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DirectX 11 will make games better graphically says AMD

AMD is struggling to gain market share back that it has lost to Intel and NVIDIA in the CPU and GPU markets. AMD continues to post losses and to help turn itself around the company spun its foundry business off this year into another company.

Today at Computex in Taiwan, AMD has unveiled the world's first DirectX 11 GPU. AMD claims that the demo of the first DirectX 11 GPU gives consumers and gamers a glimpse of the significantly improved computing experience that will debut at the end of 2009.

AMD says that graphics in video games will get much better with DirectX 11 thanks to new features that game developers can take advantage of like tessellation and the compute shader. AMD claims that the compute shader will allow graphics cards to make Windows 7 run faster in a variety of applications in a manner that users will never notice. One example of the computer shader at work is the seamless acceleration of video.

“AMD has a long track record of delivering pioneering features that have gone on to become mainstays in the DirectX experience, and we’re doing it again with two mature, AMD-developed technologies in DirectX 11 – tessellation and the compute shader – both of which enable a better DirectX 11 experience for consumers,” said Rick Bergman, Senior Vice President, AMD Products Group. “Today, we’re previewing AMD’s DirectX 11 graphics processor to build enthusiasm for this key technology so developers will have games available at launch and shortly thereafter. With the benefits it delivers to gaming, applications and Windows 7, developers are lining up to get their hands on our hardware, and we’re confident that consumers will too.”

AMD says that the early introduction of a DirectX 11 capable GPU will fuel developer demand by allowing them to take advantage of DirectX 11 hardware to bring better games and applications to market. AMD reports that many developers have committed to developing games on AMD DirectX 11 capable hardware. AMD didn’t comment on an exact date when its first DirectX 11 GPU will be available to consumers.

AMD also revealed a new GPU for the embedded market this week.

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By StevoLincolnite on 6/3/2009 9:54:44 AM , Rating: 3
Unfortunately there is a small problem with moving onto Direct X 11 hardware, The Radeon 3xxx and 4xxx series supports Direct X 10.1, however nVidia has seemed to refuse to move it's over sized behemoth butt and support Direct X 10.1, how long will it take them to bring Direct X 11 hardware to the table?

Seems like nVidia has, in a way "Stalled" the advancement in graphics by not supporting Direct X 10.1 at the hardware level, ATI wasn't any better however with the Radeon x8xx series though where they didn't support SM3, and people couldn't play games on those cards when games went SM3 or higher, and yet for awhile SM2 took ages to get dropped from the supported features lists in games.

Plus the move it's taken to go from Direct X 9 to Direct X 10 seems like it's going on forever, I swear the Move from Direct X 8.1 to 9 didn't take this long!

Still, congrats to ATI, I was actually hoping that there Tessellation engine would have been taken advantage of long before now in games, and I hoped that it was going to be a feature in Direct X 10.1, it holds allot of promise from what I can gather.

Now all that's needed is the games... Something that has felt to be in a dry spell for the last few months.

RE: Problem
By murphyslabrat on 6/3/2009 10:10:32 AM , Rating: 2
Direct X 8 is still around, as I know that Valve still supports it in their Source engine. As for other developers, I don't know who still supports it.

With all settings down, I was just able to play Half-Life 2 on a Radeon 9250, and got an average of 15 fps. Now, whenever the excitement and special effects got to anything over "mild", the game did take a dip into unplayability.

RE: Problem
By omnicronx on 6/3/2009 11:11:59 AM , Rating: 2
Halflife2/Source is still DX9 based.. Sure it supports DX8, just like many other games, but it was built from the ground up with DX9 in mind.

RE: Problem
By StevoLincolnite on 6/3/2009 11:21:51 AM , Rating: 2
Half Life 2 supports Direct X 7, hence you can run it on a Geforce 256/2/4 MX, Radeon 7xxx, however your mileage will vary significantly, however Half Life 2 was released in 2004 so it's hardly cutting edge.

RE: Problem
By Mojo the Monkey on 6/3/2009 1:50:22 PM , Rating: 3
Maybe not, but with their periodic updates (ie HDR lighting and physics improvements) they still have a very powerful tool in the right hands to make some great looking games. Some of these other developers with much more powerful engines should take note.

