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DirectX Coming to Linux...Sort of

Microsoft is preparing to add the DirectX API support to WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux). The latest Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 will virtualize DirectX to Linux applications running on top of it. WSL is a translation layer for Linux apps to run on top of Windows. Unlike Wine, which attempts to translate Direct3D commands to OpenGL, what Microsoft is proposing is a real DirectX interface for apps in WSL, which can essentially talk to hardware (the host's kernel-mode GPU driver) directly.

To this effect, Microsoft introduced the Linux-edition of DXGkrnl, a new kernel-mode driver for Linux that talks to the DXGkrnl driver of the Windows host. With this, Microsoft is promising to expose the full Direct3D 12, DxCore, and DirectML. It will also serve as a conduit for third party APIs, such as OpenGL, OpenCL, Vulkan, and CUDA. Microsoft expects to release this feature-packed WSL out with WDDM 2.9 (so a future version of Windows 10).

AMD RDNA 2 GPUs to Support the DirectX 12 Ultimate API

AMD today announced in the form of a blog post that its upcoming graphics cards based on RDNA 2 architecture will feature support for Microsoft's latest DirectX 12 Ultimate API. "With this architecture powering both the next generation of AMD Radeon graphics cards and the forthcoming Xbox Series X gaming console, we've been working very closely with Microsoft to help move gaming graphics to a new level of photorealism and smoothness thanks to the four key DirectX 12 Ultimate graphics features -- DirectX Raytracing (DXR), Variable Rate Shading (VRS), Mesh Shaders, and Sampler Feedback." - said AMD in the blog.

Reportedly, Microsoft and AMD have worked closely to enable this feature set and provide the best possible support for RDNA 2 based hardware, meaning that future GPUs and consoles are getting the best possible integration of the new API standard.
AMD RDNA 2 supports DirectX12 Ultimate AMD RDNA 2 supports DirectX12 Ultimate AMD RDNA 2 supports DirectX12 Ultimate AMD RDNA 2 supports DirectX12 Ultimate

NVIDIA GeForce RTX GPUs to Support the DirectX 12 Ultimate API

NVIDIA graphics cards, starting from the current generation GeForce RTX "Turing" lineup, will support the upcoming DirectX 12 Ultimate API. Thanks to a slide obtained by our friends over at VideoCardz, we have some information about the upcoming iteration of the DirectX 12 API made by Microsoft. In the new API revision, called "DirectX 12 Ultimate", it looks like there are some enhancements made to the standard DirectX 12 API. From the leaked slide we can see the improvements coming in the form of a few additions.

The GeForce RTX lineup will support the updated version of API with features such as ray tracing, variable-rate shading, mesh shader, and sampler feedback. While we do not know why Microsoft decided to call this the "Ultimate" version, it is possibly used to convey clearer information about which features are supported by the hardware. In the leaked slide there is a mention of consoles as well, so it is coming to that platform as well.

AMD Financial Analyst Day 2020 Live Blog

AMD Financial Analyst Day presents an opportunity for AMD to talk straight with the finance industry about the company's current financial health, and a taste of what's to come. Guidance and product teasers made during this time are usually very accurate due to the nature of the audience. In this live blog, we will post information from the Financial Analyst Day 2020 as it unfolds.
20:59 UTC: The event has started as of 1 PM PST. CEO Dr Lisa Su takes stage.

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.

Microsoft May be Closer Than Ever to Importing Xbox Games Infrastructure to PC

In a report via Ars Technica, it seems that Microsoft is actually inching ever closer to having PCs powered by Xbox games (and Xbox servers). After the company pushed some free copies of State of Decay to a limited number of beta testers for its upcoming Windows 10 updates (and asking for feedback on the game's behavior), a number of users tried (and managed) to dig deeper.

