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Windows 8 Graphics: Microsoft Has Hardware-Accelerated Everything

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the even-clippy dept.

Windows 563

MrSeb writes "Microsoft has detailed the extensive changes made to the Windows 8 graphics subsystem and DirectX 11.1. In short, everything in Windows 8 is hardware accelerated, and as a result its text, 2D, and 3D performance will blow Windows 7 away. DirectX 11.1 has also received a significant overhaul that should result in faster and more efficient games and applications. The bulk of the graphics changes in Windows 8 pertain to hardware acceleration for simple, typographically-rich Metro-style apps. In Windows 8, the rendering speed of text and simple shapes has been massively increased across the board: Title and heading text renders 336% faster than Windows 7; Lines render 184% faster; Rectangles render 438% faster; and so on. The rendering of JPEG, PNG, and GIF image files has also been improved in Windows 8, mostly by expanding SIMD usage. In one demo, Windows 8 decodes and renders 64 JPEGs in 4.38 seconds, while Windows 7 performs the same task in 7.28 seconds. Amongst a few changes to DirectX, the most significant feature in DX 11.1 is the new, simplified, unified Direct3D 11.1 API, which finally brings together the many API offshoots that MS has implemented in recent years."

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563 comments

crash faster (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40761075)

I bet it also crashes much much faster!!

Re:crash faster (5, Insightful)

dynamo52 (890601) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761169)

Yes I know you trying to be funny but as an IT consultant for small and midsized businesses, I haven't seen a Windows system totally crash since XP and even then rarely saw any crashes after SP3. For all the haters here on Slashdot, Windows is still by far the best desktop environment available for use in a business setting.

Re:crash faster (1, Interesting)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761215)

I've seen three Windows 7 crashes - caused by overheating graphics cores, all on the same computer.

Re:crash faster (1, Informative)

dynamo52 (890601) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761269)

Actually I have to correct myself. I have had servers crash but that was primarily due to being improperly configured.

Re:crash faster (5, Interesting)

billcopc (196330) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761343)

Well then you can't blame the software for a hardware failure. I was running my original Windows 7 installation until a few days ago, when I decided to start fresh. 3 years without any significant problems, it's been the smoothest experience so far. I distinctly remember the day it launched, my coworkers asked about it, and they had to ask twice when they heard me speak the words "Windows 7 is fucking awesome". This, coming from a guy running a heavily-modified Gentoo-KDE workstation, bragging about 300-day uptime with XP relegated to a tiny VM on a side monitor.

3 years later, well, I still think Windows 7 is great. Does what I expect from Windows, nothing more, nothing less. Runs fast, supports all my hardware, sleeps/resumes without a hitch, uptime is dependent on whether I care to install monthly updates. Pretty much my only gripe is I wish the default shell were Bash instead of CMD (and Cygwin still sucks).

Re:crash faster (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40761237)

Do you understand what happens when you give applications direct access to the hardware? The #1 source of crashes on the NT line has always been video card issues. Windows 8 will have the same problem. These idiotic moves will destabilize the OS until they can patch it in Windows 8 SP3.

And why do you give a shit about hardware acceleration on a desktop computer in business? Do your Office fonts not load up fast enough? Is that 336% faster going to help you? From my experience, the only thing that matters for speed in business settings is antiquated hardware, database settings, and network speeds.

Re:crash faster (5, Informative)

epyT-R (613989) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761409)

applications don't get direct access.. drivers do. if the drivers clobber things they shouldn't, they can crash the kernel.. just like the unix derivatives in service today.

Re:crash faster (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40761325)

Does massively parallel virus infection count? That ought to change your recollections a bit. And all those reboots sure keep the uptime at bay too am I right?

Re:crash faster (1)

dynamo52 (890601) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761431)

In the handful of malware cases I've seen on a Win7 system, the have been limited to userland and easily cleaned. As to rebooted they are primarily reserved for software updates and installations requiring drivers.

