AMD Demonstrates First DirectX 11 GPU

AMD today publicly demonstrated in Taipei the world’s first DirectX 11 GPU. We won’t be getting our hands on final hardware until the end of 2009, but AMD was happy to show off that it was first on the DX11 scene.

While the games of today won’t know how to take full advantage of upcoming DX11 hardware, certain advancements in the API will make it clearly better than DX10.1.

New features such as tessellation will enable artists to make smoother and less blocky models in 3D games. DX11 is also better able to take advantage of CPUs with multiple cores. The biggest addition of all will be the compute shader, which will finally bring in the GPGPU that’s been all the buzz lately.

 “AMD has a long track record of delivering pioneering features that have gone on to become mainstays in the DirectX experience, and we’re doing it again with two mature, AMD-developed technologies in DirectX 11 – tessellation and the compute shader – both of which enable a better DirectX 11 experience for consumers,” said Rick Bergman, Senior Vice President, AMD Products Group. “Today, we’re previewing AMD’s DirectX 11 graphics processor to build enthusiasm for this key technology so developers will have games available at launch and shortly thereafter. With the benefits it delivers to gaming, applications and Windows 7, developers are lining up to get their hands on our hardware, and we’re confident that consumers will too.”

Richard Huddy, Sr. Manager Developer Relations at AMD, listed on his blog a few predictions on just what DX11 will mean to the gamer. They are:

  • We’ll see higher frame rates because the way DirectX 11 uses CPUs will be more efficient.
  • We’ll see higher frame rates because games developers will be able to use our GPUs more like CPUs.
  • We’ll see smoother, more realistic characters and more realistic terrain as we move away from blocky polygonal representations to the kind that are used in movies.
  • And a side-benefit, that will help PC gaming generally, is that the new version is easier to use, so it will help to keep game development costs down.

Unlike what was the case for Windows Vista, the new DirectX won’t be tied to the upcoming Windows 7 release. DX11 will be available as an upgrade for Windows Vista at time of release.

Curious to see what else AMD has to say about DX11? Check out the YouTube videos below.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • Kill@dor
    That's very good news about DX11. Its time to put computing levels to the limit and beyond... I'm really getting tired of buying hardware that offers marginal performance with expensive costs. These companies need to realize we are still in a recession, we still want to purchase their products, but with fair capitalism. Props to AMD for first rant/bragging rights ^_^
  • Will DX11 be available for Windows Me?
  • bigbadbrad
    when do you think the first DX11 games will hit the shelves?
  • hellwig
    Upgrade for Vista? Why didn't Microsoft ever release 10 for XP? Did they really think they could convince gamers to move to the untested Vista just by tying DX10 to the OS? Did anyone upgrade to Vista solely for DX10, and was it worth it?

    DX11 cards are good for one reason, and that reason is that we'll be seeing new GPU product lines. Maybe NVIDIA will finally create a new graphics chip, heck, maybe even two new chips, maybe.
  • FlayerSlayer
    WindowsmeloverWill DX11 be available for Windows Me?I believe it will only be available for Vista and Win7, not XP or earlier. Just like DX10.
  • so basically dx11 claims to be faster and better?
    i think i remember that claim few years ago about dx10...
    i hope microsoft can deliver as 'hyped' this time
  • pocketdrummer
    WindowsmeloverWill DX11 be available for Windows Me?
    Please tell me you're not still using that abomination of an OS...
  • sublifer
    hellwigWhy didn't Microsoft ever release 10 for XP? Did they really think they could convince gamers to move to the untested Vista just by tying DX10 to the OS?I feel the same way... I hate Vista so my gaming PC has never had it. Don't realy think I've been missing much but I guess its all relative
  • scooterlibby
    bigbadbradwhen do you think the first DX11 games will hit the shelves?
    I read that the Battlefield Bad Company 2 was easily ported to DX11 using the Frostbite engine. I think it's being released this Fall.
  • cinergy
    Some of those video links are broken/misdirected.