It seems that Microsoft used the Xbox's distribution services instead of the usual Game Store ones for distributing State of Decay, which would mean a tight integration of its console distribution platform and its Windows PC one. Furthermore, the state of Decay files came in encoded on a proprietary, Xbox-bound .xvc file system. State of Decay, as it is being delivered, also tries to update the DirectX installation on the users' PC, which speaks of it being aware of some PC-specific requirements for it to be run, which wouldn't be present shouldn't that be the case. This is all part of Microsoft's GameCore initiative, which aims to build a common set of system services and APIs that allow for higher development integration between both the PC and Xbox platforms, lowering the coding barrier for games to run on both, and perhaps even enabling PCs to be recognized as equals to Xbox consoles when it comes to content distribution. Maybe we'll finally be able to get The Master Chief collection and... Red Dead Redemption in our PCs?

UL Corporation Announces 3D Mark Port Royal Raytracing Suite is Now Available - Benchmark Mode On!

Perhaps gliding through the tech-infused CES week, UL Corporation has just announced that the much-expected Port Royal, the world's first dedicated real-time ray tracing benchmark for gamers, is now available. Port Royal uses DirectX Raytracing to enhance reflections, shadows, and other effects that are difficult to achieve with traditional rendering techniques, and enables both performance benchmarking for cutthroat competition throughout the internet (and our own TPU forums, of course), but is also an example of what to expect from ray tracing in upcoming games - ray tracing effects running in real-time at reasonable frame rates at 2560 × 1440 resolution.

Codemasters Releases DirectX 12 Beta for F1 2018

Adoption rate of DirectX 12 has slowed a lot in recent months, with some titles like Hitman 2 even backtracking and offering only DirectX 11 support, even though the previous game supported both DX12 and DX11. Codemaster, developers of the Formula One game series have now announced their plans for DirectX 12 support in their game engine.

After enabling the "Beta" option in Steam, and entering passcode "244EwzNFQkfnqf4Xc6GTmgsPtT6LAbYn", you'll be able to download the DirectX 12 branch, which is identical to the regular public version in every regard, with the exception of running in DirectX 12. Your existing savegames will continue to work and you can still play online, with players using DX11 and/or DX12 - there are no limitations.

Codemasters requests feedback in this forum thread, to improve their engine, and a few issues are already known. For example SLI and CrossFire support is "not yet implemented", and some other minor issues.

Microsoft Resumes Rollout of Windows 10 October 2018 Feature Update (1809)

Originally Microsoft shelved the Windows 10 October 2018 feature update after a data-destroying bug among other problems was detected just days after its initial rollout. Now with more than a month has passed they are finally re-releasing the update after having "thoroughly investigated and resolved" the issues, according to Microsoft's John Cable, director of Program Management for Windows Servicing and Delivery.

The decision to re-release the update was reached after the careful study of diagnostic data from millions of Windows Insiders showed no further evidence of data loss. Currently, the update is only available via media and manual updates, automatic updates will be coming later. This is because Microsoft is taking a slower more methodical approach to their updates. Taking more time for careful study of device health data in order to improve the overall user experience. This new approach will take problems like application incompatibility among other things into account in order to make sure future updates do not automatically install unless known issues have been resolved. This should help reduce the frequency of problems end users encounter.

David Wang From AMD Confirms That There Will Eventually Be an Answer to DirectX Raytracing

We don't know when, but it seems AMD will someday have support for DirectX Raytracing , a feature introduced by Microsoft on March 2018. David Wang, Senior Vice President of Engineering at AMD's Radeon Technologies Group, told so in an interview on the Japanese gaming website 4Gamer. Overclock3D confirmed the comments with the assistance of a Japanese speaker who helped to translate the interview without misunderstandings. It's important to clarify that what Wang said was "a personal view", not an official statement from AMD.

Nevertheless, this executive seems to be that "AMD will definitely respond to DXR", although right now the company is focused on improving its current CG production environment based on Radeon ProRenderer. Wang went further on his comments and told also that "the spread of Ray-Tracing's game will not go unless the GPU will be able to use Ray-Tracing in all ranges from low end to high end". Therefore he thinks that ray tracing technology will not become mainstream until there is support for all types of products, from low-end to high-end, but that doesn't mean that AMD won't offer that support gradually when it sees fit. And he seems to think it will be entirely appropriate at some point, and that's what's important.

Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown System Requirements and Performance Revealed

In a continued effort to support the PC platform, BANDAI NAMCO previously announced they would be releasing Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown on PC. At the time, there was no mention of what the game's system requirements would be. However, thanks to an NVIDIA blog post, we now know not only the game's system requirements but an estimate on system performance as well- at least with their own graphics solutions.

Overall, the minimum and recommended requirements appear to be quite reasonable. BANDAI NAMCO even went so far as to make note that the recommended requirements are representative of what is needed to run the game at the 1920x1080 resolution with max settings. NVIDIA's own testing backs up those claims with the GeForce GTX 1060 offering a comfortable 100 FPS at 1920x1080, and 60 FPS at 2560x1440 resolutions. Meanwhile, those wanting to push the game at 4K will need a GeForce GTX 1080 Ti or better which should offer a steady 60+ FPS.

UL's Raytracing Benchmark Not Based on Time Spy, Completely New Development

After we've covered news of UL's (previously known as 3D Mark) move to include a raytracing benchmark mode on Time Spy, the company has contacted us and other members of the press to clarify their message and intentions. As it stands, the company will not be updating their Time Spy testing suite with Raytracing technologies. Part of the reason is that this would need an immense rewrite of the benchmark itself, which would be counterproductive - and this leads to the rest of the reason why it's not so: such a significant change would invalidate previous results that didn't have the Raytracing mode activated.

As such, UL has elected to develop a totally new benchmark, built from the ground up to use Microsoft's DirectX Raytracing (DXR). This new benchmark will be added to the 3D Mark app as an update. The new test will produce its own benchmarking scores, very much like Fire Strike and Time Spy did, and will provide users with yet another ladder to climb on their way to the top of the benchmarking scene. Other details are scarce - which makes sense. But the test should still be available on or around the time of NVIDIA's 20-series launch, come September 20th.

Intel Exhorts Developers Towards Vulkan Usage as Graphics API of Choice

Intel, via a Game Dev Developer Zone blog post, took it into its hands to urge game developers towards usage of the industry-prevalent Vulkan API. Some unapologetic puns are thrown in, such as "(...) You might say that Vulkan lets apps live long and prosper", but these are only meant to entertain. And it's well known that Intel has supported the Khronos Group and Vulkan's inception from the beginning, alongside Google. The reasons for this blog post to make it into a front page, however, are twofold.
Vulkan APIs are positioned to become one of the next dominant graphics rendering platforms.

Futuremark Showcases DirectX Raytracing Demo, Teases Upcoming 3D Benchmark Test

DirectX Raytracing (DXR) is a new feature in DirectX 12 that opens the door to a new class of real-time graphics techniques for games. We were thrilled to join Microsoft onstage for the announcement, which we followed with a presentation of our own work in developing practical real-time applications for this exciting new tech.

Accurate real-time reflections with DirectX Raytracing
Rendering accurate reflections in real-time is difficult. There are many challenges and limitations when using the existing methods. For the past few months, we've been exploring ways of combining DirectX Raytracing with existing methods to solve some of these challenges. While much of our presentation went deep into the math for our solution, I would like to show you some examples of our new technique in action.

Futuremark Introduces "Cyan Room" DX12 VR Benchmark to VRMark

Adding to its staple of benchmarking suites, Futuremark has announced the upcoming release of their latest benchmark, dubbed "Cyan Room". this is a Bioshock-esque benchmark that was made for DX12-powered, VR-enabled workloads, and should let users know just how much processing grunt they have at their disposal. It uses a pure DirectX 12 engine built in-house and optimized for VR, besides featuring "a large, complex environment and many eye-catching effects."

The Cyan Room can be explored at the users' leisure through its "Experience Mode"; it's a benchmarking experience where users can actually change the rendering resolution and other settings to make the scene more or less demanding, on the fly. This should allow users to truly gauge the difference in experience according to achieved performance in the benchmark - the company says "using Experience mode with a VR headset is a great way to see how system performance affects your VR experience." With its massive 5K rendering resolution and spectacular volumetric lighting effects, the company says it sets a high bar for future hardware generations. Cyan Room will be released on November 22 as a free update for VRMark Advanced Edition and VRMark Professional Edition.

