Category Archives: Directx

Has Intel Fallen Behind the Innovation Curve with Their GPU?

Back in 2012, Intel made some big waves when their apparent demo of DirectX 11’s capabilities was found to be nothing but a ruse. Instead of actually playing a racing game on their laptop, the developers showed off a video that had been rendered previously to show off the HD graphics that Ivy Bridge was able to provide. Everyone present knew it was a video rendering, yet the development team stated that it was running live from their Ivy Bridge chip.

Fast forward now two years. Intel makes a big splash by showing off the differences between DirectX 11 and DirectX 12. They show massive reductions in CPU use and how Ivy Bridge could potentially double the frames per second because of this. Was this just another trick that Intel used because they needed “expediency” as they did in 2012?

Intel Has a Reputation For Cheating

In the past, Intel has been ready to admit that they aren’t using the actual DirectX 11 platform for their GPU. This has caused developers to bumble through more than one presentation and has left Intel scrambling to pick up the pieces afterward. An important question remains from all this, however, and it has remained unanswered for nearly two years: if Intel can admit that they aren’t using live demonstrations, then is their GPU technology really able to run DirectX?

Intel has repeatedly said that they can run DirectX 11 “just fine” on their Ivy Bridge chip. They appear to have shown this using testing software that renders massive amounts of asteroids for DirectX 12. Why doesn’t Intel tell audiences that they are using rendered videos during the demonstrations so that there is a level of transparency? Because they are unwilling to do so, then gives them the long-lasting reputation for cheating.

Is Pressing Play Really That Big of a Deal?

It’s an absolutely big deal if Intel is trying to fake their way through another DirectX presentation. DirectX 11 was an epic failure in 2012 because the “expediency” allowed for engineers and developers to render the video ahead of time in order for it to seem like a live demonstration was taking place. As any basic computer user will tell you, it takes a lot more effort to render an HD game than it does to stream an HD video.

With DirectX 12 coming in a year or so, the shading and dynamic graphics that this software allows looks to change how we think gaming should be. If Ivy Bridge is unable to stand up to the test, then Intel is really going to fall behind the innovation curve with their GPU technology. It would be safe to say that they’d even be out of the game for good if they can’t catch up. It’s understandable that they wouldn’t want to make this public knowledge, but pretending something doesn’t exist doesn’t make it go away.

It just means that you’re living in denial. Maybe it’s time for Intel to stop living in denial too.

Has the Excitement For DirectX 11 Run Its Course?

As Microsoft prepares the world for the release of DirectX 12, there’s one elephant in the room that must be addressed. That’s the fact that DirectX 11 excitement ran out of steam a long time ago. In surveys that date back to 2011, developers were less than excited about using this platform. In fact, 3 years ago and two years after DirectX 11 was released, 65% of developers were still using DirectX 10 to meet their needs.

At that point in time, there were still 7% of developers using versions as old as DirectX 8 in order to make gaming and graphics platforms. Less than 3 out of 10 developers were actually using the upgrade. What does that mean for DirectX 12 in Fall 2015?

It Means Microsoft Has an Uphill Battle

In its best case scenario, DirectX 12 looks to capture just 30% of the market by Fall 2017 if similar figures can be expected. Considering the upgrade is considered to be rather minor and only provide much of what AMD’s Mantle is already providing the market, the marketing push for DirectX 12 is in full force. There is early access available for developers. It’s been publicly included in Unreal Engine 4. It’s been promised to be apart of up to several hundred games in the coming years.

Yet, in all of this marketing hype, a collective yawn seems to be heard across the gaming world. Why is there such apathy to the DirectX 11 platform, both then and now? It isn’t because access isn’t freely given to the platform or that it isn’t incorporated into the chips that are being released. It might actually be because of the attitude that Microsoft has toward the DirectX product in general.

Why Does Microsoft Keep DirectX So Close to the Vest?

The issue with DirectX 11 was that it was initially released to be included as part of the new Windows operating system. That looks to be happened again with next year’s anticipated release of Windows 10 [or whatever it might end up being called] and it follows a history that company has had since they released Vista for the first time. People are tired of having these package upgrades that cost them more than it really should.

That’s why more than 70% of engineers and developers were using older versions rather than the new DirectX 11 back in 2011. It’s also why DirectX 11 might finally become the choice of many once the upgrade to 12 is released next year. Many platforms can produce great gaming graphics, even in rendered 3D, without the need for DirectX 11 or 12. When game designers basically tell their customers that there’s no reason to rush out to get new equipment or software upgrades, then why should they?
DirectX 12 could be immensely successful, but only if Microsoft decides to make some changes to how they let it enter the market. If they keep on course as they have for more than a decade, it looks like Fall 2015 might be the time that DirectX 11 finally gets to shine instead.

DirectX 11: Can the Heaven Benchmark Finally Be Achieved in 2015?