Re:crash faster (2, Interesting)

Gendibal (885843) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761371)

Windows is still by far the best desktop environment available for use in a business setting.

Windows is only the "best" desktop environment for business purely because most business use MS Office. Those businesses that DON'T use MS Office (and there a a surprising number, which is increasing with each "improvement" in Office releases), funnily enough would say that Windows is NOT the "best" desktop environment for business.

Re:crash faster (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40761389)

Yes I know you trying to be funny but as an IT consultant for small and midsized businesses, I haven't seen a Windows system totally crash since XP and even then rarely saw any crashes after SP3. For all the haters here on Slashdot, Windows is still by far the best desktop environment available for use in a business setting.

Holy Strawman, Batman!

Re:crash faster (1, Insightful)

toygeek (473120) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761413)

I was a Linux guy for many years, ran RedHat, CentOS, Ubuntu, Debian... all on servers and all on the desktop. I am more satisfied with Windows 7 than I was any of those OS's. They were good, and when I was in the Linux server business, they were vital for remaining integrated with my servers. But anymore, Windows 7 has better apps available (OMG you have to PAY for them?! OMG!! yes who cares they're good) and is plenty stable. I no longer have to reboot every day. I reboot when its needed for an update or something else, but not because "windows is acting weird, I had better reboot."

The truth of the matter is that I am impressed with MS's bounce back from Vista, moving forward with a nice stable OS that is easy to use and easy to work on, too. I look forward to Windows 8, although I'm nervous about the huge paradigm shift and what it'll do for computing at large. I've had the start menu for almost 20 years, I'm kind of used to it. But, times change and we've got to change with them, like it or not. The hardware acceleration is about time, IMHO. They've apparently streamlined it enough that they can start optimizing for every day tasks. I wish them the best, because frankly, like it or not, the Desktop OS's run throughout the world, are Windows based. Anyone who is still waiting for the "year of the Linux Desktop" will be waiting for a long time.

Re:crash faster (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40761439)

I had to replace two windows laptops due to video chip burn outs.. agree, not crashes, just new computers.. wait, and why the word "haters"?

Re:crash faster (2, Informative)

SeaFox (739806) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761549)

My Windows 8 RP install crashed itself three days ago, and the install was only two weeks old. Tried a reboot and the system booted up already logged in to my user account (and this was a full reboot, BIOS screen and all) and I couldn't get past the login screen to log out of it properly. Tried rebooting again and the system wouldn't boot to Windows 8 at all. It went into a self-repair mechanism and couldn't fix the issue. I also couldn't "refresh" or "reset" the installation. Only solution was a full reformat of the hard disk.

Thank goodness it was a dual-boot machine to start with and I could still boot into XP-64 (that was on a separate internal drive). Was able to save some configuration files but lost a few actual files. So I guess it was a disk directory issue.

Re:crash faster (1)

anss123 (985305) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761187)

Many Windows crashes was caused by hardware acceleration. As a result Vista supported less hardware acceleration than XP.

This makes me wonder if what they've done is gain back some of that performance. They say they render lines and Rectangles faster, and that's hardware accelerated on XP, while software on Vista (don't know about 7).

really? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40761081)

really? is this really the first post?

Re:really? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40761105)

no it isn't :-P

maybe your machine isn't hardware accelerated enough.

Re:really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40761137)

LOL! thanks AC!

Re:really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40761411)

No, thank you AC!

Hardware-Accelerated Crashing (-1, Troll)

mutherhacker (638199) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761085)

Now crashes 450% faster and messier! Burns some silicone and a few peripherals along the way.

Re:Hardware-Accelerated Crashing (2)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761119)

Here's to hoping they've got their driver-related ducks in a row... methinks they don't... at least not for everything. So while one person is getting sunburned eyes from the speed of the Metro interface, there are a few others who watch their computers implode in a steaming pile of pastel shit.

In other words... I have reservations about how well this will work, and since this is Microsoft... You'll get full hardware acceleration in Windows 9.

