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!

Related Posts

Exploring the Performance and Features of DirectX 12

In the rapidly evolving landscape of computer graphics, the quest for realism and performance has been a driving force behind technological advancements. Microsoft’s answer to this challenge is DirectX 12, the latest iteration in its suite of powerful multimedia APIs. This article provides a detailed exploration of DirectX 12’s capabilities, focusing on its performance and key features that set it apart from its predecessors.

DirectX 12 represents a significant leap forward in terms of efficiency and speed. One of its most prominent features is its explicit control over CPU and GPU resources. This low-level access enables developers to extract maximum performance from both the central processing unit and graphics processing unit (GPU). The ability to directly manage GPU workloads without overheads associated with driver abstractions leads to reduced latency and improved frame rates, particularly in demanding applications such as high-resolution gaming and professional-grade video rendering.

Another standout aspect of DirectX 12 is its support for heterogeneous computing, allowing for tasks to be distributed across different types of processors within a system. This architecture is known as Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA), which promotes collaboration between the CPU, GPU, and other processors like digital signal processors (DSPs) or field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). By harnessing the strengths of these different cores, DirectX 12 can optimize the execution of parallel tasks, leading to more efficient use of system resources and enhanced computational power.

Multi-adapter technology is another area where DirectX 12 shines. It allows for the use of multiple graphics cards from different manufacturers in a single system. Not only does this provide a scalable approach to graphics output, but it also opens up possibilities for innovative rendering techniques such as multi-GPU implementations, where each GPU is tasked with rendering specific parts of a scene, greatly accelerating rendering times.

Furthermore, DirectX 12 introduces a revolutionary feature called DirectX Raytracing (DXR), which is a game-changer for achieving photorealistic visuals. DXR provides developers with the tools to create highly realistic lighting, reflections, and shadows by tracing the path of light as it interacts with objects in a 3D environment. This technique, while computationally intensive, offers unparalleled visual fidelity that was previously impossible to achieve in real-time applications.

The API also boasts robust support for texture handling, enabling higher quality textures with features such as tiled resources, which allow larger textures to be used without consuming excessive video memory. Additionally, the use of descriptor heaps and tables streamlines the management of resource binding, reducing driver overhead and improving overall throughput.

DirectX 12’s focus on efficiency extends to its command list model. Command lists are pre-compiled sets of commands that can be executed on the GPU, minimizing the amount of data that needs to be transferred between the CPU and GPU during runtime. This not only reduces the strain on the CPU but also leads to smoother gameplay and reduced input latency, giving gamers a competitive edge.

In terms of development, DirectX 12 aims to simplify the programming process with its Direct3D 12 and DirectCompute APIs. These provide clearer, more streamlined interfaces for rendering graphics and performing general-purpose computations on the GPU, respectively. Moreover, the inclusion of comprehensive debugging and diagnostic tools helps developers identify and resolve issues more efficiently, accelerating the development cycle and ensuring a smoother release of software.

Last but not least, DirectX 12 is designed with future-proofing in mind. Its architecture is flexible enough to adapt to emerging technologies and trends in the graphics industry. This ensures that it will remain relevant as hardware continues to evolve, providing developers and users with a stable platform for years to come.

In conclusion, DirectX 12 represents a monumental leap in graphics programming, offering unparalleled performance, flexibility, and efficiency. Its advanced features such as explicit resource control, heterogeneous computing support, multi-adapter technology, DirectX Raytracing, and optimized texture handling make it a powerful tool for developers aiming to push the boundaries of what’s possible in the realm of interactive media. With DirectX 12, the sky’s the limit for what developers can achieve in creating immersive and visually stunning experiences for users around the globe.

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.

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 10 Download

DirectX 10 characteristics improved 3-D graphics-rendering capabilities greatly. Furthermore, it can also promote the performance of your computers in games and high-end 3-D application programs. By applying this, games can appear with new visual effects and can deliver more visual detail within one frame.

Directx 10, which is designed around in the new driver model in Windows Vista, has great functions on rendering capabilities and flexibility, including Shader Model 4.

Directx 10.1, an upgrade version of Directx 10.0, is accompanied with and requires, Windows Vista Service Pack 1. For the graphics vendors, this release is mainly to build more image quality standards. As for the developers, this may give them more control on image quality.