DirectX Developer Blog

OS Variable Refresh Rate

[Updated June 13th to clarify support for FreeSync]
With Windows Version 1903, we have added a new toggle in Graphics Settings for variable refresh rate. Variable refresh rate (VRR) is similar to NVIDIA’s G-SYNC, AMD’s FreeSync, and VESA DisplayPort Adaptive-Sync.
This new OS support is only to augment these experiences and does not replace them.

DirectX 12 boosts performance of HITMAN 2

Our partners at IO Interactive, the developers of the award-winning HITMAN franchise, recently added DirectX 12 support to HITMAN 2, with impressive results.  IO Interactive was so excited that they wanted to share a bit about how their innovative use of DirectX 12 benefits HITMAN gamers everywhere.

New in D3D12 – background shader optimizations

tl;dr;
In the next update to Windows, codenamed 19H1, D3D12 will allow drivers to use idle priority background CPU threads to dynamically recompile shader programs. This can improve GPU performance by specializing shader code to better match details of the hardware it is running on and/or the context in which it is being used.

DirectX engineering specs published

Engineering specs for a number of DirectX features, including DirectX Raytracing, Variable Rate Shading, and all of D3D11, are now available at https://microsoft.github.io/DirectX-Specs. This supplements the official API documentation with an extra level of detail that can be useful to expert developers.

New in D3D12 – DirectX Raytracing (DXR) now supports library subobjects

In the next update to Windows, codenamed 19H1, developers can specify DXR state subobjects inside a DXIL library. This provides an easier, flexible, and modular way of defining raytracing state, removing the need for repetitive boilerplate C++ code. This usability improvement was driven by feedback from early adopters of the API,

A corgi holding a stick in Unity's ML Agents
DirectML at GDC 2019

Introduction
Last year at GDC, we shared our excitement about the many possibilities for using machine learning in game development. If you’re unfamiliar with machine learning or neural networks, I strongly encourage you to check out our blog post from last year,

Variable Rate Shading: a scalpel in a world of sledgehammers

One of the sides in the picture below is 14% faster when rendered on the same hardware, thanks to a new graphics feature available only on DirectX 12. Can you spot a difference in rendering quality?

Neither can we.  Which is why we’re very excited to announce that DirectX 12 is the first graphics API to offer broad hardware support for Variable Rate Shading.

World of Warcraft uses DirectX 12 running on Windows 7

Today, with game patch 8.1.5 for World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth, Blizzard becomes the first game developer to use DirectX 12 for Windows 7! Now, Windows 7 WoW gamers can run the game using DirectX 12 and enjoy a framerate boost, though the best DirectX 12 performance will always be on Windows 10, since Windows 10 contains a number of OS optimizations designed to make DirectX 12 run even faster.

Direct3D 11 on 12 Updates

It’s been quite a while since we last talked about D3D11On12, which enables incremental porting of an application from D3D11 to D3D12 by allowing developers to use D3D11 interfaces and objects to drive the D3D12 API. Since that time, there’s been quite a few changes,

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OS Variable Refresh Rate

[Updated June 13th to clarify support for FreeSync]
With Windows Version 1903, we have added a new toggle in Graphics Settings for variable refresh rate. Variable refresh rate (VRR) is similar to NVIDIA’s G-SYNC, AMD’s FreeSync, and VESA DisplayPort Adaptive-Sync.
This new OS support is only to augment these experiences and does not replace them.

DirectX 12 boosts performance of HITMAN 2

Our partners at IO Interactive, the developers of the award-winning HITMAN franchise, recently added DirectX 12 support to HITMAN 2, with impressive results.  IO Interactive was so excited that they wanted to share a bit about how their innovative use of DirectX 12 benefits HITMAN gamers everywhere.

New in D3D12 – background shader optimizations

tl;dr;
In the next update to Windows, codenamed 19H1, D3D12 will allow drivers to use idle priority background CPU threads to dynamically recompile shader programs. This can improve GPU performance by specializing shader code to better match details of the hardware it is running on and/or the context in which it is being used.

DirectX engineering specs published

Engineering specs for a number of DirectX features, including DirectX Raytracing, Variable Rate Shading, and all of D3D11, are now available at https://microsoft.github.io/DirectX-Specs. This supplements the official API documentation with an extra level of detail that can be useful to expert developers.

New in D3D12 – GPU-Based Validation (GBV) is now available for Shader Model 6.x

In the next update to Windows, codenamed 19H1, the DirectX12 debug layer adds support for GPU-based validation (GBV) of shader model 6.x (DXIL) as well as the previously supported shader model 5.x (DXBC).
GBV is a GPU timeline validation that modifies and injects validation instructions directly into application shaders.

New in D3D12 – DirectX Raytracing (DXR) now supports library subobjects

In the next update to Windows, codenamed 19H1, developers can specify DXR state subobjects inside a DXIL library. This provides an easier, flexible, and modular way of defining raytracing state, removing the need for repetitive boilerplate C++ code. This usability improvement was driven by feedback from early adopters of the API,

A corgi holding a stick in Unity's ML Agents
DirectML at GDC 2019

Introduction
Last year at GDC, we shared our excitement about the many possibilities for using machine learning in game development. If you’re unfamiliar with machine learning or neural networks, I strongly encourage you to check out our blog post from last year,

Variable Rate Shading: a scalpel in a world of sledgehammers

One of the sides in the picture below is 14% faster when rendered on the same hardware, thanks to a new graphics feature available only on DirectX 12. Can you spot a difference in rendering quality?

Neither can we.  Which is why we’re very excited to announce that DirectX 12 is the first graphics API to offer broad hardware support for Variable Rate Shading.

World of Warcraft uses DirectX 12 running on Windows 7

Today, with game patch 8.1.5 for World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth, Blizzard becomes the first game developer to use DirectX 12 for Windows 7! Now, Windows 7 WoW gamers can run the game using DirectX 12 and enjoy a framerate boost, though the best DirectX 12 performance will always be on Windows 10, since Windows 10 contains a number of OS optimizations designed to make DirectX 12 run even faster.

Direct3D 11 on 12 Updates

It’s been quite a while since we last talked about D3D11On12, which enables incremental porting of an application from D3D11 to D3D12 by allowing developers to use D3D11 interfaces and objects to drive the D3D12 API. Since that time, there’s been quite a few changes,