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AMD Previews DirectX 11 Gaming Performance

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the more-and-better dept.

Graphics 103

An anonymous reader writes "AMD invited 100 people up to their private suite in the hotel that Quakecon 2009 is being hosted at for a first look at gaming on one of their upcoming DirectX 11 graphics cards. This card has not been officially named yet, but it has the internal code name of 'Evergreen,' and was first shown to the media back at Computex over in Taiwan earlier this year. The guys from Legit Reviews were shown two different systems running DX11 hardware. One system was set up running a bunch of DX11 SDKs and the other was running a demo for the upcoming shooter Wolfenstein. The video card appears to be on schedule for its launch next month."

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Except (2, Insightful)

emkyooess (1551693) | more than 5 years ago | (#29077031)

Problem with DirectX11: Requires Windows Vista or 7.

Re:Except (1, Insightful)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 5 years ago | (#29077097)

Bigger problem: Probably runs worse than directx9 with it's only "advantages" being one or two minor shader effects (geometry shaders...) and a lot of games that arbitrarily lock things to Dx11 mode when they could run just fine in dx9 mode.

Re:Except (5, Informative)

Suiggy (1544213) | more than 5 years ago | (#29077417)

You are dead wrong. Direct3D 11 and Shader Model 5.0 is quite the step up from Direct3D 9 and SM 3.0. If you were a graphics developer you would know this. From Wikipedia:
  • Tessellation to increase at runtime the number of visible polygons from a low detail polygonal model.
  • Multithreaded rendering to render to the same Direct3D device object from different threads for multi core CPUs.
  • Compute shaders which exposes the shader pipeline for non-graphical tasks such as stream processing and physics acceleration, similar in spirit to what NVIDIA CUDA achieves, and HLSL Shader Model 5 among others.

It also has a lot of awesome smaller features that make doing what are known as deferred shading/lighting pipelines more feasible. This is a good thing because it simplifies the amount of work needed in implementing game's material system while offering great performance at the cost of more GPU memory being used.

Re:Except (1, Troll)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 5 years ago | (#29077503)

I remember the marketspeak about dx10, nobody did anything particularly impressive with THAT either.

Re:Except (4, Informative)

Suiggy (1544213) | more than 5 years ago | (#29077583)

Most game developers are skipping Direct3D 10 because it's explicitly tied to Vista and it has poor market share compared to Windows XP/Direct3D 9.0c. The hope is that most current gamers on Windows XP will eventually move to Windows 7, and that Direct3D 11 enjoys the same long life span as Direct3D 9.0, ending up in the console from Microsoft.

Re:Except (1)

Suiggy (1544213) | more than 5 years ago | (#29077611)

To clarify, I meant the next console from Microsoft.

Re:Except (1)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 5 years ago | (#29078761)

Certainly, there are a few features that speed rendering up, while making it look better.

But those same features were probably available on older cards - just not exposed in the API. I saw an OpenGL Parallax Occlusion demo years back, running on a GeForce 6 or 7. (Can't recall which)

HDAO looks nice, but the performance hit is massive. I just know there's going to be a few games that force it on, completely tanking your framerate for a few shadows. :P

And yes, framerate dropping to 10% is completely tanking. ;)

Re:Except (1)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 5 years ago | (#29077435)

From my viewpoint the changes made in recent releases of DirectX are no small matter, to label such things as "minor shader effects" shows your ignorance of the subject. The DirectX SDK [microsoft.com] contains wonderful documentation if you are so inclined to learn.

I'm not arguing for or against Microsoft platforms but the fact remains DirectX is currently the de facto standard in creating games. And even though it's a COM based technology, it's still kinda fun to play with.

Re:Except (1, Interesting)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 5 years ago | (#29077257)

Why is that a problem?

XP FTW. (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 5 years ago | (#29078339)

I am not planning to go to Vista or 7 any time soon. Maybe in a few years when MS and other companies drop support it. I am still happy and fine with my old XP Pro. SP3 (IE6).

Re:XP FTW. (2, Insightful)

Attaturk (695988) | more than 5 years ago | (#29079683)

I was totally with you right up to the mention of IE6. :P

Re:XP FTW. (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 5 years ago | (#29080507)

What's wrong with IE6? Do you use it? I rarely use it except for Windows/MS Update and Web sites that don't work with Mozilla's Web browsers. :(

Re:XP FTW. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29080897)

IE6 was made to deal with security threats of 2001. IE8 is made for security issues that threaten machines in 2009. Same with Vista and Windows 7.

Even with other stuff static like applications, security threats always get worse, so sticking with the same OS and security is foolishness. One doesn't use warded locks on their doors even on houses made in the 1800s, so why stick with IE6 and an antiquated OS like XP that fails to pass muster when it comes to today's security threats?

Re:XP FTW. (1)

angelbunny (1501333) | more than 5 years ago | (#29080601)

I'd still use win 2k if MS pumped out more security updates for it. To me that OS was the best MS ever produced. However, if I want to use an MS OS then it is XP now. How long until MS starts pushing for 7 and XP users are forced to upgrade for security reasons just like Win2k users where?

