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Why do games use latest version of DirectX?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 17, 2004 11:08:22 PM

Hi,
I installed a while ago an expansion pack to Civilization 3 and the installer insisted that I install the latest DirectX - DirectX 9b. I was like WTF? This game isn't even in 3D, and the orig Civ3 was like DX7, why would the expansion need the latest version if all that is added is scenarios and stuff?
Then I thought about it, and I think that most games out there make you install a newer version than you need.
So I guess that the makers wanna make sure that you have the latest version which, supposedly, has bugs which existed in earlier versions, fixed. Still seems weird.

<b>Behold, Mine anger and My fury shall be poured out upon this place upon man and upon beast and upon the trees of the field and upon the fruit of the land and it shall burn and shall not be quenched

More about : games latest version directx

June 17, 2004 11:10:09 PM

You don't have DX9.0B?
June 17, 2004 11:15:59 PM

Not then, that was a while ago. Also, I don't remember what changed from 9.0 but I remember that it wasn't really important to me.

<b>Behold, Mine anger and My fury shall be poured out upon this place upon man and upon beast and upon the trees of the field and upon the fruit of the land and it shall burn and shall not be quenched
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June 17, 2004 11:20:18 PM

I download all the new stuff. To help my TI4200.
June 17, 2004 11:48:17 PM

I don't know when this expansion pack came out but generally speaking

expansion packs usually have updates too.

Now even though the game is 2d it still needs 3d acceleration. By doing so you get better perfomance. In Dx 7 there was something called ddraw. It is a class of functions for specifically for 2d. Dx8 they removed ddraw and this made 2d programming on dx a pain I think there needs to be some 750 lines of code to intialize 3d programming for Dx8 where you only need like 200 lines before for Ddraw.

Dx9 rolled around they added a few new functions (not ddraw but something similiar right into the core 3d libraries) which were easier to access.

As Dx evolves, its getting faster and better. Dx7 was horrid to work with, because of the millions of changes from Dx6. As was D7 to Dx8. 8 to 9 was fairlly painless. hopefully Ms continues on this road.

For a game studio to go from one version to the next update for dx is fairly common. Example Diablo 2 and its exapansion. (if you noticed the alpha blending in diablo 2: Lord of Distruction was way better then in Diablo 2. Just one of the changes from Dx8 to Dx9.

Even a 3D game they still need a 2d engine thats how textures are draw to the screen.
June 18, 2004 12:36:10 AM

very true, with out 3d acceleration daiblo 2 would have lagged.
a b U Graphics card
June 18, 2004 12:37:54 AM

Rememebr that DX isn't just video it's also audio (DirectSound) and other things, so perhaps there are some audio effect advanatages like reduced latency, or some other aspect they are exploiting.

Also remember that there was a security hole in the original DX9, was it in earlier versions too? I dunno.

IF it doesn't affect the performance of one of your games I'd always recommend keeping current, but yes some games and cards are finicky which is why sometimes the recommended fix is to roll back to an earlier version of DX, which isn't easy (at least it's now autommated through many 3rd party programs), but can be necessary.


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
June 18, 2004 11:25:30 AM

Not to dispute any of the above comments (because I agree with them :o ) but just an observation: I see no good reason to worry about why new versions of DX should not be recommended or be unnecessary. I've heard people complaining sometimes that Windows/DX updates caused problems but IMO it is because of crappy/unbalanced/incompatible hardware. Personally, (after the demise of 3Dfx) I have been building exclusively Pentium + nVIDIA based machines and I have never had ANY problems with newer versions of DX or ANY of MS Windows updates/patches. Not a single problem ever while many of my friends with AMDs/ATIs on some cheaper motherboards and no-name RAM have been complaining quite a bit.

Things are slowly changing but <font color=green>overall</font color=green> Intel/nV platforms still seem to be more reliable.

<font color=green>"The creative powers of English morphology are pathetic compared to what we find in other languages." (Steven Pinker, The Language Instinct)</font color=green> :cool:
June 18, 2004 1:27:13 PM

I tend to disagree with your statemment regarding Intel/nV systems being more stable. I have had both Intel/ATI and Intel/nV, and both systems were (and still are) rock solid systems.

