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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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139. Re: DirectX 11 Preview Feb 7, 2009, 14:38 rockymeet
 
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138. Re: DirectX 11 Preview Feb 5, 2009, 13:50 Mr. Tact
 
Doesn't appear to be broken to me. Works well, finds what I am looking for. I don't know what you are doing...

That's nonsense.
LOL. Best comment I've read in a long time. I guess I was wrong, those searches I executed didn't find what I was looking for after all! Silly me.
 
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137. Re: DirectX 11 Preview Feb 4, 2009, 09:01 SpectralMeat
 
Heh are you guys still arguing over which OS is better?
To each their own I say. Problem solved, case closed.

On a separate note I tried out Mirror's Edge last night and I really like that game. Something is kinda unique about it. The graphics and physics are awesome.
 
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136. Re: DirectX 11 Preview Feb 4, 2009, 00:39 Creston
 
Wow exciting. Again it has all these cool upgrades and it will be the go to API, and it will only run on the OS that hardly anyone has. Will it also save PC Gaming?

It all sounds so terribly familiar. Oh wait.

Creston
 
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135. Re: DirectX 11 Preview Feb 4, 2009, 00:00 Bluesfanboi
 
You think animated desktops, 100% customizable Icons, colors and dialog boxes and increased desktop rendering speed are what again?

"devotes system RAM to that crap"

Your opinions, by your own words, are worthless.
 
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134. Re: DirectX 11 Preview Feb 3, 2009, 22:37 theyarecomingforyou
 
So are we discussing a non-service packed XP versus Vista SP1 now? Did someone slip that in there without me noticing? I thought this was about comparing where the 2 OSes are now and why it would behoove someone to upgrade from XP to Vista...NOW.
Therefore you'd have to surely agree that Vista is more stable now. Afterall, it's received all the same updates as XP and more, as well as the better driver model that handles driver exceptions much better. And yes, it does matter. If someone experienced bluescreens with XP then they're still going to remember that after they upgrade to SP3.

Very few PC users practice good judgment or take even the most basic precautions when they use a PC. Microsoft knew this, and that's why they saddled Vista with the extremely annoying UAC.
Nonsense. UAC was designed to stop developers writing applications that require administrator permissions - Microsoft has openly admitted this. Unfortunately the result was irritating to users but was required to get developers to reform.

Only in the most round-about sense is Vista more stable than XP. Its simply that Vista has a lot more idiot prompting and proofing than XP does.
So rewriting the driver subsystems was idiot proofing? No. It was designed to deal with unstable drivers, something we've seen from ALL the major hardware developers (ATI, nVidia, Creative). And there's no harm in helping / protecting less knowledgeable users, as they do make up the majority of the Windows userbase - that's why that stupid dog appears when you search in XP.

I have done this with XP. Both with my own system AND with other clients. You just have to know how to do it. In some cases you don't have to do anything. Its a matter of how different the chipsets are.
I went from AMD to Intel, which is about as different as you get, and did need to do anything with Vista. Meanwhile, smaller changes under XP - even just a motherboard - would prevent it booting. Again, why should you need to "know how to do it"? Windows can install fine on such hardware from clean so why can't it adapt when changes are made? The answer is it should. You seem to suggest that users should learn every intricacy / quirk of a platform instead of expecting the platform itself to be improved. Why should things be more complicated than they need be?

Do you know what I find when someone brings a PC to me thats constantly crashing and/or bluescreening? Its either a) A hardware problem. Nothing to do with the OS. b) A malware problem. And this is the BIGGEST and most frequent offender. People arbitrarily open email attachments, click on porn site pop-ups, run files from their 'friends' on messenger and install WHATEVER they find on the net without a second thought. Can we keep blaming an OS for an end-user's bad judgment?
And how is a user supposed to know that there is a hardware / driver problem? Vista addresses this by telling you this and restarting the driver instead of bluescreening like it did under XP. And yes, third-party software shouldn't be able to get Windows to bluescreen. Does that excuse users for being idiots? No.

and no it isn't arrogance to expect a bit of common sense from people
Common sense? Maybe to us informed users but not to people that don't understand how computers work. And we're not simply talking about stupid people - we're talking about lawyers, judges, etc. Educated people that simply don't have any desire to learn how to use computers properly but need to use them anyway.

