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.
- Video: How AMD hardware has impacted the development of DirectX
- Video: Game developers discuss the benefits of DirectX 11
- Video: AMD demonstrates tessellation on the world’s first DirectX 11 graphics processor
- Video: Froblins technical demonstration of tessellation and compute shader use for artificial intelligence