Copyright (c) 2007 Titus Hoskins
Right now all the talk in PC gaming is DirectX 10 Graphics. New hardware and new DX10 games have everyone buzzing about a new era in PC gaming. But is all the celebration a little bit premature?
Yes and No!
As with any new technology there is a lag time before everything catches up, before the new technology is truly integrated into the old, in this case gaming systems. The big question on everyone’s mind, (especially gamers) how long will we have to wait before DX10 graphics delivers the goods?
In other words, how long is the lag time before performance (what you see in your games) catches up with the technology DX10 Graphics will ultimately deliver?
For the ordinary consumer who is not a techie or even a dedicated gamer all this fuss about X10 Graphics can be downright confusing to say the least. Getting a handle on even the simplest terminology can be a challenge.
First, you have to understand DirectX is a Microsoft Windows technology that lets you have higher performance in sound and graphics when playing games and/or watching videos on your computer. In the past we have had different versions of DirectX… DirectX 8, DirectX 9, and with the introduction of Windows Vista we have DirectX 10.
DX10 Graphics gives us better performance and better looking PC graphics with clearer, higher resolution images with more shading and details. It simply means better overall picture quality and performance; a forward step to true realism in gaming.
At the heart of DirectX are APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) which can be oversimplified as a bridge or way for the hardware and the software to “talk” to each other. These give you multimedia applications such as (3-D) graphics acceleration, sound mixing, sound output and other functions.
We are now seeing higher performing DirectX 10 Graphics GPUs from top makers such as NVIDIA with their 8800 series, including the NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX and GeForce 8800 GTS. These GPUs (Graphics Processing Units) will give you better gaming with greater image quality and performance. HD DVD and Blu-ray video playback is even possible.
Top gaming manufacturers like Rockdirect in the UK are now all carrying DX 10 Graphics in their gaming machines. You will also find many of the major gaming specialists such as Alienware, Vigor, and Sager sporting DX 10 graphics.
Present or upcoming games that will have DirectX 10 support include Crysis, Shadowrun, World in Conflict, and Company of Heroes.
Nor should you think DirectX 10 is solely for gamers; the general PC user will also benefit from better graphics and higher performance. For instance, the ability to play and enjoy HD DVD and Blu-ray video playback on their PCs.
Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of DirectX 10 Graphics is that it makes it much more easier for game designers and developers to create games. For a more detailed discussion of the technical side of this topic, you can try Microsoft Game Developer Presentations here:
Or you can read this very good, detailed article on “The Future of PC Gaming” by Tim Smalley presented here:
The question still remains – is DirectX 10 Graphics deserving of all the hoopala or fuss?
Yes, but it will be a while before the true benefits are fully enjoyed by gaming enthusiasts and the general public. As more DX10 games are developed and as more powerful gaming hardware become available, the full potential of better gaming will hopefully be reached.
But there may be some catching up to do before we see the real benefits. Many gamers complain that presently most hardware is more suited to DX9 Graphics. Here’s a very interesting and detailed discussion of this issue done by X-bit Labs entitled: “DirectX 10 Games vs. Contemporary Graphics Accelerators” http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/directx10-games.html
Implementing any new technology takes time, as old technology is gradually replaced by the new. Just compare it to say switching from VHS to DVD and now to Blu-Ray, keeping ahead of the latest technology takes some catching up time. DX9 Graphics will eventually lose ground to DX10 Graphics.
So it may be a while before DirectX 10 Graphics delivers the full potential of the ultimate gaming experience but there is little doubt this technology is the future of gaming. It may just take a little while before game developers and hardware makers get all their guns locked and loaded to give you that ultimate gaming experience.