RE: Problem
By inighthawki on 6/3/2009 4:19:26 PM , Rating: 2
The engine that hl2 was released on in 2004 is essentially a different engine than what is used now by tf2/l4d. There have been so many vast improvements under the hood from simple graphical improvements, to physics and multi-core support etc. I believe it's even now the "Source 2007" engine, not just the source engine, to signify the difference.

RE: Problem
By cheetah2k on 6/3/2009 5:53:27 PM , Rating: 2
The worry is not how long Nvidia takes to bring DX11 to the table, its more how long for game development adoption.

It has taken quite some time for even DX10 to get up, and you need some pretty decent hardware to run games with full DX10 support.

RE: Problem
By gamerk2 on 6/3/2009 11:03:13 AM , Rating: 5
DX9 is Vista, XP, ME, 2000, and 98SE.
DX10 is supported by Vista.

Users of Vista, XP, ME, 2000, and 98SE > users of Vista, so DX9 remains the dominant API. Not taking the time to port DX10 (to try to force people to switch to Vista) is the reason DX10 was a failure.

And for the record, the PS3 uses OpenGL, so please don't try the "Consoles are holding back DX" argument. Two completly different architectures; its comparing apples to oranges.

RE: Problem
By StevoLincolnite on 6/3/2009 11:23:30 AM , Rating: 2
I never even brought the consoles into that.

RE: Problem
By omnicronx on 6/3/2009 12:09:07 PM , Rating: 4
And for the record, the PS3 uses OpenGL, so please don't try the "Consoles are holding back DX" argument. Two completly different architectures; its comparing apples to oranges.
The PS3 doesnt really use OpenGl, it uses OpenGL/ES with their own proprietary extensions, it is not the same thing as OpenGL. (nor is OpenGL the same as ES)

Furthermore Consoles kind of are holding back DX. The 360's hardware is almost DX10.1 but is missing certain key components. So for cross platform games, developing for PC and 360 is very similar. Its much easier to develop for the PC/360 at the same time. Otherwise they could end up having three different development teams, PC,360 and PS3.

That being said, developers will code based on the features of the lower spec'd device, which happens to be the 360.

I've noticed that only games that are PC only seem to take advantage of all that is DX 10.1

RE: Problem
By foolsgambit11 on 6/3/2009 7:06:10 PM , Rating: 3
I think developers coding to the lowest spec'ed device would actually be coding for PC. Not your PC, I'm sure it's much more powerful than a 360. But developers code to make the game accessible to the greatest number of systems possible, which means (in the case of modern, xbox 360 ports) coding to work on the lowest-end DX10 hardware out there - and sometimes even DX9 cards.

RE: Problem
By ThePooBurner on 6/3/2009 1:12:16 PM , Rating: 3
I don't know why this was rated down. It's 100% accurate. DX 10 can only run on Vista and Win7. There were HUGE technological changes with the way that DX10 works that make it fundamentally 100% incompatible with WinXP.

THEREFORE with the fact that Vista adoption was horrible and the majority of the player-base stuck with XP there was no incentive for developers to make DX10 games because only a fraction of people could even take advantage of it. Couple that with the fact that there was only 1 provider of DX10 cards for a long time after it came out and you can see that it just wasn't feasible for companies to do it. The cost of producing and supporting 2 completely different codebases for game outweighs the benefit of having the DX10 title.

Couple this with the extremely small window between when DX10.1 came out and when we are getting DX11 and you can see why Nvidia didn't make 10.1 hardware, but also why 10.1 hasn't been used much in games yet either.

However, due to 11 being a superset of 10.1 it's worked out to a great advantage for ATi to make the switch and make up lost ground from when they took to long to get a DX10 part out. The universe is simply returning balance to the force. Nvidia got to ride the gravy train for a while while ATi had problems, now ATi gets the train while Nvidia has problems with its chips. Circle of life my friends. Circle of life.

RE: Problem
By Mojo the Monkey on 6/3/2009 1:53:31 PM , Rating: 1
There were HUGE technological changes with the way that DX10 works that make it fundamentally 100% incompatible with WinXP.

actually, you are quite wrong. it was proven many times, in some cases with working demos, that DX10 could run just fine on XP. I believe it just required installing a few background features, which did not significantly alter XP.

RE: Problem
By MatthiasF on 6/3/2009 3:18:56 PM , Rating: 5
Beliefs are great an all, but yours obviously aren't based off fact.

