At the Game Developers Conference 2014, Microsoft got to talk about DirectX 12. DirectX provides the graphics API for Windows and has been the standard for the gaming industry for recent generations.
DirectX 12 brings a new version of Direct3D, a graphics API for the game engine to utilize. Direct3D 12 is faster and more efficient. It allows for higher level of details and more objects in game environments. Microsoft followed up the session at GDC with a post to the DirectX Developer Blog.
What makes Direct3D 12 better? First and foremost, it provides a lower level of hardware abstraction than ever before, allowing games to significantly improve multithread scaling and CPU utilization. In addition, games will benefit from reduced GPU overhead via features such as descriptor tables and concise pipeline state objects. And that’s not all – Direct3D 12 also introduces a set of new rendering pipeline features that will dramatically improve the efficiency of algorithms such as order-independent transparency, collision detection, and geometry culling.
Microsoft brags that these improvements will give gamer PCs the same level of performance as video game consoles, which often held an advantage because of their functional dedication. They get more detailed of how the performance is improved over Direct3D 11 improving pipeline state objects, command lists and bundles, descriptor heaps and tables. By reducing the overhead needed to manage the GPU, everybody will enjoy getting more performance out of them. The improved tools will also make it easier for developers to tap into the potential of the hardware.
The best part about DirectX 12 is that if you have a relatively recent graphics card, it should be compatible with DirectX 12 whenever it is released. NVIDIA chimed in with their own support of DirectX 12 and said the company will support the DX12 API on all DX11-class GPUs it has shipped.