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A Glimpse Into 3D future: DirectX Next Preview

CmdrTaco posted more than 10 years ago | from the virtual-sandwich dept.

Graphics 222

Dave Baumann writes "Beyond3D has put up an article based on Microsoft's games developers presentations given at Meltdown, looking at the future directions of MS's next generation DirectX - currently titled "DirectX Next" (DX10). With Pixel Shaders 2.0 and 3.0 already a part of DirectX9 this article gives a feel of what to expect from PS/VS4.0 and other DirectX features hardware developers will be expected to deliver with the likes of R500 and NV50."

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My wish (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7653272)

I wish there was a way for me, as a Christian, as a human being, to sit down with some of you and have a pleasant, civil discussion without bitterness or sarcasm. I don't force people to believe what I believe. I don't mock others with different beliefs. I hope I can find the words to explain myself, as my life goes on. I hope I can help people to see.

Re:My wish (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7653283)

My wish is that you don't waste precious FP with your yammering.

Vanilla ice 4eva!

Re:My wish (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7653298)

My wish is that people would not continue to try and force their particular brand of mythology upon others. The last thing the world needs is for people to grasp onto outdated mythology in a vain attempt to fuel their need to belong to something.

Whether it's Jewish mythology, Hindu mythology, Chinese mythology, or any of the thousands of mythical religions which societies have created over the millenia, they all have one thing in common: they are all created by men. Teach the stories for the morality lessons they contain. Similar to Aesop's Fables, there are some very good teachings contained. But to pervert the moral lessons and turn it into a religion is doing people everywhere a disservice.

Get rid of religion. Teach logic, ethics, and the means to determine sound moral principles instead.

*Linux is dying (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7653277)

Netcraft confirms: *Linux is dying. Yahoo! reports that FreeBSD is serving up more pages than ever.

It would be nice (3, Interesting)

Pingular (670773) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653284)

If they could somehow program Dx10 so it was backwards compatiable with cards now (such as radeon 9800 etc), if I'd bought such a card I'd be quite annoyed if there wasn't decent support for it in the future.

Re:It would be nice (4, Informative)

halo1982 (679554) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653294)

If they could somehow program Dx10 so it was backwards compatiable with cards now (such as radeon 9800 etc), if I'd bought such a card I'd be quite annoyed if there wasn't decent support for it in the future.

DX10 will work fine with your new card. DX has always done this. DX9 works fine with DX8 cards like the Radeon 9000/9100 and GeForce4 series.
However the cards do not have support for the new features of DX10 (like PS/VS3/4 etc). The cards can work with the new software, and do, but the hardware just isn't there.

Re:It would be nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7653427)

Never used a Voodoo2 with Dx9 eh, or any other device with old drivers for that matter...

While it is true the devices SHOULD work, they don't. However, it is usually the fault of the driver writer.

Don't always expect your drivers to work properly on a Dx9 update.

Re:It would be nice (0, Flamebait)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653740)

Fuck 'em! Playing games is not worth sacrificing software freedom and choice.

The developers who drink this Kool-Aid are halfway down the damnation road to Palladium/NGSCB. There will be little room to squirm back to GL, etc. when the lock comes down on future platforms for DX.

I know somone will mod this down for incindiary content. I don't much care. I have watched commercial software development slide into dire conditions over the last ten years - with Microsoft at the helm. It's like watching the "worst possible scenario" play itself out in slow motion.

Re:It would be nice (1)

trystanu (691619) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653313)

The reason that it'll include new optimized CPU/GPU algorithms is that new graphics cards (i.e. hardware) will have new inbuilt routines / operations for this kinda thing.

Even if DirectX 8 was, for arguments sake, completely backwards compatible with a 1980s graphics card that doesn't mean it would be able to suddenly make it do pixel shading or nifty T&L stuff.

Re:It would be nice (2, Insightful)

jsse (254124) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653314)

if I'd bought such a card I'd be quite annoyed if there wasn't decent support for it in the future.

