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DirectX 11 Preview

Revealing The Power of DirectX 11 on AnandTech (thanks Mike Martinez) is an in-depth preview of Microsoft's next graphics API. They discuss the struggle of OpenGL versus DirectX as well as the struggle DirectX 10 has experienced gaining a foothold in a Vista-resistant environment, before going on to talk about technical details for those who can wrap their minds around all those pipelines, buffers, and shaders. They discuss DX11's advantages over DX10 in multithreading including tidbits like this that even our monkey brain can fathom: "DX11 will be able to run on down level hardware. Of course, all of the features of DX11 will not be available, but it does mean that developers can stick with DX11 and target both DX10 and DX11 hardware without the need for two completely separate implementations." Here's a bit on the long term prospects of all this entailing some good news and bad news:

All this is stacking up to make DX11 look like the goto technology. The additions to and expansions of DX10, the timing and the ability to run on down level hardware could create a perfect storm for a relatively quick uptake. By relatively quick, we are still looking at years for pervasive use of DX11, but we expect that the attractiveness of the new features and benefit to the existing install base will provide a bigger motivation for game developers to transition than we've seen before.

If only Microsoft would (and could) back-port DX11 to Windows XP, there would be no reason for game developers to maintain legacy code paths. I know, I know, that'll never (and can't by design) happen. While we whole heartedly applaud the idea of imposing strict minimum requirements on hardware for a new operating system, unnecessarily cutting off an older OS at the knees is not the way to garner support. If Windows 7 ends up being a more expensive Vista in a shiny package, we may still have some pull towards DX9, especially for very mainstream or casual games that tend to lag a bit anyway (and as some readers have pointed out because consoles will still be DX9 for the next few years). It's in these incredibly simple but popular games and console games that the true value of amazing realtime 3D graphics could be brought to the general computing populous, but craptacular low end hardware and limiting API accessibility on popular operating systems further contribute to the retardation of graphics in the mainstream.

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56. Re: DirectX 11 Preview Feb 1, 2009, 22:25 beigemore
I've been running 64bit Vista on my desktop and my gaming laptop for about a year now and I can easily say that I'll never go back to XP. I've had zero issues with either computer, and all games have run amazingly well.

Anyhow, I think it's silly for people to keep complaining about XP starting to lose support for certain things. They can't support it forever. They've got to force a change eventually. It's similar to the HD signal switch over for TV's. People have known about it for at least a year because they've been spamming the commercials on the over the air channels, yet some people still haven't purchased convertors and they will act surprised... they just need to switch and get it over with.
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