Microsoft has talked up the capabilities of its upcoming Windows 10 gaming API, DirectX 12, claiming it will offer up to a 50 percent increase in performance over previous versions.
This performance boost will be down to the new version of Direct3D, which provides more granular access to CPU and GPU hardware.
Historically Direct3D provided a very high level of hardware abstraction, limiting the opportunity to really optimise games to make the best use of specific hardware.
With DirectX 12, though, this access will be opened up, allowing developers to optimise their code to run as fast as possible, whether the gamer has an Intel CPU and Nvidia graphics card or AMD hardware.
“Direct X 12 will make your games even better,” said Xbox boss Phil Spencer. “For CPU-bound games, DirectX 12 will increase the performance of those games by up to 50 percent.”
This is an approach AMD offered with its Mantle API, which launched a couple of years ago and worked in conjunction with DirectX 11.
Previously developers have been resistant to embrace hardware-specific APIs because it adds an extra level of complication. However, thanks to AMD having managed to gets its APUs (combined CPU and GPU) into the PS4, Wii U and Xbox One, developers have embraced the opportunity to boost performance for AMD hardware.
DirectX 12, though, will be supported by all upcoming CPU and GPU hardware. Microsoft also revealed that the Unity game engine now supports DirectX 12.
The new gaming features that will be coming to Windows 10 were also demonstrated at Microsoft’s Windows 10 briefing.
These include Xbox One and PC cross-platform gaming, new game recording features that will work with any game and streaming from Xbox One to PC or tablet devices, with support for all Xbox One games.