Re:Hardware-Accelerated Crashing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40761465)

Here's to hoping they've got their driver-related ducks in a row... methinks they don't... at least not for everything. So while one person is getting sunburned eyes from the speed of the Metro interface, there are a few others who watch their computers implode in a steaming pile of pastel shit.

In other words... I have reservations about how well this will work, and since this is Microsoft... You'll get full hardware acceleration in Windows 9.

Well, the pre-release is available to try, and millions are doing so, I have faith in Slashdot that if there were any reports about crashing issues we would have been hearing about it :)

Hardware-Accelerated Boobs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40761217)

What? Boob jobs now run Windows?

Hardware accelerated BSOD! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40761097)

It renders 450% faster, with shiny 3D shadowing, halo and light effects.

Maybe it's just me (5, Insightful)

thesk8ingtoad (445723) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761099)

but I have a fairly modest PC and I couldn't tell you the last time I said "Man, I wish I could render these 64 JPEGs in 4 seconds instead of this lousy 7." As far as I'm concerned, text and image rendering hasn't noticeably changed in 10+ years. But, I suppose you have to have something to make up for alienating your userbase with an interface designed for a machine it's not running.

Re:Maybe it's just me (5, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761135)

I've thought that. A few months ago I spend a day or two trying to get GIFs to compress as quickly as possible, trying to get it in under 50milliseconds for a project I was working on. I didn't succeed, but any speedup is welcome to me.

Re:Maybe it's just me (2)

epyT-R (613989) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761443)

I'm sure this only applies to the explorer image file support. other applications need to use these resources in order to take advantage.. sorry, you're still stuck writing some simd assembly to make that 50ms timelimit.

Re:Maybe it's just me (1)

XrayJunkie (2437814) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761219)

Its a new Windows with a new interface for new computing machinery. You dont upgrade your hardware because you want to run a new OS. Windows just uses hardware acceleration because its included (cpu or gfx) in every sold system nowadays.

Re:Maybe it's just me (5, Insightful)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761245)

Suppose you've just downloaded a couple of hundred images from your camera-- Wouldn't it be nice if you could quickly scroll through the images and decide which ones are worth keeping, and which are not? Or perhaps you've photographed some library books, page by page, and it occurs to you that one particular article is more immediately useful, and you don't remember if that's IMG_209--IMG_215, or IMG312-IMG_334. If Windows renders the images quickly enough, it's very simple to flip through the images. If not, you'll be waiting for the images to load.

Maybe it's a pdf from archive.org that needs thumbing through.

Re:Maybe it's just me (4, Interesting)

Lord_Jeremy (1612839) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761361)

I use a moderately powerful Mac and I cannot once think of a situation where when I downloaded my camera I had performance issues scrolling through photos in iPhoto. Hell when I use iMovie I can scroll through video with my mouse cursor while experiencing no lag or stutters. My Windows 7 dual-boot on the other hand sometimes inexplicably takes upwards of half a minute to actually display the contents of a directory after I try to open. This is the main reason I do most of my "life stuff" in Mac OS X.

Re:Maybe it's just me (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761471)

or maybe your ntfs partition is highly fragmented because of resizing? if explorer is hanging, then there's something wrong.. that's not normal behavior.

Re:Maybe it's just me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40761489)

I thought the disk IO was worth thousands of times more costly in operations like these, especially when later decoding is cpu bound. It is bad enough that every year we gain a 2 megapixel premium fattening the overhea. Matter of fact, Froyo's stock media player cant zoom in for 14megapixel files, which was the standard LAST year

Re:Maybe it's just me (1, Funny)

Zaelath (2588189) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761249)

I can put lipstick on this pig 8 times faster than I can put it on this woman. You want that, right?

Re:Maybe it's just me (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40761261)

Ever scrolled through a large collection of JPG images? Not talking about scrubby 5-6, but anywhere between 200-1000 images, or even more.

Then you'll notice your computer being quite occupied generating all the thumbnails...