You mean you don't upgrade your video card once a year?! :)

Re:It would be nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7653330)

Nice troll. DirectX has always been backwards compatible.

Re:It would be nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7653397)

Nice troll, DirectX has had lots of problems when working with outdated drivers.

Try using anything with Dx9 (such as a sound card or video card) when the driver was designed for Dx5 or earlier (sometimes even Dx7).

Re:It would be nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7653410)

Nice FUD. That's not a DirectX problem, that's a Windows problem. That's also completely unrelated to user older cards with current drivers the latest DirectX version.

Re:It would be nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7653468)

wrong again. It was a major issue back when DX9 first came out, as well as DX6. Completely undrelated to using older cards? Thats what we were talking about, Numbnuts!

--
woah, I just got dejavuh. again!

Re:It would be nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7653584)

Not much for reading comprehension, are you?

Re:It would be nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7653482)

Nice FUD. That's not a DirectX problem, that's a Windows problem.
Thanks, but it is indeed a DirectX problem Windows has no problems with the driver, only when the DirectX libraries do something unexpected to the drivers. Driver makers shouldn't have to keep making new drivers not only for each windows version but for each Dx version too.

DX9, 10 or whatever already is "compatible"! (5, Informative)

cybrthng (22291) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653366)

DX9 is backwards compatible with even my lowly NV25 and MX cards.

The issue is my card doesn't have the vertex shaders and other registers that DX9 takes advantage of so i won't be fully accelerating new DX9 features. I can run DX9 games just fine even though my card was designed with 8 in mind.

Its not that it isn't backwards compatible, it is that your hardware doesn't suport technology of the future since it didn't exist

Only way around this would be if your GPU core was software driven and they could update it. Otherwise to get new DX10 support, you need a DX10 card that was built with the new functionality in mind.

Backwards compatibility has nothing to do with it. Its just like in the days of MMX vs NON MMX. IF you had MMX it ran faster, if you didn't it never wouldn't work for you.. just would be slower.

Re:DX9, 10 or whatever already is "compatible"! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7653439)

And if you accidently slipped in a MMX instruction in your code with out some checking to see it the CPU had MMX before executing, you were delivered a blue screen or kernel panic...

Re:DX9, 10 or whatever already is "compatible"! (3, Informative)

BasharTeg (71923) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653507)

Except, as I understand it, with DirectX, there are multiple implementations of each function. So if you're running a P54C, it loads the pointer to the classic method of that function's implementation. If you're running a Pentium MMX, it loads the pointer to the MMX implementation of that function. Etc. The same goes for choosing between x87, SSE, 3D-Now!, or SSE2.

So it isn't likely DirectX is going to use an MMX implementation of a function when your processor flags don't agree. Other than that, most people aren't doing inline MMX assembly in their games now that DirectX has taken to supporting streaming instructions itself.

Re:DX9, 10 or whatever already is "compatible"! (3, Insightful)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653532)

That's how it's supposed to be. The problem is that in practice, I've seen cases where the "emulation" of a vertex shader in CPU didn't work properly (a DX8 vertex shader that ran fine on GPU, but had weird problems on CPU). The solution was a line-for-line port to C++ of the vertex shader, and having a separate execution path for non-VS supporting cards. In short, a big pain in the ass to program for.

Re:DX9, 10 or whatever already is "compatible"! (2, Informative)

Tim C (15259) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653649)

DX9 is backwards compatible with even my lowly NV25 and MX cards... Its just like in the days of MMX vs NON MMX. IF you had MMX it ran faster, if you didn't it never wouldn't work for you.. just would be slower.

Now, in general you are correct - however, the Deus Ex 2 demo refused to run on my girlfriend's PC because it lacked support for pixel shaders (v1.1, iirc). That machine has the latest DX installed, but only has a GeForce 4 MX. My machine, with a Ti 200, runs the demo fine.

Perhaps it doesn't have to be that way, and I realise that it's only a demo, but that's the way it is at the moment.

Also, specifically addressing your MMX comment - I seem to remember Unreal refusing to run on my PC at the time, which had a Cyrix PR166 (with no MMX support), precisely because of the lack of MMX support.