Re:XP FTW. (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 5 years ago | (#29080659)

Um, MS still supplies security updates for W2K and its IE6. The hard part is some recent, latest, and upcoming softwares don't work in it. :( But for old stuff, it rocks (still use it for that case).

"DirectX 11" Hardware? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29077037)

Since when did we build hardware around APIs, rather than the other way around?

Boy, we have entered a really topsy-turvy world with Microsoft thinking they are the fucking god of computers, haven't we?

Re:"DirectX 11" Hardware? (2, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#29077093)

What?!? The standard always comes before the hardware, DX11 is an API and a (defacto) standard. We could go back to the OpenGL model with ARB extensions for new features that are implemented differently by each party until the standard catches up, but that was tough on everyone. It was tough on the hardware guys because they inevitably implemented features that didn't make it into the standard, it was hard on the standards body because they had to arbitrate between the different implementations to pick a winner, and it was hard on the software guys because they had to support the whole mess. It's a primary reason that DX won over OpenGL in the marketplace.

Re:"DirectX 11" Hardware? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29077369)

Direct3D hasn't won a fucking thing. Microsoft abused their monopoly and poured millions into marketing but they're becoming increasingly irrelevant and OpenGL is the prefered API of choice for everyone else. It might be big today but tomorrow? Direct3D could go the way of 3Dfx very easily and unless Microsoft stops acting like a dick that's what's going to happen.

Re:"DirectX 11" Hardware? (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 5 years ago | (#29077887)

That's what people said when DX7 was released.

Re:"DirectX 11" Hardware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29080657)

welcome to slashdot.

the same people post the same things over and over. every now and again you run into something truly informative or insightful. these types of posters normally last about 4 days and go back to real tech sites.

Re:"DirectX 11" Hardware? (1)

Suiggy (1544213) | more than 5 years ago | (#29077451)

I agree with what you say. I'd just like to add that Khronos has finally gotten the hint and is moving quickly in catching up to Direct3D. They might always be behind, but at least they won't be that far behind. The recently released OpenGL 3.2 implements all of the Direct3D 10 features, at least as far as I know. We can probably expect another OpenGL revision Q1 2010 with some Direct3D 11 features, but probably not all of them. I really don't know what Khronos is going to do when it comes to trying to implement shader linking in GLSL, as SM 5.0 is quite revolutionary in comparison to SM 4.0.

Re:"DirectX 11" Hardware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29077605)

Sorry, I don't agree.

The DirectX capabilities debacle was just as bad. It was until until DX10 that Microsoft started cleaning up the mess.

You'll find many posts from different game developers and publishers talking about how cards that had drivers that were 'certified' by Microsoft had significant issues or lacked major capabilities.

Re:"DirectX 11" Hardware? (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 5 years ago | (#29077723)

Since when? The standards only exist as a way of describing what hardware can do. Hardware has often preceded standards in many areas, including 3D gaming.

OpenGL has an extension feature for exactly that reason -- allowing hardware vendors to describe features that aren't standardized yet.

Re:"DirectX 11" Hardware? (1)

Suiggy (1544213) | more than 5 years ago | (#29077805)

He already explained it. It was a headache for everyone involved doing it that way. It's why the OpenGL ARB was disbanded a few years ago and replaced with the Khronos Group which now more or less follows Direct3D features. Pretty soon though we'll see a return to fully programmable graphics hardware post Intel Larrabee, and we'll probably see some software developers moving away from OpenGL and Direct3D and implementing their own low-level rendering stacks. It's hard to say if Microsoft or the Khronos Group will move to standardize such hardware or not.

Re:"DirectX 11" Hardware? (1)

Artraze (600366) | more than 5 years ago | (#29078243)

Traditionally, it was very much the case that the spec preceded hardware support. OpenGL was around for years before it was ever (basically) fully implemented on consumer hardware. There are still some corner cases where some cards will have to fall back to partial software support, and some cards (like my cheap laptop chip) are specifically designed to run some things in software (my chip lacks vertex shaders).

More recently, it's become a bit more complicated, because the spec designers and the hardware designers get together and decide what would be reasonable for the next gen spec. Even still, the bulk of the new stuff is only in development, not actually released by the time the spec is.

Re:"DirectX 11" Hardware? (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 5 years ago | (#29078659)

Problem being every hardware company does their own 'set of features' to differentiate themselves from their competitors which means software guys pull their hair out trying to support the fucking mess. DirectX may not be the best solution possible, but it is a helluva lot easier to support.

Re:"DirectX 11" Hardware? (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 5 years ago | (#29077115)

Since always?... What are you even talking about? Games are written against the API, and then that API is implemented in hardware. That's what video cards are: efficient implementations of DirectX.
 
Would you rather the card decide the API and require games to support hundreds of different interfaces?

Re:"DirectX 11" Hardware? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29077149)

Or you know, the hardware could just come with documentation so everyone could implement their favorite API on top of it.

Re:"DirectX 11" Hardware? (1)

Suiggy (1544213) | more than 5 years ago | (#29077493)

Or you know, the hardware could just come with documentation so everyone could implement their favorite API on top of it.

