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DirectX Support

 
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haha01haha01
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 3:35 pm    Post subject: DirectX Support Reply with quote

Okay, this is something that was bothering me for a while now - every time a new version of DirectX is released, the market is slowly filled up with "DirectX xx supported" video cards. Now, I can't seem to understand why must hardware must be adjusted to support the software. The most logically correct situation is the other way around - hardware companies add more features in their hardware, and programmers adjust their software to be able to use said features.

You might as well expand it to "windows 7\vista supported" processors, but the general question here is whether someone knows and can explain the technical reason that video cards must be designed specifically for a certain version of the software using them, because it doesn't make any sense to me at all.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Because some shit runs on dx hardware, and others run on software. SOME NEED BOTH.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gaming industry announces new gaming standard, video card manufacturers follows suit and rebrand older products in order to make money. Basically the hardware industry have long mastered the manufacturing techniques for future functions, but they don't see a need for the most advanced hardware in the market.

Aside from variation in the processing unit and amount of memory, video cards are basically the same. When the market calls for more advanced features they simply recode the architecture of the processor to handle such functions. Then they slap on a new sticker and start shipping them out.

Much like how Nvidia rebrands their cards in the past without major performance increases. GT 8xxx -> GTX 2xx, all that mattered was the exterior.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GPU manufacturers + game devs say LOL WE WANT THIS FEATURE IN NEXT DX REVISION PLEASE THINK ABOUT IT MICROSOFT. Then magic happens and it ends up in the standard if all goes well. Sometimes MS ends up adding stuff. The geometry shader was all them if I remember right. Then hardware must support it.

DX10 was a clean break in this sense, the standard was completely revised and most archaic legacy shit was thrown out.



Also DX11 software wise supports hardware all the way back to DX9 level shit.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The way I understand it, essentially the difference is the shader version used. I'm not necessarily talking about SM2/SM3/SM4 major versions, but minor additions to the shader spec. The hardware supports specific shader transformations which are required by the DirectX APIs. The analogy I would use is instruction sets, for example SSE2. You cannot execute SSE2 instructions on an unsupporting processor. The instructions are required to perform some operations. The reason these instructions are required is that there is no way to emulate the instructions without significant performance loss. Essentially the hardware manufacturers are inlining functionality as logic in the GPU so that it may be performed as an efficient atomic operation.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see. But if it's Microsoft that create standards and add features to DirectX (which require changes to the video cards), what happens with other graphical engines such as OpenGL? Are they following the standards Microsoft create or are they making their own (which require another change in video cards)?
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 2:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

haha01haha01 wrote:
I see. But if it's Microsoft that create standards and add features to DirectX (which require changes to the video cards), what happens with other graphical engines such as OpenGL? Are they following the standards Microsoft create or are they making their own (which require another change in video cards)?


there is an OpenGL standard, they depreciated a lot of legacy horse shit (finally) in the latest revision as well. for example, immediate mode is gone and now you're expected to rely on vertex buffer objects instead.

as new hardware becomes available, vendors can implement new features as extensions. extensions may become official.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 2:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

slovach wrote:
haha01haha01 wrote:
I see. But if it's Microsoft that create standards and add features to DirectX (which require changes to the video cards), what happens with other graphical engines such as OpenGL? Are they following the standards Microsoft create or are they making their own (which require another change in video cards)?


there is an OpenGL standard, they depreciated a lot of legacy horse shit (finally) in the latest revision as well. for example, immediate mode is gone and now you're expected to rely on vertex buffer objects instead.

as new hardware becomes available, vendors can implement new features as extensions. extensions may become official.
I see. It still seems like a weird way to do things, but I think I understand it now. Thanks.
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