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DirectX 11 to Revolutionize PC Gaming

In 2010 DirectX 11 will do what DirectX 10 should have done: change the PC gaming experience.

Screenshort from Dirt 2 game with DirectX 11 enhancements

The release of DirectX 10 application programming interface (API) back in late 2006 has not brought any substantial changes to the market of PC games due to a number of reasons:

  • Back in 2006 the current-generation game consoles were brand new and all the game developers concentrated on creating titles for Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation 3, which are based on DirectX 9 shader model 3.0-like graphics chips, as well as Nintendo Wii, which has rather outdated graphics engine.
  • Windows Vista started very slowly and loads of gamers still used Windows XP, which only supported DirectX 9 shader model 3.0
  • Performance of the first-generation performance-mainstream DirectX 10 graphics chips (ATI Radeon HD 2600/3600, Nvidia GeForce 8600) was so low that they could barely compete against DirectX 9 chips in DirectX 9 games, they were simply incapable of running next-generation games. As a result, game developers did not have a lot of stimulus to create DirectX 10 games.

With DirectX 11 the situation seems to be a whole lot different:

  • PC video games are dying for improvement and progress to be different from console games.
  • DirectX 11 is supported by both established Windows Vista as well as Windows 7, which is rapidly gaining share.
  • The first-generation performance-mainstream DirectX 11 hardware (ATI Radeon HD 5750/5770) offers tangibly higher performance than previous-generation performance-mainstream solutions.

In addition, DirectX 11 not only supports new features, but also handles DirectX 10 capabilities on DirectX 10 hardware better. Therefore, the DX11 will not only improve quality of video games on newer hardware, but will also boost performance of the installed hardware. 

Screenshort from Uningine Benchmark that utilizes numerous DirectX 11 features, including tesselation

Analyst Dean McCarron from Mercury Research has already said that transition to DirectX 11 API will the fastest in history and he seems to be completely correct. The first games that take advantage of DirectX 11 were out just a couple of months after the hardware and software launches and more are incoming in 2010. It looks like DirectX 11 will finally improve PC video game experience.

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