We will be seeing more of this once Intel's Larrabee platform gets released early next year.

Re:"DirectX 11" Hardware? (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 5 years ago | (#29083537)

"That's what video cards are: efficient implementations of DirectX."

Huh, I didn't know you could turn electrical 0s and 1s into a piece of silicon and PCB.

Re:"DirectX 11" Hardware? (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 5 years ago | (#29084767)

You have no idea how stupid you sound.

Re:"DirectX 11" Hardware? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#29084901)

Perhaps he has misstated the case a bit, but the fact is that video cards have functions to correspond to directx functions these days in the way that they used to have them to correspond to opengl functions. Some of this is of course implemented in software; the idea is however to always implement as much as possible on the card itself, leaving the CPU free to do the other stuff. That's why we're seeing physics functions creeping into GPUs... they can sell us more transistors if they do more of the work.

Re:"DirectX 11" Hardware? (1)

click2005 (921437) | more than 5 years ago | (#29077127)

They do currently make the best selling current generation real games console and the only serious platform for enthusiast/hardcore/multiplayer gaming.

The PC is still an open standard so there is hope that other OSes might improve things. OpenGL was the standard for a while but they messed that up.

I'd like to see someone make a stripped-down linux distribution just for games & media... no X-windows and all the other crap.

Re:"DirectX 11" Hardware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29077303)

I think the 'gaming' friendly System would need X rather heavy for its GUI functions

Re:"DirectX 11" Hardware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29077411)

Yeah. What GP probably wants cut out is the DE, which is where most bloat occurs.

Just have it run Blackbox, Awesome, &c. By the way, I'll run it. I'll even contribute a dollar or two, or maybe some code (I'm not a kernel hacker...yet.)

Re:"DirectX 11" Hardware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29077225)

Obviously it's not MS thinking that they're the computer gods but rather AMD bowing to their standards.

I know in the world of odd ideologies it's hard to understand how a business goes with the big boys to make a profit. That's why the ideological fight what they feel is the good fight and rarely win. Open source still doesn't get it after all these years and it shows that they will take decades to catch up at this pace. If ever.

It's a business, not a religious cult.

Re:"DirectX 11" Hardware? (2, Informative)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 5 years ago | (#29077229)

>>Since when did we build hardware around APIs, rather than the other way around?

Always.

There's always a dialogue between software and hardware people on what needs to be implemented, and whether it should be done in hardware and software. The RISC/CISC days were full of stories like that in the CPU design world.

Re:"DirectX 11" Hardware? (2, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#29077463)

Always? This is generally how it works for GPUs:
  1. OpenGL provides an API.
  2. Vendors implement some subset of OpenGL in hardware and the rest in software.
  3. Vendor adds Shiny New Featureâ to their hardware.
  4. Vendor publishes VENDOR_SHINY_NEW_FEATURE OpenGL extension.
  5. Another vendor implements it, and it becomes EXT_SHINY_NEW_FEATURE.
  6. The feature is proposed for inclusion into the next standard and becomes ARB_SHINY_NEW_FEATURE.
  7. The next version of OpenGL is released, with this feature as standard.
  8. Vendors provide either a hardware or software implementation of the feature in their drivers (ideally, the OS vendor provides a software implementation which the driver API uses if the hardware doesn't support it).

At some point during this process, Microsoft takes a selection of OpenGL extensions - often including ones that vendors have proposed but not yet implemented - and says that the next version of Direct3D will require these. Vendors then implement whichever ones they didn't provide in their next generation hardware and stick a DirectX n+1 label on it.

Re:"DirectX 11" Hardware? (5, Insightful)

Suiggy (1544213) | more than 5 years ago | (#29077561)

Actually, it hasn't been this way since around 2003/2004. Essentially nVidia, ATI/AMD, Intel and a few other lesser known vendors sit down in league with Microsoft and decide what kind of features they will be able to implement in the next graphics hardware cycle. They then come up with the API and get feedback from the hardware vendors and work towards a final workable API. This is what we saw with Direct3D 9.0c, Direct3D 10, and Direct3D 11. OpenGL and the ARB has lagged way behind Microsoft and its partners, which is why the ARB was eventually disbanded and replaced by the Khronos Group. The Khronos Group kind of messed up OpenGL 3.0, they didn't implement half of the things they said they were going to do. As such, OpenGL 3.0 lagged quite a ways behind Direct3D 10. Fortunately, they've caught up, and OpenGL 3.2 is on par with Direct3D 10, but still a big step behind the new stuff in Direct3D 11. As such, Microsoft and it's partners are leading the pack here, and Khronos (and because most of Microsoft's Direct3D partners are also Khronos group members) is no playing the role of follower. You can be guaranteed that the next major revision to OpenGL to match Direct3D 11 almost exactly in features, as nVidia, ATI/AMD, et. al. don't want to deviate radically in their underlying hardware.

Re:"DirectX 11" Hardware? (2, Informative)

am 2k (217885) | more than 5 years ago | (#29078545)

Maybe you should also mention in your rant that it doesn't matter whether OpenGL 3.x implements a feature, because every hardware developer can just add an extension to it to implement that feature. This means that new features usually get into the standard after they have been deployed in new hardware.

