First Thoughts

Bringing our preview of DirectX 12 to a close, what we’re seeing today is both a promising sign of what has been accomplished so far and a reminder of what is left to do. As it stands much of DirectX 12’s story remains to be told – features, feature levels, developer support, and more will only finally be unveiled by Microsoft next month at GDC 2015. So today’s preview is much more of a beginning than an end when it comes to sizing up the future of DirectX.

But for the time being we’re finally at a point where we can say the pieces are coming together, and we can finally see parts of the bigger picture. Drivers, APIs, and applications are starting to arrive, giving us our first look at DirectX 12’s performance. And we have to say we like what we’ve seen so far.

With DirectX 12 Microsoft and its partners set out to create a cross-vendor but still low-level API, and while there was admittedly little doubt they could pull it off, there has always been the question of how well they could do it. What kind of improvements and performance could you truly wring out of a new API when it has to work across different products and can never entirely avoid abstraction? The answer as it turns out is that you can still enjoy all of the major benefits of a low-level API, not the least of which are the incredible improvements in CPU efficiency and multi-threading.

That said, any time we’re looking at an early preview it’s important to keep our expectations in check, and that is especially the case with DirectX 12. Star Swarm is a best case scenario and designed to be a best case scenario; it isn’t so much a measure of real world performance as it is technological potential.

But to that end, it’s clear that DirectX 12 has a lot of potential in the right hands and the right circumstances. It isn’t going to be easy to master, and I suspect it won’t be a quick transition, but I am very interested in seeing what developers can do with this API. With the reduced overhead, the better threading, and ultimately a vastly more efficient means of submitting draw calls, there’s a lot of potential waiting to be exploited.

Frame Time Consistency & Recordings
Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • damianrobertjones - Saturday, February 7, 2015 - link

    ??? Eh? The computer, with DX12, is working harder AND offering better results.
  • bitcrazed - Saturday, February 7, 2015 - link

    Windows 7 will remain in broad use in businesses for a while yet, but given that Win10 will be a free upgrade for everyone else means that we should see far faster upgrades to Win10 than prior OS'.

    Put it this way - who here with a gaming rig or a machine they game on regularly is going to say - "No, I don't want a free upgrade to this new fangled Win10 + DX12 nonsense - I prefer to play my games at 10 fps and to gradually fade into obscurity"?
  • TheinsanegamerN - Sunday, February 8, 2015 - link

    Gamers also seem to upgrade at a much faster rate. windows 8+8.1 make up 30% of steam windows users, while they only make up 12% of the general market. given that its FREE, windows 10 will probably become very popular very quickly.
  • wolrah - Saturday, February 7, 2015 - link

    Why would you say that? Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for anyone on a DX11 compatible system and so far has been a great OS to use. At the moment there's literally no reason not to upgrade.

    If Microsoft doesn't screw it up and the users aren't change-hating morons about it, Windows 7 and 8 should be fading memories in a year or two as far as the gaming community is concerned. Corporate users will still be themselves and be slower to upgrade, but corporate users' relevance to new gaming APIs is minimal.
  • aliquis - Monday, February 9, 2015 - link

    Another stab at Valve and their SteamOS.

    OpenGL NG is quite a bit away and this will likely make Linux lag behind Windows in gaming again. For now.

    Also with Xbox for Windows 10 I assume they may have some competition (which is likely why they wanted to migrate to Linux in the first place, because app-stores on any OS have become the standard.)
  • eanazag - Monday, February 9, 2015 - link

    I'd like to see an integrated graphics version of this. Intel and AMD APU. If you're feeling fiesty, an AMD APU with a second card in Crossfire.

    Question I would have in an APU related article. With APUs, does it now make even more sense to go with higher bandwidth RAM? Some suggestions for the CPUs: AMD 7850K (duh), AMD A-6, AMD A-8, Haswell (Intel 7, 5, and 3 plus a crappy Pentium), AMD Kabini (top sku), and the Crystalwell Pro.

    I think this has big mobile implications. I'd like to see a choice of a performance cap at 30-60 fps and the remainder of what's left on the table delivered in less heat and longer battery life.
  • SparkySamza - Tuesday, February 10, 2015 - link

    what do you mean under windows 10; are you talking about windows 7 or even windows 8.1 ?
  • tviceman - Friday, February 6, 2015 - link

    Ryan I appreciate the depth and analysis of all your reviews. Anandtech is always my first stop for analysis of new video cards and tablets. That said, the continued tardiness of the GTX 960 review, as well as the lack of any 970 memory performance investigations is really disheartening. Especially the 960, since it's now 2 weeks today since the NDA was lifted.

    Keep up the analysis, and hire extra help if needed. ;)
  • Stuka87 - Friday, February 6, 2015 - link

    Uhm, they had an article on the 970 memory issues:
  • tviceman - Friday, February 6, 2015 - link

    They did have an article, but they didn't do any extensive investigations into performance when going over 3.5gb but staying within 4gb.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now