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Graphics Games Technology

AMD Previews DirectX 11 Gaming Performance 103

An anonymous reader writes "AMD invited 100 people up to their private suite in the hotel that Quakecon 2009 is being hosted at for a first look at gaming on one of their upcoming DirectX 11 graphics cards. This card has not been officially named yet, but it has the internal code name of 'Evergreen,' and was first shown to the media back at Computex over in Taiwan earlier this year. The guys from Legit Reviews were shown two different systems running DX11 hardware. One system was set up running a bunch of DX11 SDKs and the other was running a demo for the upcoming shooter Wolfenstein. The video card appears to be on schedule for its launch next month."
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AMD Previews DirectX 11 Gaming Performance

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  • Except (Score:1, Insightful)

    by emkyooess (1551693)

    Problem with DirectX11: Requires Windows Vista or 7.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Bigger problem: Probably runs worse than directx9 with it's only "advantages" being one or two minor shader effects (geometry shaders...) and a lot of games that arbitrarily lock things to Dx11 mode when they could run just fine in dx9 mode.

      • Re:Except (Score:5, Informative)

        by Suiggy (1544213) on Saturday August 15, 2009 @01:37PM (#29077417)
        You are dead wrong. Direct3D 11 and Shader Model 5.0 is quite the step up from Direct3D 9 and SM 3.0. If you were a graphics developer you would know this. From Wikipedia:
        • Tessellation to increase at runtime the number of visible polygons from a low detail polygonal model.
        • Multithreaded rendering to render to the same Direct3D device object from different threads for multi core CPUs.
        • Compute shaders which exposes the shader pipeline for non-graphical tasks such as stream processing and physics acceleration, similar in spirit to what NVIDIA CUDA achieves, and HLSL Shader Model 5 among others.

        It also has a lot of awesome smaller features that make doing what are known as deferred shading/lighting pipelines more feasible. This is a good thing because it simplifies the amount of work needed in implementing game's material system while offering great performance at the cost of more GPU memory being used.

        • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

          I remember the marketspeak about dx10, nobody did anything particularly impressive with THAT either.

          • Re:Except (Score:4, Informative)

            by Suiggy (1544213) on Saturday August 15, 2009 @01:54PM (#29077583)
            Most game developers are skipping Direct3D 10 because it's explicitly tied to Vista and it has poor market share compared to Windows XP/Direct3D 9.0c. The hope is that most current gamers on Windows XP will eventually move to Windows 7, and that Direct3D 11 enjoys the same long life span as Direct3D 9.0, ending up in the console from Microsoft.
        • Certainly, there are a few features that speed rendering up, while making it look better.

          But those same features were probably available on older cards - just not exposed in the API. I saw an OpenGL Parallax Occlusion demo years back, running on a GeForce 6 or 7. (Can't recall which)

          HDAO looks nice, but the performance hit is massive. I just know there's going to be a few games that force it on, completely tanking your framerate for a few shadows. :P

          And yes, framerate dropping to 10% is completely tanking.

      • From my viewpoint the changes made in recent releases of DirectX are no small matter, to label such things as "minor shader effects" shows your ignorance of the subject. The DirectX SDK [] contains wonderful documentation if you are so inclined to learn.

        I'm not arguing for or against Microsoft platforms but the fact remains DirectX is currently the de facto standard in creating games. And even though it's a COM based technology, it's still kinda fun to play with.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by DAldredge (2353)
      Why is that a problem?
    • I am not planning to go to Vista or 7 any time soon. Maybe in a few years when MS and other companies drop support it. I am still happy and fine with my old XP Pro. SP3 (IE6).

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Attaturk (695988)
        I was totally with you right up to the mention of IE6. :P
        • by antdude (79039)

          What's wrong with IE6? Do you use it? I rarely use it except for Windows/MS Update and Web sites that don't work with Mozilla's Web browsers. :(

      • I'd still use win 2k if MS pumped out more security updates for it. To me that OS was the best MS ever produced. However, if I want to use an MS OS then it is XP now. How long until MS starts pushing for 7 and XP users are forced to upgrade for security reasons just like Win2k users where?

        • by antdude (79039)

          Um, MS still supplies security updates for W2K and its IE6. The hard part is some recent, latest, and upcoming softwares don't work in it. :( But for old stuff, it rocks (still use it for that case).

  • A name brand video card designed just for X11! This a great day for FOSS, an ---
    What? Direct X 11? What's tha --
    Oh hell, nevermind.
  • Direct X 11!!!oneone?
  • Drivers drivers... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    How about they fix their win7 drviers for not-so-old but still great performing cards like the X1800 ? Nvidia customers are having a great time with win7 atm, and even Intel integrated graphics are performing better, but I've got several friends with less than 2 year old ATI cards that perform great, but have no real driver support with trashy, even BSOD drivers from ATI for win7.
    • by equex (747231)
      Funny you should say that, I had my ATI 2600 HD cards BSOD me last night for the first time on Win7. It was the ati2dvag bug, wich is also prevalent on XP and Linux. First time I've had a BSOD with the ATI cards, usually the ATI VPU Recovery driver kicks in and saves me. There is no VPU recovery on Linux though.
    • they probably will once windows 7 is out.

