Microsoft teases DirectX 12 announcement for GDC

DirectX 12

Microsoft has just teased DirectX 12. The next version of its collection of multimedia APIs that are popular in game programming. The announcement will take place at this month’s Game Developer Conference on March 20th.

AMD, Intel, NVDIA and Qualcomm all appear on the teaser site. Obviously indicating their support and backing for the next version of DirectX from Microsoft. The announcement will take place at 10:00am PST on March 20, 2014. The presentation will be led by Anuj Gosalia, a development manager on Windows Graphics at Microsoft.

Here’s what the description of the talk teases on the GDC program page:

“For nearly 20 years, DirectX has been the platform used by game developers to create the fastest, most visually impressive games on the planet.

However, you asked us to do more. You asked us to bring you even closer to the metal and to do so on an unparalleled assortment of hardware. You also asked us for better tools so that you can squeeze every last drop of performance out of your PC, tablet, phone and console.

Come learn our plans to deliver.”              

The last big update to DirectX occurred with DirectX 11, which was revealed in 2008 and shipped in late 2009 with the launch of Windows 7. We’ll be on hand at GDC to learn more about DirectX 12.

Source: DirectX 12, GDC


Reader comments

Microsoft teases DirectX 12 announcement for GDC


Why? They arent exactly DIRECT competitors. Mantle is an amazing thing if you actually know what it is, wanting it to die off is actually not good at all.

All I'm really hoping is for AMD not to only focus on DX12 and leave Mantle with issues especially since they're supporting DX12 at the same time. Like I've used mantle in BF4 and it has frame rate issues. I hope they support it further.

What issues are you seeing in BF4, I am running the 14.2 betas on an R280x and mine's as smooth as.

Huh? What are you talking about?

Edit: oh, I see what you mean now lol, great minds think alike, I guess.

Lol poor AMD, couldn't even make a CPU to run right on Windows95 without a preloaded software patch. I'll be glad when someone buys them out.

You do realize they make 65% of all discreet graphics cards sold on the market... That's not even considering the integrated chips and processors they make for less than half the price of an Intelor NVIDIA, but with 80-90% the performance... AMD is a solid company... Without them we would only have Intel embedded and NVIDIA to over price the low end of the market...

would love to replace my AMD card with Nvidia. Nvidia is just superior. Will never fall for those low budget cards ever again

Well said ! Nvidia & Intel are still better than AMD :) Just look at those problems of incompatibility to run DirectX11 on graphic cards that are made for DirectX10; they're all AMD graphic cards and there're no one who are signed NVIDIA. That's the difference of quality and price ;)

Nvidia is maybe a bit harder for some graphic cards but, the quality of compatibility is there !

65%: Needs cotation.

Half price: needs citation

80-90% performance : needs citation

Wow. your entire comment needs citation.

Dear god, I didn't know this was Wikipedia... Nevertheless

--Market share

So you look at the numbers, remove Intel since they only make onboard chipsets, not discreet. You end up seeing AMD with 55% of cards sold vs NVIDIA, last quarter it was about 63% so they took a big hit.

--As for price per performance
You'll see AMD gives you the best bang for your buck$$$.

--as for half price processors, go to www.newegg.com, im not looking this up.

The company was founded by ex Intel employees to make a cheaper version the 8086 processor, and the did just that. They have always been in the game of making a comparable and cheaper option. And just for shits and giggles, since you like to do research without actually researching... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Micro_Devices

If you like crap buy AMD!

If you want performance buy NVIDIA!

No single GPU from AMD has the performance of my GTX 780Ti

Well for about $250 more, sure its a great card, and newer than anything AMD has out... But the HD 7990 or the Radeon R9 280 is less expensive, and will run anything at max. Only benchmark tests can distinguish the differences... But if you got $700+ to spend, and want the best, then by all means go with NVIDIA... but AMD will always have the best performance per dollar ratio.

FYI, PS3 had an OpenGL renderer, but it was not really performant, so they made their own (OpenGL-Like) API that more closely aligned with the RSX hardware. So not even the PS3 really used OpenGL.

XB1 wont support DX12. Every single version of DX ever released has required new hardware to support the new DX features.

X360 used DX9 class hardware and never supported DX10 or 11 as you simply can't do it, it's hardware based and the hardware needs to support it.

But some times older hardware can support a very limited feature set of a newer DX version. For instance, Nvidia's cards are all DX11, but support SOME features from 11.1 and 11.2. AMD done things properly though and fully support 11.2 in hardware. So it's possible some DX12 features can be supported on XB1, but never all of them. It will always remain DX11.x class.