Re:Maybe it's just me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40761401)

Windows explorer has a nice feature called "Detailed View". Ever tried that?

Re:Maybe it's just me (1)

billcopc (196330) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761373)

It's not just you. When I read the title, I assumed it was just another sloppy/ignorant editor exaggerating things, because to me, Windows 7 already feels fully hardware accelerated. I thought that was the whole point of Aero Glass. I didn't notice any UI sluggishness, not on my balls-out gaming rig, nor the wife's 3 year old AMD with integrated graphics. Really, since I started plopping SSDs in all my machines, that was the only variable I could feel anymore in general browser-heavy usage. Everything else seemed to have reached a plateau.

If Win8 is even faster, well great. Efficiency is always welcome, it will hopefully translate into longer battery life for laptops and tablets.

Re:Maybe it's just me (0)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761485)

Really? You never asked that question?? Not even while drumming your fingers waiting for all of the thumbnails in your porn stash to be generated?!

...typographically-rich Metro-style apps. (5, Interesting)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761113)

So, "typographically rich" is the new buzzword, yes?

Re:...typographically-rich Metro-style apps. (5, Funny)

Shimbo (100005) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761423)

So, "typographically rich" is the new buzzword, yes?

Give us $1 million or WE WILL USE BLOCK CAPS EVERYWHERE.

Re:...typographically-rich Metro-style apps. (4, Informative)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761447)

"Typographically rich" just means that the apps actually use the well-established typographic rules that are widely used in print media, and these days also on websites, for their UI. You know, things like the appropriate choice of fonts (serif vs sans serif etc), varying text sizes and styles to visually distinguish different pieces of data, general layout rules etc. As opposed to rendering everything in the same 8pt system font, and using chrome to highlight things.

Here [microsoft.com] are the actual design guidelines that explain it all in more detail.

Yes but.. (2)

lotekppc (795609) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761115)

It's ugly. I really want to like it, but metro's big colored blocks feel like a step back on a desktop. I have four screens, several feet away from me, I don't want to touch them. I suspect that once its released the first thing that will be done is the "back to the desktop and start menu" hack. And yes, I know this has been done, but still. Its ugly.

Re:Yes but.. (5, Funny)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761155)

If you've been watching Microsoft at all in the last 20 years, and expected anything but ugly, then you haven't been paying attention.

A good part of the reason OSX is considered 'beautiful' is because people are comparing it to Windows. Yeah I just insulted Microsoft and Apple fanboys, but it's true.

Re:Yes but.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40761333)

That's funny, because I've always thought Mac OS was ugly as shit. So do a lot of people.

Re:Yes but.. (1)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761181)

You're using Windows with four screens? Are you using a different window manager or some additional software to manage windows?

Re:Yes but.. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40761317)

You're using Windows with four screens? Are you using a different window manager or some additional software to manage windows?

Windows 8 actually has quite significant multi-screen improvements built in, see the blog post http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/05/21/enhancing-windows-8-for-multiple-monitors.aspx [msdn.com]

Re:Yes but.. (5, Informative)

billcopc (196330) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761441)

Windows 7 added a few simple keyboard shortcuts to quickly move windows around and dock them to the left or right half of a monitor. It does the same if you drag a window to the edges of a monitor. I can't speak for the GP, but personally I have not needed a 3rd party window manager since this addition. I can't even remember the software I was using back in the XP days, but it basically did the same thing.

Since most well-behaved Windows apps remember their position on exit, this is just peachy. If they don't, proper alignment is just a few keystrokes away. Combined with the Win+(digit) shortcuts for the first 9 items on the start bar (docked or running apps), I don't even touch the mouse for most of my work.

Here's a list of those shortcuts at Lifehacker [lifehacker.com]

Re:Yes but.. (4, Informative)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761193)

I suspect that once its released the first thing that will be done is the "back to the desktop and start menu" hack.

Stardock's Start8 already allows you to boot straight to traditional desktop and recreates the Start-menu as seen on Windows 7. That will be one of the first applications I'll be installing, that's for sure.