You act like I've 'cheated' my way out of my rightful share of bluescreen crashes on XP because of my 'superior knowledge'.
Nonsense. I simply said that having avoided crashes and being knowledgeable yourself doesn't mean other people experience them are automatically less knowledgeable. Heck, you yourself said that most of the bluescreens you've seen are hardware related - you've just escaped the small percentage of problematic hardware. It's just arrogant to maintain that virtually every Windows issue is down to the user.

And I don't claim Vista is perfect. I've even seen a system where SP1 was installed and it completely screwed the computer. It's just that Vista has been a lot more stable and robust during the past two years than XP was during its first two years. Anyway, I'm bored of this. As already established my point isn't to convert people to Vista at all... simply to stop misinformed Vista-bashing.
 
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133. Re: DirectX 11 Preview Feb 3, 2009, 19:10 Slashman
 
What? I've had XP bluescreen simply because I installed official ATI drivers (must have been 6yrs ago) -

Are you serious? Must have been SIX YEARS ago? Yeah...that's really relevant now.

that's been largely mitigated with Vista because the driver system works differently. Even installing bad drivers shouldn't bring down an OS.

I personally have seen very few cases of a 'bad' driver bringing down XP completely. Did ATI crap up the drivers? Was that XPs fault? And if the drivers were really bad code, why should they NOT cause a crash of some kind? And can you guarantee that a bad driver won't cause some kind of crash with Vista? I can point to several pieces of software and drivers that have caused problems with Vista. I'm not sure how this proves that its more stable than XP.

Myths? I've had countless bluescreens on XP for many different reasons, while I've had none on Vista.

And I have absolutely no way of knowing what you're doing or not doing on Vista versus what you've been doing or not doing on XP.

That's not to say that XP SP3 and the latest updates would still produce those issues but XP was pretty bad at and after launch.

So are we discussing a non-service packed XP versus Vista SP1 now? Did someone slip that in there without me noticing? I thought this was about comparing where the 2 OSes are now and why it would behoove someone to upgrade from XP to Vista...NOW. XP at launch is irrelevant as far as I'm concerned.

With Vista I've even been able to replace motherboards, processors and RAM at the same time and still boot into a working OS, unlike with XP.

I have done this with XP. Both with my own system AND with other clients. You just have to know how to do it. In some cases you don't have to do anything. Its a matter of how different the chipsets are. But I have swapped my old nForce 2 mobo out for a temp board with a Via chipset while I was waiting for a replacement. Also changed processors too many times to count with that SAME build of XP. That was years ago under Service Pack 1. No OS reload. Then swapped it back. Sorry if you haven't been able to do that. Really not the fault of the OS.

It's arrogant and incorrect because you're knowledgeable and have escaped bluescreens to suggest that they only affect uninformed users.

Its not arrogance, its basic fact. Very few PC users practice good judgment or take even the most basic precautions when they use a PC. Microsoft knew this, and that's why they saddled Vista with the extremely annoying UAC. Only in the most round-about sense is Vista more stable than XP. Its simply that Vista has a lot more idiot prompting and proofing than XP does.

Do you know what I find when someone brings a PC to me thats constantly crashing and/or bluescreening? Its either a) A hardware problem. Nothing to do with the OS. b) A malware problem. And this is the BIGGEST and most frequent offender. People arbitrarily open email attachments, click on porn site pop-ups, run files from their 'friends' on messenger and install WHATEVER they find on the net without a second thought. Can we keep blaming an OS for an end-user's bad judgment?

Vista isn't malware immune. I've cleaned crap off Vista systems as well. So yes I do know what I'm talking about, and no it isn't arrogance to expect a bit of common sense from people(although the world is fast approaching this point).

You act like I've 'cheated' my way out of my rightful share of bluescreen crashes on XP because of my 'superior knowledge'. Do you have any idea how absurd that is?

 
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132. Re: DirectX 11 Preview Feb 3, 2009, 15:54 theyarecomingforyou
 
Doesn't appear to be broken to me. Works well, finds what I am looking for. I don't know what you are doing...
That's nonsense.