Re:DX9, 10 or whatever already is "compatible"! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7653851)

Yes, but that's because the Deus Ex programmers told the program to shut down on certain machines. They could have done the same if your processor wasn't an Intel or your clock was set to Tuesday. There is no such limitation in Direct X. It's kind of irrelevant what one user decides to do with it. Although I must applaud them for going out of their way to make the game unplayable.

Re:It would be nice (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7653412)

What a karma whore, and with a stupid ass post.

You must be a moron... DX10 isn't going to magically alter the hardware of your fucking video card. Idiot.

Re:It would be nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7653516)


Idiot, I must agree with you on this one. AC.

Re:It would be nice (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653620)

And you are surprised by the prospect because...? This is how it's been for years now. Buy the latest card, get all the latest features, then 6-12 months later it's outdated. You don't have any reason to complain, especially since the next DX version won't ship until Longhorn ships, which will probably be sometime in the year 2020 ;)

DX9 (1)

AchmedHabib (696882) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653290)

So while we wait for some great games to make proper use of DX9, we can dream of games on DX10 and only dream of the wonders of DX11.

So it's not going to be called DirectX X??? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7653292)

XBOX Next?
DirectX Next?

I guess we all know what the Next version of Windows is going to be called! :)

Re:So it's not going to be called DirectX X??? (1)

Jesrad (716567) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653345)

I think Apple owns the trademark for "Next" in the OS market.

Re:So it's not going to be called DirectX X??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7653353)

Wrong.

They just own the the Capitilization and logo.

NeXT.

Re: So it's not going to be called DirectX X??? (5, Funny)

ezh (707373) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653370)

We had one NeXT already. It turned back into Apple ;) On the other hand, obsession with X's will finally bring you to triple X. What an operating system that would be! :-)

Re:So it's not going to be called DirectX X??? (1)

HoldmyCauls (239328) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653696)

It's an excuse for Microsoft. If a feature or patch isn't available, they can say, "Oh, we meant the *Next* version of Windows" and then "No-no, the *Next* Next version" ad infinitum...

*wink-and-nudge*

Yeah... (1)

Orne (144925) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653813)

Longhorn.

Re:Yeah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7653902)

Probably not.

The story.. (1)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653914)

When Windows Longhorn was first demoed, the reviewer saw the buggy install, the frequent crashes, the god-awful GUI and said, "Windows? NEXT!"

No really, I was there.

DirectX has nothing to do with graphics in general (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7653295)


unless DirectX is running on other platforms, why dont you link to a programming for Internet Explorer page while you are there, or maybe a quick VB tutorial, how about a mastering the Windows Rights Manager feature ?

Does this mean OpenGL is finished ? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7653296)

At this point DirectX is years ahead of OpenGL

Re:Does this mean OpenGL is finished ? (5, Informative)

lemody (588908) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653309)

OpenGL and DirectX are different kind of systems, DirectX offering interfaces to input devices, sound controlling etc. OpenGL is just for graphics!
Don't get this personal, I always post like this when someone compares these two :)

Re:Does this mean OpenGL is finished ? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7653398)

SDL does this for Linux (and several other OS's including Windows.) It uses OpenGL for the 3D portion. Unfortunately, DirectX is years ahead of SDL.

Re:Does this mean OpenGL is finished ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7653568)

Even if comparing just the graphics aspects, I also like to point out that a lot of programmers have no interest in allowing their companies to be embraced and extended into Microsoft-only corners, and thus may tend to lean toward OpenGL over Direct3D when choosing a foundation for a product.

Re:Does this mean OpenGL is finished ? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7653921)

Well I hope you aren't referring to gaming companies, cause last I checked there weren't a lot of programmers using OpenGL for their graphics in games.

