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DX10 - How Far Have We Come?

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the far-if-you-look-at-crysis dept.

210

MojoKid writes "When DirectX 10 was first introduced to the market by graphics manufacturers and subsequently supported by Windows Vista, it was generally understood that adoption by game developers was going to be more of a slow migration than a quick flip of a switch. That said, nearly a year later, the question is how far have we come? An article at the HotHardware site showcases many of the most popular DX10-capable game engines, like Bioshock , World In Conflict , Call of Juarez, Lost Planet, and Company of Heroes, and features current image quality comparisons versus DX9 modes with each. The article also details performance levels across many of the more popular graphics cards, from both the mid-range and high-end." PC Perspective has a similar look at DX10 performance.

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SLASHDOT SUX0RZ (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20858299)

DX9 looks better? (4, Insightful)

Chemisor (97276) | more than 6 years ago | (#20858303)

Am I the only one who find the DX9 version of the pictures more appealing? With the exception of the Bioshock fog examples (which had sharp boundaries in DX9) they just look more "natural" to me.

Re:DX9 looks better? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20858309)

Yes. Yes you are. Microsoft hater, you're just a Slashdrone SHeep.

Re:DX9 looks better? (2, Informative)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 6 years ago | (#20858343)

The fog looks bad because it was not designed around dx9.
I've can't remember seeing visuals look as bad as those did, and even where glitches occur the action happens so fast its not noticeable.

(one exception, in Half life 2, the frosted glass doors had a glitch near the edges of the screen, nothing major but ruined the effect)

The real joke (4, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | more than 6 years ago | (#20859225)

The real joke is that neither DX9 nor DX10 are inherently "better" any more than the original Glide API was inherently "better" than DirectX or OpenGL. Hardware has been changed constantly, to give "better" responses to this call or that call, but inevitably you have to write a driver that converts the OpenGL or DX9/DX10 or whatever into something your card understands.

In the really old days, you had people actually coding for the card on hand. This is why there's a gazillion different releases of Mechwarrior 2, each of which varies greatly in image quality and features - each had to be hand tuned to the card.

If Bioshock had been intended for DX9, it would probably look the same as that DX10 shot on DX9. They'd have figured out what they needed to do, perhaps coded a few "If ATI, do this, if NVidia, do this, if Intel Extreme fail 'your video card is too crappy to play this game'" decisions for specific hardware, and that would have been that. Since it was backported (and MS would have thrown a fit to have "no difference") they had to just do a more slappy job of it.

Then again, if not for the emphasis on ridiculous graphics, think about how many games would be able to use their processing power for some seriously wicked AI. Even Bioshock only has half-decent AI that can be twigged to and predicted fairly easily - you know that a wrench guy is going to rush you, you know that the spider slicers will hang from the ceiling and lob stuff all day till you burn or freeze them, you know where the houdinis are going to land long before the animation starts merely because you can figure out what the AI tree says for them to do in what radius... it's sad.

Hell, you can predict the precise spot on the health bar where they'll run for the health station, and if you're smart you trapped that thing half an hour ago. Now you get to watch as four of them all kill themselves on the same damn one, never paying attention to the 3 dead bodies on the floor that obviously just gassed themselve using a booby-trapped station.

But nevermind. I know the reason they want graphics over AI - the same fucking morons that could never defeat a decently programmed AI (hell, they have trouble getting through Halo on NORMAL), drool over thinking that they can see the shoelaces on Madden's boot.

Re:The real joke (4, Insightful)

Mikachu (972457) | more than 6 years ago | (#20859445)

Hold on for a second here. The graphics are usually very GPU intensive, but the CPU is generally not overworked by them at all. If they wanted to write good AI, they could do so without sacrificing graphics quality at all.

Re: ai (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20860121)

As someone who writes AI for text-based games, let me clear you of some misconceptions.

First, the goal of "AI" isn't always to be as smart as possible. Often, the goal is to make something believable and/or of the appropriate difficulty level. It's possible that Bioshock missed the mark there, but I haven't played Bioshock yet, so I don't know.

I can write "AI" that will kick your ass every time, even without cheating. (Mobs have the advantage of being on home turf, and they outnumber you.) But that's not fun for the player, so I don't do it. Instead, I'll write something with a pattern you have to figure out. Once you learn one of the ways to beat it, the mob will be easy for you, and it's time to move on to the next area. Very few mobs get the full "try to survive at all cost" treatment, and even fewer are programmed to actually learn from your behavior.

You're describing the classic "I wish this mob would keep getting harder" remorse, but think about it: would it really make sense for those mobs to learn from your new tactics? Are they supposed to be smart, or are they just supposed to be an obstacle?

As for your dead bodies example: would you really prefer to have an infinite standoff as the mobs decide it's not worth getting killed, so they go hide somewhere with their own traps and wait for you to attack? Right... so get over it. If games were realistic, you would realdie on level 1.

Re: ai (4, Insightful)

Chemisor (97276) | more than 6 years ago | (#20860425)

> I can write "AI" that will kick your ass every time, even without cheating.
> (Mobs have the advantage of being on home turf, and they outnumber you.)

You are assuming that the mob would just sit there and wait for the player, like it usually does in pretty much every game. In reality, a "level" would not necessarily know that Gordon Freeman is on his way. Neither will they have the patience to sit in their assigned ambush places, waiting for him all day long. A better AI would actually "live" in the environment where it is placed, so that it would react to the player instead of waiting for him. It would also be fun to watch. In Half-Life I really enjoyed watching those occasional scenes where monsters are wondering around doing things; like when the bullsquids feed on the headcrabs. I wish there were more things like that, things worth watching.

> would it really make sense for those mobs to learn from your new tactics?
> Are they supposed to be smart, or are they just supposed to be an obstacle?

