Print 50 comment(s) - last by OKMIJN4455.. on Jan 24 at 6:38 AM

Game developers should target DirectX 11

Steam is a digital gaming delivery platform developed by Valve, makers of the Half-Life series of games. The system was developed not only to reduce losses caused by piracy, but also to reduce costs of shipping physical media and to reduce reliance on retailers. Gamers download the Steam platform from their website and are able to purchase not only the latest games for download, but also a growing list of classic games as well.

The Steam platform collects data about the type of computer hardware customers are using, which is then used to make programming decisions. For example, over 80% of Steam gamers are using multi-core systems, with almost 24% using quad-cores. This means that there is a large user base who would be able to take advantage of multi-threaded gaming. Since most games take 2-3 years to develop, spotting a trend early on can set developers on the right path early on, rather than having to patch it later.

One of the biggest questions surrounding the Windows 7 launch would be whether gamers would adopt the new operating system, or stick with the tried and true Windows XP. The latest Steam hardware survey for December shows that almost a quarter of Steam's user base has already adopted Microsoft's latest OS, and has been abandoning the 32-bit Windows XP for 64-bit versions of Windows 7.

The success of DirectX 11 has been tied into the Windows 7 OS, but DX11 can also be installed on computers running Windows Vista. Over 50% of Steam users are capable of supporting DX11 on the software side through Windows 7 or Vista, but unfortunately Steam isn't keeping track of DX11 video cards yet. Over two million DX11 GPUs have been sold by ATI so far, and game developers have been taking note. There are currently over three dozen DX11 titles that are in development or have been announced.

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By iFX on 1/21/2010 12:53:13 PM , Rating: 5
I ran Vista Ultimate 64 for a couple years before switching to Windows 7 Ultimate 64. There is absolutely no difference in gaming performance/compatibility from my experience.

IMO if you have Vista and are happy with it there is no reason to switch to Windows 7 unless you just have to have the latest and greatest.

By iFX on 1/21/2010 12:56:39 PM , Rating: 2
And just to clarify, I have had zero issues under Vista or Windows 7 with the games I play on my hardware.

By iFX on 1/21/2010 1:06:03 PM , Rating: 3
Hard to say. If I had to guess I would say your machine was filled with bloatware.

All my Vista/Win7 boxes have performed basically identically (because the OSes at the core are pretty much the same thing).

My notebook running Vista Business 32 comes out of standby in under around 5 seconds and cold boots in about 45 seconds. This is a Pentium M 1.6GHz with 2GB of ram and a 5,400 RPM HD - not high end whatsoever.

By sapiens74 on 1/21/2010 1:35:30 PM , Rating: 2
I don't run bloatware or even AV, fresh install all newest drivers, bios, and disabled services.

All my Windows 7 machines boot about 5 times slower then my MACS.

By iFX on 1/21/2010 1:45:13 PM , Rating: 5
Not trying to rag on you but if you have a slow boot on new or newish hardware with Windows 7 or Vista something is up. These OSes boot fast.

By Low Key on 1/21/2010 2:28:06 PM , Rating: 3
I would definitely check your computer because something isn't quite right. I have a laptop with a dual core and 4 gigs of ram running win 7 64 ultimate. My computer will boot up in under a minute, though I have never actually timed it. I would say it is likely something is wrong with either driver compatibility or a bad install.

By rtk on 1/21/2010 2:50:21 PM , Rating: 2
Which services did you disable?

If it was superfetch and readyboost, you killed readyboot as well.

By weskurtz0081 on 1/21/2010 4:27:37 PM , Rating: 4
Wow.... 5 times slower? Really? So, since Snow Leopard takes about 40 seconds to boot up, you are saying your Windows 7 machine takes 3:20? Wow! What are you trying to run it on, a 486 machine from the 90's? Reader1.... is that you?

By gavjof on 1/22/2010 11:25:27 AM , Rating: 2
Did you install W7 yourself? Fresh install? or did you buy a HP/PB/Acer/Etc/Etc that comes loaded with bloat?

I was amazed at how much junk was pre-loaded on my dad's Sony Viao. Top-spec machine slowed by silly little widgets and docks.

By poohbear on 1/22/2010 9:31:55 PM , Rating: 2
i think he's just trolling. some mac fanboy for sure. 5x slower than a mac?? and a mac also gives u blowjobs while u game, right?

By jonmcc33 on 1/21/2010 3:03:30 PM , Rating: 2
Gotta love it when Mac fanatics talk about boot times as if it's a perk or something.

My Windows 7 PC runs 24/7 and is only rebooted for patches/updates. Boot time does not apply.

By Noya on 1/21/2010 4:59:45 PM , Rating: 2
My Windows 7 PC runs 24/7

Same here (Vista 64). I haven't rebooted in over a month and aside from the "usual" PC uses I also game and use Photoshop and Premiere quite a bit.