This is not possible in Direct3D, and so in this case the new versions have to be developed before the hardware for it gets deployed. That's why it always appears that OpenGL is lagging behind, when in reality it's actually moving faster. For example, OpenGL geometry shaders are supported in Windows XP, where no Direct3D 10 is available.

Re:"DirectX 11" Hardware? (2, Insightful)

Suiggy (1544213) | more than 5 years ago | (#29079851)

Just because Windows XP can't run Direct3D 10/11 doesn't mean that Direct3D never supported geometry-shaders before OpenGL. Direct3D 10 had geometry shader support back in 2006, and it's what spurred the development of actual hardware that supported that feature set. It's true that nVidia had their GL_EXT_geometry_shader4 extension working back in 2007, but ATI/AMD NEVER supported it. It wasn't until OpenGL 3.2 was announced in August of this year that we actually got standardized support for geometry shaders, but the OpenGL 3.2 drivers from nVidia and ATI are still in beta.

Re:"DirectX 11" Hardware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29080629)

Direct3D 10 had geometry shader support back in 2006

In what sense? DX10 was not even released officially until early 2007. I had geometry shader sample programs running in XP in November 2006 on an nVidia GeForce 8800.

Re:"DirectX 11" Hardware? (1)

am 2k (217885) | more than 5 years ago | (#29081689)

Uh, [ ] you have read and understood my reasoning why Direct3D supported geometry shaders before OpenGL.

AMD not supporting geometry shaders in OpenGL is bad, but that's notorious of them. One more reason not to buy their cards.

Re:"DirectX 11" Hardware? (-1, Troll)

DoktorSeven (628331) | more than 5 years ago | (#29077633)

Oh wow. Oh, fucking wow.

Not only did someone get so defensive about this as to MOD DOWN AN AC DOWN TO -1, but have flooded this discussion with replies that only show how corrupted people have gotten from Microsoft's way of doing things.

Let me tell you kids how things work in the real world, instead of Microsoft's imaginary fantasy land come to life:

Video cards are made that can do X and Y and Z. THEN -- as in AFTER THE CARDS ARE MADE -- APIs are created that give programmers the ability to access the video card's ability to do X and Y and Z.

The concept that it works the other way around -- that Microsoft creates an API that says "we want programmers to be able to do X and Y and Z" then TELLS VIDEO CARD MAKERS -- THE COMPANIES THAT CREATE THE VERY HARDWARE AND LOW-LEVEL THINGS THAT ENABLE GRAPHICS TO EXIST IN THE FIRST PLACE -- to create cards that implement X and Y and Z -- is completely backwards and proof that we have really stopped understanding how things are supposed to function.

Here's a hint -- look up what API actually MEANS before spouting your Microsoft-centric garbage. I wouldn't be surprised if you were all Microsoft-paid trolls and marketers that are placing your twisted spin on things and making people continue to believe in your garbage. I know Microsoft hires people for this reason -- I've had people inside Microsoft admit to me that they do.

So either you're a bunch of paid trolls, or have been brainwashed by them to believe things that are completely backwards from the way things are supposed to be.

No wonder gaming these days is a horrible mess.

Re:"DirectX 11" Hardware? (5, Insightful)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#29077973)

I wouldn't be surprised if you were all Microsoft-paid trolls and marketers that are placing your twisted spin on things and making people continue to believe in your garbage.

The hardware manufacturer talks to Microsoft. Microsoft talks to the hardware manufacturer.

This - surprisingly enough - turns out to be mutually beneficial.

Re:"DirectX 11" Hardware? (-1, Troll)

feepness (543479) | more than 5 years ago | (#29078303)

I agree to set my price above market level. You agree to set your price above market level.

This - surprisingly enough - turns out to be mutually beneficial. And illegal.

Re:"DirectX 11" Hardware? (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 5 years ago | (#29078213)

You have no idea how things work.

What you are suggesting is that ATI and NVIDIA compete on features in such a way that their hardware isnt interchangable. Further, that software makers themselves would need to pick one or the other. That consumers would then need to be mindfull of who the software targets, and so on and on and on...

The fact was that when things are done as you suggest, it sucks bigtime for the companies making the hardware. When you have multiple large competitors in the market, neither one can afford to drift from the status quo. Suppose NVIDIA spends countless millions developing proprietary extension FOO, increasing the cost of their hardware as a result.. but then ATI simply refuses to also implement the extension. NVIDIA, in this scenario, is fucked. They just spent millions on a useless extension that nobody will ever care about and priced themselves out of the market as a result.

The fact is that if an extension is worthwhile to implement, then its also worthwhile to standardize up front.

Re:"DirectX 11" Hardware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29080959)

That's called "competition". If FOO is worth creating, implementing, and using because it gives a significant advantage over the status quo, then it will be an advantage for the company that implemented it, and a loss for others. You can market card A with FOO when programmers begin implementing it in games as not being available on card B.

What you are proposing, and what is happening, is that graphics become a bland sameness across all cards where everything looks horribly generic and nothing exciting or revolutionary can occur.

Typical narrow point of view.