If the AI was smart, you wouldn't need a mob. You would only need a few individuals. It would be like a multiplayer deathmatch, and, judging from the popularity of those, would likely be more fun than the current mob situation.

> As for your dead bodies example: would you really prefer to have an infinite standoff
> as the mobs decide it's not worth getting killed, so they go hide somewhere with their
> own traps and wait for you to attack?

An infinite standoff will only happen if the game designer makes you kill off the entire mob before setting off some stupid trigger to open some stupid door. Don't program artificial obstacles and the player will be able to ignore the hiding mob and go on, just like in real life.

Re: ai (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 6 years ago | (#20860499)

In Half-Life I really enjoyed watching those occasional scenes where monsters are wondering around doing things; like when the bullsquids feed on the headcrabs. I wish there were more things like that, things worth watching.

For all the guff that Tabula Rasa is getting,this one one of the things that (to me) made the world seem more dynamic and lived in. The worlds you play on are active battlefields with reasonably intelligent good and evil mobs that are jocking for tactical and strategic advantages. The "bad" mobs arrive in dropships in actual squads of various types, and will patrol/hunt through areas for "good" mobs (including the player). A lot of people don't seem to like TR very much, but this was a great idea, to me.

Re:DX9 looks better? (3, Insightful)

b100dian (771163) | more than 6 years ago | (#20858447)

If you look at "Company of Heroes - Image quality", the first "grass effects" comparison shows am octogonal wheel.
I mean, 2007! and we still have octogonal circles!!

I think that the "realism" isn't worth it. Go out and create DX7 games that are fun :P !! (or openGL games that don't require much extensions;)

Re:DX9 looks better? or do the consumers vote? (5, Funny)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 6 years ago | (#20858515)

I think that the "realism" isn't worth it. Go out and create DX7 games that are fun :P !! (or openGL games that don't require much extensions;)

Oh, come on, everyone will buy the PS3 because it has better graphics than the Wii .... um, hello?

Re:DX9 looks better? (3, Insightful)

Poromenos1 (830658) | more than 6 years ago | (#20858583)

TF2 is the best looking game I've seen in a while, and it's not realistic. That's a big part of why it's so much fun. I've died numerous times from standing around looking at stuff :(

Re:DX9 looks better? (1)

mochan_s (536939) | more than 6 years ago | (#20858631)

If you look at "Company of Heroes - Image quality", the first "grass effects" comparison shows am octogonal wheel.

I mean, 2007! and we still have octogonal circles!!

I don't know what you're talking about but that's one funny line.

Re:DX9 looks better? (4, Funny)

bipbop (1144919) | more than 6 years ago | (#20858685)

"I mean, 2007! and we still have octogonal circles!!"

Talk about reinventing the wheel!

Re:DX9 looks better? (1)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 6 years ago | (#20859365)

All wheels are octagonal, you just don't have good enough vision to notice.

Re:DX9 looks better? (4, Funny)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 6 years ago | (#20859619)

I mean, 2007! and we still have octogonal circles!!
All circles are octogonal, for large values of eight.

Re:DX9 looks better? (2, Insightful)

fbjon (692006) | more than 6 years ago | (#20858509)

Yes, a lot of the differences also seemed to be unrelated to DX10/DX9 differences. The soft fog and some lighting effects is really the only feature of significance I could see.

Re:DX9 looks better? (4, Insightful)

QuietYou (629140) | more than 6 years ago | (#20859033)

When you consider the FPS differences of the tests, it's not a fair comparison of the abilities of each each API.

On one test the DX9 version was running at 110fps and the DX10 version running at 30fps. The DX10 version damn well better haver higher image quality if it takes nearly 4 times as long to render a scene. Push the DX9 version futher by throwing more polygons and more complex shaders at it until you reach the performance of the DX10 version, THEN do a comparison. You'll find that there is precious little image quality difference between the two when you're pushing BOTH versions to their limits. The DX9 version might even look better.

Re:DX9 looks better? (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 6 years ago | (#20858649)

DX10 looks great, but I'm not willing to suffer Vista on my gaming machine to get it.

Instead, I'm sticking with my console gaming for most things (except UT3, etc). It's a better alternative.

When Vista sucks a little less, maybe I'll consider it. I'm not going to "upgrade" just so I can make use of my DX10 card so I can play one whole game that I give a crap about (Crysis).

Re:DX9 looks better? (2, Insightful)

Presence2 (240785) | more than 6 years ago | (#20858953)

I second that, the positive differences between DX9 and 10 are not significant enough to warrant the negative differences between XP and Vista.

I'd much rather see game developers expend their man-hours on making PC games creative and better to play (and in a perfect world, not restrictively ready-to-port-to-console), rather then focus on making them graphically unique to DX10.

Re:DX9 looks better? (2, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 6 years ago | (#20859091)

When Vista sucks a little less, maybe I'll consider it.
So, you're willing to reward Microsoft for bad behavior?

A surprising number of people I encounter in my work have decided to forgo Vista, no matter what Microsoft does to it. There are some people who have decided not to just bow to the dictates of corporations, who expect us to buy what they offer, to give them profits no matter how poorly they perform.

Just as organized labor had to bring rapacious corporations into line in the second 2/3 of the twentieth century, it's time for consumers to teach corporations a similar lesson about what it means to be a good corporate citizen. The victories of the Labor movement brought about the strongest, most productive and wealthiest middle class in the world (which, since Reagan, has been largely destroyed). Citizen-consumers can bring about a similar benefit by simply making informed and independent decisions about how they spend their money.

Think about it: Health Care, Energy, Consumer Goods, Banking(and what are known as "durable goods"). These industries could be transformed by an organized and informed population who was willing to stand up for themselves.

No.Vista.For.Me.

