The Nvidia GeForce 8800 the 3D industry’s first chip to comply with DirectX 10 also known as WGF 2.0. Some features of this new API were described in our Windows Vista preview, but we’d want to tell you more about the capabilities and advantages of DirectX 10, now that we’ve got the first DirectX 10 compatible chip in our hands.
DirectX is the most popular and handy API for developing PC games. It is also rapidly developing in the console area: the Microsoft Xbox features hybrid Direct3D graphics cards. The Sony PlayStation 3 doesn’t use Direct3D, but is equipped with a hybrid of Nvidia’s GeForce 6/7 and GeForce 8. The success of the API from the major software developer is natural. Microsoft has been in fact defining the direction of progress in gaming 3D hardware by listening to both hardware and software developers. Adding, among other things, support for very long shaders into DirectX 9 Shader Model 3.0, Microsoft provided game developers with opportunities for further growth and also set new goals for itself.
These are the goals Microsoft tried to reach with its next-generation DirectX 10 API:
- Make it less CPU-dependent
- Offer the game developer a unified instruction set to program pixel and vertex shaders
- Increase the functionality of pixel and vertex shaders
- Provide the developer with an opportunity to create new geometric effects right in the shader
- Enable the GPU to control data streams inside itself (stream-in/stream-out) thus increasing the code execution efficiency
- Increase the efficiency of work with textures, the maximum resolution of textures
- Add support for new HDR formats and introduce other evolutionary changes
Compared with the previous versions of DirectX, DirectX 10 looks very impressive. Take a look:
The GPU developers report that Microsoft has done its job well and the new API indeed features a number of innovations over the previous version. It would take another article to review all the innovations in DirectX 10, so we’d better focus on the GeForce 8800 and its showings.