Re:"DirectX 11" Hardware? (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 5 years ago | (#29082747)

That's called "competition". If FOO is worth creating, implementing, and using because it gives a significant advantage over the status quo, then it will be an advantage for the company that implemented it, and a loss for others. You can market card A with FOO when programmers begin implementing it in games as not being available on card B.

The reality is that programmers *DO NOT* implement it in games if its not available on card B.

Thats the error in your logic. A game company cannot afford to give the finger to half of the market. This leads right back to the hardware company being fucked for spending money on arbitrary innovation.

What you are proposing, and what is happening, is that graphics become a bland sameness across all cards where everything looks horribly generic and nothing exciting or revolutionary can occur.

Maybe you don't know this, but graphics cards render what the programmers tell them to render. They look exactly like what the programers expect. If the programmer wanted it to look different, it would look different. You seem to think that the programmer shouldn't be in control of how things look, that the video card makers should have control over how things look. Thats stupid, and you are stupid.

Re:"DirectX 11" Hardware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29078449)

You are so wrong, you are a sheep. Another open source zealot who can't see the forest for the trees.

It's ok little boy. RMS will come and kiss your booboo and make it all better.

LOL!!!! Suck it up bitch. Open source loses yet again! On second thought keep crying. Your open source shit makes me laugh.

Truly,

An Unpaid Shill

Re:"DirectX 11" Hardware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29079539)

It does not happen the way you describe it. The API is often catching up to technology that has been maturing for a while. EG: At least one manufacturer has had tessellation support for two generations now. This is true for features you will see someday.

Alright (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29077143)

They're showing off their hardware with Wolfenflop?

It's a shame, ATI hardware has been a real competitor to Nvidia's hardware lately.

Finally! (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 5 years ago | (#29077235)

A name brand video card designed just for X11! This a great day for FOSS, an ---
What? Direct X 11? What's tha --
Oh hell, nevermind.

Re:Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29077383)

But from what i read it's not worth the buzz... MS implementation still can't do XDMCP or X-Forwarding

Re:Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29086423)

I guess the weekend wannabee crowd has no clue what X11 is...

What is next? (0)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 5 years ago | (#29077407)

Direct X 11!!!oneone?

Drivers drivers... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29077457)

How about they fix their win7 drviers for not-so-old but still great performing cards like the X1800 ? Nvidia customers are having a great time with win7 atm, and even Intel integrated graphics are performing better, but I've got several friends with less than 2 year old ATI cards that perform great, but have no real driver support with trashy, even BSOD drivers from ATI for win7.

Re:Drivers drivers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29077545)

ATI has no money to support the older cards.

Re:Drivers drivers... (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 5 years ago | (#29083565)

ATi, like nVidia, uses a universal driver architecture - the support should be included NATIVELY.

Re:Drivers drivers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29077555)

Problem here is that ATI has eliminated R500-- driver support from Catalyst 9.7, at least on linux, and I imagine they've been doing the same on Windows because they no longer felt it financially relevant to try and fix up the drivers. Nvidia has maintained more stable graphics support, because as far as I understand it, they've had a more stable hardware architecture for a longer period of time. Also I think they may just have better driver writers, leading to easier future maintainability :D

Re:Drivers drivers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29077691)

They can't. Why? Sarbanes Oxley. When ATI sells a video card, they immediately recognize the revenue associated with it. Once the card is out of production, they no longer have any revenue from it. Releasing an updated driver is an expense item, but they are no longer receiving any revenue, so there's no way to (legally) account for it.

Re:Drivers drivers... (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 5 years ago | (#29077715)

Then why does Intel and nVidia release updated drivers for devices no longer in production?

Re:Drivers drivers... (1)

Suiggy (1544213) | more than 5 years ago | (#29077763)

I haven't received any updates to my ATI X800 recently. Sure, they release a new Catalyst Driver pack every now and then, but it doesn't actually improve performance or fix the same bug I have in trying to Doom 3 full screen in Windows Vista. It's also why their R400 series hardware documentation wasn't released to the community like they did for the R200/R300 and R500/600, probably because they didn't have it well documented and decided it wasn't worth paying to release specs for it after it's already end-of-lifed.

Re:Drivers drivers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29079705)

1. Open up google finance.
2. Type in AMD, Intel, and nVidida
3. No Profit...

Re:Drivers drivers... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#29084975)

Contractual obligations to partners (e.g. Microsoft game doesn't run) or to customers (e.g. anyone who got a bunch of those GPUs with the die bonding problem and sent them out to customers and hasn't stopped hearing about it since, say HP.)

Re:Drivers drivers... (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#29084301)

This Sarbanes Oxley is a pain. My company told me that once an employee is is fired or resigns under Sarbanes Oxley there's no way to pay them termination because that would be an illegal expense as they are no longer receiving an benefit from that employee. Since they are worried someone who doesn't understand SOx might sue them they have told the security guards to just beat people who are leaving to death with a monitor and bury them under the flowerbeds out back.

All this is due to SOx, the management would much rather we walked out alive with the termination money but they have no choice but to monitor them. If you check your contract your company most likely works the same way - employees have to give consent to being monitored to work there.