Re:Yes but.. (2)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761461)

Last time I've tried Start8, it didn't actually recreate the Win7 Start menu. Instead, it shows the Win8 new Metro home screen in a popup window in the same location where the Start menu would've been in Win7.

Seriously, can we give Microsoft some cred... (5, Insightful)

PortHaven (242123) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761117)

Over the years I've knocked Microsoft quite a bit. But I have to say that after 2 years of using Windows 7 I am still happily pleased. I've had one crash with blue screen of death. And very few problems outside of trying to run iTunes.

So let's be a bit fair. Heck, Windows 7 crashed less than my OS X experience of the same amount of time. Not saying it's perfect. But on decent hardware with good drivers, it's pretty darn good. And a lot better than anything Microsoft did in the past.

Re:Seriously, can we give Microsoft some cred... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40761175)

To be fair: yes they are doing a great job lately !
But they are not quite there yet... (imo)
Aside from the technical aspect: they are still evil as far as I know, and we can hardly support evil companies right ?
(World would be a better place without evil companies, greed, or money)

Re:Seriously, can we give Microsoft some cred... (4, Insightful)

mcrbids (148650) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761195)

We only use money because, although it sucks unbelievably badly at helping us distribute scarce resources, it does so better than anything else we've been able to come up with.

Re:Seriously, can we give Microsoft some cred... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40761197)

Yeah, Windows 7 is great, Windows 8 isn't.

Newer Dell laptops (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40761207)

might restore your faith in windows crashing.

Re:Seriously, can we give Microsoft some cred... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40761223)

Over the years I've knocked Microsoft quite a bit. But I have to say that after 2 years of using Windows 7 I am still happily pleased. I've had one crash with blue screen of death. And very few problems outside of trying to run iTunes.

So let's be a bit fair. Heck, Windows 7 crashed less than my OS X experience of the same amount of time. Not saying it's perfect. But on decent hardware with good drivers, it's pretty darn good. And a lot better than anything Microsoft did in the past.

You've been lucky. It all depends on the drivers. I've had plenty of crashes - perhaps a few less than XP, but still not what you're describing.

Re:Seriously, can we give Microsoft some cred... (4, Interesting)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761479)

A bad driver will crash any non-microkernel OS. Win7 is actually better than average since at least most video driver crashes are recoverable (though it can still be effectively unusable in practice if the driver consistently crashes a few seconds after it's [re]started).

That said, I've seen zero issues with BSODs since I've started going for drivers to Windows Update first, and only falling back to downloading & installing them directly if WU can't find them. So far the only piece of hardware for which I needed to manually download a driver is my network printer.

Re:Seriously, can we give Microsoft some cred... (1)

billcopc (196330) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761487)

Agreed whole-heartedly. Considering what little I do with my Mac besides simple web work and app development, 10.7 crashes all the time, and for really bizarre things like the Login screen freezing if I'm switching between user accounts with different power-saving options. I call Lion the Vista of Mac OS - unfinished, unpolished, and full of really stupid bugs. I remember Snow Leopard being a lot less finicky.

Windows 7 has been rock solid since day one. Better than XP, uptimes measured in months, even on my gaming rig. Faster than Vista. I'd say they've done a hell of a great job, which is perhaps why people are so skeptical of Win8 with its radical changes. It could be another Vista trainwreck, which means we'll have to wait for Win9 before they get it right again.

Re:Seriously, can we give Microsoft some cred... (-1, Redundant)

Alex Belits (437) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761543)

Why all Microsoft shills have 6-digit IDs?

Fighting the Wrong Battlefield (5, Interesting)

Sasayaki (1096761) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761141)

Software has dramatically outpaced hardware over the last decade. The lowest end PCs available for purchase can easily run Windows 7, especially if given a few extra gigs of RAM (by far the cheapest component) or given an SSD (by far the slowest component).

End users will never, ever notice this speed because I've never waited for Windows 7 to render text. Ever.