The fact that Quake3 is still used for measuring OpenGL performance of gaming cards says an awful awful lot about the number of game engines using OpenGL (engines based on Q3 not outstanding)

Re:Does this mean OpenGL is finished ? (3, Informative)

Molt (116343) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653479)

I'd say that if you're on about the graphics subsystem of DirectX then OpenGL is pretty much at the same level if.. and only if.. you are willing to use the standardised extensions [sgi.com] . If you're not using these expect slowness, if you're using the non-standardised vendor-specific extensions then expect more speed but more difficulty in making it work across the board.

Overkill? (2, Interesting)

zachusaf (540628) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653299)

With few, if any, games fully supporting DX9, is DX10 a bit of overkill? I'm all for the advancment of technology, but it looks like the cart is coming before the horse, and dragging the horse with it.

Re:Overkill? (2, Insightful)

JDevers (83155) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653324)

Not really, they are saying this won't be out until at least Longhorn. By the time that comes out, you can bet a LOT of games will fully exploit DirectX 9...

Re:Overkill? (1)

zachusaf (540628) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653691)

Ah I misssed that, thanks for the heads up

ATTENTION (-1, Offtopic)

Steve 'Rim' Jobs (728708) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653302)

I have created a new account and have already begun the process of karma whoring. Very soon he will achieve "excellent" karma and decimate you all. AND THERE'S NOT A THING YOU CAN DO TO STOP ME!

BWA HA HA HA.

Steve 'Rim' Jobs

Re:ATTENTION (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7653317)

Uhhhhhhhhhh.......... u'r not steve jobs.......... u'r a teletubby.......... dumass.............

Re:ATTENTION (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7653327)

go for it Steve. you are the man.

Re:ATTENTION (-1)

Sir Haxalot (693401) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653361)

I have created a new account and have already begun the process of karma whoring
Hah. wannabe.

Re:ATTENTION (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7653415)

That would be Pingular, right?

Re:ATTENTION (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7653426)

Is it pingular?

In other news... (5, Funny)

Jarrik (728375) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653319)

Doom 3 was delayed.. again.

Re:In other news... (1)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653476)

As was Duke Nukem Forever, in order to add DX10 functionality.

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7653492)

smart one :)
D ]I[ is OpenGL...
Just for fun!

Slayers (5, Funny)

zeroclip (700917) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653331)

So DX11 will be "DirectX Try"?

Re:Slayers (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7653434)

some weird anime you like there.

Re:Slayers (1)

geighaus (670864) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653667)

By this logic, the DirectX release after the 'try' one will be DirectX catch (Exception e). ;)

anyone else jealous (1)

n0k14 (719810) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653336)

if theres one thing a business model can achieve, its quick and streamlined development on something as critical as directx. gnu/linux desperately needs improvement in this area

Re:anyone else jealous (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7653389)

pff. Mesa isn't even at 5.0 yet, and while the 3d engine renders smoke like it's supposed to, they really do need to work on their marketing engine so they can blow it up my ass with MesaX.

why? (0, Flamebait)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653481)

My web server doesn't do much 3d graphic processing

Re:why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7653598)

But my workstation does.

Who cares? (5, Insightful)

Glock27 (446276) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653343)

Beyond3D has put up an article based on Microsoft's games developers presentations given at Meltdown

I could care less about this functionality being exposed through a proprietary API.

My question is: when will it be available in OpenGL 2.x? :-)

Cross platform is the best way to go with game development...and OpenGL is the only game in town for cross-platform 3D graphics. It is also the official 3D API for Macintosh.

Re:Who cares? (3, Insightful)

n0k14 (719810) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653376)

cross platform is the best way to go with game development? hah! maybe on consoles, but with the staggering price of game development now-days its almost too risky to do cross-platform development. companies porting games to apple only have moderate sucess, so how are they going to feel developing for an os unproven in game development with users who are used to getting everything for free? (dont worry, i love linux, but i just dont think we should lie to ourselves)

Re:Who cares? (5, Interesting)

Glock27 (446276) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653425)

cross platform is the best way to go with game development? hah! maybe on consoles, but with the staggering price of game development now-days its almost too risky to do cross-platform development.