Stability is about managing what crap you have loaded on your PC and what kind of reliable hardware you used to build it. People who complain about instability on their PC are generally people who do the wrong things.
What? I've had XP bluescreen simply because I installed official ATI drivers (must have been 6yrs ago) - that's been largely mitigated with Vista because the driver system works differently. Even installing bad drivers shouldn't bring down an OS.

Stop spreading myths about Vista having superior stability over XP. It really isn't true.
Myths? I've had countless bluescreens on XP for many different reasons, while I've had none on Vista. That's not to say that XP SP3 and the latest updates would still produce those issues but XP was pretty bad at and after launch. With Vista I've even been able to replace motherboards, processors and RAM at the same time and still boot into a working OS, unlike with XP. It's arrogant and incorrect because you're knowledgeable and have escaped bluescreens to suggest that they only affect uninformed users. I am very knowledgeable computers having been using PCs since MS-DOS and have had problems with every version of Windows to varying degrees - even Vista, though to a much lesser extent than previous versions.

XP instability isn't a myth. However, even Vista has its stability issues - SLI is problematic and leads to many crashes on systems I've seen, though XP is no better there. But Vista featured rewritten driver models specifically to reduce crashing / bluescreens... that should not be ignored.
 
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131. Re: DirectX 11 Preview Feb 3, 2009, 15:18 Slashman
 
Yeah I'm still trying to figure what the increased stability in Vista is about. I NEVER have blue screen crashes on my XP system, but I know plenty of people who do. Likewise I know plenty of people who have Vista crashes and plenty who don't. Its not an OS problem.

Stability is about managing what crap you have loaded on your PC and what kind of reliable hardware you used to build it. People who complain about instability on their PC are generally people who do the wrong things. This I know from 14+ years of experience in IT and PC hardware support. I've been running my current build of XP for over 2 years and have never had a crash or bluescreen(well once when a stick of RAM went bad...would have happened in Vista too so meh).

Previously I had the same install of XP for over 3 years on my old Athlon XP. It was stable up until I changed to my current rig. Stop spreading myths about Vista having superior stability over XP. It really isn't true.
 
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130. Re: DirectX 11 Preview Feb 3, 2009, 15:01 Mr. Tact
 
No, but you have to dig out the OEM version software that comes with some drives or buy some.
Actually, no. I just use a freeware product. 1-2 minute download off the web.

But if it installed slower you'd use that as a negative against Vista.
Doubtful. I stopped doing frequent OS reloads about 8-9 years ago. If I was still doing that, then yeah - I might care.

Searching. -- Uh, yeah. I do that about 4 times a year.

Yeah, because in XP it's broken. With Vista it actually finds what you're looking for the majority of the time and the search bar in the Start Menu allows much quicker access to apps you know you want.
Doesn't appear to be broken to me. Works well, finds what I am looking for. I don't know what you are doing...

Like I said, give me a "good" reason to switch.

If that's not good enough then Vista probably isn't for you.
Yes, I am correct. Thank you.
 
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129. Re: DirectX 11 Preview Feb 3, 2009, 14:30 theyarecomingforyou
 
DVD playback out of box. Oh boy, it was SO HARD to load my favorite media player.
No, but you have to dig out the OEM version software that comes with some drives or buy some.

Single-click clock to bring up calender - never use my pc clock or calendar.
Fair enough, but I do.

Supported 64bit (address 4GB+ RAM)
XP Pro 64-bit, NEXT.
Hence why I put "supported" - a lot of professional software (Cubase, EastWest) doesn't support XP64 but recommends Vista64 due to the support of large amounts of RAM.

Vastly superior driver handling (checks online, minimal user interaction)
You repeat yourself, but I see why.
I meant device handling, rather than the driver subsystem mentioned above.

Hard-drive percentage use, colour coded (minor but incredibly useful)
Sequoia View and others have been doing this for free 6 years now, NEXT
The point is that it's about what is included and practical. I'd suggest that 99% of Windows users have never heard of that software.

XP + window blinds + object dock + dreamscapes is a better looking, faster performing and more compatible OS than Vista and 100% less annoying, unlike you.
LMAO. I've tried that before, sadly enough, but performance was considerably worse and nearly all the skins I've seen are shockingly bad. To suggest that as an improvement over Vista is simply delusional.

