Tagged With directx 12

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It's still very early days for DirectX 12 and Vulkan, the main graphics APIs fighting for superiority. It's not quite Blu-ray versus HD-DVD; even if one does pull ahead with developers, the other won't suddenly vanish. A lot of factors can decide the battle, with one of the more interesting being support for mixed hardware, multi-GPU setups. On this front, Microsoft scored points with DirectX 12, but Vulkan has done one better by supporting multi-GPU on all the important platforms, not just Windows 10.

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If you haven't messed around with Dolphin, an emulator constantly refined and tweaked by a massive community of contributors, then you should find some time tonight to play around with it. It's a superb program; it might even be the most impressive emulator released to date.

Dolphin's just got one of its biggest upgrades to date, however. The team behind the emulator has just added a DirectX 12 renderer to one of their experimental releases, and the gains are huge.

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If I said the words Ashes of the Singularity, some of you might be aware that it's an upcoming RTS from the stables of Oxide Games and Stardock Entertainment. Others might not know what I'm referring to at all. And some might not care just because it's a strategy.

There is a very good reason why every PC gamer should have at least one eye on Ashes. It's a game that quickly became the go-to benchmark for DirectX 12, even in primitive builds. And as of it's finally entered beta, with a string of crucial features.

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One of the interesting advancements in DirectX 12 is the way it allows graphics cards from different manufacturers to be paired together. Traditionally if you wanted a multiple GPU setup, you had to get two cards from the same manufacturer and often they had to be the same model too.

But DX12 is giving developers much more control over accessing and manipulating GPUs, and one manifestation is the freedom to pair different GPUs. It will still take a few years before the real-world benefits become much more commonplace, but the first benchmarks are in and the results are highly intriguing.

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The next few years are going to be interesting for 3D graphics APIs. With Microsoft's DirectX 12 (or more accurately, Direct3D 12) and Khronos' Vulkan on the horizon, both offering lower driver overhead and "to the metal" access to hardware, developers will have more headroom than ever to build resplendent (and hopefully fun) games. Which API will prove the most popular? Valve reckons Vulkan is the way to go, if only because it's multi-platform.

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Yes, of course that's what Phil Spencer, Microsoft's head of Xbox would say in a fluff video promoting the company's latest console and upcoming operating system. The thing is, Windows 10 has to be a better deal for gamers, given the mess that Vista was (despite the inclusion of DirectX 10) and the unpalatable, though improved, experience of Windows 8 / 8.1.

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Pre-2010, the antics of NVIDIA and AMD (or ATI back then) was one of PC gaming's biggest topics, but in recent years the "rivalry", as it were, largely went off the boil. And then AMD released Mantle, a lean 3D graphics API and competitor to Direct3D and OpenGL and suddenly, it was on again. Now the two companies exchange barbs on a regular basis, with NVIDIA providing the latest salvo.