IMO, yes cross-platform is the way to go. If you use the right engine (Torque for instance), you get it for free, less the occasional support call. ;-)

Look at some of the top games that have been cross-platform:

  • All id games
  • Baldur's Gate Series
  • Warcraft Series
  • Diablo Series
  • Sims Series
  • You Don't Know Jack Series
  • Age of Empires
  • Starcraft
  • Everquest
  • 3-D Ultra Pinball: Thrillride
  • Microsoft Close Combat 2.0: A Bridge Too Far
  • Monopoly
  • Terminus
  • and many more...

See any successful games there? ;-) And even Microsoft is smart enough to do it, while trying to lock everyone else into Windows/DirectX. Pretty funny, actually...

so how are they going to feel developing for an os unproven in game development with users who are used to getting everything for free? (dont worry, i love linux, but i just dont think we should lie to ourselves)

If they get the port essentially for free, and provide it as an "unsupported" extra, they will get a ton of good press on Usenet, the web and so on, from alpha geeks. Look at the reception Baldur's Gate games get here on Slashdot. That's worth it right there! :-)

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7653723)

Look at some of the top games that have been cross-platform and earned a significate amound of money from a platform other than Windows:



and the list goes on and on.

Re:Who cares? (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653510)

Well, if games were designed from the ground up with portability in mind, then porting it would be a cinch. Starting off with "Lets go with the latest directx" generally means either your game is going to be stuck on one platform or you're going to have to reinvest more money to port it.

Re:Who cares? (1)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653802)

You forget the Mac OS, a platform where users are *known* for paying for things, and at a premium even!

If you develop your game from the beginning to be cross platform, you will incur little, if any, development costs for your port because the cost will be part of the development.

Essentially the time and price to design (which is little relative to debug and test) and the time and price to test and debug; and if the game is developed with portability in the first place, you will see fewer bugs and problems than if you, as another poster suggested, used DirectX in the first place because you are forced to redesign and reimplement all the UI and structure.

Re:Who cares? (1)

Glock27 (446276) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653380)

Just one more thought on this: it's really too bad the Indrema console didn't make it. That would have been the first OpenGL based console.

Is there any sort of OpenGL support for PS2? Maybe PS3 will make the jump...

Re:Who cares? (1)

FauxPasIII (75900) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653491)

>> Is there any sort of OpenGL support
>> for PS2? Maybe PS3 will make the jump...

Console makers in general, and sony in particular, benefit hugely from exclusive titles. They have a lot to lose by making it trivial to port off of their console to other systems.

Would playstation be the success it is without Sony's relationship with Square ?

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7653636)

I could care less about this functionality being exposed through a proprietary API.

You could care less? Good. If you still have the ability to care less than you do, your level of caring has not yet reached a minimum, and the story should be of interest to you.

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7653772)

I could care less...

Good for you. I couldn't.

but... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7653364)


I wish they would port this to Linux. At that point Linux may actually be a decent platform for developing games.

perhaps... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7653459)


Maybe you could express your disagreement in some manner other than modding my post a troll. Maybe you believe that Linux is as good or better than Windows for developing games (not likely.) Most likely you just didn't like having it pointed out so you modded me a troll.

Horse, THEN Cart (1, Interesting)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653365)

Doesn't this logic seem backwards?
With Pixel Shaders 2.0 and 3.0 already a part of DirectX9 this article gives a feel of what to expect from PS/VS4.0 and other DirectX features hardware developers will be expected to deliver with the likes of R500 and NV50.

Shouldn't hardware vendors develop processing capability, then the software vendors implement the OS support? Or maybe I'm sensitive to the Evil Empire trying to dictate other computing advances through its 'embrace and extend' philosophy.

Compare this to CPU design, however - Microsoft doesn't dictate to Intel what extensions to add onto x86. Or do they? (puts on tinfoil hat)

Re:Horse, THEN Cart (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7653403)

Microsoft aren't dictating to NVidia and ATI what features to put in their next chips, either. NVidia, ATI, other card makers, and graphics programmers, are telling Microsoft what features they need in an API, and Microsoft are releasing APIs that have those features.