False, XP can kill unresponsive apps from the task manager if and when they happen.
Real world usage has shown me that Vista is better at handling unresponsive applications.

Better security
Lies.
Whatever. Vista has had dramatically less exploits and of a much lower threat than XP.

Better account security (passworded / logon by default)
Group Policy one second change fixes that among other things. MBSE, ever hear of it? I doubt it. Next.
Again, it's about what is default for users. Vista is by default more secure because computers require passwords and logon by default.

Install quicker. Uh, so what.
But if it installed slower you'd use that as a negative against Vista.

Searching. -- Uh, yeah. I do that about 4 times a year.
Yeah, because in XP it's broken. With Vista it actually finds what you're looking for the majority of the time and the search bar in the Start Menu allows much quicker access to apps you know you want.

Like I said, give me a "good" reason to switch.
If that's not good enough then Vista probably isn't for you.

Is it really that important to anyone to make someone believe that an OS is good or bad? I mean I don't give a shit about what OS other people are using on their system.
Of course not. My point is just to dismiss some of the misconceptions and explain why I prefer it. Vista saves me time and therefore makes me more productive. I will likely be an early adopter of Win7 if the same is true; that is if performance is improved and I have no hardware / software compatibility issues. I won't upgrade if it offers few worthwhile features and performs slower.
 
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128. Re: DirectX 11 Preview Feb 3, 2009, 09:38 Mr. Tact
 
You are right Spectral. I'm not against Vista. I'm against unnecessary change. I'm simply trying to point out to those who don't agree with you, those that think anyone using XP is missing out, that I'm not missing out on anything as far as I can tell.  
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127. Re: DirectX 11 Preview Feb 3, 2009, 09:06 Reactor
 
DVD playback out of box. Oh boy, it was SO HARD to load my favorite media player.

True, not much can replace Zoom Player for me. However, although XP does have Media Center (well, sort of) a decent version of Vista has an improved Media Center, which out of all the PVR software I've used is certainly one of the best around (if not the best).

It's a bit of a cherry on top of Vista, but it's worth noting.
 
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126. Re: DirectX 11 Preview Feb 3, 2009, 08:56 SpectralMeat
 
Is it really that important to anyone to make someone believe that an OS is good or bad? I mean I don't give a shit about what OS other people are using on their system. If you are happy with XP good for you. I like Vista because for ME and for the software I use on my computer (games and CAD/CAM applications) it is a better choice than XP. I also like the way Vista looks with the Aero and all that stuff going. My PC is powerful enough to handle all that stuff, so why not take advantage of it? Sure Vista uses more resources but what is the point of having all the resources of the World with a powerful PC and use only 20% of that and saying oh yeah I barely use any resources of my PC there is plenty of headroom. Fuck that !

So if you do not like Vista that is fine by me, no one will force you switch your OS, use whatever works for you, but to go as far as bringing up reasons to convince anyone to switch OS? Why? Who cares?
 
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125. Re: DirectX 11 Preview Feb 3, 2009, 08:25 Mr. Tact
 
Better stability (unresponsive apps fade out)
Better driver handling (driver crashes are caught before bluescreening)
Better security
Better account security (passworded / logon by default)
Better navigation of Explorer (breadcrumb)
Searching! (something I rarely used in XP but take for granted in Vista)
Hard-drive percentage use, colour coded (minor but incredibly useful)
Supported 64bit (address 4GB+ RAM)
Vastly superior driver handling (checks online, minimal user interaction)
Install (considerably quicker)
Backup imaging (Business / Ultimate only)
DVD playback out-of-the-box
Single-click clock to bring up calendar (minor change; hugely useful)

I have no stability problems with XP, so it can't have better stability only equivalent.
I can't remember the last time I have a driver crash. So, better handling of those crashes even if true is meaningless.
Better security? What security? I'm the only person using my PC, never had a virus, keylogger, or other problem. Non-issue.
Account security, repeat above.
Better navigation of Explorer. Better how? I have no issues with Explorer navigation.
Searching. -- Uh, yeah. I do that about 4 times a year.
Hard-drive percentage usage. So? I haven't filled a hard drive in over a decade.
Supported 64 bit. So? Never couldn't run something I wanted to because I wasn't 64 bit.
Vastly superior driver handling. Superior how? I have no driver issues. EVERYTHING WORKS.
Install quicker. Uh, so what.
Backup imaging. Ok, this might be actually useful, but not for me.
DVD playback out of box. Oh boy, it was SO HARD to load my favorite media player.
Single-click clock to bring up calender - never use my pc clock or calendar.

