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Tim Sweeney Q&A, DX10 preview

Miscellaneous Forums/General Discussion/Tim Sweeney Q&A, DX10 preview

Mustang(Posted 1+ years ago) #1
Goodish stuff:

DirectX 10 Preview: The Future of PC Graphics and Gaming:

http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/directx_10_graphics_preview/default.asp


One thing to note about DirectX 10 is that it will only be made available for Windows Vista. Microsoft has no plans to make DX10 compatible with Windows XP or any other previous operating systems. The one thing that Microsoft has done with Vista is incorporate a subsystem that will comply with DirectX 9.0 graphics hardware due to the population of users that still own DX9-compliant hardware. This subsystem will be named none other than DirectX 9.0L. So, in short, if you have DirectX 9 hardware, you will be using DirectX 9.0L as your API in Windows Vista.

DirectX 9L will support all the fancy eye candy effects Microsoft has integrated into Vista’s Aero Glass interface, so DX9 users will still get the 3D desktop and all its effects under DirectX 9.0L. According to Microsoft, it would be difficult to port DirectX 10 to older operating systems like Windows XP due to the new driver model.




Below are just some of the new features found in DirectX 10. Just keep in mind that even things that have previous version (i.e. Shader Model 3.0) have been completely reworked from beginning to end in DirectX 10. Some of the features include:

# Brand new Geometry Shader added to the middle of the pipeline, in between the vertex and pixel shaders.
# Increased efficiency, fixing the “small batch problem”. (Microsoft claims performance improvements up to six times that of DierctX 9 hardware running on Windows XP because of this). As a result, less overhead from processor (CPU offloading to the GPU), giving the ability to pump out more objects onto the screen. This increases realism and performance in newer games.
# Virtualized memory for the GPU. The video card will be able to use space in system RAM to store information that does not fit on local video card memory.
# Shader Model 4.0 has a broader instruction set including integer and bitwise instruction, transferring more work to the GPU.
# Fixed function pipeline is gone. Everything is now programmable (done with shaders).


Last line meaning that Blitz3D [app] is not going to work at all if you have Vista... someone [please] correct me if I'm wrong?

Tim's part:

http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/directx_10_graphics_preview/page8.asp


taumel(Posted 1+ years ago) #2
Thanks for the links.

One thing i'm wondering about is the screenshot pair from the MSFS10 ( http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/directx_10_graphics_preview/page9.asp ). Is it pure marketing or do these shots show the performance benefit with the same system/framerate whilst having improved watershaders, clouds and lightning on dx10 compared to dx9?

Anyway my gfx card is already limited enough with pure gfx stuff like resolution, filtering and aa...


Mustang(Posted 1+ years ago) #3
Taumel:


However, the DX10 screenshot is a little misleading, as technically DX9 is fully capable of rendering everything seen in the DX10 shot with a few extra passes. Basically the frame rate would be slower under DX9 (by how much is unknown at this point), but that’s about it. In a lot of ways, this reminds us of the first batch of shader model 3.0 screenshots that went out a few years back with Far Cry. We all saw how that one played out – early on shader model 3.0 was mainly used for performance gains, not improving graphics.

Epic’s Tim Sweeney basically said as much on the previous page: “But, despite the marketing hype, DirectX 10 isn't all that different from DirectX 9, so you'll mainly see performance benefits on DirectX 10 rather than striking visual differences.”



I basically understand this meaning that both shots would run at the same speed. DX9 COULD do the rightside rendering quality, but it would then be slower. So same speed but better quality?


taumel(Posted 1+ years ago) #4
Hmm i'm not sure about this...it could be approximately the same speed or just that it's more playable with dx10 but not the same speed at all. I think we'll have to wait till there is vista and the MSFS10 Dx10 patch or another reliable comparisson.

By the way where will you go with 3DMark in the future? DX10 only or supporting both systems as well?


Naughty Alien(Posted 1+ years ago) #5
..so, Blitz3D is locked down..well..its time to move onn


John Pickford(Posted 1+ years ago) #6
Naked War has been seen working on Vista.


Naughty Alien(Posted 1+ years ago) #7
..hmm..did you give it a try or just heard John??


John Pickford(Posted 1+ years ago) #8
I don't have vista but some people have played it on Vista.


Mustang(Posted 1+ years ago) #9
Would be good obviously if Blitz3D apps could work, but I guess it's too early to say because Vista is still beta?