Re:Drivers drivers... (1)

equex (747231) | more than 5 years ago | (#29077815)

Funny you should say that, I had my ATI 2600 HD cards BSOD me last night for the first time on Win7. It was the ati2dvag bug, wich is also prevalent on XP and Linux. First time I've had a BSOD with the ATI cards, usually the ATI VPU Recovery driver kicks in and saves me. There is no VPU recovery on Linux though.

Re:Drivers drivers... (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 5 years ago | (#29077867)

they probably will once windows 7 is out.

Re:Drivers drivers... (1)

inotocracy (762166) | more than 5 years ago | (#29078847)

I wouldn't consider the X1800 a "great" performing card by any means. Upgrade.

Re:Drivers drivers... (1)

cskrat (921721) | more than 5 years ago | (#29080895)

If you do not have the hardware to support Windows 7 then don't upgrade. If your graphics card is the only thing holding you back then take a stroll over to Newegg [newegg.com] and start upgrading.

Complaining about hardware that was designed for Windows XP not working in Vista/Win7 is really akin to complaining about hardware that worked fine in Win95/98/ME not working or working well in XP. Eventually you have to upgrade hardware to run modern software. If you think ATI is choosing to end support for a legacy product too early, feel free to buy a nVidia card to replace it. Eventually though, nVidia will discontinue support for their DX9 products the same way they no longer support DX8 products in Vista/Win7. Some point after that, they'll discontinue support for the GT 285 for some future OS.

Re:Drivers drivers... (1)

TyFoN (12980) | more than 5 years ago | (#29083225)

I'll buy an ATI card when they make usable linux drivers with accelerated video like vdpau. Right now the nvidia blob is so much better and i dont really care that it is closed source. I've have a couple of friend that use ATI, and the only reason they still have windows on the computer is the crappy ATI linux support.

Interesting tidbit: 4 display output connectors (4, Informative)

bomanbot (980297) | more than 5 years ago | (#29077469)

Well I read TFA and besides the new capabilities of DirectX 11 (which look nice, but not exactly earth-shattering to me and also will need some time to get implemented into games anyway), what I found interesting was what ATI actually did with the display output connectors.

The demo system they set up had one of those new DirectX 11 cards and that card is a dual-slot solution as all the highend graphics cards are now. But ATI did use the space from those two slots quite nicely by including dual DVI ports AND a HDMI AND a DisplayPort connector meaning you have all the different types of digital display connectors available on a single card, which would be a first, I think.

No word yet whether you can use all four ports simultaneously, but if you could, it looks like a nice new way of hooking up multiple displays :)

Re:Interesting tidbit: 4 display output connectors (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#29078051)

But ATI did use the space from those two slots quite nicely by including dual DVI ports AND a HDMI AND a DisplayPort connector meaning you have all the different types of digital display connectors available on a single card, which would be a first, I think.

I would like to see multiple HDMI outputs. The one cable - one connector - solution for audio and video.

Re:Interesting tidbit: 4 display output connectors (1)

Mr. DOS (1276020) | more than 5 years ago | (#29080617)

See, this is what I don't get - why does everyone think HDMI is so awesome? It's just DVI with a couple extra pins for audio. It's not inherently higher-quality; does it have a sufficiently higher bandwidth capacity than DVI + TOSLINK that it makes an impact in real-world environments (24fps 1080p video/5.1 surround sound)? And how is having your video card double as a sound card a good idea? Isn't that just asking for aural interference from the video components?

      --- Mr. DOS

HDMI 1.4 (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#29081331)

See, this is what I don't get - why does everyone think HDMI is so awesome? It's just DVI with a couple extra pins for audio.

It's become far more than that:

HDMI 1.4 was released on May 28, 2009. HDMI 1.4 increases the maximum resolution to 4K × 2K (3840×2160p at 24Hz/25Hz/30Hz and 4096×2160p at 24Hz, which is a resolution used with digital theaters); an HDMI Ethernet Channel, which allows for a 100 Mb/s Ethernet connection between the two HDMI connected devices; and introduces an Audio Return Channel, 3D Over HDMI, a new Micro HDMI Connector, expanded support for color spaces, and an Automotive Connection System. HDMI [wikipedia.org]

What the user sees is painless auto-configuration of video and sound and a noticeable reduction of cable-clutter.

Re:Interesting tidbit: 4 display output connectors (2, Informative)

GleeBot (1301227) | more than 5 years ago | (#29081523)

See, this is what I don't get - why does everyone think HDMI is so awesome? It's just DVI with a couple extra pins for audio. It's not inherently higher-quality; does it have a sufficiently higher bandwidth capacity than DVI + TOSLINK that it makes an impact in real-world environments (24fps 1080p video/5.1 surround sound)? And how is having your video card double as a sound card a good idea? Isn't that just asking for aural interference from the video components?

First point: HDMI is all-digital, so you don't get "aural interference from the video components". It's actually a pretty cool feature of the current batch of HD 4xx0 cards that you can run the output of an HTPC on one cable.

