Should I play in DirectX 9, DX10 or DX11?

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Alejandra Rangel
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Should I play in DirectX 9, DX10 or DX11? Through Florent Alzieu Posted on 05/06/10 at 00h00 Share:

Recently, we have seen the DX11 support mention flourish on graphics card packaging and in the advantages of Windows 7. What does this new DirectX bring compared to DirectX 9 or DirectX 10? More beautiful, faster games?

Before starting the visual and performance analysis of the three DirectXs, currently used for games, it is necessary to define what DirectX is. It's a collection of libraries intended for programming multimedia applications, Wikipedia tells us. STOP! Come back, we'll explain it all to you.

In programming, you don't have to reinvent the wheel every time you step in front of your computer. It is even strongly discouraged. To compensate for this, the community of developers makes available to its peers (in fact, Microsoft is sticking to it here) libraries of functions that perform given tasks and that you can integrate into your programs. This is exactly what the Direct3D libraries (the part of DirectX for games) are that interest us here.

A toolbox

The problem is that a tool used improperly, no matter how good, will never be able to improve the performance or the quality of your project. In theory, for example, a poorly developed game that uses DX10 or DX11 could use a lot more resources than a well-optimized DX9 game while looking less good. In practice, this is fortunately not the case. In our tests, the "worst" case is an improvement in graphics quality at the expense of performance.

We will focus on DX9, DX10, and DX11 compatible games to assess graphics quality and mode-to-mode performance. Note, we did the tests with an Nvidia card. The same tests with an ATI card and other drivers could bring other results. On the other hand, we must take into account a curve of experience and mastery of tools on the part of developers. DX11 is still very young and it will take time before its contributions are fully mastered and applied by the community.

Which Windows for which DirectX?

Which version of DirectX can you use with your Windows OS? Here is the answer, knowing that you can use an earlier version of DirectX as long as your Windows supports the next version.

  • Windows XP and before: DirectX 9
  • Windows Vista: DirectX 10, 10.1 and DirectX 11 (provided you have installed SP2)
  • Windows 7 : DirectX 11

DX10 and DX11 cards

DX10: ATI from Radeon HD 2000 and Nvidia from series 8

DX 11: ATI from Radeon HD 5000 series and Nvidia from 400 series

Comparison Graphics card, which one to choose?

For more information on Direct3D, we invite you to read the following articles written by our colleague

Direct3D 10 et GPUs

Direct3D 11
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Should I play in DirectX 9, DX10 or DX11?

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11 years ago

Metro 2033

11 years ago
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