By all means, software speedups are more than welcome and it's good that Microsoft have avoided the typical bloat that many have suspect Intel pushes, but the most important battlefields by far for Windows 8 acceptance will be stability, ease of use, compatibility with legacy applications and hardware support.

Stability is in doubt if there's big changes, which there looks like there will be.

Ease of use... Metro has been copping a lot of flak from the technical user camp, but we don't know what Joe User will think of it yet. In any event, it's a lot of retraining, which is not a good sign.

Legacy application and hardware support will probably be equal to Windows 7, with a loss in application support and a gain in hardware support.

TL;DR: Well done, but I hope this isn't *all* Microsoft have when it comes to Windows 8.

Re:Fighting the Wrong Battlefield (4, Insightful)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761221)

End users will never, ever notice this speed because I've never waited for Windows 7 to render text. Ever.

You do realize that the less time the CPU or GPU has to spend doing something the more time it can spend idling, thereby consuming less power and producing less heat, so even if the end-result is not visible to the eye it is still a beneficial effect nevertheless. Especially on mobile devices any improvements to battery-life directly translate to end-user satisfaction and better useability.

Re:Fighting the Wrong Battlefield (2, Interesting)

WaffleMonster (969671) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761513)

You do realize that the less time the CPU or GPU has to spend doing something the more time it can spend idling, thereby consuming less power and producing less heat, so even if the end-result is not visible to the eye it is still a beneficial effect nevertheless. Especially on mobile devices any improvements to battery-life directly translate to end-user satisfaction and better useability.

I'm not convinced. The Nvidia GPU in my computer is constantly consuming dozens of watts by itself while it sits idle doing nothing. The ATI GPU I had before that was actually worse.

Mobile GPUs have much different characteristics yet still keeping more silicon than necessary lit even if reasonably gated does not seem to me to be worth reduced cost vs any insignificant additional CPU offload during the *small* amount of time actual work is being performed contrasted to cost of normal 2d acceleration with less area lit up.

An analogy is building a power budget or power usage spreadsheet for your home. You count what is always on or what is on for a good amount of time. The microwave uses a kw or more while on but only for a few minutes per day. For most people it is not worth your time to include the Microwave as an item in your budget.

Re:Fighting the Wrong Battlefield (3, Insightful)

epyT-R (613989) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761521)

you mean hardware has outpaced software, right? this is true, though instead of providing unique, useful and NEW functionality in a sane footprint, today's software is bloated up with a bunch of 'experience' aesthetics and rearrangements that, in many cases, hinder workflow for the sake of looks. proper software is functional first, intuitive next, and pretty last.

Now you can fry eggs on gpu not only while gaming (1)

S3D (745318) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761147)

As side benefit you computer double as heater as soon as it turned on.

Re:Now you can fry eggs on gpu not only while gami (5, Insightful)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761241)

Are you trying to imply rendering things in less time than before and more efficiently with a GPU produces more heat than the previous method of using more time to render the same thing less efficiently on the CPU? You might wish to rethink that.

Didn't Fedora already use the "faster jpegs" line? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40761149)

last year? [fedoraproject.org]

LET THE PAIN BEGIN! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40761157)

In Gnome,(Meacity) and other xwindow managers use of composite extentions and other stuff has been long and painful, full of fuck ups.
Something tells me pain for windows users has just began!

Re:LET THE PAIN BEGIN! (2)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761247)

You're comparing apples and oranges. Compositing managers do not render the contents of the windows.

Re:LET THE PAIN BEGIN! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40761509)

Right, so when you have wobbly windows under compiz, it totally rendered as usual. SURE! Especially with blur and other 3d effects. All in pseudo 3d, just usual 2d stuff.

