WRITTEN BY Shrek
Posted on April 20 2015
Are you excited for Windows 10 and
Windows 10 is coming, what does that mean for gaming? The most exciting part of Windows 10 for gamers is the introduction of DirectX 12. You are likely to start seeing the benefits of the new graphics technology already in games released later this year.* Some CPU-bound games like MMO’s are able get a performance bump of up to 50% according to Microsoft, which just sounds epic to us!
So, DirectX 12 is coming with Windows 10, allowing for even smoother gameplay and richer game worlds. Phil Spencer from Microsoft also revealed that Unity, the most popular open-source game development engine, will also support DirectX 12, so anyone can create games that are optimized for the upcoming Windows 10 platform.
Below you see an example of the API optimizations DirectX12 yields compared to Direct11. In this particular benchmark, DirectX12 actually doubles the FPS. This looks very promising! So how does it work?
*We removed DirectX12 game related speculations from this article regarding The Witcher 3 and Batman: Arkham Knight
Above result is measured in a synthetic benchmark but nonetheless very interesting. Before we can explain the improvements, let’s talk a little history. The first version of DirectX was released in September 1995 as the Windows Games SDK (Software Development Kit). It is a collection of APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) created for operating multimedia-related tasks, especially game programming on multiple platforms.
The latest version, DirectX 12, was announced in March 2014. Which is essentially supported on Intel Haswell, now known as Intel’s fourth-gen core architecture. Besides that, the good news for gamers is that most modern GPUs on the market will already support DirectX 12, which will bring new levels of realism to gamers. DirectX 12 is smarter than ever. DirectX 12 reduces CPU overhead (essentially optimizing CPU usage) by giving developers greater control over resources, which can boost frame rates by as much as 60% due to the improvement of boosted scalability across multiple cores.
DX12 is structured to allow easier segmentation of the codes from game developers so that they can easily do multi-threading. This can make a major difference, changing an unplayable game to completely smooth gameplay. The above chart shows the benchmark results by testing Intel Core i7 5960X CPU featuring 8 cores and 16 threads in DX 11 & 12. As you can see, the results are impressive, with nearly a 6 times performance increase.
A few years ago, MSI was the world’s 1st motherboard maker to offer impressive Hydra Technology with the Big Bang Fuzion motherboard to achieve the installation of cross-vender GPUs in a single system.
Now, DirectX 12 can offer better support for multi-GPU configurations using graphics processors from NVIDIA and AMD due to obstacles like API limitations and unoptimized GPU architectures will be eliminated.
MSI X99A GAMING 9 ACK motherboard supporting 4-way NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossFire
High-performance MSI X99A GAMING 7 motherboard supporting Intel® Haswell-E CPUs
DX12 will enable true cross-platform gaming for the first time allowing play between Windows PC and Xbox One gamers. Fable Legends developed by Lionhead, one of the Microsoft-owned studios, will be the first game title to support cross-device play.
To support cross play, the Xbox App, which comes pre-installed on Windows 10 PCs and tablets, is bringing your Xbox Live friends and PC Gaming friends together. It’s also where all of your games are stored and where you can boot up your Xbox One and stream games across your home network to any Windows 10 PC or tablet. Windows 10 allows players to share their gameplay at the touch of a button, capturing the last few moments of play and saving it away to your Xbox Activity Feed, One Drive or local storage.
The first glimpses of cross-play functionality between Xbox One and Windows 10 players have been demonstrated by Microsoft. Meaning, for the first time, games released on Xbox One and Windows 10 are completely native and don’t require special access to get them to interact with one another. Also interesting for gamers is the face that Windows 10 seems to fully support Steam, which is a big draw for many PC gamers thanks to its immense library of games and simplicity. And games on Steam all work with the new features that Windows 10 offers.
Windows Holographic will be introduced with Windows 10. The software, which will be built-in, allows developers to create virtual 3D environments which can be displayed to the user via an augmented reality headset with the name HoloLens.
Some examples Microsoft gave for the use of HoloLens are: Space scientists exploring a virtual Martian landscape, totally immersive gaming, or architects and interior designers planning and visualizing construction and décor. Additionally, HoloStudio, a related software solution, will let users create a 3D, holographic model and then use a 3D printer to create it in real life.
If you are looking for a fully DirectX12-ready desktop PC, both existing Haswell/Haswell-E and Broadwell processor architectures are the right choice for future gaming.