IMO, an unstable system is a result of a poor choice in chipset/mob/CPU/GPU/RAM combinations.


Spec:
Intel P4 2.4B
MSI 645E Max-U Mobo
1GB DDR333
R9600XT 128MB
SB Live 5.1
WD 60GB
Maxtor 120GB
LG DVD+-R/RW
WIN2K PRO SP4
June 18, 2004 1:38:40 PM

Ditto, never really saw differences with AMD at ATi.

Back before when thier driver sets weren't the greatest yes but now they are very solid
June 18, 2004 2:39:35 PM

<A HREF="http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/libr..." target="_new">What's new for DirectX 9.0</A>

DirectX is simply a programming interface which makes it easy (supposedly) for programmers to access PC hardware, all hardware not just 3D graphics.

There have long been hooks for 2D and 3D graphics, networking, game controllers and other input devices, sound devices, MIDI instruments, keyboards, etc. Later other features were added, including controls and codecs for motion video and sound, webTV, DirectPlay (which includes realtime voice), DVD play, streaming video and sound. They are all part of DirectX.

Your CIV3 add-on may or may not actually use any of the new features. However, the programmers would have used the lastest DirectX 9.0x SDK, software development kit, and therefore you would need the latest DirectX 9.0 runtime unit to use their work.

<b>56K, slow and steady does not win the race on internet!</b>
June 18, 2004 5:19:21 PM

Quote:
Also remember that there was a security hole in the original DX9, was it in earlier versions too

Actually it was a general security hole in all dx version pretty sure.

Also another game with updates was Warlords Bsttlecry 2 and 3.

They use the same engine but just updated versions of Dx.



1
June 18, 2004 5:53:16 PM

i have a AMD processor that overclocked to the balls (2.5ghz) and a 9800pro, on a NVIDIA MOBO, and i leave my computer on for days at a time, and its 100% prime95 stable :) 



so yea, your wrong

-------
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a b U Graphics card
June 18, 2004 7:04:45 PM

I think your post was meant for Slava, no?

And, I think he's stuck in the past.

Anyone who's used the recent hardware/drivers likely got a similar experience between platforms.

A good list of 'BUGS' is that of Digit-Life in their Montly Digest;

<A HREF="http://www.digit-life.com/articles2/digest3d/0504/itogi..." target="_new">http://www.digit-life.com/articles2/digest3d/0504/itogi...;/A>

From my perspective if there is a less 'buggy' platform it would be the R3XX series or GF4ti, but ATI's R9000 makes the overall balance equal, where there is really no way you can say either is perfect or either is terrible.

The thing about rolling back DX versions, that's a personal thing, I've NEVER had a problem, but some people have had troubles running games and applications (3Dmk01 especially IIRC) after having upgraded. A clean istall may fix it, but so does rolling back the drivers. I prefer using the latest version, but hey that's just my limited experience with the gear I use. However whether it's INTEL or AMD with ATI, so far no problems. And even the old computers I used to use and the TNT or MATROX cards, I have RARELY had problems as long as everything was kept current and clean, which to me is even more important than the maker of the parts.


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by TheGreatGrapeApe on 06/18/04 01:07 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
June 18, 2004 9:54:02 PM

Maybe my next project should be an AMD/ATI system then :smile:

<font color=green>"The creative powers of English morphology are pathetic compared to what we find in other languages." (Steven Pinker, The Language Instinct)</font color=green> :cool:
a b U Graphics card
June 18, 2004 10:27:03 PM

I don't have a preference really, although I will give ATI a tie breaker based on last year's shinanigans, and if MATROX brought something in that was 80-90% as good as ATI or nV for a similar price I'd buy it period, because I trust MATROX more than those two.

AMD/INTEL, nV/ATI, SIS/VIA/nV/ATI/Intel why waste your money on anything but the best bang for your buck?


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
!