The Alky project failed because of too many problems with the emulation. Their DirectX 10 installation on XP caused more headaches than it was worth.

Later, someone found a way to force a DirectX 10 update to install on Windows XP, which also led to epic failure.

It's been two and a half years, face the fact it's not possible and get over it. Vista's new Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) is REQUIRED for DirectX 10 to work.

RE: Problem
By Master Kenobi on 6/3/2009 3:57:25 PM , Rating: 3
There are still many that believe Microsoft is the reason DX10 doesn't work on XP. Realistically you are however right. DX10 requires different interfacing with the hardware to work, and that means WDDM from Vista. XP's driver management just won't fly.

RE: Problem
By mindless1 on 6/4/2009 1:27:39 AM , Rating: 2
Wouldn't be a problem if DX10 installer for XP just installed WDDM too. Why don't they? There's no profit in keeping people using an old product that you'd just as soon pull resources away from.

Plus, they operate under the assumption that most licensing is through OEM or business VLKs, the former selling new systems with Vista and their older XP sold systems being marginal for modern DX10 games, while the latter aren't buying systems for gaming.

RE: Problem
By wifiwolf on 6/18/2009 7:46:56 PM , Rating: 2
there is Dx10 for xp, just have to look for it.

RE: Problem
By emboss on 6/4/2009 11:16:16 AM , Rating: 2
Just a slight point of clarification - there's no reason why the graphical features of DX10 can't work in XP. Indeed, they are mostly available through OpenGL. What isn't portable to XP is the memory management changes, which are essentially invisible to the client application.

It would likely be relatively trivial (given the DX10 source code) to create a "DX9.1" which would look (from an application point of view) nearly identical to DX10 and allow running most if not all DX10 applications on XP. Similarly, there wouldn't be a whole lot of work from the driver development side either, since most of the complicated logic would carry straight over from the DX10 drivers.

However, there's little incentive for MS to do this. Although it'd be easy, "easy" is still a non-zero amount of time, and there's no real benefit to MS from doing so.

RE: Problem
By MatthiasF on 6/5/2009 11:55:35 PM , Rating: 3
I just told you there is a reason, WDDM and UMDF.

Microsoft isn't going to give Windows XP users a major feature from their newest OS for free.

RE: Problem
By ThePooBurner on 6/3/2009 4:18:55 PM , Rating: 2
As ha been pointed out the driver model is drastically different. XP keeps the driver in the kernel and Vista does not. It's just not compatible. Those who rated my last comment down need to read more.

RE: Problem
By mindless1 on 6/4/2009 1:29:24 AM , Rating: 1
I could suggest a card game isn't compatible with a computer screen, being vertical they'll just slide into the floor, but it seems software is a way of coding things out to work.

They could make it work, and by that I don't mean they necessarily should, but they could.

RE: Problem
By ThePooBurner on 6/4/2009 10:31:34 AM , Rating: 2
Somethings are possible, yes. However, for the sake of example, do you think it would be possible to make a 64bit hardware driver run on 32 bit hardwre that is being run by 32bit software? At first iwould imagine you would say yes cause they just need to write a 32bit version. You would be wrong in this, however, because in making it 32bit in the rewrite you loose the benefits that 64bit brings and so you really haven't ported anything over at all but created something new that slightly resembles the first but doesn't really contain all the same features and benefits.

It's just not possible to port DX10 to windows XP. Even the Linux crowd has had a ton of trouble getting DX10 emulation to work compared to other versions of DX. And from what i've read (though it's been a little while since i've looked into it) even the few that got it to "work" had as many problems as those trying to make it work on XP and also lost functionality. Square peg, round hole.

RE: Problem
By Stormy Dude on 6/7/2009 5:59:06 AM , Rating: 2
How many 64-bit games are there...? Are they really 64-bit...? Kindly enlighten me someone...

RE: Problem
By ThePooBurner on 6/8/2009 5:49:30 PM , Rating: 2
You missed the point where the 64bit stuff was an example that refuted his attempt to argue with me (him stating that anything can be programmed for cause its just software, me saying that isn't so.). It was not a statement that there are 64bit games.

RE: Problem
By Belard on 6/3/2009 10:35:01 PM , Rating: 3
Say anything neg about vista, and its gets voted down by an MS worker... after all, any problems with vista is an not real.

