It has been some time since Direct X received an update, but this all changes with the launch of DirectX 12. We have been waiting for this release for a while now (it is an unbelievable six years since DirectX 11 saw the light of day!), but at Games Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco Microsoft has taken the wraps off the latest incarnation of the graphics API.
The big news here is the new version of Direct3D which has been redesigned to be faster and more efficient than ever before. Recognizing that gaming is no longer limited to PCs or consoles, DirectX 12 has been improved for all platforms -- Xbox, Windows and Windows Phone. Improvements have been made to multi-threading and CPU utilization which allows for better use of multiple cores.
Dependency on GPUs has been reduced to help boost overall performance, and the algorithms control transparencies, collision detection and geometry culling have also been improved. Benchmarks demonstrate that there is a 50 percent improvement in CPU usage, and full details of just how this has been achieved (if you're ready to geek out) can be found on the DirectX developer blog.
All of this sounds great... so will you need to rush out to the shops to buy a new graphics card to reap the benefits? Not necessarily. The DirectX 12 team says that 80 percent of the graphics cards on sale at the moment will support DirectX 12 games. There are no specific details available at the moment, but the team promises that a list of hardware partners offering support will be made available very soon.
Games destined for the "holiday 2015" market will be able to draw on the power of DirectX 12, and it looks as though there could be some great gaming coming up.