If they were to take out all support for DRM, improve the efficiency, change the clumsy interface, and make it perform as well as XP Pro, I might reconsider, but then they'd probably call it something else.

Re:DX9 looks better? (1)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 6 years ago | (#20859497)

in the second 2/3 of the twentieth century

Um, would that be now? ;-)

I'm with you though. They are selling low-end laptops that are totally ruined by Vista but work perfectly fine with XP, or better yet, Ubuntu. I'm surprised Microsoft would allow this to happen because it makes a decent machine unusably slow, which makes Microsoft look bad (of course, they are bad, but you'd think they wouldn't want you to know).

Anyhow, no Vista for me. It's bad enough I've paid the MS tax twice by virtue of wanting a new laptop for me and for my wife, but to pay to make her machine much slower than the much less powerful machine it replaced (that ran XP) is absurd. My higher-end HP worked tolerably fast with Vista, but I thought computers were supposed to get faster, not slower, and this was slower than what I was used to on the less powerful machine it replaced. Besides, but I've been using Linux and only keep the Vista partition around for games, and I'm gonna upgrade it XP as soon as I get around to it.

Re:DX9 looks better? (2, Insightful)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 6 years ago | (#20859323)

What is so bad about vista?

Re:DX9 looks better? (0, Redundant)

FoolsGold (1139759) | more than 6 years ago | (#20859921)

Nothing much, but I see you've already been marked as a troll. Slashdot is not representative of the real world.

Re:DX9 looks better? (1)

aminorex (141494) | more than 6 years ago | (#20858761)

No, you're not alone. DX10 just sucks, period. The article concluded thus, and I concur emphatically.

Re:DX9 looks better? (1)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 6 years ago | (#20858799)

In some cases, DX9 versions are better, in some, DX10 versions are. Overall, the difference is minimal, except for "Call of Juarez" which uses a completely different set of textures and settings, so it's an apples-to-oranges comparison.

Image quality: about the same, slightly different in both cases.
Performance: usually twice as good for DX9, in some cases over 5x better.

I would call neither of versions "more appealing" in general, albeit I admit that in a couple of cases DX10 had less artifacts. Yet, that's nowhere near being worth the performance hit.

Oh, and there's a huge error in the test methodology. Both DirectX-es were tested on Vista. Try repeating the test with DX9 on XP and measure the performance...

Re:DX9 looks better? (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 6 years ago | (#20858977)

except for "Call of Juarez" which uses a completely different set of textures and settings, so it's an apples-to-oranges comparison.

No, this [improb.com] is an apples-to-oranges comparison.

(Sorry.)

Oh, and there's a huge error in the test methodology. Both DirectX-es were tested on Vista. Try repeating the test with DX9 on XP and measure the performance...

I disagree that this is a huge error in methodology. I think that XP+DX9 would have made useful supplements to the results they gave, but their goal was to measure DX9 vs DX10, and you don't do that by changing two variables.

Vista + DX10 vs. XP + DX9 would have been an appropriate test for serious gamers who make their choice of OS based upon the version of DX10, but I suspect these people are a small minority even of those reading the review.

Re:DX9 looks better? (5, Insightful)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 6 years ago | (#20859355)

I think that XP+DX9 would have made useful supplements to the results they gave, but their goal was to measure DX9 vs DX10, and you don't do that by changing two variables.

Yup. That's when I tested the speed of my car vs a train, I ran the car on the tracks. I was testing the speed of a car vs train, and you don't do that by changing two variables.

Re:DX9 looks better? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20860289)

Um..what?

Re:DX9 looks better? (1)

grim4593 (947789) | more than 6 years ago | (#20860527)

If I had points I would mod this as +1 Insightful.

Re:DX9 looks better? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20860549)

did you take a knock on the head while you were driving your car on the tracks?

Re:DX9 looks better? (4, Insightful)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 6 years ago | (#20859195)

Am I the only one who find the DX9 version of the pictures more appealing? With the exception of the Bioshock fog examples (which had sharp boundaries in DX9) they just look more "natural" to me.

Some did, some didn't.

You gotta understand that DX10 can do absolutely everything DX9 can, so if the DX10 image looks less natural, it's more of a human flaw than technological: it's a new area and people are only starting to discover what works best, both devs and designers.

Also I imagine that fine-tuned the DX9 version more since the majority of people out there have DX9 cards. DX10 are barely out there, they probably don't even have a good selection of DX10 cards yet to test everything thoroughly.

The only thing that worries me is that DX10 shows up slower on the benchmarks. DX10 was promised to have better performance than DX9, but don't forget all of the reviewed game use different code paths for DX10, thus load more effects and use higher precision buffers/processes in the DX10 versions. So while DX10 may be faster, it's not a fair comparison when DX10 is loaded with twice the texture sizes and effects of the DX9 version.

We'll need a more objective test written to use the same elements in DX9 and 10 and compare that.

One way or the other DX10 is the future. Even if the first few generation suck, the new features show lots of promise that will come to fruit in the coming years. DX10 has no choice but to become great. If you don't want to burn, just don't buy DX10 card YET, it's the worst moment to do so.

Wait at least until there's a DX 10.1 card out there with good price and review (DX 10.1 will come with Vista SP1). I don't expect this to be before Q3-4 2008 (which is great since Microsoft would have fixed lots of things in Vista by then, and 3rd parties would have better drivers and hardware for Vista).

Re:DX9 looks better? (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 6 years ago | (#20859349)

For the performance part, its easy to use DX9's past an example: remember the Geforce FX line of cards? That was totally rediculous. Same damn thing is happening to DX10: I bet you its the videocard manufacturers that are messing up again.