I think if you said Vista farts are a little less stinker than XPs, it'd still get voted down.

RE: Problem
By wifiwolf on 6/3/2009 11:07:49 AM , Rating: 4
Yes, Nvidia has been holding directx 10.1 back and gave a bad excuse for that. However, acording to some article about directx 11 and some reports Nvidia is making it's next GPU a directx11 card.

I just like better AMD's trend of making early adoption and just don't like Nvidia's of selecting what they want to implement, but when it comes to developing non standard features, they excell in that :?

RE: Problem
By omnicronx on 6/3/09, Rating: -1
RE: Problem
By foolsgambit11 on 6/3/2009 7:23:33 PM , Rating: 3
You've got that backwards. DX11 is a superset of DX10.1. And it isn't a trivial exercise to move up to DX11. There are 'simple' add-ons, like tesselation, for sure. But the DX11 pipeline is different than the DX10.1 pipeline, and at least some of the rendering units have to be able to work on different kinds of data. There's the introduction of the compute shader, with its input transforms and output transforms. Texture sizes have been increased. And on and on.

Of course, one could still argue its easier to go from 10.1 to 11 than straight from 10. But nVidia has had as much time to develop post-10 hardware as AMD. And they've got more resources to utilize.

For the end user, though, you're right that in gaming, most people won't notice much of a difference outside tessellation, and people using the GPU for other tasks will notice an obvious GPGPU functionality improvement. But to say it like those aren't big differences... come on.

RE: Problem
By nafhan on 6/3/2009 11:21:15 AM , Rating: 2
The move to DX9 took forever as well.
I had a Radeon 9500 Pro (softmodded) for quite a while before I ever ran a DX9 game.
DX11 is a superset of DX10/10.1 and from what I remember reading, DX11 games will run on DX10 hardware, just slower than it would on a DX11 GPU.

RE: Problem
By StevoLincolnite on 6/3/2009 11:32:56 AM , Rating: 2
Remember the Assassins creed controversy? :P

RE: Problem
By phatboye on 6/3/2009 11:59:45 AM , Rating: 5
I would blame how long it took to move to DX10/10.1 from DX 9 on MS's refusal to backport DX10/10.1 to Windows XP and not on NVidia. MS is more at fault for that.

RE: Problem
By Mitch101 on 6/4/2009 10:05:13 AM , Rating: 3
I think its really a matter of sales. Developers want to make games based on the highest possible number of sales they can achieve. Its like when developers wait until a certain number of consoles have been sold before they port their game over to that console. Until a good number of machines are sold with DX11 hardware then the majority of games will be written with DX9/DX10 in mind with maybe a few enhancements for DX11. DX10.1 only benefits the ATI camp and while its a nice performance bump it was C-Blocked by NVIDIA. Whatever it will soon be in the past with DX11 and everyone will embrace Windows 7 so we can move forward.

Now the reason I mentioned DX9 is because a lot of people were convinced not to go to Vista. So were pretty stuck on XP level gaming because of the people who refused to upgrade for various reasons. Understandable because I did have video capture and scanners not supported in Vista. I certainly feel the majority of games are DX9 with some DX10 enhancements but not full blown DX10 games except Crysis. From my understanding Crysis didnt sell well because it was limited by the hardware base. It eventually picked up but they probably wont be as cutting edge again with DX11 hardware specs. So Microsoft dropped the ball for letting Apple beat up Vista but they also dropped the ball because Vista drivers were bad at launch so the OS got the bad rap and games got gyped on DX10 because XP popularity remained strong. Thus were kind of stuck in DX9 land until DX11.

I am happy to see Windows 7 is so darn good and so many people embracing it. I look forward to when we can all agree on DX11 and its popularity gives us some games that take full advantage of what it has to offer. Game on.

RE: Problem
By Yojimbo on 6/3/2009 12:19:33 PM , Rating: 2
yeah, graphics development is stunted forever because nvidia never supported directx 10.1. (sarcasm)

RE: Problem
By Mojo the Monkey on 6/3/2009 1:54:45 PM , Rating: 2
go read about the BS they pulled with assassins creed.

RE: Problem
By mindless1 on 6/4/2009 1:30:54 AM , Rating: 2
One whole game? Shame the industry won't develop a 2nd one.

