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Microsoft previews range of new DirectX 12 features

by Mark Tyson on 29 October 2019, 12:11

Tags: Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Windows 10

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Microsoft's graphics team project manager Jianye Lu has penned a blog post about what to expect next in DirectX 12. In the post Lu previews a range of new DirectX 12 features that are currently available in Windows 10 Insider Preview Builds (20H1) through the Windows Insider Program, and are expected to go prime time in the next Windows feature update during the first half of 2020.

Probably the biggest addition to DX12 will be DirectX Raytracing Tier 1.1. If you remember back to last year, Microsoft introduced DXR tier 1.0 upon which this builds to help advance "cinematic levels of photorealism in real time to a long list of games".

Specific additions with DXR tier 1.1 include; support for extra shaders for existing raytracing pipeline state objects (said to increase efficiency), support for ExecuteIndirect for raytracing which leverages adaptive algorithms, and the introduction of Inline raytracing for "when the full shader-based raytracing system is overkill". Microsoft advises developers to build their apps and solutions using DXR tier 1.0 then add in tier 1.1 features which they identify as beneficial. The firm continues to work closely with GPU vendors and games developers to make raytracing quality better and more efficient.

Another change coming to DX12 is the DirectX Mesh Shader which it is hoped will increase the flexibility and performance of the geometry pipeline (see below). We are told that the use of mesh shaders can enhance performance by allowing geometry to be pre-culled without having to output new index buffers to memory, whereas triangles are currently only culled by fixed function hardware after the vertex shader has completed execution. Additionally, a new amplification shader stage "enables tessellation, instancing, and additional culling scenarios," says Microsoft's Lu.

Microsoft has added DirectX Sampler Feedback to its gaming API. This feature is said to greatly improve texture streaming - loading the right data at the right times for greatest efficiency, and Texture-Space Shading which reduces spatial and temporal rendering redundancy.

If you are interested in the above, and wish to learn more about these changes, Microsoft's Lu says that the DevBlogs pages will be updated in the next few weeks with each of the new features mentioned above expanded upon with more technical details.

HEXUS Forums :: 5 Comments

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We've been hearing about DX12 for a while with no real results, the games where there's a DX12 option often results in a performance hit (Battlefield games)
I'm not remotely interested TBH…
The information I want to know is, will DirectX Ray Tracing 1.1 take advantage of the RT cores in my GPU or am I no better off?
People are only humann and it takes time for devs to learn these new APIs and coding techniques, Mngereso. You won't magically see everything at once.

I'm very excited to see graphical advances like this. And over time, as developers learn how to program these new features into their games, we'll see some truly astonishing looking visuals. Keep it coming.
Indeed, consumers won't see a difference in performance, but what they will see if a difference in games.

The API is versioned, so an engine using an early version is limited to the performance of that engine. An engine using newer, more efficient engines will run better, but engines aren't updated independently of games. Instead we'll see games that look a bit better than the could have on the older API, but still hitting the same sort of frames - as that's what the developers will be targeting.

Games that aren't graphically intense already run at hundreds of fps on existing APIs and hardware. Games that are graphically intense push everything as far as possible and will get better looking, but never get better FPS from an API bump.
It appears that AMD graphics is the big winner here,
Nvidia will just have to take is where the rays don't shine !