The latest Building Windows 8 blog details graphics hardware acceleration in the upcoming OS which will come packed with DirectX 11.1. The company said that it's approaching the graphical user interface (GUI) from two perspectives: raw performance and battery life. To tackle both, the company has implemented a unified graphics subsystem embodied in the new version of DirectX.
According to the post, Windows 8 divides and balances the process of rendering text, shapes and images between the CPU and GPU, giving each a task that it can achieve most efficiently. Thanks to this method, Microsoft is seeing an increased framerate of up to 336-percent in rendering titles and headings (compared to Windows 7), up to 438-percent in rendering simple geometry, and a 40-percent improvement in JPEG rendering.
"To improve apps that don’t need to redraw the entire screen for each frame, we optimized how DirectX deals with redrawing just portions of the screen and how it scrolls," the blog reads. "This work not only improves app efficiency and performance, but since it reduces redundant drawing and reduces the number of times graphics data needs to be copied in memory, it also reduces power consumption, thus increasing battery life."
Microsoft also said the Metro style platform was actually built on top of DirectX -- meaning all apps take full advantage of the graphics hardware on the system, regardless of the programming language and framework the developer chooses. The post goes on to state that the new Direct3D 11.1 API is the foundation for hardware acceleration of 2D graphics and text, image processing, 3D graphics and computaton, and video.
"The new API makes it much simpler to mix different types of content in a single scene because that single API now manages all of the GPU resources associated with rendering. This also reduces memory usage by eliminating the redundancy involved in creating multiple graphics device-management objects in app code. In addition, Direct3D 11.1 provides a uniform way for apps to access the various capabilities of different graphics hardware. It provides mechanisms for the app to determine what features are available, and then only uses those capabilities. This enables apps to make maximum use of the GPU’s capabilities, whether the GPU was designed for long battery life on a tablet, or high-end gaming on a desktop PC."
To read the full blog, head here.