3DMark results for DirectX 12, showing 50% better CPU utilization and multi-thread scaling with better distribution of work among threads. Graphic: Matt Sandy

Matt Sandy dishes on DirectX 12. It’s gonna rock.

DirectX 12 introduces the next version of Direct3D, the graphics API at the heart of DirectX.  Direct3D is one of the most critical pieces of a game or game engine, and we’ve redesigned it to be faster and more efficient than ever before.  Direct3D 12 enables richer scenes, more objects, and full utilization of modern GPU hardware.  And it isn’t just for high-end gaming PCs either – Direct3D 12 works across all the Microsoft devices you care about.  From phones and tablets, to laptops and desktops, and, of course, Xbox One, Direct3D 12 is the API you’ve been waiting for.

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.

Of course, an API is only as good as the tools that help you use it.  DirectX 12 will contain great tools for Direct3D, available immediately when Direct3D 12 is released.

We think you’ll like this part:  DirectX 12 will run on many of the cards gamers already have.  More on that in our FAQ. […]

3DMark – Multi-thread scaling + 50% better CPU utilization

If you’re a gamer, you know what 3DMark is – a great way to do game performance benchmarking on all your hardware and devices.  This makes it an excellent choice for verifying the performance improvements that Direct3D 12 will bring to games.  3DMark on Direct3D 11 uses multi-threading extensively, however due to a combination of runtime and driver overhead, there is still significant idle time on each core.  After porting the benchmark to use Direct3D 12, we see two major improvements – a 50% improvement in CPU utilization, and better distribution of work among threads. […]

Want to be one of the first?

Are you a professional game developer?  Do you think Direct3D 12 would ignite your game’s performance?  Click here to apply for the DirectX 12 early access program.

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FAQ

Q: Should I wait to buy a new PC or GPU?
A: No – if you buy a PC with supported graphics hardware (over 80% of gamer PCs currently being sold), you’ll be able to enjoy all the power of DirectX 12 games as soon as they are available.

Q: Does DirectX 12 include anything besides Direct3D 12?
A: Also new is a set of cutting-edge graphics tools for developers.  Since this is a preview of DirectX 12 focused on Direct3D 12, other technologies may be previewed at a later date.

Q: When will I be able to get my hands on DirectX 12?
A: We are targeting Holiday 2015 games.

Q: What hardware will support Direct3D 12 / will my existing hardware support Direct3D 12?
A: We will link to our hardware partners’ websites as they announce their hardware support for Direct3D 12. [more]

DirectX 12