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TF2 at lower DirectX levels

So a while ago, i asked a question about how I could possibly improve my TF2 gaming experience on a HP Pavilion dv6000. I average 9 FPS. As the dv6000 doesn't really have a graphics card (that integrated piece of $#!+ doesn't really count, its so bad), I've looked around, and found that lowering my directx levels will almost double my FPS. So I've lowered it to directx 8.1 and i dno't see any problems except for the spy not showing what its currently disguised as on my screen, but i can live with that

my question is why does lowering DirectX level improve gaming performance?

Thanks
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  1. Best answer
    Well as you lower the DX level, you take away features.

    Example:

    DirectX 11 will implement Shader Model 5.0. If you run the game at DX10.1 you cannot use SM 5.0.

    In a game like TF2, the higher level features of DX9 allow for them to give the more realistic cartoonish effect (it looks cartoonish but still realistic too, kinda like the Incredibles).

    As well those features require more Shader Pixles or more processing power. Without them on, they go to a lower level that doesn't need as much power.

    Try loading a old game that used DX8 and see how many FPS you get. bet you will get a lot.

    Last one I did was Duke Nukem 3D which was DX6 I think on my HD4870. I got something like 15K FPS :O
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