Re:DX9 looks better? (agree 100%) (1)

deep_creek (1001191) | more than 6 years ago | (#20860385)

Agree 100%. Dx9 appears to be more realistic, Dx10 is very "cartoonish" looking.

directx? (0, Offtopic)

Neuropol (665537) | more than 6 years ago | (#20858331)

it took me a few minutes to remember what the hell DirectX actually was.

I was like, there's nothing in Linux that requires it, so wtf is it?

Re:directx? (1)

ettlz (639203) | more than 6 years ago | (#20858391)

I hear it's a library that's used on those funny little operating systems Microsoft produces! *SNORT*

DirectX 10 introduced by WHO? (1)

Filter (6719) | more than 6 years ago | (#20860515)

When DirectX 10 was first introduced to the market by graphics manufacturers?

I guess it was technological innovations brought to us by the graphics card manufactures. Thank goodness Microsoft was able to provide us with a platform that implements this great new and improved gaming API. No wonder the other vendors in the desktop OS industry are falling behind in the market.

Backporting DX10 to XP (3, Interesting)

666999 (999666) | more than 6 years ago | (#20858385)

Is the project to backport DX10 to XP still active?

Found it - http://alkyproject.blogspot.com/2007/04/finally-making-use-of-this-blog-i.html [blogspot.com]

Alky compatibility libraries for Microsoft DirectX 10 enabled games. These libraries allow the use of DirectX 10 games on platforms other than Windows Vista, and increase hardware compatibility even on Vista, by compiling Geometry Shaders down to native machine code for execution where hardware isn't capable of running it.


Anyone tried this or know if it's still being updated?

Re:Backporting DX10 to XP (3, Informative)

webmaster404 (1148909) | more than 6 years ago | (#20858527)

Sort of, Im not that aware of the project on that page, but WINE is trying to get it to Linux/XP
http://wiki.winehq.org/FAQ#head-fbaa851e07d7484640cc10b6d0c48abc741260b2 [winehq.org]

from that page

Does Wine support DirectX? Can I install Microsoft's DirectX under Wine? Wine itself provides a DirectX implementation that, although it has a few bugs left, should run fine. Wine supports DirectX 9.0c at this time. Plans for DirectX 10 are underway. If you attempt to install Microsoft's DirectX, you'll run into some problems. You can install the runtime, but it will not run. The runtime needs access to the Windows drivers, and Wine cannot access them for obvious reasons. The only native Microsoft DLLs that could be useful anyway are the d3dx9_xx.dll type ones, and these require you to accept Microsoft's license. Regardless, don't try and do this.

Re:Backporting DX10 to XP (4, Funny)

mangu (126918) | more than 6 years ago | (#20858737)

Is the project to backport DX10 to XP still active?


I believe yes, it is [winehq.org] .

Re:Backporting DX10 to XP (1)

Mad Merlin (837387) | more than 6 years ago | (#20859399)

Alky is vapourware, don't hold your breath waiting for it.

As the posters above noted, you can already use (most) Wine dlls on Windows. Currently the Wine d3d10 implementation isn't particularly complete, but that will change with time.

Motion (4, Interesting)

Eccles (932) | more than 6 years ago | (#20858419)

I wonder how many of these differences would be more apparently with some motion and several sequential frames. I know there are texture effects that look OK when the user isn't moving but terrible when he is, although DX9 already has enhancements for that.

Still, nothing there makes me want to jump out and buy a $600 graphics card. Someday I'll have to move to PCIe, SATA, and multi-core; perhaps that will be the time. If it's with a 64 bit OS, so much the better.

Re:Motion (1)

RogerWilco (99615) | more than 6 years ago | (#20858571)

Someday I'll have to move to PCIe, SATA, and multi-core; perhaps that will be the time. If it's with a 64 bit OS, so much the better.

I (well my boss actually), just bought an Apple Macbook Pro, I just wanted to point out that your list doesn't mean Vista&DirectX, as the list sounds a lot like my new laptop. A bit off topic maybe, but it will be interesting how Apple will compare to DX10 & Vista when OS 10.5 is out in a month or so.

Re:Motion (0, Offtopic)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 6 years ago | (#20859397)

A bit off topic maybe, but it will be interesting how Apple will compare to DX10 & Vista when OS 10.5 is out in a month or so.

...and how many of the games listed in the article review will run on Mac, natively? Jus' curious, as we'd want it to be a fair comparison...

Heck, as I don't own one, I'm rather curious to see how many popular game titles are also available on Mac. Anyone?

Re:Motion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20859687)

people still harping this old line.

http://www.apple.com/games/ [apple.com]

Any game that is worth it's salt comes out also for the Mac.

Re:Motion (2, Interesting)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 6 years ago | (#20859925)

Agreed, but I never said that Macs didn't have games. I asked if the games in the review were also on the Mac, and for a general status on Mac gaming. That said, I decided to check for myself.

No to Bioshock. Nothing on World in Conflict. Out of luck on Call of Juarez, no for Lost Planet. Company of Heroes? Nada.

Any game that is worth it's salt comes out also for the Mac.

...by whose standards?

Re:Motion (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 6 years ago | (#20858749)

Still, nothing there makes me want to jump out and buy a $600 graphics card.

The GeForce 8400 for under $50 will do DX10. Not that it's the best, but there are many choices for DX10 under $600, and even decent choices for under $100.

Someday I'll have to move to PCIe, SATA, and multi-core; perhaps that will be the time. If it's with a 64 bit OS, so much the better.

You could build a system with all of that for under $600. It may not be the biggest and baddest, but for under $600 you could have a 64 bit system with PCIe, multi-core, and DX10. If you have trouble building one, send me a check for $600 and I'll send you something that meets those requirements.