Leiden(Posted 1+ years ago) #10
I dont care, so long as I can play games faster using the same hardware. They're supporting older hardware using Direct3D9.0L which I assume means any older DirectX applications should run all the same. They've rebuilt it all from scratch to remove limitations in previous Direct3D versions so great! Roll on D3D10!

Vista is somewhere around RC2 at the moment. They're plannin' on shipping it to software developers to get their applications ready for its mainstream release. I've run Blitz3D apps under Vista, works fine.


Damien Sturdy(Posted 1+ years ago) #11
BLITZ3D works in Vista RC1. I don't have a newer one, but it does work fine.


Warren(Posted 1+ years ago) #12
Microsoft would be insane to kill off all previous games for their PC platform. Backward compatibility (to a point) is pretty much their bread and butter. It has to be (nearly) painless to move forward or nobody will.


AdrianT(Posted 1+ years ago) #13
it will work, they are getting rid of fixed function so the old fashioned blend modes as we know them will be gone. But there's no reason why they can't easily emulated by shaders.

I'm pretty sure I read as much recently, only I can't recall where.

Getting rid of fixed function is a bit of a pain, shaders are pretty counterintuitive and different on every engine I have tried. requiring learning programming if you ever want to port shaders from one engine to another, you also need to have a more advanced knowledge of whats going on behind the scenes.

hope they come up with some software that makes it easier to develop shaders. 3dsmax makes many things easy, its pretty much WYSIWYG now like using regular materials for pre rendered artwork only the shaders are pixel shader model 3 only, not too efficient and hard to port to other formats :(

Vista also comes with DX9 built in, as well as DX10 and the next GL is going the same direction as DX10 dropping the fixed function pipeline stuff later on too.


yoko(Posted 1+ years ago) #14
B3D works on current RC of Vista, need more check when the retail comes...


Hotcakes(Posted 1+ years ago) #15
Last line meaning that Blitz3D [app] is not going to work at all if you have Vista...

What an odd thing to assume... you quoted this yourself:

The one thing that Microsoft has done with Vista is incorporate a subsystem that will comply with DirectX 9.0 graphics hardware due to the population of users that still own DX9-compliant hardware. This subsystem will be named none other than DirectX 9.0L. So, in short, if you have DirectX 9 hardware, you will be using DirectX 9.0L as your API in Windows Vista.

Do you currently run Windows with DX9? Or are you running DX7 for Blitz3D apps because you think the upgrade will break them?!?

Vista uses "DX9.0L" for DX related backward compatibility. That handles everything DX9 handled - including DX7 compatibility.

www.iexbeta.com/wiki contains a good list of programs that do and don't work on the different releases of Vista to date, including games. There are NO games that don't work on Vista simply because of the version of DX that they use. I play Dungeon Keeper 2 - DX6.

I will say that the DX7 (BMax) and DX9 apps (Sims 2, Black & White 2) I have tested extensively suffer from very noticeable slowdown compared to running on XP. It's not enough to hamper a game, but you can tell it's there. The OGL apps I tested (BMax only) either run at the same speed as OGL on XP, or unnoticeably faster.

Vista will ship in 2007, so mainstream games that require it should start appearing in 2012 or 2013. So much can happen in that kind of time period that we ought not even consider it.

I found that interesting. After such a long feature on DX10 and the marketing hype that came with it prior to Sweeney's interview, he states very simply that Vista and DX10 are probably not going to be worth upgrading to for 6 years. Given that anything could happen in that time, let's cut his estimation by half. 3 years is still a very long time for a 'gaming' OS to stagnate before becoming worthwhile.

If MS had found a way to incorperate DX10 into at least XP, this would be somewhat different... but as it stands DX10 is really the only new thing Vista provides that is actually worth anything... and even then, it's not worth enough to be classed as a must have upgrade for gamers.

In 3 years, I predict DX11 will give us new reasons to reconsider Vista.


DiscoJustice(Posted 1+ years ago) #16
I found that interesting. After such a long feature on DX10 and the marketing hype that came with it prior to Sweeney's interview, he states very simply that Vista and DX10 are probably not going to be worth upgrading to for 6 years.


Well, that's not quite what he says. I think when he says "we ought not even consider it" is a reference to making games that require DX10/Vista. He says that they should not be making games that require it until around then. He also says earlier that that many games will be shipping with support for both DX9 and 10 from late 2007.

