries that will contain the DX12 functionality will be included with an update to WOW.
chrcoluk said:
Answers pointing to google or other search are not valid.
Oh yes they are. Telling someone to pop a quick query into Google for something easily researched is a perfectly valid answer sometimes.
Posted on Reply
#84
Sora
FordGT90Concept said:
1.2 = introduction of "warps" for multithreading/scheduling (how GPUs handle compute and graphics workloads together)
1.3 = Miracast support
2.0 = allows closer to the metal graphics programming
2.1 = HDR10 support
2.2 = VR and AR support
2.3 = perfdata query (standardized way to get GPU load, GPU frequency, memory frequency, etc.--which lead to the detailed GPU performance view in Task Manager)
2.4 = D3D12 hardware video decoding and more perfdata (fan speed, temperature, etc.)
2.5 = DXR support and HDR tweaks

None of these things will ever come to Windows 7 because the display drivers simply don't support it.
not everything microsoft puts in the DXGI change list is as things are, the 2.0 note is specifically the support of DX12, and as vulkan has shown Win10 is not necessary for closer to metal rendering.

...not to mention, microsoft has on a few occasions, mis-written the dxgi change list noting feature added under say, 2.4 that weren't added till 2.5.

Miracast was available to Windows 7 as WiDi (or more accurately, Miracast is the evolution of WiDi.)
HDR is present on 7 and 8 via vendor driver api's
VR and AR don't require DXGI, but an exposed framwork helps accelerate development
Perfdata query introduced compatibility regressions with other utilities that could do it first.

etc.

Now adding these to the DXGI ecosystem is useful, it brings things together under windows 10 more coherently, but it is not and will never be the only way to get things done.
Posted on Reply
#85
Razrback16
Ya I'm still running Win7 x64. And I have no plans to move to Win10 until certain games or apps require it. I use Win10 at work, and IMO, Win7 is simply a better OS.
Posted on Reply
#86
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
:slap::kookoo:
chrcoluk said:
I suggest you read the thread, you just told me to read the thread to find answers that are not in the thread, I know because I checked before posting, and I checked again after your post.

So the question remains if anyone knows, how do windows 7 users download dx12? Is it confirmed also if its not on windows 8.1? Answers pointing to google or other search are not valid.
Go back and read post 1
Posted on Reply
#87
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Sora said:
not everything microsoft puts in the DXGI change list is as things are, the 2.0 note is specifically the support of DX12, and as vulkan has shown Win10 is not necessary for closer to metal rendering.
Vulkan runs legacy mode (using OGL draw calls) on Windows 7, if it runs at all. Performance is much worse because OpenCL/Vulkan piggybacks on the unified shader design DirectX pioneered.

Sora said:
Miracast was available to Windows 7 as WiDi (or more accurately, Miracast is the evolution of WiDi.)
Implemented in the driver rather than software on top of the driver.

Sora said:
HDR is present on 7 and 8 via vendor driver api's
Not Windows itself.

Sora said:
VR and AR don't require DXGI, but an exposed framwork helps accelerate development
Which is what standards do--provide guidelines and direction. One could hack VR support into Windows 7 but it's not going to work as well as it does on Windows 10.

Sora said:
Perfdata query introduced compatibility regressions with other utilities that could do it first.
Extremely hacky: hooking into drivers themselves (requires different calls for different vendors), hunting for, and interpreting that data. Now drivers expose that data so any application can easily query the performance counters.
Posted on Reply
#88
Sora
FordGT90Concept said:
Now drivers expose that data so any application can easily query the performance counters.
And windows uses an unsafe local mutex for some of them making other applications unsafe to use, or having the capability disabled entirely (Aida64/Hwinfo base clock detection)
Vulkan runs legacy mode (using OGL draw calls) on Windows 7, if it runs at all. Performance is much worse because OpenCL/Vulkan piggybacks on the unified shader design DirectX pioneered.
No it doesn't.
Posted on Reply
#89
lexluthermiester
FordGT90Concept said:
Vulkan runs legacy mode (using OGL draw calls) on Windows 7, if it runs at all.
Incorrect. Doom 2016 runs better on 7 than it does 10. I ran that benchmark personally recently to settle a debate we were having in the shop. Granted the difference was small, but it was a measurable 4%.
FordGT90Concept said:
Performance is much worse because OpenCL/Vulkan piggybacks on the unified shader design DirectX pioneered.
Also incorrect. OGL pioneered shaders with the help of IDGames/John Carmack back in the heydays of the Quake series. Microsoft piggybacked OGL with a twist and was late to the game with it.
Posted on Reply
#90
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
lexluthermiester said:
Incorrect. Doom 2016 runs better on 7 than it does 10. I ran that benchmark personally recently to settle a debate we were having in the shop. Granted the difference was small, but it was a measurable 4%.
Let me guess, NVIDIA GPU? Vulkan/OpenGL didn't make much difference on NVIDIA:
https://www.eteknix.com/doom-opengl-vs-vulkan-graphics-performance-analysis/5/
...the reason why Vulkan gets a big boost on AMD cards is because the GPU is spending less time waiting for the driver running on the CPU.