By Reclaimer77 on 1/21/2010 5:42:45 PM , Rating: 4
My Windows 7 machine boots up in seconds. I have an SSD drive. Oh what's that ?? Your six thousand dollar Mac didn't come with one ? Awwww, too bad.

By iFX on 1/23/2010 4:36:08 PM , Rating: 2
Well, when you don't actually use your computer for anything you turn it on and off a lot! Har!

By Smilin on 1/21/2010 3:14:11 PM , Rating: 5
My lowly MAC boots faster with only 512mb memory

And after it boots you get to play the #1 game on Mac:

Catch the Monkey!...coming to a webpage banner advertisement near you!

By RU482 on 1/21/2010 11:45:37 PM , Rating: 2
define "crazy slow load times". I assume you are talking boot times, as you are comparing it to MAC boot times.

/seriously, how many seconds?
//has an Atom based system that boots to Win7 in 34 seconds

By Murloc on 1/22/2010 10:48:31 AM , Rating: 2
get an ssd and/or remove all useless programs that load on start (msconfig.exe)

By Nubsicles on 1/21/2010 4:09:06 PM , Rating: 2
That's funny...cuz I had to registry hack Win7 just to get Steam to work with DX11.

By KoolAidMan1 on 1/24/2010 5:32:56 AM , Rating: 2
Performance is about the same. The Vista UI completely sucks compared to Windows 7 though, that's enough for me to switch over on all my Windows machines.

Fuzzy math
By mfenn on 1/21/2010 12:19:41 PM , Rating: 5
Lets be honest about the math Jason.

You state that "roughly 60%" of Steam users can run DX11. Let's take a gander at the Steam data, shall we?

Windows XP 32 bit 44.77%
Windows Vista 32 bit 20.71%
Windows 7 64 bit 15.61%
Windows Vista 64 bit 10.00%
Windows 7 7.45%
Windows XP 64 bit 0.64%
Windows 2003 64 bit 0.64%
Windows 2000 0.10%
Other 0.08%

I've bolded the DX11 capable systems. Adding up the usage shares, we get 53.77% . This is a great number in an of itself, and suggests that game developers should target DX11 or at least DX10, but is hardly "roughly 60%".

Jason, while I agree with your sentiments, I do not agree with your methods.

RE: Fuzzy math
By mfenn on 1/21/2010 12:22:18 PM , Rating: 2
My apologies Jansen for misspelling your name. I should really not trust my auto-correct. My points still stand, however.

RE: Fuzzy math
By Jansen on 1/21/2010 12:50:34 PM , Rating: 4
I was using a hand-held calculator and probably misread a 3 for an 8. My apologies.

RE: Fuzzy math
By jonmcc33 on 1/21/10, Rating: -1
RE: Fuzzy math
By Jansen on 1/21/2010 1:24:59 PM , Rating: 3
53.77 -> 58.77

RE: Fuzzy math
By Mitch101 on 1/21/2010 1:28:07 PM , Rating: 2
0.9% Physical DX11 GPU Hardware.

ATI Radeon HD 5700 Series (+0.14%) 0.30%
ATI Radeon HD 5800 Series (+0.14%) 0.52%
ATI Mobility FireGL V5725 (+0.02%) 0.06%
ATI Radeon HD 5900 Series (+0.02%) 0.02%

Couldn't find the 56xx series but that will probably show up next month.

RE: Fuzzy math
By Mitch101 on 1/21/2010 1:41:15 PM , Rating: 2
Corrected the V5725 is based on the Radeon HD 3670 my bad.

ATI Radeon HD 5700 Series (+0.14%) 0.30%
ATI Radeon HD 5800 Series (+0.14%) 0.52%
ATI Radeon HD 5900 Series (+0.02%) 0.02%
ATI Radeon HD 5600 Series NOT REPORTED YET
0.84% Physical DX11 GPU Hardware.

Technically 0.84% that report their hardware information to steam are running DX11 able hardware.

RE: Fuzzy math
By Egglick on 1/21/2010 2:56:57 PM , Rating: 2
You can't come up with DX11 numbers by adding up each specific card. Take a look at the videocard numbers again. Over 20% are listed as "Unknown".

RE: Fuzzy math
By Mitch101 on 1/21/2010 3:21:18 PM , Rating: 2
We actually cant come up with any real numbers because most people dont use steam. I'm one in about 30 gamers I know who has adopted steam. I actually only know one other person using it.

RE: Fuzzy math
By mfenn on 1/21/2010 3:33:10 PM , Rating: 1
Wow, really?

My friends and I use Steam pretty much exclusively for PC games. It's a great source for low-budget/indie titles that are hard to find otherwise. The weekend deals are nice too.

RE: Fuzzy math
By brandonicus on 1/21/2010 6:49:43 PM , Rating: 2
Same here, I have close to 50 friends (School/Lan Parties) who play PC games and everyone of them uses steam for all new releases(lots of classics too). Yeah the weekend deals are great, and their holiday deal was just outrageous. However, as my steam account continues to grow, I find myself asking, "What happens if/when Steam/Valve gets bought out, or goes out of business?" Those who say offline mode have clearly never tried offline mode. Oh well, I'll just shut up and play my new cheap games for now.

