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Microsoft speaks DirectX 10 - 9/3/2005 6:53:03 AM   

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Games Developers Conference Europe WGF is dead, please welcome DX10

Microsoft finally saw sense and decided to drop Windows Graphic Foundation (WGF) and replace it with the more easier and logical DirectX 10 name for its nexgen API.

It gave some details to the developers officially about its upcoming API and we know that it plans to release this API together with Longhorn. Or Visa, as we must learn to call it.

The DirectX 10 API will have completely new and faster dynamic link libraries (DLLs) and is supposed to run much faster. The company decided to cut the backward compatibility with DirectX 9, 8, 7 and lower in this API but there will be a way to use games programmed for those APIs. Microsoft will enable support for DX 9 or lower games through a software layer, meaning it might run slower.

The company did this to make the next API faster, it said, and at the same time will take some burden of the CPU runtime. At the same time we learned that DirectX 10 will have support for Shaders beyond Shaders, model 4.0.

It's coming with Longhorn but we learned that Shader Model 4.0 might come even before Vista.

Source : The Inquirer
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RE: Microsoft speaks DirectX 10 - 9/3/2005 11:01:31 AM   


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Can't see a link?

If it represents a significant break in the backward compatibility, a new name, rather than "DirectX 10", would have been better.

Interesting to see how the permutation pan out, as regard software layers and compatibility.

Since it would be probable that it becomes available while the majority of software and hardware is still DX9 or lower, and people will probably upgrade without reading in full, the case of DX9 card / DX9 driver / DX9 software must be well catered for.

For producers to USE a new DX10 API, it will also need to have decent compatibility with their minimum spec. or their market sector would be limited to those who purchased DX10 hardware.

Obviously, the ideal will be new DX10 card, DX10 driver, DX10 software.
Those running existing games on new hardware will want good performance from DX10 card, DX10 driver, DX9 software.
Those running new games on existing hardware will be interested in - DX9 card, DX9/10 driver, DX10 software.

To treat backward compatibilty as an afterthought, seems to be an ill-considered move.

Actually, with the unified drivers of both ATI and Nvidia, it would seem that the old cards will very likely get DX10 compliant drivers, so long as the lack of hardware capabilities can be allowed for - eg. a Geforce 2 can be currently used under DX7 card / DX9 driver conditions, though WHAT it can run is getting limited - for modern games, it seems that DX8 would be a more practical minimum target.

(in reply to WinThusiast)
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