Second point: HDMI, in the later revisions of the spec (1.3+ or so), actually does have improved features over DVI, like deeper color support, and higher bandwidth to support higher resolution displays. (It also supports 7.1 sound, not merely 5.1. Not that you actually need any of this, but saying it's just DVI is misleading.) It doesn't hurt that the connectors are a lot smaller and easier to work with, too.

As an aside, the audio from HDMI isn't carried on separate pins. HDMI is digital signaling, it's all just bits. The reason to have so many pins is to enable more bandwidth by spread the signal across more wire pairs, not because you need extra wires to carry different parts of the signal.

Now, I'm not all rah-rah-rah HDMI (the only thing I'm using it for right now is to plug a Blu-ray player into a TV), but for home theater applications, it does seem pretty attractive.

I'm also not convinced all those connectors and slots belong to a single card, particularly in the final product. I'm more inclined to believe that it's an engineering sample designed with extra outputs for experimentation, perhaps even a dual card solution with some sort of extra bus. It'd be nice to have all the connectors you could want on one back panel, but I think it's ridiculous to believe most cards are going to have the space for them all.

From Wikipedia, (4, Informative)

carp3_noct3m (1185697) | more than 5 years ago | (#29077547)

Since most you other fucks just make some sort of quip with no facts, (yeah yeah, i know it slashdot) here is the wikipedia entry for DX11.

"Microsoft unveiled Direct3D 11 at the Gamefest 08 event in Seattle, with the major scheduled features including GPGPU support, tessellation[11][12] support, and improved multi-threading support to assist video game developers in developing games that better utilize multi-core processors.[13] Direct3D 11 will run on Windows Vista, Windows 7, and all future Windows operating systems. Parts of the new API such as multi-threaded resource handling can be supported on Direct3D 9/10/10.1-class hardware. Hardware tessellation and Shader Model 5.0 will require Direct3D 11 supporting hardware.[14] Microsoft has since released the Direct3D 11 Technical Preview.[15] Direct3D 11 is a strict superset of Direct3D 10.1 - all hardware and API features of version 10.1 are retained, and new features are added only when necessary for exposing new functionality. Microsoft have stated that Direct3D 11 is scheduled to be released to manufacturing in July 2009,[16] with the retail release coming in October '09"

Seems pretty big to me. The thing I see being the biggest is the work on improving multithreading/multicore support, and the whole GPGPU thing. Not to mention that the API will be very compatiable with older cards (read: no real need to upgrade cards just yet)

I know its bad form to post to myself but (1)

carp3_noct3m (1185697) | more than 5 years ago | (#29077567)

I just read up on tesselation and it looks freaking badass.

Re:From Wikipedia, (3, Insightful)

Suiggy (1544213) | more than 5 years ago | (#29077659)

Yeah, there's a lot of idiots here who still think OpenGL is better than Direct3D. I doubt they'll ever change their opinions despite the fact that some of us are trying to force the facts down their throats. I'm by no means a Microsoft fanboy, I also use OS X and a couple of Linux distros at home and work, but you just can't argue with the fact that Direct3D 11 is better than anything else out there. Hands down. It's just a better API all around. I'm looking forward to moving towards implementing a Direct3D 11 renderer in our code base in the future. Currently our Direct3D 9 rendering code path is almost half the number of lines of code for our OpenGL ES 1.1 and 2.0 renderer implementations.

Re:From Wikipedia, (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29077831)

One of OpenGL's advantages was that the code would work on a number of platforms. Originally on IRIX, IBM licensed it so it worked on AIX machines. Then it moved to other platforms, surpassing 3DFX's Glide interface. OpenGL is still being worked on, 3.2 was released not so long ago.

Direct X11 offers the GPGPU support, but it also offers multithreading (some games chew CPU cores up like they are going out of style, so having threads split up among multiple cores will help performance)

Best thing would be if cards supported both at similar performance, and drivers supported both at the same level. However, because most Windows based games tend to use DX, card makers go to where the money is and put their effort into DX support. In reality, neither has a significant advantage over the other, although the advances in DX10 and 11 are getting that rendering language ahead.

Re:From Wikipedia, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29079101)

It's kind of sad, the Khronos group is...not doing a very good job with the OpenGL spec...

I really didn't want to switch from using OpenGL. Which means I either need to maintain multiple renderer codebases, or just drop Linux and OS X. I'm not really a fan of either of those (And I don't use Linux of OS X, but I'm of the opinion you should support everything possible, as long as it doesn't get in the way of progress...well, I guess they're getting in the way of progress now...)

Re:From Wikipedia, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29081267)

I'm by no means a Microsoft fanboy, I also use OS X and a couple of Linux distros at home and work, but you just can't argue with the fact that Direct3D 11 is better than anything else out there. Hands down. It's just a better API all around.

Yet like the average Microsoft fanboy, you've made a bald assertion of your own opinion with nothing to back it up...

Re:From Wikipedia, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29087577)

OpenGL supports more platforms than Direct3D... Thats something thats really big.

Why not OpenGL? (1)

runyonave (1482739) | more than 5 years ago | (#29077917)

More games for Linux.

Re:Why not OpenGL? (1)

am 2k (217885) | more than 5 years ago | (#29078573)

...and Macs, PS3, Wii, PSP, iPhone...

