Crytek, Microsoft, NVIDIA Downplay DirectX 10.1

The release of DirectX 10.1, an API layer that will be rolled out with Windows Vista Service Pack 1, is quickly approaching. When asked about the advantages of picking up a DirectX 10 graphics adaptor today, versus waiting for NVIDIA or AMD DirectX 10.1 products, Microsoft's senior global director of Microsoft games on Windows, Kevin Unangst, replied: "DX10.1 is an incremental update that won't affect any games or gamers in the near future."

Microsoft isn't the only developer downplaying DirectX 10.1: "We pride ourselves on being the first to adopt any important new technology that can improve our games so you would expect us to get with DX10.1 right away but we've looked at it and there's just nothing in it important enough to make it needed. So we have no plans to use it at all, not even in the future," said Cevat Yerli, CEO of Crytek.

NVIDIA also has a response for AMD's DirectX 10.1 support, a feature of AMD's new HD 3800 series that the company has been rather vocal about. NVIDIA's corporate roadmap details plans to include DirectX 10.1 in its ninth-generation GPU architecture, codenamed D9. However, the first D9 processors will not debut until next year and the company describes DirectX 10.1 as "a minor extension of DirectX 10 that makes a few optional features in DirectX 10 mandatory."

News source: DailyTech

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19 Comments

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I don't think we will ever see a 'pure' DX10 game. For a developer to make a DX10 only game, you need to have two factors:

  1. Consumers having XP should hold a very small fraction of the windows base compared to Vista (there is no DX10 for XP)
  2. The difference in performance and graphics quality is much better in DX10 than DX9

If these two conditions don't apply, a developer would be wasting his time creating two engines for the game. The only time developers would drop DX9 support is when DX11 is released and then you would have DX10/DX11 hybrids.

Urm hang on - I thought Microsoft created DX10.1, and yet Microsoft are complaining about it?

Personally, I think this can only be a good thing. It's just a marginally higher standard, which is good, because it lets consumers know that a product is capable of meeting that standard. That's not to say that other non-DX10.1 gfx though, so why are so many people complaining? I guess a lot of it's just because some people bought new GFX cards and are gutted they are no longer the highest version.

You're right, this really isn't a issue as for the next year we'll still be getting the same DX9/DX10 hybrids.

Until pure DX10 only games start to show up more and more, than this whole 10 vs 10.1 won't be an issue. And when they do finally start to come out, everyone will be ready to upgrade gfx cards and go to 10.1 anyways.


That's not to say 10.1 doesn't bring new things to it. They've fixed things holding DX10 back a bit, and made parts mandatory which helps game developers out alot. Now game devs don't have to worry about nVidia vs ATi gfx arch and how one card does something which is different than how the other does it. Now they can just code to the spec and not worry about what GPU is in a gamers PC.

Aside from that and the few graphics updates like SM4.1, the big thing is adding in XAudio for all your 3D EAX effects.

Wasn't it the manufacturers who complained about these features being mandatory in the original directx 10 specs?So all they did was make them manadory in the next one.

Dont blame microsoft blame ati and nvidia. They were the ones who complained originally.

David3k said,
It's all about Xaudio! (Well, mostly)

How many times do I have to say it? :P

Ahh, that's the name of it, I keep forgetting. I just know that it's the big change in 10.1 that everyone seems to be forgetting about. While people know DX as a graphics API it does cover sound. And this also explains why MS removed DirectSound in DX10. XAudio as used by the 360 is a better option.

I shall not be upgrading my GFX everytime a new .1 extension comes out, my 8800GTS that is superclocked by the manufacture will hopefully last me a few years, at least I can go SLI down the road with my newly built rig. I'm gonna buy crysis when it launches in the UK cause I have Vista and wanna make use of my DX10 gfx card.

r5a said,
****ing fix Vista and DX10 first.

???? is the problem? It works ok on my computer. And updating DirectX from 10 to 10.1 does imply 'fixing.'

DX10 is supposted to make things faster then DX9, or so they claim by better processing. Go look on HardOCP for XP vs. Vista = a lot slower.

Problems with vista? Google good sir, ever since the sound stack was re-written that screwed up so much. Not to mention how much a resource hog it is.

Before you say anything about me not using it, I dual boot Ultimate and XP both x64.

r5a said,
DX10 is supposted to make things faster then DX9, or so they claim by better processing. Go look on HardOCP for XP vs. Vista = a lot slower.

Problems with vista? Google good sir, ever since the sound stack was re-written that screwed up so much. Not to mention how much a resource hog it is.

Before you say anything about me not using it, I dual boot Ultimate and XP both x64.

There are no pure DX10 games out there. They are all DX9 games with some minor things tacked on. It's still evident that not only do drivers need to mature but devs need to become more proficient at using DX10. We shall see when the first DX10 only games come out. Not these DX9/DX10 hybrid games.

The soundstack was rewritten to remove DirectX audio from hardware. This is a good thing as a sound issue will not trash your entire computer. OpenAL games sill use hardware just as before. It merely means more companies will have to use it. This is a good thing.
Vista isn't the resource hog you seem to think it is. Yes it does require alittle bit more power than XP to run. But there are some changes under the hood that make it appear to use more resources. It's called superfetch. In XP idle ram just sat idle, doing nothing. In Vista it caches your commonly used apps to ram making use of otherwise idle ram. When you launch those apps they launch quickly and any ram needed by the app or the game is quickly released to it.

Also, if you don't have these updates i'd suggest getting them: http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1558,2177716,00.asp

archer75 said,

There are no pure DX10 games out there. They are all DX9 games with some minor things tacked on. It's still evident that not only do drivers need to mature but devs need to become more proficient at using DX10. We shall see when the first DX10 only games come out. Not these DX9/DX10 hybrid games.

The soundstack was rewritten to remove DirectX audio from hardware. This is a good thing as a sound issue will not trash your entire computer. OpenAL games sill use hardware just as before. It merely means more companies will have to use it. This is a good thing.
Vista isn't the resource hog you seem to think it is. Yes it does require alittle bit more power than XP to run. But there are some changes under the hood that make it appear to use more resources. It's called superfetch. In XP idle ram just sat idle, doing nothing. In Vista it caches your commonly used apps to ram making use of otherwise idle ram. When you launch those apps they launch quickly and any ram needed by the app or the game is quickly released to it.

Also, if you don't have these updates i'd suggest getting them: http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1558,2177716,00.asp

About removing DirectSound in DX10, if I remember right, in DX10.1 they're adding the 3d Audio stack used on the 360. I don't remember what it's called exactly, but it does all the fancy EAX stuff like before but better and faster and all that nice stuff. So if things go right, future DX10.1 games won't even need to use OpenAL.

the company describes DirectX 10.1 as "a minor extension of DirectX 10 that makes a few optional features in DirectX 10 mandatory."

That's because that's exactly what DX10.1 is, I just wish microsoft made a certain performance mandatory and not just "supported features". That way future developers could reliably benchmark towards the mandatory performance of a DX10.1 card so people know for sure if they can run the game and not just get confused when their integrated graphics doesn't want to play ball, even though it's DX10.1 compliant.