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DirectX 11 Key FeaturesDX11 has a number of features to give you great game effects and efficient computing resources. Although it was released in 2009, it can be a perfect option for gamers or game developers. Here are several highlighted features brought to your table:
1. TessellationGames with realistic graphics tend to put a heavy load on the CPU. As a result, the frame rate is reduced and players do not want it. DX11 offers hardware-based tessellation that solves this problem by incorporating dedicated logic on the graphics card. Developers can transform low-resolution data inputs into high-resolution models. This method was used in Xbox game console. But now it has become a standard feature in DX11. However, please note that users need to code for it.
2. Multi-threading supportWhile most DirectX games come single-threaded, DX11 promises better gaming performance with multi-threading support. It provides up to 12 threads like on i7 processors. Unlike single thread which uses one CPU core, this API is able to leverage CPU resources.
3. Direct calculationDirectX 11 incorporates the Direct Compute shader which plays a major role in video transcoding or physical processing. The shader works on AMD and NVIDIA graphics cards as an addition rather than a replacement. This feature is able to control huge computing capacity on modern graphics cards, allowing the system to handle complex calculations. This is the key to better gaming performance.
4. Texture compression improvementsIn order to make game engines efficient, software developers compress and decompress game textures when necessary to store all the information in the graphics card memory. However, compression of high dynamic range textures is not supported on older versions of DirectX. DX11 offers a new feature that allows users to compress two texture formats, including high dynamic range and low dynamic range. This API introduces BC6 which comes with 6:1 compression for high dynamic range textures, although this creates a slight loss in quality. It also comes with BC7 which works well on low dynamic range texture formats.
DirectX 11 UpdatesSince its initial release in 2009, four updates have been released for DX11. Each version comes with improvements to help game developers create better games. Take a closer look at the version updates below:
- DX11.1 is used in Windows 8. It includes Direct Compute, Direct3D and Stereoscopic 3D for games and video. This version is partially supported in Windows 7.
- DX11.2 is supported in Windows 8 and 8.1. It comes with new features like geometry realizations and swap chain comps.
- DX11.3 is designed to complement DirectX 12 and is supported in Windows 10. The standalone update for this version is not available, meaning it comes with Windows Update.
- DX11.X is known as a superset of the latest version of DirectX 12 for Xbox One. It offers some features like draw bundles.
How to Check Your DirectX VersionIt is easy to check the version of DirectX installed on your PC. You can go through the DirectX Diagnostic Tool which will provide you with a report containing detailed information about the DirectX components currently in use on your system. Regardless of your Windows versions, follow these steps to check which version of DirectX is installed on your computer.
- In the search field, type dxdiag then press Enter.
- Click on dxdiag of the result.
- You will see detailed information about the DX components. To check the DirectX versionrefer to System information section.