RE: Fuzzy math
By poohbear on 1/22/2010 9:27:34 PM , Rating: 1
1 in 30 gamers???? what are u talking about??? are they all console users? that would explain it then. *rolls eyes* i and everyone i know that games on pc has installed steam at some point, and that's all it needs to collect the data. it doesnt need u to use it regularly.

RE: Fuzzy math
By geddarkstorm on 1/21/2010 1:05:29 PM , Rating: 2
Well, how "roughly" is "roughly"?

RE: Fuzzy math
By Ammohunt on 1/21/2010 1:53:03 PM , Rating: 1
I like it roughly...

RE: Fuzzy math
By OKMIJN4455 on 1/24/10, Rating: -1
By Regs on 1/21/2010 12:32:51 PM , Rating: 5
"Here at EA we believe this game would best made as a console exclusive"

But sir, look at this data from Steam.

"La-La-La-La. Can't be true if I don't see or it hear it" *covers eyes* "La-la-la-la".

By Omega215D on 1/21/2010 5:17:45 PM , Rating: 2
Heh, for some reason Penny Arcade popped into my head when reading that.

By gavjof on 1/22/2010 11:31:44 AM , Rating: 2
haha. I wish EA would just get their stuff on Steam already and stop porting lame console titles...

By KoolAidMan1 on 1/24/2010 5:30:44 AM , Rating: 2
EA already sells a significant chunk of their PC non-port library on Steam. I picked up the BF2 pack over the holidays (it was on sale and I like the convenience over my discs), C&C3 and RA3 are there, ditto Dragon Age and Spore, and I pre-ordered Battlefield: Bad Company 2 on Friday.

Check it out, they support Steam with their PC releases really well these days (and their console ports like Mirror's Edge aren't half bad).

By KoolAidMan1 on 1/24/2010 5:31:32 AM , Rating: 2
Oh, and EA also has Crysis and Crysis Warhead on Steam, that's as PC-centric a release as you can get. :)

Only less than 0.1% has a DX11 capable VGA card
By jmke on 1/21/2010 12:41:03 PM , Rating: 3
Might not want to overlook the small fact that only 0.1% actually has a DX11 capable video card according to those steam stats;)

By MrDiSante on 1/21/2010 12:50:55 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, less than 1% but more than 0.1% (ATI Radeon HD 5800 Series (+0.55%) 0.55%). Still, the point still stands, with ATI still not having any competition and nVidia's 3-series cards promising to be more of a monster (price and energy-wise) than the 2-series cards, I'd say DX11 has a while to go before it's widely used.

RE: Only less than 0.1% has a DX11 capable VGA card
By Jansen on 1/21/2010 1:28:31 PM , Rating: 2
There is much more volume of the 5700 series, which doesn't show up.

The real volume is in the 5670, 5500, and 5400 DX11 parts, which will be around two-thirds of sales.

Transitions take time...

By bh192012 on 1/21/2010 6:54:37 PM , Rating: 2
Then factor in that none of those (low end) cards will be able to use any of the DirectX 11 functionality and still run games decently.

By poohbear on 1/22/2010 9:29:21 PM , Rating: 2
depends on resolution and graphics details. dx11 can run same graphics detail but faster on slower hardware.

Steam's Hardware Survey
By drunkenmastermind on 1/21/2010 10:57:06 PM , Rating: 2
It really grates me that Steam don't present more information about total/free HD space. They go in very small increments and then just say over 1TB as the largest value.

RE: Steam's Hardware Survey
By drunkenmastermind on 1/21/2010 10:59:26 PM , Rating: 2
with 12.5% of Steam users with more than 1TB of free HD space, I want to know how much space these users have.

RE: Steam's Hardware Survey
By Sazabi19 on 1/22/2010 10:03:24 AM , Rating: 2
well i have 1tb as my main, and 4 others that account for 2 more tb. theres the info for 1 more user ^.^ also, i'm suing Win 7 but not a dx 11 card, 10.1, but not 11:( ill upgrade sometime in the future when my 4870x2 cant handle it anymore... that may take a while :o! Core i7 (I'm so sorry AMD i'll never go Intel again!!!) and 12 gigs of ram... my system boots very fast (40summod sec?). It used to be terrible becuase of my mobo (EVGA something-other classified ed.) which didnt have a quick boot option, almost threw out the new borad, cpu, and mem and go back to amd on the spot, but then i flashed BIOS and it was muuuuuuuch faster. if you are having similar probs see if quickboot is enabled... or if you have it at all.

Win 8 will be 64 bit only
By Nik00117 on 1/22/2010 4:03:15 PM , Rating: 1
Windows 8 is going be 64 bit only watch. in 3 years time the standard will be 64. it's already a quater of the market, in 3 years it'll be over 80%

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation

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