AMD Phasing Out CrossFire Brand With DX 12 Adoption, Favors mGPU

An AMD representative recently answered PC World's query regarding the absence of "CrossFire" branding on their latest Radeon Software release, which introduced multi-GPU support for AMD's Vega line of graphics cards. According to the AMD representative, it goes down to a technicality, in that "CrossFire isn't mentioned because it technically refers to DX11 applications. In DirectX 12, we reference multi-GPU as applications must support mGPU, whereas AMD has to create the profiles for DX11. We've accordingly moved away from using the CrossFire tag for multi-GPU gaming."

AMD Announces Radeon Pro WX 9100 and Next-gen Radeon Pro SSG

At the second annual Capsaicin SIGGRAPH event, AMD unveiled new professional graphics cards designed to dramatically accelerate the pace of professional content creation today, while enabling creators to take bold new steps into the more demanding workflows of tomorrow. Based on AMD's next-generation "Vega" GPU architecture, the Radeon Pro WX 9100 and Radeon Pro SSG professional graphics cards defy convention, introducing advanced technology never before seen in the professional space that reduces or eliminates traditional content creation barriers, empowering artists, designers and engineers to better realize their visions.

"Today we're seeing the convergence of our professional markets. Real-time visualization, graphics virtualization, and machine intelligence are coming together to enable extraordinary new possibilities for professionals, and no one is better positioned to win than AMD. Radeon Pro was built on the promise of enabling the art of the impossible, giving professional content creators a means to realize even their wildest ambitions. But their visions and the technology needed to achieve them is a moving target, an unending challenge that demands more from creators and the technology they use every year. With the new Radeon Pro WX 9100 and Radeon Pro SSG, we're breaking new ground and we can't wait to see how you unleash this power," said Ogi Brkic, general manager, professional graphics, Radeon Technologies Group, AMD.

Unigine Superposition Benchmark not Good Enough for Steam

Unigine's dazzling-looking Superposition benchmark (which was due for a late 2016 launch but still hasn't made the rounds, having an expected release date on Q1 of the current year) won't be coming to your average PC gaming platform of choice: Steam.

Apparently, the absence of the benchmark on Steam isn't a choice made by Unigine itself; instead, the "Superposition" benchmark has effectively been locked from entering Steam's catalog on account of it not being "suitable" for their Greenlight initiative. And this comes on the toes of the benchmark having recently achieved the status of number one application on Greenlight - not an easy thing to do, considering the amount of applications that vie for that spot.

AMD and NVIDIA Add-in-Board GPU Market Share from 2002 to Q3/2016

The folks over at 3dcenter.org have compiled comprehensive historical GPU AIB market share data for our digestion. While we recently reported on Q3'16 and its comparison to the quarter before and the same period last year, this information spans a near 14 year quarter-on-quarter time frame. The compilers have quite helpfully included points of reference along the timeline which highlight the two major GPU manufacturers milestone desktop product line debuts.

It is worth noting that their exact numbers differ slightly to the ones Jon Peddie Research provided as 3dcenter have also cited the work of Mercury Research, which appears more conservative. The figures provided in their own graph split the difference between the two sources to give us a more impartial look at the market.

No DirectX 12 Support for "Deus Ex: Mankind Divided" at Launch

Eidos announced that its upcoming AAA title "Deus Ex: Mankind Divided," which was touted as one of the posterboys for DirectX 12 by GPU manufacturers, won't ship with DirectX 12 support at launch. The game will release on August 23, 2016, with a DirectX 11 renderer, while the DirectX 12 renderer will be added via a patch, which will release in the week of 5th September.

Eidos said that it delayed DirectX 12 support because it needs some "extra work" by the developers, followed by optimizations. "We have some extra work and optimizations to do for DX12, and we need more time to ensure we deliver a compelling experience," the release reads. "Deus Ex: Mankind Divided" releases for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 on the 23rd of August, and is the 5th entry to the smash hit cyberpunk RPG.