4% can also be explained easily by driver differences (Windows 10 driver dev forked from Windows 7 driver dev a long time ago, optimizations for Doom 2016 may have been overwritten by optimizations for newer games released since then).

lexluthermiester said:
Also incorrect. OGL pioneered shaders with the help of IDGames/John Carmack back in the heydays of the Quake series. Microsoft piggybacked OGL with a twist and was late to the game with it.
Unified shaders were introduced in Direct3D 10/Vista.
Posted on Reply
#91
lexluthermiester
FordGT90Concept said:
Likely because they gave Vulkan more optimization love than OpenGL version.
Maybe, who knows. Though to be fair, that's a test I didn't run.
FordGT90Concept said:
Unified shaders were introduced in Direct3D 10/Vista.
Ah, I see what you were saying. However, as OGL still introduced shaders to begin with, it's still a case of Microsoft piggybacking, even if they came up with a new way of doing it.
Posted on Reply
#92
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
chrcoluk said:
So the question remains if anyone knows, how do windows 7 users download dx12? Is it confirmed also if its not on windows 8.1? Answers pointing to google or other search are not valid.
They DONT!!! Which means you didn’t frickin read. It will be issued as a game patch, to work only with WoW!!!

In addition to post 1 (as @eidairaman1 mentioned), I also had already restated the issue clearly.

Direct source here:
https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/directx/2019/03/12/world-of-warcraft-uses-directx-12-running-on-windows-7/
Posted on Reply
#93
Easo
lexluthermiester said:

It can be done.
Sure, just need your own company. At which point I think maybe, just maybe using W10 normally is way easier than going out of your way to get LTSB/C/whatever it is called now to avoid some issues, whether they are real or not.
Posted on Reply
#94
R0H1T
lexluthermiester said:
How does Vulkan work without kernel level support? Simple, doesn't need it.

Incorrect.

Also incorrect.

Your statement shows you don't really understand how things work.

It'll be whatever Blizzard wants to implement.
DX12 is tied to WDDM, therefore Vulkan isn't directly comparable.

Is that it, I suppose you wouldn't like to elaborate on that or maybe not?

For emulation - no it's not incorrect.

Really, which part of that do you think I don't understand?

No, it's totally up to MS.
Microsoft is pleased to announce that we have ported the user mode D3D12 runtime to Windows 7.
https://devblogs.microsoft.com/directx/world-of-warcraft-uses-directx-12-running-on-windows-7/





http://www.anandtech.com/show/7889/microsoft-announces-directx-12-low-level-graphics-programming-comes-to-directx
Posted on Reply
#95
Sora
R0H1T said:
DX12 is tied to WDDM, therefore Vulkan isn't directly comparable.
No it isn't, and microsoft have just proven the claim that it is was a farce.
Posted on Reply
#96
R0H1T
Sora said:
No it isn't, and microsoft have just proven the claim that it is was a farce.
Tied doesn't mean mandatory.
Posted on Reply
#97
Sora
R0H1T said:
Tied doesn't mean mandatory.
till now, the implication was that of mandatory.

theres back pedalling gone down in this situation.
Posted on Reply
#98
R0H1T
Sora said:
till now, the implication was that of mandatory.

theres back pedalling gone down in this situation.
Yes tbh that was a fair assumption given what MS said in the past & they've backtracked on that, it still doesn't take anything away from the fact that WDDM under win10 introduced many kernel level changes which aren't possible on win7 without rewriting lots of code -

-
Posted on Reply
#99
MyTechAddiction
Just to add gas on the fire: AMD added support for DX12 in their latest driver for W7
"
Support For
.
.
.
DirectX® 12 on Windows®7 for supported game titles
  • AMD is thrilled to help expand DirectX® 12 adoption across a broader range of Windows operating systems with Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 18.12.2 and onward, which enables consumers to experience exceptional levels of detail and performance in their games
"

I really wonder how this slipped by "Kill W7 QA team".
Posted on Reply
#100
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
But Windows 7 still doesn't support anything greater than WDDM 1.1. What they did is add the libraries so that Direct3D 12 calls can be translated to run on WDDM 1.1. Games using the AP will gain some performance benefit from that because D3D12 is much more multithreaded and leaner but it doesn't gain all of the benefits because many were in WDDM versions since 1.1. Could Microsoft have done this a long time ago? Yes. Why have they not? D3D12 adoption in general has been painfully slow so it wasn't a priority until a heavyweight (like Blizzard) started throwing its weight around.
Posted on Reply
Add your own comment