Like I said, give me a "good" reason to switch.
 
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124. Re: DirectX 11 Preview Feb 3, 2009, 01:11 Reactor
 
I'm a big Stardock fan, but... yes, I make the exact same assumption.  
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123. Re: DirectX 11 Preview Feb 3, 2009, 00:44 Beamer
 
In all honesty, the minute someone tells me they use window blinds and/or dreamscapes I assume they have Britney Spears posters on their wall and can tell you who won American Idol last night.


Could be a cruel generalization, but honestly, who devotes any RAM to that crap?
 
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122. Re: DirectX 11 Preview Feb 3, 2009, 00:22 Reactor
 
False, XP can kill unresponsive apps from the task manager if and when they happen.

After about four years of waiting, sure. Process Explorer is the only real way to kill an app under XP, and a lot of (DRM'd) games clash with it. But... task manager? Yeesh.

VLC player for XP free of Windows Media Player and free period.

Yes, and it's also ugly as all heck, clunky, and hardly plays anything back.

XP + window blinds + object dock + dreamscapes is a better looking, faster performing and more compatible OS than Vista and 100% less annoying, unlike you

Go on, tell us. You've just turned 10, haven't you?
 
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121. Re: DirectX 11 Preview Feb 2, 2009, 22:56 Bluesfanboi
 
Better stability (unresponsive apps fade out)
False, XP can kill unresponsive apps from the task manager if and when they happen. I haven't seen a blue screen in ages on XP. "fading out" is cosmetic and IE stalls in Vista as much as it stalls on XP.


Better driver handling (driver crashes are caught before bluescreening)
Perhaps, but both Audio, Video and Peripherals are arguably as unstable as XP, in fact the audio stack is 100% inferior to XP and the video subsystem is a mixed bag at best, even ignoring DX10. WDDM is not fantastic.

Better security
Lies.

Better account security (passworded / logon by default)
Group Policy one second change fixes that among other things. MBSE, ever hear of it? I doubt it. Next.

Better navigation of Explorer (breadcrumb)
Explorer can be manipulated in XP any which way, let alone be replaced completely.

Searching! (something I rarely used in XP but take for granted in Vista)
Are you nuts? XP SP3 has whatever fancy search mechanism you want if you have any need for it, let alone any superior 3rd party search utility.


Hard-drive percentage use, colour coded (minor but incredibly useful)
Sequoia View and others have been doing this for free 6 years now, NEXT.


Supported 64bit (address 4GB+ RAM)
XP Pro 64-bit, NEXT.


Vastly superior driver handling (checks online, minimal user interaction)
You repeat yourself, but I see why.


Install (considerably quicker)
Not considerably if at all. XP SP3 installs in mere minutes.


Backup imaging (Business / Ultimate only)
XP's built in backups are worthless, but any free thrid party arciving system is adequate.

DVD playback out-of-the-box
VLC player for XP free of Windows Media Player and free period.

Single-click clock to bring up calendar (minor change; hugely useful)
I use a zero click calendar for XP (hugely useful). Durr.


If those are your personal selling points for Vista, you fail hard.

Instead, try adding DRM, add OS de-activation, add cost, add less productivity and heaps of baggage, and now add Windows 7. that's Vista today. Pffft.

XP + window blinds + object dock + dreamscapes is a better looking, faster performing and more compatible OS than Vista and 100% less annoying, unlike you.

This comment was edited on Feb 2, 2009, 23:00.
 
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120. Re: DirectX 11 Preview Feb 2, 2009, 22:39 TurdFergasun
 
If you're turning Aero off and expecting a performance increase, then that's pretty substantial evidence that you don't understand Aero.

really and in what way does it not hinder windows performance within the desktop? are trying to say using a heavier 3d load on your computer is no different than no 3d load? every bit of windows eye candy slows down the OS's response time when multi tasking. My laptop starts up faster and is much more responsive as a result of turning off aero. back up your statements or it's pretty substantial evidence that you're talking out your ass.
 
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