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Windows 10: DirectX 12 is flexing its muscle in the Star Swarm Demo

With Windows 10, Microsoft intends to take gaming to a whole new level. At the January 2015 press event, Phil Spencer has showcased a number of cool things that will make their way into the company's next operating system, including cross-platform gaming and also bringing the Xbox experience to PCs.

One of the biggest improvements that DirectX 12 will bring is better performance, even on DirectX 11 hardware, by eliminating the CPU bottleneck that plagues the older API. Anandtech received a copy of the upcoming version of the Star Swarm Benchmark, a massive space combat demo developed by Oxide Games using their own Nitrous Engine, and has put the new API to the test.

The Star Swarm demo was originally built to showcase AMD's Mantle API, but the current version has been modified to include support for DirectX 12, and is designed to seriously push the limits with its ability to make over 100K draw calls. The scene rendered in the video below is very complex, with thousands of units and effects, but that doesn't seem to affect frame rate:

Anandtech has conducted the tests using Nvidia's GTX 980, GTX 750 Ti, and GTX 680, as well as AMD's R9 290X, R9 285, and R9 260X graphics cards, using pre-release WDDM 2.0 drivers provided by the two companies. The results show that even in this early stage, DirectX 12 delivers on its promise to offer much higher performance than its predecessor.

This is achieved by using the new API's ability to distribute the workload across multiple processor cores, which in turn results in better use of the available GPU power. Keep in mind that this is an early preview, and things can get a lot better by the time Windows 10 is released.

We expect to see more details about DirectX 12 at GDC 2015, but these early test results make the new API look very promising, even if the Star Swarm demo is a best-case scenario. It clearly shows that developers will be able to use the improved efficiency in the right circumstances to improve the quality and performance of a game.

For those of you who want to dive into the technical details of the tests, hit the link below.

Source: Anandtech | Thanks Guest_DX12_ for the tip!

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