Re:Motion (2, Informative)

Phil John (576633) | more than 6 years ago | (#20859527)

That GeForce 8400 only has 16 stream processors (the basis of the Unified Architecture that makes up current gen graphics cards). The 8600's suffer a great deal with double that (32) as seen in their framerate tests (apart from BioShock most games were almost unplayable at 1280x1024 - which has become the "new 1024x768" baseline).

The minimum card you want for the new crop of direct x 10 games (to actually get the "eye candy" at anything over 800x600) is the 8800 GTS with 96 stream processors.

Of course, gp could always go for that as a "stop-gap" measure and then at least they're on the PCIe bandwagon. Once they have some more cash, get whatever the mid-range graphics card du jour is

Re:Motion (2, Interesting)

earnest murderer (888716) | more than 6 years ago | (#20859003)

I wonder how many of these differences would be more apparently with some motion and several sequential frames. I know there are texture effects that look OK when the user isn't moving but terrible when he is, although DX9 already has enhancements for that.

Still, nothing there makes me want to jump out and buy a $600 graphics card. Someday I'll have to move to PCIe, SATA, and multi-core; perhaps that will be the time. If it's with a 64 bit OS, so much the better.
Well, the articles missed the most important part of DX 10. Gaming/hardware review sites sometimes touch on the issue, but rarely give it as much import as it deserves. It's not 9 vs 10 that's interesting, it's that for the first time in history DX 10 output is the same regardless of hardware vendor*. Long term it will pay off in spades for customers as doctored drivers and "cheats" are no longer part of the equation when trying to evaluate hardware. This is pretty much essential for moving window composting to the video card. Sure the increase in precision and certain features have dropped performance "a bit", but it is also a show stopper for anyone who is trying to do "real work" on a Vista PC.

Oh and DirectX 10 parts start at around $60, not $600 and the cost of excelent gaming hardware still starts at around 250-300 dollars, same as for the previous generation.

Re:Motion (2, Interesting)

n00854180t (866096) | more than 6 years ago | (#20859949)

I think the real problem is with the article. Yes some of these games have tiny features which "require" DX10, but not a single one of them is a "DX10 game" which is the language used by the article throughout. The real potential of DX10 (or shader model 4 if you prefer, which doesn't require DX10 anyway) is the geometry shader, and *NO* game developer will be using that for the things that matter (i.e., radically gameplay changing elements) until DX10 hardware is ubiquitous. So to date, there hasn't been a "DX10 game" at all.

Obviously... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20858425)

since it is from Micro$oft, DX10 is such a failure, not only are games not going from DX9 to DX10, they are going from DX9 to DX8.

Just as far as it needs to to displace OpenGL. (5, Interesting)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 6 years ago | (#20858431)

DirectX Will make just the advancements it needs to keep programmers from going SDL and OpenGL. Thats what it is for. The question is not how far has DirectX come, its how far does SDL and OpenGL have to go.

Re:Just as far as it needs to to displace OpenGL. (1)

Grey_14 (570901) | more than 6 years ago | (#20858489)

You keep referring to SDL like it's another graphics API? It's not really, it has some 2d capabilities but just serves to initialize OpenGL, it doesn't do anything 3d itself.

Re:Just as far as it needs to to displace OpenGL. (1)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 6 years ago | (#20858593)

Well, when you're talking about replacing DirectX, the rest of it (input + sound) needs to come from somewhere. IMO, non-professionals who don't need bleeding-edge shiny effects should stick to higher level interfaces anyway: OGRE + OpenAL does the job nicely.

Re:Just as far as it needs to to displace OpenGL. (1)

MrSteveSD (801820) | more than 6 years ago | (#20858519)

The fact that no-one wants Vista is a good opportunity for more widespread OpenGL adoption.

Re:Just as far as it needs to to displace OpenGL. (1, Interesting)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 6 years ago | (#20859393)

I use Vista on a daily basis and like it. What am I doing wrong?

Re:Just as far as it needs to to displace OpenGL. (5, Funny)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#20859741)

I use Vista on a daily basis and like it. What am I doing wrong?
Posting on Slashdot?

Re:Just as far as it needs to to displace OpenGL. (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 6 years ago | (#20860505)

I thought the answer th the GP's question was "Trusting Microsoft" ...

Re:Just as far as it needs to to displace OpenGL. (1)

RogerWilco (99615) | more than 6 years ago | (#20858633)

I think that SDL and OpenGL need to try and get ahead of DX, as that will make more game developers consider using it. (And usability, I understand that it's not only in features that DX has an edge, but also in ease of use and level of abstraction of all hardware, not just the graphics card.)

Re:Just as far as it needs to to displace OpenGL. (1)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 6 years ago | (#20858697)

SDL covers the behavior of Joypads and the keyboard and sound. OpenGL handles 3D

Re:Just as far as it needs to to displace OpenGL. (0, Redundant)

xZgf6xHx2uhoAj9D (1160707) | more than 6 years ago | (#20858869)

What a coincidence! DirectX also covers the behaviour of joypads, keyboards, sound and 3D. It's almost as if DirectX were in competition with SDL and OpenGL, exactly like the GP said!

DX10 still Windows Vista only? (4, Insightful)

shawnmchorse (442605) | more than 6 years ago | (#20858433)

Then the answer is going to have to be "not very far". I can't see game developers getting that excited about something supported only on a version of the operating system that people are specifically NOT migrating to in droves.

Re:DX10 still Windows Vista only? (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 6 years ago | (#20859409)

I can't see game developers getting that excited about something supported only on a version of the operating system that people are specifically NOT migrating to in droves.

In the home market, migration is to the next generation of Windows hardware and software.

The OEM system bundle.

The DX10 system with mid-line performance and pricing is still quite new, probably shipping in significant numbers no earlier June. Not the prime shopping season for a PC.

That said, in the W3Schools stats, Vista went from 0 to 4% of the market in about six months.