    • I wouldn't consider the X1800 a "great" performing card by any means. Upgrade.
    • by cskrat (921721)

      If you do not have the hardware to support Windows 7 then don't upgrade. If your graphics card is the only thing holding you back then take a stroll over to Newegg [] and start upgrading.

      Complaining about hardware that was designed for Windows XP not working in Vista/Win7 is really akin to complaining about hardware that worked fine in Win95/98/ME not working or working well in XP. Eventually you have to upgrade hardware to run modern software. If you think ATI is choosing to end support for a legacy product t

    • by TyFoN (12980)

      I'll buy an ATI card when they make usable linux drivers with accelerated video like vdpau. Right now the nvidia blob is so much better and i dont really care that it is closed source. I've have a couple of friend that use ATI, and the only reason they still have windows on the computer is the crappy ATI linux support.

  • by bomanbot (980297) on Saturday August 15, 2009 @01:42PM (#29077469)
    Well I read TFA and besides the new capabilities of DirectX 11 (which look nice, but not exactly earth-shattering to me and also will need some time to get implemented into games anyway), what I found interesting was what ATI actually did with the display output connectors.

    The demo system they set up had one of those new DirectX 11 cards and that card is a dual-slot solution as all the highend graphics cards are now. But ATI did use the space from those two slots quite nicely by including dual DVI ports AND a HDMI AND a DisplayPort connector meaning you have all the different types of digital display connectors available on a single card, which would be a first, I think.

    No word yet whether you can use all four ports simultaneously, but if you could, it looks like a nice new way of hooking up multiple displays :)
    • by westlake (615356)

      But ATI did use the space from those two slots quite nicely by including dual DVI ports AND a HDMI AND a DisplayPort connector meaning you have all the different types of digital display connectors available on a single card, which would be a first, I think.

      I would like to see multiple HDMI outputs. The one cable - one connector - solution for audio and video.

      • by Mr. DOS (1276020)

        See, this is what I don't get - why does everyone think HDMI is so awesome? It's just DVI with a couple extra pins for audio. It's not inherently higher-quality; does it have a sufficiently higher bandwidth capacity than DVI + TOSLINK that it makes an impact in real-world environments (24fps 1080p video/5.1 surround sound)? And how is having your video card double as a sound card a good idea? Isn't that just asking for aural interference from the video components?

        --- Mr. DOS

        • See, this is what I don't get - why does everyone think HDMI is so awesome? It's just DVI with a couple extra pins for audio.

          It's become far more than that:

          HDMI 1.4 was released on May 28, 2009. HDMI 1.4 increases the maximum resolution to 4K × 2K (3840×2160p at 24Hz/25Hz/30Hz and 4096×2160p at 24Hz, which is a resolution used with digital theaters); an HDMI Ethernet Channel, which allows for a 100 Mb/s Ethernet connection between the two HDMI connected devices; and introduces an Audio Retur

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by GleeBot (1301227)

          See, this is what I don't get - why does everyone think HDMI is so awesome? It's just DVI with a couple extra pins for audio. It's not inherently higher-quality; does it have a sufficiently higher bandwidth capacity than DVI + TOSLINK that it makes an impact in real-world environments (24fps 1080p video/5.1 surround sound)? And how is having your video card double as a sound card a good idea? Isn't that just asking for aural interference from the video components?

          First point: HDMI is all-digital, so you don't get "aural interference from the video components". It's actually a pretty cool feature of the current batch of HD 4xx0 cards that you can run the output of an HTPC on one cable.

          Second point: HDMI, in the later revisions of the spec (1.3+ or so), actually does have improved features over DVI, like deeper color support, and higher bandwidth to support higher resolution displays. (It also supports 7.1 sound, not merely 5.1. Not that you actually need any of thi

  • From Wikipedia, (Score:4, Informative)

    by carp3_noct3m (1185697) <slashdot@warrior ... t ['had' in gap]> on Saturday August 15, 2009 @01:52PM (#29077547)

    Since most you other fucks just make some sort of quip with no facts, (yeah yeah, i know it slashdot) here is the wikipedia entry for DX11.

    "Microsoft unveiled Direct3D 11 at the Gamefest 08 event in Seattle, with the major scheduled features including GPGPU support, tessellation[11][12] support, and improved multi-threading support to assist video game developers in developing games that better utilize multi-core processors.[13] Direct3D 11 will run on Windows Vista, Windows 7, and all future Windows operating systems. Parts of the new API such as multi-threaded resource handling can be supported on Direct3D 9/10/10.1-class hardware. Hardware tessellation and Shader Model 5.0 will require Direct3D 11 supporting hardware.[14] Microsoft has since released the Direct3D 11 Technical Preview.[15] Direct3D 11 is a strict superset of Direct3D 10.1 - all hardware and API features of version 10.1 are retained, and new features are added only when necessary for exposing new functionality. Microsoft have stated that Direct3D 11 is scheduled to be released to manufacturing in July 2009,[16] with the retail release coming in October '09"

