The Many Faces Of 3D, Continued
With the following generation, DirectX 8, these classical accelerators made a giant step in the direction of becoming true processors. Operations and 3D effects (such as bump mapping, environment mapping, etc.) no longer had to be pre-defined or "hardwired" but could now instead simply be programmed. This has the huge advantage that game developers no longer have to rely on a collection of existing effects but can break out and create their own. Additionally, every DirectX 8 chip has to come with a prescribed minimum of features. Older 3D chips differed so widely in their feature set that game developers had to invest an enormous amount of time and effort to implement an effect in such a way that it would work on all available cards. Consequently, aside from introducing new features, DirectX 8 also had the additional benefit of standardizing hardware, thereby also ensuring that new features made it into games a lot faster as they were easier to implement. Games and benchmarks that use DirectX 8 pixel and vertex shaders include Unreal Tournament 2003, Aquanox, Max Payne 2, Morrowind and 3DMark2001.
Screenshot: Unreal Tournament 2003
Screenshot: Max Payne 2
Screenshot: Aquanox2 Revelation