In a statistical dead heat with Linux and OSX. OS Platform Stats [w3schools.com] - both of which, in PC terms, have been around since the last Ice Age.

Re:DX10 still Windows Vista only? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20859645)

Ok mods, I detected digs here at both apple and linux. Just wanted to point them out because its a little subtle. Lets get this guy modded down quick before more people read this or he says something bad about the Wii.

Not an issue for me (1)

rustalot42684 (1055008) | more than 6 years ago | (#20858467)

My new (dual-booting) laptop with an Intel GMA X3100 doesn't seem to work properly with DX9 or DX10, which pisses me off because I got it thinking I would have ok performance and decent Linux drivers. Should have gone for AMD/ATI, but I didn't know they would open their specs 2 weeks after I got it. None of my favorite games work, except Rome TW.

Re:Not an issue for me (2, Interesting)

athdemo (1153305) | more than 6 years ago | (#20858503)

Integrated graphics, even the new chipset with the X3100, are just not meant for games. If you want to play new games, you either have to shell out a ton for a laptop, or just settle for a tower.

Wow DX10 (3, Insightful)

Dusty00 (1106595) | more than 6 years ago | (#20858473)

These numbers to me validate my suspicion that DX10 was nothing more than a cheep angle to sell Vista. The performance isn't a tremendous improvement and the resulting graphics are enough of an improvement that I'm going to let Vista suck down that much of my hardware.

Re:Wow DX10 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20860615)

But ... but ... check out these graphs [pcper.com] !

I don't have a clue what "Bioshock" or "0xAA 8xAF" are, but look at the pretty bars! Instead of using a normal box plot [wikipedia.org] , they're using a triple bargraph, with each bar a different color, *and* fancy gradient shading. And it's got a watermark. Let's see OpenGL do that, bitches.

That's how cool DX10 is. It doesn't need performance. Nobody's even looking at the numbers. They're looking at the shading on the bars on our graph.

Color me underwhelmed (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 6 years ago | (#20858487)

But the only reason I could see for DX10 was WinVista, and that has been such a disappointment that it's just not going to matter to most of us.

Meanwhile, my Wii works fine with my digital TV as it does for most Americans, and we'll buy HDTV when it's cheap (or we have to in 2009).

Promises mean little. Results matter. Come out with decent fully documented drivers for Linux and the Mac OS and we'll talk.

Re:Color me underwhelmed (1)

athdemo (1153305) | more than 6 years ago | (#20858603)

Wait, are you saying you want Microsoft to release DirectX for Linux and Mac OS? Why would they do that? That's not beneficial to them.

Re:Color me underwhelmed (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 6 years ago | (#20858679)

No, I'm saying I don't care who does what, I just want my stuff to work.

Re:Color me underwhelmed (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20858691)

Meanwhile, my Wii works fine with my digital TV as it does for most Americans, and we'll buy HDTV when it's cheap (or we have to in 2009

This is a pretty common misconception. The 2009 mandate is for digital television signals to replace the current analog signals, not for High Definition to replace Standard Definition. The new signals may be Standard Definition, Enhanced Definition, or High Definition, but Standard Definition will be the baseline.

You might want to have a read over the FCC's Digital TV FAQ [dtv.gov] .

Re:Color me underwhelmed (1)

Anarke_Incarnate (733529) | more than 6 years ago | (#20859157)

You will only need a digital TV if you don't have Sat/Cable or won't be willing to buy a set top converter. This only impacts people with "rabbit ears"

Re:Color me underwhelmed (2, Funny)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 6 years ago | (#20859345)

This only impacts people with "rabbit ears"

What do you have against Furries?

Re:Color me underwhelmed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20859593)

High definition tvs can be had for as little as 32" for $400. But TV's will continute to get "better" for a while. Maybe with OLED tvs next year, maybe laser based DLP a year after that.

Re:Color me underwhelmed (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 6 years ago | (#20860313)

True, but OLED TVs use organic LEDs and only have a max lifespan of around 5 years based on my house's usage (teens and a movie watching adult).

I figure, based on prior electronics marketing curves (my first degree was Sales and Marketing) that we should see $300 40" HDTV sets in 2009, buying in the Feb discount window. And the upgrade coupons may be useful for digital TV converters, as the signal strength for HDTV is stronger using antennas than using cable - I'll probably have cable but run an extra lead to a rooftop antenna (so i can switch when it spots out for local channels).

forget game developers adopting directx 10... (1)

AxemRed (755470) | more than 6 years ago | (#20858567)

I see enough problems getting them to adopt Vista, period. And its not just game developers. Hardware vendors don't seem to do much better. I have a computer that I built almost exactly two years ago. When I built it, all of the parts used had been released within the previous 6 months. So everything on there is younger than 3 years, at the oldest. As of September, the chipset driver hadn't been updated since Vista was in beta and the sound driver offered "limited support." All of the games that I tried ran about 75% as fast as the did in XP. A couple didn't work at all.

Re:forget game developers adopting directx 10... (1)

RSA7474 (1163263) | more than 6 years ago | (#20858985)

Developers don't have much choice when Windows is clearly the only major OS that encourages game development. Look at MAC OSX as a prime example, they are growing increasingly in numbers, yet Apple does not give any incentives. Personally, I would like to see developers go for more of an openGL approach, but if Direct X10 is being supported by Windows, and encouraged, they don't have much choice (Half-Life 2 is a prime example). For now, DirectX 9.0c does it for me on Windows XP.

directx 10 improvements? (1)

edxwelch (600979) | more than 6 years ago | (#20858651)

Some of the direct x10 images look better, and some look worse. Just shows you that better tech doesn't necesarily translate to better art. The Call of Juarez water effects image definately looks better in the direct x 9 version.

http://www.hothardware.com/articles/The_State_of_DirectX_10__Image_Quality__Performance/?page=5 [hothardware.com]

Re:directx 10 improvements? (1)

rumli (1066212) | more than 6 years ago | (#20859423)

My understanding is that most of the improvements come from the specs that they force graphics hardware to have (in particular, larger pixel-shader and vertex-shader instruction counts) in order to meet the "DX10 supported" label. This is all well and good, but ultimately it's the graphic cards doing most of the technical innovation, not Microsoft's implementation of Direct3D. OpenGL will probably have comparable quality and performance once GLSL specs are updated to larger instruction counts.

