Feature Articles

NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX / GTS (G80) - The World's First DX10 GPU

By Vijay Anand - 9 Nov 2006

DX 10 Compliancy - Efficiency Enhancements & Gelling with Windows Vista

DirectX 10 Compliancy - Efficiency Enhancements & Gelling with Windows Vista

Besides all the visual enhancements made possible with the new DirectX 10 specifications, it's also far more leaner and reduced CPU overhead for managing and altering GPU resources and calls. New features have been added to reduce CPU intervention such as texture arrays that allow many textures to be stored in an array structure allowing shader programs direct access to them instead of the CPU managing multiple textures. Predicted draw, a technique to prevent redundant overdraws by means of drawing simple box approximations of complex objects to test for occlusion before it's drawn in full or discarded, is now fully processed in GPU unlike in the past DirectX standards requiring CPU intervention. This particular feature is an addition to the usual hardware Z culling prevention measure. The third is via stream output that has been discussed earlier.

DirectX 10 has also gone leaner because it no longer supports earlier DirectX standards, which means there's no backward compatibility. Thus there are no capability bits in DirectX 10 that poll to find out what processing hardware and standards are supported. As we know it, DirectX 10 will debut with Windows Vista but since Vista will be adopting a fresh new graphics driver model known as the Window display driver model (WDDM) as well as new driver models for just about everything else as well, DirectX 10 is architected to work well hand-in-hand with the driver model. This is one of the main reasons besides starting fresh and lean as to why DirectX 10 forewent backward compatibility as it would very difficult to maintain the differing DirectX capabilities with the new driver model architecture. However, Microsoft Vista will also ship with an older DirectX library standard, but tweaked for Windows Vista's operating system and driver model. Known as DirectX 9.0L ("L" for Longhorn), it is the DirectX 9.0c equivalent of that in Windows XP. And DirectX 9.0L is further backward compatible with older DirectX standards such as 8.0 and even earlier. This will ensure that Microsoft Vista is compatible with a vast variety of hardware, but it would require a minimum standard of DirectX 9.0 to enable using it's fancy Aero interface among other more advanced features.

With this information of Windows Vista and it's DirectX support, here's how Vista will support the following working configurations of games and graphics hardware used:-

Scenario / Characteristics Game Type Graphics Hardware DirectX Interface Used
Scenario 1 DX8 DX8 class or newer DX9.0L
Scenario 2 DX9 DX9 class or newer DX9.0L
Scenario 3 DX10 DX10 DX10

Join HWZ's Telegram channel here and catch all the latest tech news!
Our articles may contain affiliate links. If you buy through these links, we may earn a small commission.