With that in mind, Vista vould still be "worthwhile", as you say, once the games start rolling out that use it, regardless of whether support for XP has been ditched at that point. This will happen long before 2012.


(tu) ENAY(Posted 1+ years ago) #17
> I dont care, so long as I can play
> games faster using the same hardware.

I doubt it, infact it'll probably be slower.
I've tried playing lots of my old classic games such as Carmageddon 2, it runs horrible on all my new machines but still runs super sleek on my old machines, and lets not even go any further back with dos games.

Nope I think inevitably many of our old classic Blitz games will probably have issues trying to run as the future keeps on going.


taumel(Posted 1+ years ago) #18
By the way the packaging of vista...







Warren(Posted 1+ years ago) #19
Once you go black, you'll never go back?


taumel(Posted 1+ years ago) #20
Well, i guess the most will get the green package if they don't get a OEM version. The price for the black one is a lot of money in my opinion. Although i don't have in mind if it's possible to upgrade from xp pro to home premium at all...

Looks a bit like a webdesigner has done the package design.

And where is the special edition with the extra making of videos and additional fanboy stuff?


Hotcakes(Posted 1+ years ago) #21
Well, that's not quite what he says.

He didn't say it using those words, but that's what it means.

I think when he says "we ought not even consider it" is a reference to making games that require DX10/Vista.

Being that Vista's only real new feature over XP is DX10 (imho), that also means there's no reason for a user to require Vista.

With that in mind, Vista vould still be "worthwhile", as you say, once the games start rolling out that use it, regardless of whether support for XP has been ditched at that point.

How? What value is there that I've missed? What makes it 'worthwhile'?

Once you go black, you'll never go back?

From what I can tell, most people (including us) would probably be best suited with Home Premium. Ultimate has lots of useless features, the only one that -could- contain any value is Windows Ultimate Extras - an addition to Microsoft Update that delivers ... new programs. The feature was never used during the testing phase so nobody knows what kinds of programs MS might deliver in the future.

Although i don't have in mind if it's possible to upgrade from xp pro to home premium at all...

It should be. Home Premium is kind of equivalent to XP Pro. In any case, the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor will give you a GOOD indication of what edition you will need. It's RC atm so check back again when Vista is out... it basically asks you a few questions and scans your system for hardware and software that you have installed... checks MS servers to make sure your hardware is supported... and then gives you a suggestion as to which version of Vista to buy, while giving you ideas of the problems you may get with your current software and hardware and even solutions to them. It also lets you compare to other versions of Vista so you can see what extra features you will get/miss out on.


xlsior(Posted 1+ years ago) #22
The feature was never used during the testing phase so nobody knows what kinds of programs MS might deliver in the future.


Given the way MS has been heading for some time now: extra super-duper DRM protection layers, since microsoft doesn't think you should have control over your own PC anymore.


Mustang(Posted 1+ years ago) #23

Although i don't have in mind if it's possible to upgrade from xp pro to home premium at all...



You can. Just red the upgrade prices yesterday from a local comp mag... don't have it at hand now, so I'll update this post when I find the mag (it's morning and far from my coffee quota to be able to get my brains going).

[edit]

[Full] Vista Home Basic = 160€,
XP -> Vista Home Basic upgrade = 80€

[Full] Vista Home Premium = 190€,
XP -> Vista Home Basic upgrade = 125€

[Full] Vista Ultimate = 300€


taumel(Posted 1+ years ago) #24
Is there a price difference if you're coming from xp pro or xp home?

Wow "brains"...you got more of them?

Which is the one which is always ignoring my 3dmark questions? ;O)


Mustang(Posted 1+ years ago) #25

Wow "brains"...you got more of them?



;P -> far from my coffee quota

...Although women say there IS another set in the groin area... :)


Is there a price difference if you're coming from xp pro or xp home?



The article didn't say anything about that.


taumel(Posted 1+ years ago) #26
As for the upgradepaths... http://www.winsupersite.com/reviews/winvista_03.asp


dynaman(Posted 1+ years ago) #27
> How? What value is there that I've missed? What makes it 'worthwhile'?

If the limited game boot option is still in Vista, and if it works, that would be an excellent addition.


Hotcakes(Posted 1+ years ago) #28
Yes it would, but going by the release candidate versions, it's either not in or is automatic.


VP(Posted 1+ years ago) #29
Vista will have to be something rather exceptional to tempt me away from Linux, now that I've made the switch.