Shadows are wrong! (5, Informative)

glpierce (731733) | more than 6 years ago | (#20858769)

"shadows in DX10 are crisper and more accurate than in DX9. In the image below, the shadow in DX9 has blurry edges while the same shadow in DX10 has sharp and crisp edges"

That's great, except for the fact that shadows don't have crisp edges in the real world. Unless it's illuminated by a point-source (which immediately excludes the sun, lamps, flashlights, and pretty much every other light source you're likely to encounter), there will be a penumbra. The DX9 image here: http://www.hothardware.com/articleimages/item1031/big_stateofdx10_wic_shad.jpg [hothardware.com] is more realistic.

Simple flash example: http://www.goalfinder.com/Downloads/Shadows.swf [goalfinder.com]

Re:Shadows are wrong! (1)

MWoody (222806) | more than 6 years ago | (#20859307)

It's especially amusing given that one of the common features touted by modern game engines is often "soft shadows," where the shadow is given a false penumbra to approximate the effects of light reflected from a multitude of surfaces. Even if the softer versions were faked, I fail to see how a hard shadow is in any way technically impressive or new.

Re:Shadows are wrong! (5, Insightful)

TheNetAvenger (624455) | more than 6 years ago | (#20860051)

That's great, except for the fact that shadows don't have crisp edges in the real world. Unless it's illuminated by a point-source (which immediately excludes the sun, lamps, flashlights, and pretty much every other light source you're likely to encounter), there will be a penumbra. The DX9 image here: http://www.hothardware.com/articleimages/item1031/big_stateofdx10_wic_shad.jpg [hothardware.com] is more realistic.

Not sure how this got confused by either bioshock or the reviewers...

DirectX 10 allows for both 'crisp' or 'soft' shadowing, as some games demonstrate, the DirectX 10 shadows are 'softer' and more realistic.

The 'difference' with DirectX 10 is that shadows are done on the GPU, in DirectX9 shadows are done on the CPU. This is the 'main' difference between DX9 and DX10.

The 'crisp' choice by bioshock is NOT what DX10 is about, this is a game developer choice. PERIOD.

I know reviews like this can lead people down wrong paths, but it doesn't hurt to look up this type of information before making fun of a fact that is incorrect in the first place.

It is strange that any site 'reviewing' DX10 in comparison to DX9 would not even know the basic 'consumer' terminology for the differences, so they would know what they were looking at... Maybe someday we can get a review posted on SlashDot that is actually done by gaming professionals... (gasp)

Here is a quick list from the MS Consumer Info site on DirectX10, notice the reference to shadows specifically.
-----------------------
Summary

In summary, DirectX10 provides the following benefits to gamers:

More life-like materials and characters with:
Animated fur & vegetation
Softer/sharper shadows
Richer scenes; complex environments
Thicker forests, larger armies!
Dynamic and ever-changing in-game scenarios
Realistic motion blurring
Volumetric effects
Thicker, more realistic smoke/clouds

Other
Realistic reflections/refractions on water/cars/glass
Reduced load on CPU
    -Re-routes bulk of graphics processing to GPU
    -Avoids glitching & system hangs during game play

So, what does this mean, technologically? (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#20860523)

IS it really that the DX10 gives you the ability to stuff more complex code into shaders?

Re:Shadows are wrong! (1)

TheNetAvenger (624455) | more than 6 years ago | (#20860103)

PS...

For people that think there is 'little' difference between DX10 and DX9 for that 'precious 1-2fps lost', or that soft shadows are not a part of DX10, just look at this simple HD video that shows the difference. DX9 looks great, but DX10 looks almost real with far more 'actions' going on in the same scene.

http://www.gametrailers.com/player/19965.html [gametrailers.com]

Wake me (1)

xx01dk (191137) | more than 6 years ago | (#20858821)

when games become as fun as they are pretty to look at. Till then I'll be off playing Defcon and Peggle.

crap... crap... mega crap (1)

yodleboy (982200) | more than 6 years ago | (#20858989)

recently ditched the windows world and have been happily working with ubuntu for a couple of months now. ran vista for a few months when it came out, funny how all those cool Aero effects look pretty weak compared to Beryl... I'm starting to think MS hasn't got a clue. 5 YEARS for Vista and this is IT? half my games wouldn't even work. in fact several of them run better in ubuntu w/ wine than they did in Vista. now that's pretty sad. Whatever, i've seen the writing on the wall, and i'm getting a console for gaming. The only reason i was still on windows was games, but i've reached the point due to tech advances that it's going to cost me as much as getting PS3/360/Wii combined to continue enjoying games on the PC. Unfortunately, nothing else i do on the pc requires nearly that much horsepower. bye bye bill.

UT3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20859007)

Any word on how DX10 will compare to OpenGL in the new Unreal?

Re:UT3 (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 6 years ago | (#20860587)

I'm sure it's minimal. Since DX has version numbers, it turns into a whole ordeal when a new version comes out that the standard old OpenGL has supported for years. Isn't marketing fun?

I'm waiting for OpenRT (5, Interesting)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#20859117)

Who cares about cool special effects to fake optical accuracy? Within a few years we'll have real-time ray tracing and everything using rasterized graphics will look so fake.

