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Microsoft Talks Hardware Acceleration in Windows 8

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.

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  • Thats great, to show us how much faster it is than windows 7, wherein they removed hardware acceleration, so that when they put it back they could tell us how much faster their new unecessary OS will be. How bout telling us how much faster it is than XP.
    Reply
  • toddybody
    I want to bitch about W8, because of all the Metro UI and mobile oriented designs. That said, these HW accelerations and boot time reductions are keeping me optimistic
    Reply
  • syrious1
    You can see the DirectX improvments in the latest buld of Office 2013 preview, check it out.
    Reply
  • hannibal
    Well in the main article they say that this is mainly to ingrease the 2D speed. And allso the speed of the most low power systems. There are some 3D improvements allso, but 2D is the area where there is the biggest advantage.
    Reply
  • EDVINASM
    I don't really care about Windows 8 other than I will have it for free (no funny stuff). I will have my fingers crossed that remote desktop will not show artefacts and rainbows when connected to though.. Hope that will be accelerated properly.
    As for Metro - I just hope it will crash and burn.
    Reply
  • CaedenV
    UCNetworkTechThats great, to show us how much faster it is than windows 7, wherein they removed hardware acceleration, so that when they put it back they could tell us how much faster their new unecessary OS will be. How bout telling us how much faster it is than XP.actually Aero in Win7 added a bit of hardware acceleration, and is the main reason why win7 runs so much smoother than Vista.

    It is changes like these that make me want win8 in spite of metro. There are tons of great little improvements like this that make win8 run smooth on my netbooks in spite of their lack of resources. Still not sold on the desktop... but I am leaning more and more towards it.
    Reply
  • back_by_demand
    At what point will the opinions of "I hatez Metroz" die down and people finally take notice of the masses and masses of actual real life improvements
    ...
    Part of me wants to get Server 2012, some of the features look PHAT!
    Reply
  • enewmen
    toddybodyI want to bitch about W8, because of all the Metro UI and mobile oriented designs. That said, these HW accelerations and boot time reductions are keeping me optimisticI was whining and complaining why phones can't run Windows and Windows applications for years. Such as running a Windows based translater, a full-size desktop type browser, REAL applications (not just castraterd "moble" versions) or simply plug in a USB keyboard & mouse and mini-HDMI to a 1080p monitor for a real DX11.1 desktop like experience I can take with me in my pocket. (just slower)
    So I'm also holding back my W8 bitching for now to keep this dream of one architecture on every size device a reality. At least any big problems will be fixed by W9.
    Reply
  • killerclick
    I don't get what's the halabaloo about faster boot times, like that can offset the constant switching between desktop and Metro you'll be forced to do, and the fact you're being pushed into the Metro walled garden where Microsoft decides which apps you can run, and the fact that you'll be using a tablet UI on your PC.

    Also, who turns off or reboots their computer, anyway? Maybe if you use a laptop, but that's not a proper computer. Last time I booted my desktop was 114 hours (almost 5 days) ago, when I was installing a new GPU. Suspend to RAM turns the computer off and on in like 5 seconds if you're worried about wasting electricity.
    Reply
  • anonymous_user
    killerclickAlso, who turns off or reboots their computer, anyway? Maybe if you use a laptop, but that's not a proper computer. Last time I booted my desktop was 114 hours (almost 5 days) ago, when I was installing a new GPU. Suspend to RAM turns the computer off and on in like 5 seconds if you're worried about wasting electricity.First I'd love to hear your definition of a "proper computer". Second there are people who dual-boot and thus reboot for that. Just because you prefer to use suspend doesn't invalidate other people's decision to reboot or shutdown.
    Reply