Compare this to OpenGL, which is lagging so far behind that only rare titles take it seriously (Doom3 is the one that springs to mind).

Note for example that both NVidia and ATI provide better support for DirectX in their drivers than they do for OpenGL. That doesn't sound like companies being imposed upon, that sounds like companies appreciating an API that supports the features they've spent a lot of money developing.

And they don't care about portability, because Linux and MacOS are basically irrelevant as gaming platforms. That's not going to change until OpenGL catches up with DirectX, guys.

Re:Horse, THEN Cart (2, Insightful)

TwistedSquare (650445) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653417)

Here's my take:

The game developers are the ones who really want new performance features (sure it will make the hardware manufacturers money but the developers are the ones who are really driving it).

The game developers don't ever work directly with the graphics card, only the API. So to them extensions to performance are basically extensions to the API (and just demand that users get a card that supports the API).

The API for DirectX is of course designed by Microsoft who want people to use it because it locks them into Microsoft more than OpenGL. So Microsoft want to advance the API to please the developers. Therefore Microsoft extend the API for new future features.

Graphics card performance is not based on processing power, its based on how fast they can go while implementing the API (either DirectX or OpenGL). To get sales they need their DirectX performance to be good so they follow the API (with one eye, the other on OpenGL) and try and make the best card for implementing it.

So there's no real point having a feature on your graphics card that isn't used by the API. While OpenGL does have extensiosn to allow you to get at manufacturer-specific stuff to an extent, as I recall DirectX doesn't so much (it just provides a generalised architecture for manufacturers to implement, as core OpenGL does).

Which is why DirectX comes before the manufacturers to an extent. There's a bit of poetic licence there but that's my general view.

Re:Horse, THEN Cart (1)

Peyna (14792) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653471)

I wouldn't say that Microsoft in trying to dictate what Intel does, but they probably try to influence certain decisions that will affect how they program their Operating Systems. CPU makers and OS makers have to be in bed together.

Re:Horse, THEN Cart (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653480)

Compare this to CPU design, however - Microsoft doesn't dictate to Intel what extensions to add onto x86. Or do they? (puts on tinfoil hat)

CPUs are fairly general-purpose. Graphics chips are anything but. As far as instruction sets go, there are so many instructions available to make a task efficient that it looks like the best they can do is just make the registers wider with new "enhanced" instructions to process more data bits per instruction.

MOD PARENT DOWN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7653550)

Just another ignorant, Microsoft hating fool who was absolutely no knowledge of any of the subjects he just touched on, and who thinks he's battling the "evil empire" by pointing out Microsoft's wrongs, even when they aren't wrongs.

Oh wait, this is Slashdot, MOD PARENT UP!

Knowledge, THEN Post (4, Insightful)

BasharTeg (71923) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653608)

I try not to make it a habit to flame people, but do you know what you're talking about? Adding new functionality to DirectX *before* the new hardware comes out, means that when you buy your new GeForce FX 9999, you don't have to wait for Microsoft to release a new version of DirectX 6 months later to use the full potential of the card. This has absolutely nothing to do with embrace and extend. This is their proprietary graphics/multimedia API in the first place. How can they "embrace and extend" their own library?

Your second bit of anti-Microsoft conjecture is no better than your first. When it comes to Microsoft working with Intel to add extensions to the x86 processor set, so what if they did? Do you think they wouldn't benefit all x86 operating systems? At the level of the instruction set, how would you design into an x86 CPU, instructions which only benefit one x86 OS? Yes, Microsoft has worked with Intel on the instruction set, but mostly vice verca. It is Intel who releases the manuals on "how to write an OS for our CPUs." But no matter how they're working together, that is a good thing, not "the evil empire at work."

Please, learn a little and think a little before you post your knee-jerk anti-MS reaction. There are plenty of legitimate reasons and opportunities to bash Microsoft. The problem I see is a lot of people look like that guy from Can't Hardly Wait who keeps trying to find the right second to start the slow clap.

So what is a shader? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7653400)

Enlighten me.