One of the best tools to evaluate the virtues of a graphics engine is the Heaven Benchmark. It’s based on the Unigine engine and uses many of the comprehensive graphics techniques that high level tools like DirectX 11 are supposed to be able to use. Nearly 5 years ago, when DirectX 11 was starting to make waves in the gaming world, an evaluation of what it would take to get DirectX to work as best as possible was looked at.

The result was a $2,500 rig that could only produce 22 frames per second. In comparison, the average top end smartphone can record video at 2160p and 60 frames per second. In using the Heaven Benchmark today with DirectX 12, is it possible to be able to achieve a true HD experience at least when using Microsoft’s DirectX?

The Answer, Quite Sadly, Is No – It Is Not Possible

Although Microsoft’s gaming platform has some 1080p capabilities, many of the games that are played render at 720p. It was hoped that the CPU reductions that DirectX 12 would be able to provide would help to increase the graphics output, but that just isn’t happening. In a recent Intel test, a switch from DirectX 11 to 12 allowed for up to 33 frames per second to be used on top end PC platforms, but there was virtually no change seen on the gaming console.

This means that DirectX 12 could upgrade 11’s abilities to produce better graphics, but it is still far from a good result in using the Heaven Benchmark. The graphics look fairly realistic, of course, but the amount of occlusion just doesn’t blow you out of the water. With 5 years to produce this upgrade and with technology awareness doubling twice within this twice frame, it makes one wonder what Microsoft has been doing with this product.

Did Microsoft Lose Their Way?

It is a legitimate question to ask. Microsoft missed out on the mobile market and basically ceded everything to Apple and Samsung. Their recent partnership with Nokia might pay off in the future, but the reality is that 18,000 jobs were lost in the process as the two companies combined. Although the Xbox has rebounded in the later part of 2014, it was dominated from Day 1 by the PlayStation 4. With DirectX 12, there is a real fear coming from Microsoft that it could be dominated by AMD’s Mantle API.

Microsoft seems to have lost their way. Maybe with the release of their new operating system next year, they’ll be able to find their way back again. If they do not, then will we see new developments coming out of the company? Using the Heaven Benchmark, it is clear that Microsoft is going to need some help with 12 just as they did with DirectX 11. We just don’t know how much help they’ll eventually end up needing yet.

What Are the Features of DirectX 11?

DirectX has been a program that was designed to work on Microsoft platforms so that better graphics in gaming, office software products, and even internet applications could be achieved. The first DirectX came out when Windows was still in its early stages and it has since evolved just as the Windows operating system has evolved. There are a number of exciting features in DirectX 11 that make the computer experience better, so let’s take a look at the best of those features right now.

Many Modern PC Games Utilize DirectX 11

For many games, and especially the 3D games that are available today for PC platforms, it is DirectX 11 that is the software behind the visuals. DirectX 11 also takes the sound effects that are immersive to a whole new level so that the gaming experience from a computer is more real than ever before. If you’ve got a great looking and sounding game, then you’re likely using DirectX 11 software.

The reason why the graphics in the new DirectX package look so awesome is that the software has been redesigned with the modern computer in mind. It can literally tap into the multi-core processor to provide your graphics card with better speed for each graphic, which means intense, realistic graphics can be processed at real time, even with a nuanced look.

Some computers come with a DirectX 11 GPU to enhance this processing power even further, but the software alone will have you buzzing!

What Is Tessellation and Why Should You Care?

The key to a high quality 3D image is an ability to replicate the textures and natural environments that are part of the real world. Tessellation takes a regular bump mapping screen and utilizes more polygons, triangles, and other geometric surfaces to make it seem like you’re looking at a surface with depth instead of a flat surface. This makes it possible to create curved edges and realistic movements that you won’t see in previous versions of DirectX.

The improvements in ambient occlusion in DirectX 11 are also quite notable. When light exposure isn’t realistic, then a gaming environment can’t ever become immersive because it doesn’t look real. It’s more than just making sure that the lighting isn’t too bright or that light behaves in natural ways, like creating a shadow. It means that every item has a shadow that is caused by an increase or decrease in light so that an entire image looks realistic. This also allows for game designed to create more depth within the image itself, either from the horizon [HBAO] or just from high definition graphics [HDAO].

Maybe the nicest feature is the fact that this allows for shadows to be softer as they stretch further away from the source of the item casting the shadow, which is what happens in real life.

DirectX 11 initially shipped with Windows 7 operating systems, so it has been around for a little while. If you haven’t upgraded to this software program, assuming you don’t have the GPU already installed, then do so today. You’ll soon discover that there’s a whole new world to gaming that you’ve been overlooking!

Want DirectX? Here’s How You Can Download and Install It

Do you want DirectX because of its ability to provide better, more realistic graphics? Are you wanting to download and install it today? If you’re reading this on a Windows PC, then there’s a pretty good chance that you have this software program installed by default. You probably have DirectX running right now and might not even realize it!

The one issue that users face, however, is the fact that automatic updates to the computer don’t always include DirectX. Sometimes you need to manually download the upgrades that are released so that you can get the increased graphics performance that you want. If your graphics are lagging, glitchy, or just plain bad, then it might be time for an update.