Light on actual details (2)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761163)

There's plenty of sections like e.g. the one about memory utilization where the author tells about various situations the devs have been benchmarking and why, but then ends bluntly with "Measuring memory usage across many types of apps and these various scenarios has helped us further optimize DirectX and the display drivers." without actually describing how or what they did. There is similarly no mention whatsoever about the devs improving performance for GDI-based applications; all they talk about is DirectX and/or Metro. With regards to e.g. "Improving geometry rendering performance" we find this gem: "For Windows 8, our improvements in this area have primarily focused on delivering high-performance implementations of HTML5 Canvas and SVG technologies for use in Metro style apps, and webpages viewed with Internet Explorer 10." which to me seems like saying that non-Metro applications won't really see any benefit from this at all. I may be interpreting it wrong, I admit, but it's hard to say without any more details.

Re:Light on actual details (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761495)

IE10 HTML5 implementation is built on Direct2D, and ditto for Metro apps (both HTML5 and XAML based). So I'd expect any D2D-based app to see those improvements - e.g. Firefox.

Let's be realistic (5, Funny)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761177)

To be fair, a Commodore 64 could render the Metro interface at a reasonable speed. The advantage of changing to an interface that looks like it is from the 80s or 90s is that you don't have to push around a lot of pixels or do fancy 3D tricks to make it work.

When they finally retire the old non-Metro UI and just have the full-screen interface, I wonder if they will rename the product from Microsoft Windows to Microsoft Window. The tagline: there can be only one (program onscreen).

Re:Let's be realistic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40761279)

The static interface, yes. But Metro is extremely animation heavy, thats where the acceleration is useful.

Compare Office 2010 versus 2013. The differences in use of animation is huge. (And GPU acceleration is used here)

Re:Let's be realistic (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761541)

so instead of instant feedback, we get to watch a song and dance after every click.. can't wait.

Fixing Office 2010? (1)

backwardMechanic (959818) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761189)

The only application that runs painfully slowly on my Windows machine is Office 2010 (try Word with track changes enabled). The other stuff is actually quite snappy. Is this another case of MS modifying Windows to fix Office?

Re:Fixing Office 2010? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40761329)

Closed source software on closed source OS.
What did you expect?

pwned faster (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40761203)

Faster to fall to viruses, worms, trojans, etc?

Speed for all apps (5, Insightful)

caywen (942955) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761211)

Jesus, these initial comments bore the hell out of me.

Here's the way I see it: Microsoft has finally gotten off their asses and recognized that efficiency really does matter when dealing with power efficient mobile GPU's. Given that Metro's ethos is stark simplicity, it'll be entertaining to watch how developers exploit the new capabilities. If the result is silky smooth navigation in nearly all apps, that'll be a big win. If the result is a rebirth of gradients, glows, glass, and other crap, I'll be pretty disappointed.

Hats off to Microsoft for focusing not just on Metro speed, but speed for all apps.

Re:Speed for all apps (2, Insightful)

billcopc (196330) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761523)

Dude, get out. This is 2012. All the intelligent commenters have fucked off already. If you ever find one, please be a sport and send up a flare so I can find them too.

I bet most of the people still here weren't even born when MS-bashing was still cool.

Re:Speed for all apps (3, Insightful)

epyT-R (613989) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761547)

fuck animations.. they're just a song and dance the user has to wait for EVERY time he clicks something. that metro menu is an abomination. all that work just to start an application?

Who cares... (2, Insightful)

TheRealGrogan (1660825) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761253)

Those areas aren't really where hardware acceleration is important. We've got overpowered CPUs with cores just waiting for jobs.

Why would I care if text renders in 100 microseconds or 300? There has always been some 2D acceleration for text and scrolling and such. Not everything has to be a video game with graphical effects.

As for DirectX 11.1, just fuck off. Very few games even bother to overlay a few DirectX 10 or 11 effects for those who qualify. No, they use DirectX 9, because Microsoft has alienated previous versions of Windows (and the consoles use DX9 too of course)

A boring, crippled user interface with a seriously insulting attempt to lock people into their application store. THAT is what I see in WIndows 8. I very much despise it and I will actively fight against it.