AMD Provides Sneak Peek of Full Line of Radeon RX Series GPUs at E3

Today at Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) AMD (NASDAQ: AMD) CEO Lisa Su delivered a pre-launch showcase of the full line of forthcoming Radeon RX Series graphics cards set to transform PC gaming this summer by delivering enthusiast class performance and features for gamers at mainstream price points. AMD previously showcased the Radeon RX 480 graphics card, designed for incredibly smooth AAA gaming at 1440p resolution and set to be the most affordable solution for premium VR experiences starting at just $199 SEP for the 4GB version. Joining the Radeon RX family are the newly announced Radeon RX 470 graphics card delivering refined, power-efficient HD gaming, and the Radeon RX 460, a cool and efficient solution for the ultimate e-sports gaming experience.

AMD Announces the FirePro S7100X Hardware-Virtualized GPU for Blade Servers

AMD today announced AMD Multiuser GPU (MxGPU) for blade servers, AMD FirePro S7100X GPU. AMD MxGPU is the industry's first and only hardware-virtualized GPU compliant with the SR-IOV (Single Root I/O Virtualization) PCIe virtualization standard. The AMD FirePro S7100X GPU is a simple, secure solution for graphics virtualization providing workstation-class experience for up to 16 users that is practically indistinguishable from a native desktop experience.

Using AMD Multiuser GPU (MxGPU) technology, the AMD FirePro S7100X GPU harnesses silicon expressly designed for graphics virtualization and conforming with the virtualization industry standard, SR-IOV to allow easy integration into existing hypervisor ecosystems. The AMD FirePro S7100X GPU is the newest addition to the AMD line of graphics virtualization products, designed in an ultra-compact form factor with a TGP of just 100W that makes it ideal for blade server deployments. Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is the first to offer the AMD FirePro S7100X GPU in HPE ProLiant WS460c Gen9 Graphics Server Blades available now.

AMD Takes 83% Share of Global VR System Market

AMD announced today at the 2016 Game Developer Conference that the company will underscore its dominance of the global virtual reality systems market. It revealed new advances in hardware and software to further the reach of VR, and unveiled its new GPU certified program that simplifies adoption of VR technology for consumers and content creators.

"AMD continues to be a driving force in virtual reality," said Raja Koduri, senior vice president and chief architect, Radeon Technologies Group, AMD. "We're bringing the technology to more people around the world through our efforts to expand the VR ecosystem with VR i-Cafés in China, new Oculus Rift and HTC Vive headsets, and a wide variety of content partners in gaming, entertainment, education, science, medicine, journalism and several other exciting fields."

AMD is also making VR more easily accessible to consumers and content creators with its GPU certified program featuring the new "Radeon VR Ready Premium" and "Radeon VR Ready Creator" tiers. Its forthcoming Polaris GPUs and award-winning AMD LiquidVR technology will simultaneously advance groundbreaking VR-optimized graphics.

Rise of the Tomb Raider to Get DirectX 12 Eye Candy Soon?

Rise of Tomb Raider could be among the first AAA games that take advantage of DirectX 12, with developer Crystal Dynamics planning a massive update that adds a new renderer, and new content (VFX, geometry, textures). The latest version of the game features an ominously named "DX12.dll" library in its folder, and while it doesn't support DirectX 12 at the moment, a renderer selection has appeared in the game's launcher. DirectX 12 is currently only offered on Windows 10, with hardware support on NVIDIA "Kepler" and "Maxwell" GPUs, and on AMD Graphics CoreNext 1.1 and 1.2 GPUs.

Matrox Announces the C900 Graphics Card with Nine DisplayPorts

Matrox Graphics Inc. today announced Matrox C900, the world's first single-slot, nine-output graphics card that supports nine 1920x1080 displays at 60Hz. The latest card in the popular Matrox C-Series line of multi-monitor graphics cards, C900 will be demonstrated for the first time at ISE 2016 (Amsterdam RAI, Feb. 9-12, stand 11-F48).

A special-purpose graphics card designed to power 3x3 and 9x1 video walls, Matrox C900's single-slot form factor and low power consumption at 75W offer digital signage and video wall vendors simpler integration and a lower cost of ownership. Its support for stretched desktop across all nine synchronized outputs lets users run any application full screen across a 3x3 video wall which makes the card ideal for signage installations in retail, corporate, entertainment and hospitality environments as well as control room video wall solutions in security, process control and transportation.
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