German site PC Games Hardware got in touch with Charles Beauchemin, the technical lead on the upcoming PC version of Assassin's Creed. In the interview, the developer confirms that the game's Direct3D 10 rendering pipeline will have better performance than its D3D 9 counterpart, while running under Vista. The thing is, in theory, Direct3D 10 should almost always be faster than Direct3D 9, but reality has shown this not to be the case.
Beauchemin goes on to say that AMD and NVIDIA's D3D 10 drivers still need work, and even once the engine code is finalised, driver updates could provide noticeable performance gains.He also mentions that the PC port of Assassin's Creed will focus on performance rather than visuals. When asked if there will be any new content thanks to D3D 10:
No. Most of the porting to DX10 involves optimisations of the existing calls, without any new content.
Sure, Direct3D 10 adds some nice features, but it's always been about reducing calls and increasing efficiency. If all developers could focus on frame rates rather than getting their shaders as shiny as possible, D3D 10 might have more advocates than detractors.
So, will Assassin's Creed on PC be the first game to warrant the installation of Vista? At the very least, it might take the edge off its hefty system requirements.