    Seems pretty big to me. The thing I see being the biggest is the work on improving multithreading/multicore support, and the whole GPGPU thing. Not to mention that the API will be very compatiable with older cards (read: no real need to upgrade cards just yet)

    • I just read up on tesselation and it looks freaking badass.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Suiggy (1544213)
      Yeah, there's a lot of idiots here who still think OpenGL is better than Direct3D. I doubt they'll ever change their opinions despite the fact that some of us are trying to force the facts down their throats. I'm by no means a Microsoft fanboy, I also use OS X and a couple of Linux distros at home and work, but you just can't argue with the fact that Direct3D 11 is better than anything else out there. Hands down. It's just a better API all around. I'm looking forward to moving towards implementing a Direct
      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        One of OpenGL's advantages was that the code would work on a number of platforms. Originally on IRIX, IBM licensed it so it worked on AIX machines. Then it moved to other platforms, surpassing 3DFX's Glide interface. OpenGL is still being worked on, 3.2 was released not so long ago.

        Direct X11 offers the GPGPU support, but it also offers multithreading (some games chew CPU cores up like they are going out of style, so having threads split up among multiple cores will help performance)

        Best thing would be i

  • More games for Linux.
    • by am 2k (217885)

      ...and Macs, PS3, Wii, PSP, iPhone...

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Suiggy (1544213)
      They do support OpenGL, in fact ATI's Direct3D 11 cards will support the latest version, OpenGL 3.2. However, it should be noted that the OpenGL 3.2 feature set is the same as Direct3D 10, which doesn't really bring anything new to the table. Direct3D 11 is where all of the new features are.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Let's see.... It has hardware Tessellation, which ATI cards have had... forever. Oh wait, Microsoft has made it specifically so that ATI's proven implementation is incompatible. What a surprise! Now what's this.... They're implementing nVidia's current shader model? It must be incompatable. Wait, it isn't?
    Microsoft spat in NVidia's eyes when they went with ATI for the Xbox 360, and now they're spitting in ATI's eyes by introducing an incompatible standard. This is just great.
  • Why? (Score:2, Informative)

    Well... We just are using DX9 yet, only two or three games (really) needs DX10... and now we go to DX11? When came a really good game using in fact DX10, we will go to DX14? Is too fast to me
    • We're going to DX11 because nothing needed DX10. Had DX10 seen wider adoption, there would have been incentive to keep things compatible with it, but when nobody's using it...
    • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

      by Kreigaffe (765218)

      DX10 was a flop because Vista was a flop. If MS let users of XP grab DX10, DX10 would have caught on in games, but it was Vista-only and no game makers were about to (or are about to) invest a ton of money in a game that's either Vista-only or in the work to make a DX9 game actually make full use of DX10 features. DX10 just was irrelevant because a great majority of the market wasn't able to use it.

      • Might be a part of it, but I think the real issue here is that the kind of high-end games that used to push the envelope hardware-wise, now more often than not end up on the consoles instead. Since the PC gaming platform is now like three hardware generations ahead of the consoles, console games acts like a cushion on PC gaming.. I was going to say progress, but let's be specific and say qualify as graphics progress. We'll get the occasional (late) port with DX10.1, or in the future, DX11 added -- developer

        • by nschubach (922175)

          For me... it's been the fact that there are just no games coming out that make me go, "Oooh! I need that!"

          I've cut my gaming time from over 20 hours a week to about 3 simply because the games that are coming out are simple rehashes. Graphics aren't making the old tricks worth doing anymore.

      • by Kreigaffe (765218)

        Sweet, random Flamebait moderation! Some kind of die-hard DX10 / Vista enthusiast take offense?

    • DX10 was more to alter the hardware removing variation. DX10 had little to do with implementing how the user sees the game visually and more to do with how the cards are kept up to standard and the games are programmed. Honestly, I feel that DX11 will be somewhat that way as well with the gpgpu support, threads, and so on.

  • Neat! The idea of drawing a 2d picture and then having an engine that auto adds wireframe and all that fun stuff seems to remove a lot of work for the developer.

    I honestly thought dx11 to be more of a dx10 where most of the alterations would not be noticed by the gamer (like threading) so I'm glad they are adding something visual to help people want to push to use dx11.

    I'm an OSX user so don't get me wrong. I'm not exactly a fan of directx per say but any type of innovation towards pushing the market forwar

  • If the title of this "upcoming" game is any indication there will be little creative movement on DX11's front either ...

    I'm just saying, Wolfenstein?@! Upcoming?@!
    Can they come up with some new ideas already?

  • The screenshots look ugly. It's 2009 and they cant make a pretty demo?! The texture is fuzzy, look at the sand. It's extra ultra mega HD but still look 1998.
    Now the SLI-in-one seems desperate. But we dont know before it's revealed.

      Btw, when do we get the GPU as a core next to the CPU?

  • PCPer has another preview of the same content but includes video of the DX11 SDKs as well. []

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