Re:Who cares... (4, Insightful)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761293)

Those areas aren't really where hardware acceleration is important. We've got overpowered CPUs with cores just waiting for jobs.

Enlighten us, what areas are more important then?

Why would I care if text renders in 100 microseconds or 300?

You may not care, but anyone with a mobile device with a battery will; the less time the machine spends active the more time it can spend in idle which quite obviously results in less heat and power consumption.

Re:Who cares... (0)

TheRealGrogan (1660825) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761459)

Your mobile device is going to have graphics capabilities that will matter for this? A laptop with higher end graphics will use more battery to render your text and generate more heat. If you want to be "enlightened" go take a physics course.

Do you seriously think you're going to be done with it faster because it renders text a few milliseconds faster?

Even if it does somehow benefit you, why should your usage take preference over mine? I am not interested in mobile devices. One size doesn't fit all, and that's what Microsoft is attempting to do here. It's not going to work.

My point was, they are bragging about crap that is of small benefit compared to the negative aspects of Windows 8.

Re:Who cares... (3, Funny)

Zouden (232738) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761531)

Do you seriously think you're going to be done with it faster because it renders text a few milliseconds faster?

That is the generally-accepted definition of the word "faster".

Re:Who cares... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40761551)

Bla bla bla bitch bitch bitch.
How is them improving rendering speeds of jpegs negativly impacting your usage of windows?
Complain about the idiotic user interface sure, but using the available hardware in a more efficient way is good.
Of course in mobile devices the screen is one of the most power hungry devices, so I'm not sure if this will save all that much power.

That's all well and good... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40761257)

...but can I turn that off?

1000% Faster than Windows 3.1? (1)

BlackPignouf (1017012) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761259)

Sooo, by integrating over each Windows iteration, supposedly x% faster than the previous, is Windows 8 1000% faster than Windows 3.1?
Will Metro run on my Commodore PC 20-III?

Less detail, less operations (1)

biofrog (943121) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761287)

I'm pretty sure an erase background message filling a solid block of colour will also be substantially (437%?) faster than rendering a translucent gradient texture filled rectangle. Aero is some what hardware accelerated, but it certainly isn't operation 'free'.

making up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40761305)

making up for everything they promised and didn't deliver with longhorn....
except for a new filesystem...

Is GDI+ accelerated too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40761327)

The post fails to mention if old GDI+ apps are accelerated too? (In Vista they were, but not in W7)

Re:Is GDI+ accelerated too? (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761359)

Indeed, the blog post doesn't mention GDI with even one word and basically talks only about speeding up DirectX, Metro and HTML. Unless some Microsoft representative clearly says GDI+ has also been improved I'd say it's safe to assume the answer is "no, and never will be."

Re:Is GDI+ accelerated too? (2)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761503)

Do you mean GDI or GDI+ (they are two different things)?

GDI+ has been a legacy API for years, barely maintained solely because .NET WinForms sits on top of it. I don't think it was ever properly hardware accelerated - the framework for that was created in XP, but no-one bothered on the driver side.

Re:Is GDI+ accelerated too? (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761559)

what I remember is that with vista rtm, gdi+ was not accelerated.. after people complained, it was put back in with a service pack, and it is accelerated in windows 7.

Yeah baby!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40761363)

> Here, 1,000 times faster than its predecesor!
> Yeah! Yeah! Ugh, ugh!! [imitating a monkey scream]
> 1,000 times in this, 800 times in that.
> Yeah! Yeah!
etc.
[[Possible future Balmer speach]]

What really worries me (apart from being Windows) is power consumption... would it be 1,000 time higher too?

heard it before for win 7 (1)

SkunkPussy (85271) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761463)

they claimed they did this in windows 7, but it turns out that minimising windows and so on can make audio programmes skip.

OFFS! (-1, Flamebait)

pbjones (315127) | about a year and a half ago | (#40761511)

you need/use hardware graphics to RENDER TEXT??? sorry, I was going to buy Win8 but I'll hang onto XP a little longer.

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