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Microsoft Announces DirectX 12 at GDC

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 53 comments

It’s day two of GDC in San Francisco and, as promised, Microsoft has announced the newest version of its DirectX gaming API. A sponsored GDC session dubbed "DirectX: Evolving Microsoft's Graphics Platform" was revealed earlier this month and Microsoft showed off DirectX 12 this morning alongside partners including Nvidia and AMD.

With DirectX 12 comes a new version of the Direct3D API. Microsoft promises it’s faster and more efficient than ever and is calling this ‘the API [we’ve] been waiting for.’ With support for PCs, laptops, Windows Phone devices, and Microsoft’s own Xbox One console (of course), Direct3D 12 boasts a lower level of hardware abstraction for improved multithread scaling and CPU utilization. There’s also reduced GPU overhead and a set of new rendering pipeline features that improve algorithm efficiency. Microsoft offered verification of performance improvements via 3DMark. That showed a 50 percent improvement in CPU utilization as well as improved distribution of work among threads.

Nvidia says it will support the DX12 API on all the DX11-class GPUs shipped so far, including those belonging to the Fermi, Kepler and Maxwell architectural families. Though DX12 will compete with AMD’s own Mantle API, AMD was at Microsoft’s session and Raja Kadouri did confirm DirectX 12 support for AMD’s GCN hardware.

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Top Comments
  • 27 Hide
    rad666 , March 20, 2014 2:36 PM
    I will get excited when M$ says DX12 will support Win7.
  • 25 Hide
    Treynolds416 , March 20, 2014 1:53 PM
    Quote:
    Well, I'm sure Mantle was nice while it lasted... I'm glad to see however DirectX 12 will be supported on all DirectX 11 cards... I just barely bought my GTX 770 not too long ago :) 
    Even if Mantle dies sometime soon (unlikely, imo), it will always be "nice" because it's arguably the catalyst for dx12. I'm pretty sure that even if MS was already working on it before they heard of Mantle, they would have taken development at a much slower pace and just sat on it for months or even years. Regardless of how well Mantle actually does against the other APIs, without it Kronos and MS wouldn't have bothered to update theirs. The winner in this API race is the consumer, and that wouldn't have been guaranteed without Mantle.
  • 15 Hide
    K2N hater , March 20, 2014 3:43 PM
    Hahaha I bet "due to architecture limitations in Win7 kernel" DX12 support will only be avaiable to Win8 and higher.
Other Comments
  • 0 Hide
    ajcroteau , March 20, 2014 1:45 PM
    Well, I'm sure Mantle was nice while it lasted... I'm glad to see however DirectX 12 will be supported on all DirectX 11 cards... I just barely bought my GTX 770 not too long ago :) 
  • 25 Hide
    Treynolds416 , March 20, 2014 1:53 PM
    Quote:
    Well, I'm sure Mantle was nice while it lasted... I'm glad to see however DirectX 12 will be supported on all DirectX 11 cards... I just barely bought my GTX 770 not too long ago :) 
    Even if Mantle dies sometime soon (unlikely, imo), it will always be "nice" because it's arguably the catalyst for dx12. I'm pretty sure that even if MS was already working on it before they heard of Mantle, they would have taken development at a much slower pace and just sat on it for months or even years. Regardless of how well Mantle actually does against the other APIs, without it Kronos and MS wouldn't have bothered to update theirs. The winner in this API race is the consumer, and that wouldn't have been guaranteed without Mantle.
  • 12 Hide
    Jack Bauer , March 20, 2014 1:57 PM
    Mantle won't go anywhere.Both Thief and BF4 are not build with Mantle in mind and they still provided lot of performance improvements. Also by the time DX12 is released and game with DX12 Mantle will have 2 year heads up.Considering that already is supported by Frostbyte,Unreal and Cryengine its only going to improve.Who knows , maybe in 2 years we see Mantle 2.0 ?
  • 27 Hide
    rad666 , March 20, 2014 2:36 PM
    I will get excited when M$ says DX12 will support Win7.
  • 4 Hide
    ocilfa , March 20, 2014 2:44 PM
    @rad666: For real. I saw on a different site that reported that Microsoft is on the fence with Windows 7 and that was it. Anyone feel like starting a petition?
  • 10 Hide
    skit75 , March 20, 2014 3:01 PM
    If Microsoft wants to not support Dx12 in Windows 7 hoping gamers would buy Windows 8, they have another thing coming. I would rather buy an AMD GPU and become a Mantle fanboy.
  • 13 Hide
    chuckydb , March 20, 2014 3:03 PM
    Compatible on dx11 gpu... I really didn't expect that!!! But since it is on xbox one, I can understand why MS wants to push it, and so did Nvidia to counter Mantle.
  • -2 Hide
    godfather666 , March 20, 2014 3:09 PM
    Fascinating announcement. AMD, Intel, NVidia and Qualcomm in one room?Anyway, about Win 7, it'll be 6 years old and 2 generations behind by the time DirectX 12 is released. So I don't expect it to include it. But hopefully Windows 9 will have been a step in the right direction, so it's all good.
  • -2 Hide
    knowom , March 20, 2014 3:15 PM
    DirectX 12 will probably be Windows 9 only just to troll PC gamers into buying their new OS. Ideally developers will support Steam OS along with OpenGL's new low level hardware API instead. It's time we move away from Microsoft's OS tea tax tyranny and revolt!
  • 7 Hide
    Cryio , March 20, 2014 3:17 PM
    All I think is "man, those Kaveri PCs are going to get a serious boost"
  • 5 Hide
    ern88 , March 20, 2014 3:28 PM
    So, does this mean my HD7950 will support DX12?
  • 11 Hide
    dstarr3 , March 20, 2014 3:39 PM
    As a new GTX770 owner, I'm thrilled. As a comfortable Windows 7 user, I'm sitting on my hands.
  • 15 Hide
    K2N hater , March 20, 2014 3:43 PM
    Hahaha I bet "due to architecture limitations in Win7 kernel" DX12 support will only be avaiable to Win8 and higher.
  • 3 Hide
    monsta , March 20, 2014 3:45 PM
    This is great news, look forward to seeing the difference in performance especially that it will support some direct x 11 cards. I was honestly thinking that we would have to wait till Direct X 12 cards were made available , good to see this isn't the case.
  • 4 Hide
    tomfreak , March 20, 2014 5:31 PM
    It is likely to be win8 and higher. DX11.2 is already win8.1 and higher. Guys it is Microsoft :) 
  • -5 Hide
    jimmysmitty , March 20, 2014 6:26 PM
    Quote:
    Mantle won't go anywhere.Both Thief and BF4 are not build with Mantle in mind and they still provided lot of performance improvements. Also by the time DX12 is released and game with DX12 Mantle will have 2 year heads up.Considering that already is supported by Frostbyte,Unreal and Cryengine its only going to improve.Who knows , maybe in 2 years we see Mantle 2.0 ?


