Saturday, November 29th 2008

WARP10 Brings in DirectX 10 CPU Acceleration

Back when Redmond was gearing up for the launch of Windows Vista, the PC hardware industry had its own plans, of brandishing support for the new operating system. Microsoft then came up with its “Windows Vista-Capable” hardware tag, which eventually put the company into an embarrassing situation where users would rant about their hardware, more so branded PCs and notebooks, being anything but capable of the OS. That was because vendors sold PCs with dated DirectX 9 supportive hardware, which didn’t quite qualify to be “capable” of the DirectX 10 API the OS shipped with. The company even saw itself facing charges for false marketing.

To avoid that happening with the next release of the OS, Windows 7, Microsoft shaped up the Windows Advanced Rasterization Platform (WARP10). WARP10 is a component of the DirectX 10 API that provides software rasterization for all DirectX 10 calls, using every available hardware component the PC has. Think of it as 100% software acceleration in the absence of compliant hardware. It is shipping in beta form in the November 2008 DirectX SDK. Now, even a Pentium III 800 MHz will be “capable” of rendering Direct3D 10 scenes, as Microsoft puts it. With this, Microsoft guarantees that any and every PC or notebook carrying the “Vista Capable” sticker would be able to use every single feature the OS has to offer, including DirectX 10. WARP10 benefits from multi-threaded and multi-core CPUs, with specific benefits coming out from the availability of SSE4.1 instruction sets. Microsoft claims that even the CPU in Windows Vista’s minimum system requirements list will be capable of WARP10. The excitement however, dies down when you find out just how capable today’s CPUs are in accelerating 3D: An Intel Core i7 was able to “run” Crysis, on a resolution of 800 x 600, churning out a proud 7.36 frames per second (at least it managed to beat Intel’s best integrated graphics). To learn more about WARP10, visit this page.
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51 Comments on WARP10 Brings in DirectX 10 CPU Acceleration

Swansen said:
wow, Agro, but i don't know, thats why i was asking.
didnt intend to come off negatively, sorry about that. i was completely baffled by your question, as it seemed pretty obvious to me at the time.confused is not my best state of mind.

anywho, it seems like an interesting solution to video card vendors skipping out on hardware features, if a CPU can just fill in the blanks.
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