For those of you sticking with Vista, Microsoft has finally officially released DirectX 11 for Vista, after having spent the last couple of months in beta. This final release looks to be the same as the last beta released earlier this month.

The update is KB971512, which is being released as part of a larger Platform Update for Vista that includes a few other things that are being backported for Vista. Vista SP2 is the prerequisite, so if you aren’t already on SP2 you’ll need to update.

All of these updates should be available on Windows Update.

We ran a quick sanity check on our Vista install from our Win7 Performance Guide from earlier this week, and there are no surprises. Just like with DX10, DX11 titles (all 2 of them ) perform the same between the two OSes. In this case we’re using BattleForge, along with Unigine’s DX11 Heaven benchmark (it’s synthetic, but pickings are slim for DX11). We’ve also thrown in Crysis for good measure, although it's not a DX11 title.

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  • poohbear - Thursday, October 29, 2009 - link

    anyone notice that Vista is actually snappier in opening apps and responds faster after this update? I was really suprised but its definetily welcome! Kudos to MS for this.:)
  • hclarkjr - Thursday, October 29, 2009 - link

    i installed it and did not notice any difference at all. i am running vista ultimate 64 bit
  • marc1000 - Thursday, October 29, 2009 - link

    there were some rummors that this "platform update" contains another things, and not only DX11. but I did not notice any performance difference (c2duo 3.1ghz with 3GB of RAM and R3850 512mb).
  • Scali - Thursday, October 29, 2009 - link

    Good that you've done coverage of this. It seems that the release of the Platform Update went mostly unannounced and not many news sites seem to have picked up on it.
    A lot of people mistakenly think that DirectX 11 is only for Windows 7.
    It's good that you're showing that it works just fine on Vista, and more importantly: that there's not really a performance difference between Vista and Windows 7 either (well, on my PC there is, but I have a 320 mb videocard, I think Windows 7 just saves a bit more memory. Probably doesn't matter with a 1 GB videocard).

    With DirectX 11 available on Vista, I can now ditch my DirectX 10 code altogether. DirectX 11 runs on all hardware and all OSes that DirectX 10 does, and more. It also supports DirectX 9 hardware now (and the update also makes DX9 hardware available in DirectX 10, but what's the point? You need to rewrite your application to use it anyway, might aswell use DirectX 11). So I'm now down from supporting 3 APIs to only two: D3D9 and D3D11. D3D9 is just there for XP support now. With a bit of luck, Windows 7 will make XP nothing but a bad memory soon, and I can finally go back to supporting 1 API (and you can still run on the same hardware as XP does, a Pentium 4 or Athlon with an SM2.0 or SM3.0 videocard works fine with Windows 7 and DirectX 11).
  • JimmyJimmington - Wednesday, October 28, 2009 - link

    People still use Vista?
  • PeZzy - Sunday, December 6, 2009 - link

    Those who currently use Vista and aren't fooled into believing 7 is better. There's mostly useless UI tweaks in 7 which can be an annoyance for those who are use to XP/Vista. The only people 'selling' 7 are those who get kickbacks from Microsoft. Both Vista and 7 suck, but if you're still using Vista there's no point in making M$ richer by paying twice for the same lousy OS. Go get Windowblinds 7 for Vista instead of funding Billy's pension.
  • Akumajou - Monday, November 9, 2009 - link

    they have not seen the commercials from Apple...

    I'm sticking to Win XP SP3 custom until I plunge into Windows 7
  • mejobloggs - Wednesday, October 28, 2009 - link

    Why wouldn't you use Vista? As seen in the benchmark, performance is exactly the same

    If you have Vista it's a waste of money going to 7
  • CZroe - Thursday, October 29, 2009 - link

    As if DX11 performance is the ONLY factor? How about XP compatibility mode?
  • Pirks - Thursday, October 29, 2009 - link

    XP compatibility mode is a waste anyway, I use VirtualPC for that.

    Win7 in my experience is too buggy still (does not know when to open start menu submenus, randomly opens on mouse hover, randomly on mouse click) and has almost no differences architecturally from Vista + DX11, and I don't care about its OS X Dock ripoff, if I wanted that I'd get a Mac a long time ago.

    My Vista Ultimate x64 will serve for many years to come, I'm not going to use my Win7 Pro licence I got for cheap for a couple of years if not more.

    mejobloggs is right, it's a waste of money to get Win7 if you have decent bug-free pretty well working Vista rig. I've got mine because I got huge corporate discount for my preorder, but I won't use it anyway, maybe in 2013 or so... or I'll skip to Win8 and sell my unused Win7 license then, hehe :P

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