Re:I'm waiting for OpenRT (1)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 6 years ago | (#20859697)

If I had mod points, I'd mod you up. I agree that ray tracing is getting close to being able to be used on a regular PC.

Re:I'm waiting for OpenRT (1)

Paperweight (865007) | more than 6 years ago | (#20860257)

Don't tell Microsoft, or they'll try to suck the life out of it too by always keeping one step ahead of OpenRT. Of course, maybe that would add life to it...?

How far have WE come? (2, Insightful)

VeteranNoob (1160115) | more than 6 years ago | (#20859129)

What's this "we" business? DX10 is only available with Vista, and Vista sales are abysmal. And with this being a *nix-oriented site, it's falling on deaf ears.

The summary states that DirectX 10 was "introduced" to by the hardware manufacturers and Windows adopted it. I have always understood it to be the other way around. If it is the hardware makers, then why are they actively supporting two different 3D APIs (DX, OpenGL)? Does this mean that DirectX could be adopted by another OS, say Linux? Only for a fee?

I urge everyone to vote with their wallet and try games that support OpenGL and Linux. Sure, you may never get to play Halo 3 in Linux, but if the game developers see the market growing there, I'm sure we'll start to see more big names soon. It will be to their ultimate benefit, too, since they can take advantage of the advanced technologies that Linux has to offer (mostly for free). Can you imagine games or applications that worked with Beryl to create actual 3D desktop objects instead of just 2D windows. Or how about a Linux LiveCD that did nothing but boot a kernel with drivers and ran a dedicated game; every single CPU cycle would be dedicated to giving you frames per second.

Personally, I've been addicted to this great 3D bridge-building game, Bridge Construction Set [chroniclogic.com] . Of course, it supports Linux

Time for a reality check? (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 6 years ago | (#20859917)

What's this "we" business? DX10 is only available with Vista, and Vista sales are abysmal. And with this being a *nix-oriented site, it's falling on deaf ears.

Stories posted to the Game section of Slashdot rarely see more than fifty responses.

The Slashdot Geek isn't really a driving force in PC gaming and anything said here about Microsoft and Vista tends to be tainted by wishful thinking. It isn't retail-boxed Vista that sells to the home market, it is the OEM system bundle.

You'll find the neon-lit Gamer's PC with Vista and NVIDIA 8800 DX10 Video at Walmart.com. What you won't find is OEM Linux at any price or in any configuration.

Re:How far have WE come? (2, Informative)

n00854180t (866096) | more than 6 years ago | (#20860069)

Well technically the hardware makers support shader model 4, which has the main and most promising feature that DirectX 10 supports: geometry shaders. It is a fairly big distinction, but this is a more accurate way of saying what they actually meant, "Shader model 4 was introduced by the hardware manufacturers and Microsoft supported it in DirectX 10." Using OGL extensions, you don't *need* DX10 or Vista to make use of the geometry shader. Now, granted there are a number of other changes that are nice in DX10, but the geometry shader is the *sole* reason that anyone is excited about SM4 (DX10). Being able to create geometry on the GPU is something entirely new and has a wide range of possible (and exciting) uses. A simple example of this is demonstrated by nVidia's procedural terrain demo. As an aside, there's no particular reason most if not all of the effects seen on the DX10 screenshots in the articles couldn't have been done in DX9. My suspicion is that most were done specifically in DX10 to promote sales of it, rather than because of any technical limitation.

Re:How far have WE come? (1)

FooDaddy (1138013) | more than 6 years ago | (#20860403)

"My suspicion is that most were done specifically in DX10 to promote sales of it, rather than because of any technical limitation."

I tend to believe that most rational programming decisions would render a choice of DX10 over DX9(where both are viable options) because a particular task or set of tasks was more easily accomplished. I really doubt that many programmers are thinking - hey, I'll bite the bullet and use DX10 because I need to help drive Vista sales. :P

(funny that the captcha is "bribing" tho)

obvious parallel (3, Insightful)

fred fleenblat (463628) | more than 6 years ago | (#20859237)

I don't think DirectX 10 will achieve any kind of market acceptance until DirectX 11 is released. Then everyone will bitch about DirectX 11's high-end hardware requirements, DRM lockdowns, and poor performance and they'll start clamoring for the good old days of Direct X 10.

Re:obvious parallel (1)

RSA7474 (1163263) | more than 6 years ago | (#20859421)

Hopefully by then people will have adopted better alternatives into their lives other than Windows, and that competition will spark openGL or other alternatives for developers to create games on.

DirectX is great for the 2% of people with Vista (1)

Doug52392 (1094585) | more than 6 years ago | (#20859485)

Microsoft is basically being themselves and holding the entire PC gaming industry back. Its basic business: why would a company spend millions of dollars and months making a game that only about at most 7-10% of consumers would even have access to? Your computer has to be super powerful if it has Windows Vista on it to come close to running DirectX 10 games. I play FlightGear on my computer, and tried it on Windows Vista and Linux. Every time I played it on Windows Vista I would get "Virtual memory low" messages and the system would automaticly increce my pagefile. The Linux version, however, ran with no lag or problems of any kind. I think its time the SEC starts coming back into play. But Microsoft is just digging their own grave, if they destroy PC gaming, I have no more reasons to use Windows or have it on my hard drive. Gaming is the only thing I do not use Linux for.

A lot of the "improvements" are in the games. (1)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#20859777)

A lot of the "improvements" are things that the game is doing differently in the DX9 and DX10 versions. Some of them, like the "litter objects" in one of the games, or gun movement effects in another, have nothing to do with DX10... it's like the game developers simply put more polish in the DX10 versions because they wanted the punters to "get their money's worth".
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