New videos have been posted showing how a gaming benchmark demo, Star Swarm, uses Microsoft's upcoming DirectX 12 graphics API to allow for thousands of RTS units to appear on screen at a high frame rate. DirectX 12 will be released as part of Windows 10 later this year.
The Star Swarm benchmarking demo, developed by Oxide Games using their in-house Nitrous Engine, was launched first in 2014 as a way to show off AMD's Mantle graphics API. Anandtech received a special version of Star Swarm, currently unavailable to the public, that was developed by Oxide Games and Microsoft to use DirectX 11 and 12. The demo itself shows a space battle between two AI fleets with thousands of ships, along with tons of laser blasts and explosions.
Star Swarm was tested with DirectX 11 and 12 on several graphics cards, including NVIDIA's GTX 980, GTX 750 Ti, and GTX 680, along with AMD's R9 290X, R9 285, and R9 260X. The final results, which the site has posted in a series of videos, show that frame rates under DirectX 12 were far higher on all the cards running the benchmark when compared to DirectX 11. The numbers were close to the ones while using Mantle on the AMD cards. Keep in mind that Microsoft, NVIDIA and AMD are still developing their drivers for DirectX 12, which means we will likely see even more performance increases when the final software is ready.
Microsoft will reveal even more information about DirectX 12 in early March as part of the Game Developers Conference. Windows Central will be there to cover that event on the ground, so stay tuned.