Re:So what is a shader? (1)

Patrik_AKA_RedX (624423) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653429)

A shader is something that shades things that need to be shaded, while leaving thing that don't need to be shaded alone.

Re:So what is a shader? (4, Informative)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653458)

I'm no 3d coder guy but as I understand it shaders are short programs you can enter into the GPU to control how a face is rendered [at a given vertex]. Before that you used to say "render me with [phong|gouraud|flat] shading" and the whole thing looked uniform.

Shaders programs let you do cool things like features [e.g. skin, roughness to things, etc...]

What I don't get is why didn't they just make the GPU a generic RISC with say 32/32 registers [ALU/FPU] and a set of instructions that fast graphics would require [say saturated X bpp operations, fast division, etc...]

That way you have a processor you can just upload code to. Also make it a standard so instead of having "every joe and their brothers graphic processor specs...." you have something truly conforming...

Tom

Re:So what is a shader? (2, Informative)

Pius II. (525191) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653580)

Er, they did. There's even a C-like programming language, in case you don't want to write raw assembler for these processors. The whole process of uploading stuff on the graphics card is halfway standarized, at least in OpenGL; I don't use DX, but according to documentation you can use the same shaders with similar commands.

Documentation of the OpenGL side is in the OpenGL Extension Registry [sgi.com] , look for "shader" and "program".

Ooo ooh idea (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653404)

Instead of say "ultra shade 2000 (tm)" how about "more polys render (tm)". Cuz really well drawn 2d trees/grass/foilage is getting kinda lame [no matter how high the bpp is!]

Really it gets to the point where people are like I want 300fps *and* I want every pixel to be drawn perfectly.

I'd just go for decent poly/s and a card that doesn't catch on fire! Heck I play most games in 16bpp [yuck! ... though I recall when 15/16 bpp was dreamy] cuz I concentrate on the game, not how nicely phong shaded some poorly tesselated object looks.

That and as many others said... why not use OpenGL? Or better yet. Why doesn't DirectX just act like a wrapper around OpenGL [or merge OpenGL into DX?] DX does provide input/sound support which nobody bitches about. The 3D support leaves a lot to be desired [and undesired]

Tom

Re:Ooo ooh idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7653514)

What the hell are you talking about? The graphics support in OpenGL is YEARS behind what you get in DirectX. Unless you go on and use vendor-extensions (which kills the cross-card-compatibility aspects of your game) you are going to end up with:

a) A shitty looking game when compared to other games
b) DOOM 3 - where the guy writing the graphics engine has to do most of the work himself.

Unless you can clone dozens of Carmacks, OpenGL is def. not the way to go.

Wouldn't game companies.... (1)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653408)

... be better off using something like OpenGL or SDL or some other cross-platform (if not Free, free, or combinations thereof) API, if for nothing more than to make porting to Mac or consoles or anything else much easier?

Re:Wouldn't game companies.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7653543)

Actually, DirectX basically runs on the Mac [macworld.com] .

Luckily, not for a couple more years... (1)

TheLoneDanger (611268) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653430)

"While the next major revision for DirectX is not expected until Longhorn's launch..."

Well, that means we've got at least a couple years (or a decade) for games to really take advantage of DX9. I'm glad that people will be given a chance to get new hardware that properly supports DX9 (at a mainstream price) and PLAY games that support it before we're told to upgrade again, even if it's only because of Microsoft's problems with Longhorn.

(Minor digs at MS and Nvidia in there of course).

I want the nitty gritty (1, Insightful)

ciaran_o_riordan (662132) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653437)

How about a sneak preview of how many patent licenses it will require to implement?

No, wait, that would be bad marketing. You have to get everyone excited about it first, then when everyones asking for it, the other vendors will want to use it, and *then* the patents come out.

Ah, screw all this microsoft monopoly crap. I prefer free market capitalism. Give me Free Software any day.

X Power (1)

lousyd (459028) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653447)

currently titled "DirectX Next"

"We have X's in our name, too! In fact, in our new and improved version there's twice as many X's! Just wait until our next operating system, codenamed Windex, comes out. Those Linus people ain't got nothin' on us."

