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DirectX 12 Promises Lower-level Hardware Access On Multiple Platforms 107

Posted by Soulskill
from the closer-to-the-metal dept.
crookedvulture writes "Microsoft formally introduced its DirectX 12 API at the Game Developers Conference yesterday. This next-gen programming interface will extend across multiple platforms, from PCs to consoles to mobile devices. Like AMD's Mantle API, it promises reduced CPU overhead and lower-level access to graphics hardware. But DirectX 12 won't be limited to one vendor's hardware. Intel, AMD, Nvidia, and Qualcomm have all pledged to support the API, which will apparently work on a lot of existing systems. Intel's Haswell CPUs are compatible with DirectX 12, as are multiple generations of existing AMD and Nvidia GPUs. A DirectX 12 update is also coming to the Xbox One. The first games to support the API won't arrive until the holiday season of 2015, though. A preview release is scheduled for this year." Reader edxwelch adds that OpenGL 4.4 already has functionality similar to the improvements brought by DirectX 12 and Mantle: "The announcement of DirectX 12 was a big focus of attention at GDC yesterday. The new API will bring Mantle-like low level access to the hardware, reducing the CPU overhead. The OpenGL talk 'Approaching Zero Driver Overhead in OpenGL,' on the other hand, received considerably less media attention. The OpenGL camp maintains that the features to reduce CPU overhead are already present in the current version. They suggest using the extensions such as, multidraw indirect combined with bindless graphics and sparse textures, OpenGL can get the similar 'close to the metal' performance as Mantle and DirectX 12."
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DirectX 12 Promises Lower-level Hardware Access On Multiple Platforms

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  • A reaction? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dega704 (1454673) on Friday March 21, 2014 @10:31AM (#46543103)
    I can't help but wonder if the game development gravity that is developing around Linux had at least some part in motivating Microsoft to stop screwing around and get serious about releasing version 12.
  • Re:Let me guess... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Joce640k (829181) on Friday March 21, 2014 @10:44AM (#46543199) Homepage

    After all, why would a game developer use DX12 over DX11 (or even DX9) if it is only supported by a small subset of their market?

    That never stopped them from doing it before. XP had majority market share when DX10/11 were launched.

  • Re:Options (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mikael (484) on Friday March 21, 2014 @04:02PM (#46546235)

    It's been like that for nearly two decades now. At least since 1994, when software rendered Quake came out. SGI pushed to get OpenGL out as a software API to eliminate the need for in-house software renderers. Microsoft realized they needed their own 3D software API to keep up to date with the game industry developments. 3Dfx came out with the Glide API for hardware piggyback boards. Nvidia formed from SGI engineers who wanted to see PC boards, then there was a race to be the first fully complete TLC (texturing, lighting and clipping) hardware accelerated boards, then another race for programmable fragment shading, then vertex, geometry and compute shaders.

    The ideological battle has continued. Microsoft has always seen themselves as the supplier of software API's. In response, The Khronos consortium formed to provide an open standard alternative to proprietary API's (www.khronos.org).

Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool discovers something which either abolishes the system or expands it beyond recognition.

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