As expected, Microsoft took the GDC 2014 to reveal details awaited DirectX 12 , the newest version of its popular set of graphics APIs. The main novelties are the performance up to 50% higher than the DirectX 11 and optimization of energy consumption, while maintaining backwards compatibility that includes current devices.
As regards the first aspect, one of the most striking changes is better load distribution between the CPU cores. A comparison made by Microsoft during the presentation at GDC based on 3DMark shows how this lack of optimization is DirectX 11 overload the first nucleus of a quad-core processor.
DirectX 12, in turn, could accomplish the same task by distributing the load among all cores, causing processing to be performed in half the time and, therefore, reduce energy consumption.
This whole optimization is possible because, in general, DirectX 12 gives more control over various aspects of the hardware, ie, decreases the level of abstraction, such as the API Mantle , AMD. This is a crucial feature in a time where GPUs evolve much more consistent that way CPUs, but the dependence on a relative to each other remains the same (as it should be).
With mobile devices increasingly stealing the show, Microsoft tried to DirectX 12 compatible not only with PCs as well as smartphones, tablets and the like. Qualcomm has secured support for Snapdragon processors (as already happens with DirectX 11), while Nvidia announced the same for the Tegra chip.
This is not the only good news coming from the latter: Nvidia also confirmed that all GPUs based on DirectX 11 is compatible with DirectX 12. Part of Intel, the same will happen with the Haswell chips (fourth generation) and higher.
AMD was the last to speak on the subject, but the company has now confirmed that all compatible with the CGN architecture (Graphics Core Next) will receive GPUs support DirectX 12. This includes, of course, today’s chips Radeon R7 and R9 .
In terms of compatibility, DirectX 12 is the wider version, as shown. Microsoft has even dared to forget the support regarding Xbox One, which should give a big help in porting games between platforms.
The cold water of this whole story is up to the release date: DirectX 12 should be available in late 2015 with the first fully compatible games should be revealed only months before.