Thats Nice... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7653477)

...but will it run on my 3dfx Voodoo 2?

Version mania (2, Insightful)

hey (83763) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653478)

I have done some work with DirectX and the biggest problem I see is that new versions come out too quickly. Do you want your project to be totally tied to DirectX version N with you know N+1 will be out next year making your huge project obsolete or requiring a rewrite. For that reason SDL or OpenGL (an API that hardly changes) appeal to me. Who wants to build on shifting sands.

Re:Version mania (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7653653)

Why is this insightful? Give Microsoft credit: They're very good about making DirectX backward-compatable.

Re:Version mania (4, Insightful)

Mr_Silver (213637) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653668)

I have done some work with DirectX and the biggest problem I see is that new versions come out too quickly. Do you want your project to be totally tied to DirectX version N with you know N+1 will be out next year making your huge project obsolete or requiring a rewrite.

Disclaimer: I have never looked at or written a piece of code in my life that used DirectX.

However, your comment makes no sense. All games written for one version of DirectX should work in the later versions. Otherwise you'd have games failing left right and centre and people on here bitching about how they can't update DirectX without killing their favourite game.

Hell, I have a couple of DirectX 5 and 7 requiring games and they work just fine under v8 and my recently installed 9.

The only downside to the frequent updates is when you want to take advantage of all the new wizzy things the graphics cards are doing. But I don't think thats a fault of Microsoft, more an indication of the rapid pace of development (since MS merely support the things the graphics card makes tell them their next cards can do)

That annoying spellchecker (2, Interesting)

gspr (602968) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653487)

Notice how some words, such as "OSs", are underlined by the spellchecker in the pictures. Are they too lazy to remove those?

If topic="games" then microsoft"evil"? (0, Offtopic)

acvh (120205) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653558)

sad, really.

can iu run linux on it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7653569)

but can i run it from linux?

seriously. i wonder if the next generation computing has drm involved with the directX. and by the way i dind't RTFA becuase.... well i'm lazy

What are the real advantages? (1)

Pan T. Hose (707794) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653674)

What is the real advantage of using DirectX instead of standard OpenGL? I'm going to start a little project soon and I have to decide what tools to use. Are there any problems with OpenGL support on Microsoft systems or what?

They're failing to address a major bottleneck IMO (2, Funny)

Samir Gupta (623651) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653675)

Since the earliest days of 3D graphics architetures on the PC, a major bottleneck has been the speed of the bus between main system memory and the graphics hardware, be it AGP, PCI, or some proprietary solution. This is usually the limiting factor when it comes to transferring models and textures of a size that we would like to use when rendering super realistic 3-D characters for games.

At Nintendo, we have been surprised that no major graphics vendor has really addressed to an adequate degree this problem, so we're currently spearheading the development of a new architectural paradigm called MARIO, standing for (Making Assets for Rendering I/O Optimized).

In a nutshell, we move bandwidth and space-consuming model and texture data from RAM and disc media, where it is time-consuming to load, to super-fast ROM, contained within the GPU itself. Having this data in silicon will dramatically speed up the rendering process and hence the user experience overall.

You may ask, how do we modify these models and textures? Of course, that is not possible, but we've done great research, and have found that for most of our games, the same models and textures are always being used anyhow, so it makes sense to put those in ROM.

Specifically, we're embedding data for Mario, Luigi, Donkey Kong, the Princess, and Link into ROM. For 99% of our anticipated future games, this will cause a dramatic speedup in performance, and will provide a great incentive for game developers to license the use of our assets in their games, instead of using their own proprietary non-Nintendo characters in order to make their 3-D rendering pipeline as efficent as possible.

We at Nintendo look forward to the quantum leap in graphics performance this new architectural vision will surely bring on and are quite excited as you can see!

Heyyyyy Samir! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7653847)

U rawk d00d! You went from the head of Sega R&D to Nintendo's R&D, quite a jump!
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