    Unfortunately PC gaming does not drive the industry. I really wish it did. Yes consoles take our hardware now and use it but neither the PS4 nor XB1 support Mantle. The XB1 supports DX12 and the PS4 is OpenGL.

    We have no news if the PS4 will support the next OpenGL (the one that should also add in low level hardware support). That means the XB1 could gain an edge over the PS4 and since consoles do drive the gaming market more, so I am willing to be we wont see much more from Mantle unless AMD opens it to NVidia as well.

    Look at it this way, is a game dev going to utilize a API on the PC that is currently only for GCN and also requires AMD to update the driver for support or an API that will work on the XB1, PC and across all current DX11 hardware that is out there?

    My bet goes for DirectX 12.

    As for Windows support, I think they will add 7 support. While I like 8.1, as it is a better OS from a technical standpoint, 7 still has a much larger user base and probably will since, well people are against change.

    Of course we will have to wait and see.
  • -4 Hide
    Oldbutstillatit , March 20, 2014 6:58 PM
    Micrisoft, Nvidia, AMD all in the same room......and bed......and.......pockets........and price fixing and all the rest.
  • -2 Hide
    randomoneh , March 20, 2014 8:29 PM
    I'm not super familiar with recent developments in DirectX world so can anyone tell me is there anything new and interesting about vertex shader in recent versions?
  • 0 Hide
    renz496 , March 20, 2014 9:01 PM
    Quote:
    Mantle won't go anywhere.Both Thief and BF4 are not build with Mantle in mind and they still provided lot of performance improvements. Also by the time DX12 is released and game with DX12 Mantle will have 2 year heads up.Considering that already is supported by Frostbyte,Unreal and Cryengine its only going to improve.Who knows , maybe in 2 years we see Mantle 2.0 ?


    is there announcement about Unreal Engine going to support mantle API? about frostbite 3 and cryengine the engine might support the API (mantle) but in the end it depends on game developer itself to utilize it or not. while the idea behind mantle is nice to actually implement it will require extra resource since developer still need to make their game for directx since it only work with select few of amd gpu. honestly i want to see game developre to implement Mantle without any tied to AMD Gaming Evolved or sponsorship from AMD.

    and about directx 12 it is interesting to see that nvidia will make it available to all their DX11 gpu (means from Fermi onwards) but AMD only make GCN based gpu available to DX12. why they did not include their 5k and 6k series which is also DX11 gpu?
  • 0 Hide
    Scar89 , March 20, 2014 10:40 PM
    Quote:
    Well, I'm sure Mantle was nice while it lasted... I'm glad to see however DirectX 12 will be supported on all DirectX 11 cards... I just barely bought my GTX 770 not too long ago :) 
    +1 Just got a GTX 770 this year too and not looking to replace it for 3 yrs or so. The performance gains might not be so big on High end CPUs like my 3570k but any offloading of tasks that can be done faster on the GPU is welcomed. I just might need to 'updgrade' to win 8 though :/ .
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