RE: Problem
By tviceman on 6/4/2009 10:07:22 AM , Rating: 2
Nvidia hasn't stalled graphical advancements, developers creating games based around console hardware has stalled advancements.

I don't blame them for it is a business and they must maximize their profits, but it is what it is.

Will we ever see gaming on *nix machines?
By phatboye on 6/3/2009 11:53:25 AM , Rating: 2
I seriously wish the Khronos group would get off their ass and produce something to compete with MS's DirectX technology. It sucks having to dual boot or play games through wine.

RE: Will we ever see gaming on *nix machines?
By Kaldor on 6/3/2009 1:27:52 PM , Rating: 2
Unlikely unfortunately. Id love to see Open GL actually doing something so that devs would start using it again in their games. Is there anyone still using GL for games on the PC?

By boldingd on 6/3/2009 6:16:00 PM , Rating: 2
Unlikely unfortunately. Id love to see Open GL actually doing something so that devs would start using it again in their games. Is there anyone still using GL for games on the PC?

(I wasn't going to mention OpenGL, but...)
You and everyone else. The OpenGl community has patiently waited for OpenGL to change in any useful way - to simplify itself; to drop years of hacked-on features; to grow new, modern capabilities - and it's just been sitting there moldering for a loooong time. The fact that it's the only API for non-Windows 3D work - and therefore Mac and Linux 3D programmers have to use it - is the only thing that's keeping it alive.

RE: Will we ever see gaming on *nix machines?
By InternetGeek on 6/3/2009 4:50:35 PM , Rating: 2
I binged the Khronos Group and found their page quite interesting. However, I can't see why Nvidia or ATI would not integrate whatever they come up with in their drivers so it would work on Windows....

By foolsgambit11 on 6/3/2009 7:30:37 PM , Rating: 2
Just curious: are you paid by Microsoft to come onto forums and post subtle and context-appropriate comments to promote their newest search engine? Maybe I just thought this because this is the first use of 'to bing' that I've seen, and it seems a little odd.

RE: Will we ever see gaming on *nix machines?
By InternetGeek on 6/3/2009 11:30:16 PM , Rating: 2
No at all. I can't see why it'd be wrong anyways. I can write 'wiki it' and no one would care.

By mindless1 on 6/4/2009 1:34:55 AM , Rating: 2
It's because people like to use the best products and bing, it just isn't, so it looks suspicious when you make the extra effort to mention it, especially since it isn't a commonly used word one would use, given bing hasn't existed till recently. Wiki on the other hand, most popular of it's type and not new anymore.

Obviously given all the above, it would be completely impossible for you not to be under MS employ. Now stand still so we can stone you. :-)

By Belard on 6/3/2009 9:39:30 AM , Rating: 5
I peed myself.

By FaceMaster on 6/3/2009 10:12:50 PM , Rating: 2
I peed myself.
I did too, but then I read the article and felt happier again. Then I peed myself again.

GPU secifications?
By dastruch on 6/3/2009 9:55:13 AM , Rating: 2
Any technical details on that processor apart from DX11 features?

RE: GPU secifications?
By psychobriggsy on 6/3/2009 10:04:22 AM , Rating: 2
It's between 180 and 200 mm^2, so smaller than 55nm RV770, but bigger than 40nm RV740 (138mm^2).

It's hard to believe that it's got 1200+ shader cores from these dimensions. Maybe it's trying for higher shader clocks instead.

Maybe that wafer wasn't an actual "Evergreen" wafer.

RE: GPU secifications?
By FITCamaro on 6/3/2009 10:28:54 AM , Rating: 2
It's 40nm as well.

DX 11
By frozentundra123456 on 6/3/2009 9:00:02 PM , Rating: 2
I hope that DX11 will be more efficient than DX10 hardware wise. I still play most games in DX9 mode because I don't have a very powerful GPU (HD4650), and moving to DX10 lowers performance very dramatically with little improvement in visual quality.

What will happen to DX9? Will new games still support it??
It is not often that developers support 3 DX modes simultaneously.

By FXi on 6/3/2009 9:44:18 PM , Rating: 2
If Nv had even 'working' silicon they'd have done a "me too" demo. This proves they have nothing that runs DX11...

"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke
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