Microsoft has announced the next version of DirectX dubbed DirectX 12 Ultimate. What makes this announcement interesting is that this also aligns both PC and Xbox Series X i.e., unified graphics platform across PC and Xbox Series X. The earlier version, DirectX 12, is almost six years old now, and a significant update was due, mainly because games on Xbox are also available for PC. Microsoft recently announced Xbox Series X details, which are powered by DirectX 12 Ultimate. Let’s take a look at all the features and developer tools Microsoft is offering.
DirectX 12 Ultimate Features
Before we start, Microsoft has clearly stated that if you buy a new PC that carries the logo of DX12 Ultimate, it is guaranteed to support all next-generation graphics hardware features. It includes
- DirectX Raytracing 1.1
- Variable Rate Shading
- Mesh Shaders
- Sampler Feedback
All these features will ensure that your computer will be able to play next-generation games that depend on this. DX12 ultimate will run on the hardware of the current generation, but it will not deliver the visual benefits of the new features. The unification of the platforms will increase adoption, and inspire developers to make games for both the platforms.
1] DirectX Raytracing 1.1
It will give developers a chance to achieve a level of graphics, which was only possible in Bollywood. DirectX Raytracing or DXR makes it possible to traces paths of light with true-to-life physics calculations. It also makes it easy for game engines to render objects as the player moves around. All this is possible because the GPU can directly invoke raytracing without waiting for the CPU, allowing it to spawn immediately. It also offers an Inline raytracing hat that gives developers the option to drive more of the raytracing process. All this on the hardware level.
2] Variable Rate Shading
Developers can now electively vary a game’s shading rate. They can use the GPU to use its horsepower either for better visuals or better speed. So if its fast action paced scene, devs could instruct the GPU to use speed, and for a cinematic experience, ask it works on better visuals. The overall result is increased frame rates.
3] Mesh Shaders
This feature offers gamers more programmability power. They can now build more detailed and dynamic worlds thanks to the availability of full power of generalized GPU compute to the geometry pipeline. Instead of a single function of shade, esh shaders operate across an entire compute thread group.
Rather than a single function that shades one vertex or one primitive, mesh shaders operate across an entire compute thread group, with access to group shared memory and advanced compute features such as cross-lane wave intrinsics that provide even more fine-grained control over actual hardware execution
4] Sampler Feedback
It enables developers to load in textures when needed. So when the camera movies swiftly through the scenes, some objects look out of position. Sampler feedback will make sure to offer better visual quality, shorter load time, and less stuttering.
Which graphics card will get to use the DirectX 12 Ultimate?
NVIDIA has officially shared that the GeForce RTX series will be the first to experience this.
AMD RDNA 2 is also ready, which is AMD’s upcoming gaming architecture.
Tools and Requirement for DirectX 12 Ultimate
Microsoft has shared complete details of the tools, and the minimum requirements to develop using DirectX 12 Ultimate. It includes OS, Visual Studio, Windows Insider Preview SDK, Drivers and hardware, PIX (DirectX 12 debugger), and more.
Read more details about it on the official dev blog.