Here’s how you’re going to get this job done.

#1. Find the Latest Version

You can locate the latest version of DirectX on Microsoft’s download management website. You’ll need to select the right version for your computer in order to proceed. If you’re not sure what version of the download you need, then the full cumulative service pack is likely going to be your best option to download today. Otherwise the end-user web installer is the latest release and it will install any files you need, but don’t have.

#2. Click the Link

Once you click the link for your preferred version of DirectX, the downloading process will begin. You may need to go through multiple approvals to get the actual files to start downloading depending on what your firewall, file security, and anti-virus software requirements are. Simply approve the download and it will begin.

#3. Finish the Installation

Once the download for the update is complete, you’ll be prompted to finish the installation. Approve the installation and you’ll be taken into the Wizard screens. No matter what version of DirectX you’re running right now, it will become upgraded to the latest version after the installation is complete. This may take a few minutes to complete depending on your system and how big of an upgrade you’ve got to make.

#4. Restart Your Computer

You aren’t typically asked to restart your computer after the installation is finished, but make sure that you do. This will make sure you’ve got a stable operating system for the new DirectX files. If you have anything open at this point in time that needs to be saved, then do so before restarting the computer. You don’t have to do a full shutdown sequence – the restart command is good enough.

#5. Finish It Up!

Once your computer fully restarts, test the DirectX upgrade to see if you’ve solved the graphics problems you were having. Because DirectX taps directly into your computer’s processing power, it will often increase the speed of your graphics and give you a more realistic experience.

For most modern computers running Windows, you’ll need at least DirectX 9 to have a good experience. Upgrade to DirectX 11 and you’ll get better shadowing, movement, and immersion in sound and visuals that is pretty amazing! Download and install this software package today and you won’t be disappointed by the results.

DirectX 8.1 Runtime Download

Take fun on your computer with this update to the multimedia system services for your computer with Windows(r).

Microsoft DirectX(r) 8.1 delivers fast performance for DirectX-enabled games and other rich media software. It also provides support for the latest generation of 3-D graphics acceleration hardware.

Soft Name: DX81NTeng.exe

Size: 7.6MB

Language: English

Date Published: 11/8/2001

Supported Operating Systems:Windows 2000

DirectX 8.1 Runtime Download: Click Here to Download

DirectX 9.0b SDK Download

DirectX 9.0b SDK contains modeling package plugins for extracting skinning information for use with Directx, as well as the source code for the Mesh Viewer Utility.

Soft Name: DirectX 9.0b SDK Extras: Direct3D

Soft Size: 1.4 MB

Date Published: 12/19/2002

Language: English

Supported Operating Systems: Windows ME;Windows XP;Windows 2000;Windows 98

DirectX 9.0b SDK Download: Ciick Here to Download

DirectX Software Development Kit Download

DirectX Software Development Kit

Version: 9.29.1962

Language: English

Size: 571.7 M

Supported Operating Systems:Windows Server 2008;Windows Vista;Windows XP;Windows 7;Windows Server 2003

This DirectX SDK release contains updates to samples, documentation.tools, utilities, and runtime debug files for x64 and x86 platforms.

DirectX Software Development Kit Download: Click Here to Download

DirectX End-User Runtime Download

If you want to update 9.0c and previous versions of DirectX, you should download DirectX End-User Runtime — the core Windows® technology that drives high-speed multimedia and games on your computer.

Generally, the terminal installation not only contains the latest but also the previous released DirectX runtime. For example, this may include the bi-monthly D3DX, XInput, and Managed components. However, once been installed, this software cannot be unloaded.  It is widely used when we are going to build 3D animation and characters movements’ computer games.

DirectX End-User Runtime Download: Click here to download

DirectX 11 Features

Directx 11 runs on the Windows Vista and Windows 7, as well as future Windows operating systems. As many of the newest Windows games will make best use of this technology to create more immersive and detailed worlds and experiences.

Game developers will make use of new features to create rich worlds, realistic characters, and more fluid gameplay.

Directx 11 is a strict update version of Directx 10.1 with all hardware and API characteristics of version 10.1 are reserved.

DirectX 11 features include:

Tessellation – Tessellation is implemented on the GPU to calculate a smoother curved surface resulting in more graphically detailed images, including more lifelike characters in the gaming worlds that you explore.

Multi-Threading – The ability to scale across multi-core CPUs will enable developers to take greater advantage of the power within multi-core CPUs. This results in faster framerates for games, while still supporting the increased visual detailing.

DirectCompute – Developers can make use of the power of discrete graphics cards to accelerate both non-gaming applications and gaming. This improves graphics, while also enabling players to accelerate everyday tasks, like video editing, on their Windows 7 PC.

DirectX 11 contains security and performance upgrade as well as various new features, which can be realized by using the DirectX 11 APIs. It has become an essential technology in all PC games and 3D application programs.