Re:Why not OpenGL? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29079045)

who the fuck runs linux? no one. that's who.

Re:Why not OpenGL? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29081147)

I do.

Re:Why not OpenGL? (1, Informative)

Suiggy (1544213) | more than 5 years ago | (#29079789)

They do support OpenGL, in fact ATI's Direct3D 11 cards will support the latest version, OpenGL 3.2. However, it should be noted that the OpenGL 3.2 feature set is the same as Direct3D 10, which doesn't really bring anything new to the table. Direct3D 11 is where all of the new features are.

What this means to you and me (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29078271)

Let's see.... It has hardware Tessellation, which ATI cards have had... forever. Oh wait, Microsoft has made it specifically so that ATI's proven implementation is incompatible. What a surprise! Now what's this.... They're implementing nVidia's current shader model? It must be incompatable. Wait, it isn't?
Microsoft spat in NVidia's eyes when they went with ATI for the Xbox 360, and now they're spitting in ATI's eyes by introducing an incompatible standard. This is just great.

Why? (2, Informative)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | more than 5 years ago | (#29078273)

Well... We just are using DX9 yet, only two or three games (really) needs DX10... and now we go to DX11? When came a really good game using in fact DX10, we will go to DX14? Is too fast to me

Re:Why? (1)

Chaos Incarnate (772793) | more than 5 years ago | (#29079111)

We're going to DX11 because nothing needed DX10. Had DX10 seen wider adoption, there would have been incentive to keep things compatible with it, but when nobody's using it...

Re:Why? (0, Flamebait)

Kreigaffe (765218) | more than 5 years ago | (#29079569)

DX10 was a flop because Vista was a flop. If MS let users of XP grab DX10, DX10 would have caught on in games, but it was Vista-only and no game makers were about to (or are about to) invest a ton of money in a game that's either Vista-only or in the work to make a DX9 game actually make full use of DX10 features. DX10 just was irrelevant because a great majority of the market wasn't able to use it.

Console Ate Our Graphics (1)

eddy (18759) | more than 5 years ago | (#29080161)

Might be a part of it, but I think the real issue here is that the kind of high-end games that used to push the envelope hardware-wise, now more often than not end up on the consoles instead. Since the PC gaming platform is now like three hardware generations ahead of the consoles, console games acts like a cushion on PC gaming.. I was going to say progress, but let's be specific and say qualify as graphics progress. We'll get the occasional (late) port with DX10.1, or in the future, DX11 added -- developers and publishers trying to squeeze the last bits out of a product -- but for the most part the ports won't use core features beyond what's available on the consoles.

Yes, there'll be the occasional crysis because there's still a market out there craving something to run all that hardware, but the spear-head is thinning out.

Re:Console Ate Our Graphics (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 5 years ago | (#29081155)

For me... it's been the fact that there are just no games coming out that make me go, "Oooh! I need that!"

I've cut my gaming time from over 20 hours a week to about 3 simply because the games that are coming out are simple rehashes. Graphics aren't making the old tricks worth doing anymore.

Re:Why? (1)

Kreigaffe (765218) | more than 5 years ago | (#29086707)

Sweet, random Flamebait moderation! Some kind of die-hard DX10 / Vista enthusiast take offense?

Re:Why? (1)

angelbunny (1501333) | more than 5 years ago | (#29080671)

DX10 was more to alter the hardware removing variation. DX10 had little to do with implementing how the user sees the game visually and more to do with how the cards are kept up to standard and the games are programmed. Honestly, I feel that DX11 will be somewhat that way as well with the gpgpu support, threads, and so on.

bump mapped fun! (1)

angelbunny (1501333) | more than 5 years ago | (#29080691)

Neat! The idea of drawing a 2d picture and then having an engine that auto adds wireframe and all that fun stuff seems to remove a lot of work for the developer.

I honestly thought dx11 to be more of a dx10 where most of the alterations would not be noticed by the gamer (like threading) so I'm glad they are adding something visual to help people want to push to use dx11.

I'm an OSX user so don't get me wrong. I'm not exactly a fan of directx per say but any type of innovation towards pushing the market forward regardless which company or standard is doing it can't be all that bad in the end right? :)

Upcoming? (1)

rinoid (451982) | more than 5 years ago | (#29080711)

If the title of this "upcoming" game is any indication there will be little creative movement on DX11's front either ...

I'm just saying, Wolfenstein?@! Upcoming?@!
Can they come up with some new ideas already?

Why do DirectX still look like shit? (1)

u64 (1450711) | more than 5 years ago | (#29082243)

The screenshots look ugly. It's 2009 and they cant make a pretty demo?! The texture is fuzzy, look at the sand. It's extra ultra mega HD but still look 1998.
 
Now the SLI-in-one seems desperate. But we dont know before it's revealed.

  Btw, when do we get the GPU as a core next to the CPU?

DX11 SDK Videos (1)

Vigile (99919) | more than 5 years ago | (#29088391)

PCPer has another preview of the same content but includes video of the DX11 SDKs as well.

http://www.pcper.com/comments.php?nid=7640 [pcper.com]

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