And the lower level access (which means performance increases) that DX12 will offer is also purely for the PC. Consoles already have lower level access so this is just the PC catching up in this area. Devs have been asking for this for years.

I honestly wouldn't be surprised if the Xbox One fully supported DX12. After all, Microsoft developed the hardware and worked with AMD to create a custom APU for the Xbox One. Microsoft has been working on both the Xbox One and DirectX 12 for many years now, and I would be completely surprised if both divisions had no idea what the other was doing. In fact, I would expect DirectX 12 to be primarily based off of the Xbox One's architecture.

Now, for PC gamers, we'll have to buy new hardware as the DX12 spec has only recently been finalized.

Agreed, and if you think about it, why did they give the XBox One give lesser hardware than the PS4? Maybe because they knew they could compensate with DX12 being more effecient on the software side.

Jesus, I'm a big fan of Nvidia, but was very jealous of Mantle. Way too many fanboys saying Mantle is finished. Can't we just wait and see how dx12 runs?

More than likely its a combination.  There is a reason MS dumped more money than AMD knows what to do with at them, other than just a pretty SOC.

I don't know why people are hating on mantle. How many people are aware that the low level API The XBO uses is actually derived from (or the other way around) Mantle?Microsoft HAS to take advantage of that to coax out as much CPU performance from the hamstrung jaguar cores as they can get.

I wouldn't be surprised if it will be available only for Windows 9. So AMD's Mantle will keep serving the Windows 7 crowd.

And Windows 8 as well. I rather to see AMD have their own low level API and Nvidia might have a similar low-level API than see MS trying to making their DirectX improved. I have no reason to upgrade to the Windows 9. Why should I? Mantle and OpenGL can support all the platform OS. And of course, Mantle hasn't supported the Linux yet because they have to target the Windows first which is due to most people used the Windows OS.

DirectX has always been about exposing a graphics card's abilities fairly close to the metal, and about driving the next generation of graphics hardware with new APIs meant to run on the neweast GPUs. It's never done something to drag PC performance down.


I'd like to know is if older graphic cards will be supported, or only new ones. Or even worse, only in a new graphic card and new OS...

If it introduces some new GPU paradigm (like a new shader model that cannot be run on current hardware) then no, those features are unlikely to work on older hardware. However, it's likely to be backwards compatible in that you will probably be able to use some of the improvements, so long as they don't require new hardware. The big break from DX9 to DX10 was because of wanting to dump the old fixed-function pipeline and mandate shaders for everything.

Dammit! Now i have to wait for a new DirectX 12 to come compatible with new video cards,

Will Nvidia 800 series be a directX 12 card?

Honestly the PC indusry does not need a repeat of Glide aka Mantle.

DirectX was a god send that revolutioned PC gaming as we know it.  The best possible thing for PC gamers is for Microsoft to continue developing DirectX and incorporating all of the good things of Mantle that it can whilst keeping broad compatibility with a large number of video cards.

There is and was nothing that special about DX, the best thing about it was that it brought more competition to graphics APIs, and unified, well-documented APIs for networking, audio, etc. D3D is not any faster than OGL (slower actually), but DX as whole is still an appealing package, especially for small teams.

It will be interesting to see what new features the DX12 will bring and which platforms it will support. Likely improved multithreaded draw calls at least (basically Mantle-like).

You are wrong.  DirectX brought relative consistency and stability across an extremely complex and diverse range of hardware, with a single party standing behind it and enforcing compliance to a standard developers could count on.  This took a lot of hard work by MS - along with the GPU vendors - to make it happen.  OpenGL had no equivalent unifying force (Khronos?  hah!).  This led to instability and variation that has consistently made life difficult for developers and end users alike.

Not really, OpenGL was fine. MS did do a good smear campaign, driving people away from it, though. Not that DX didn't bring in good support for other standard devices. I'm just glad there is some competition in graphics API department as well.

Ah yes, how easy it is to blame MS for OpenGL's problems.  I wouldn't say MS is entirely blameless, but OpenGL's failure (on PCs) was overwhelmingly due to the other problems I described above.  When developers in the real world have to make a technology choice/investment, they need something they can count on to work properly with as few problems as possible.  Other considerations follow.

Sure, OpenGL had some problems as an API, so did DX (for a long time at least), but I'd argue the biggest was that there was no single entity waging a war for it, so it kind of wasn't aggressive enough in pushing itself to developers. I really can't say I know enough about the 2 APIs from back then, but from what I know it seems to me that both had the advantage at one point or the other.

I guess I could concede that DX better served the hw of the time, while OGL was (most of the time) the one which was ahead in technology (like the modern shader compilation structure, afaik). Point was, at least in the beginning, DX was nothing special, but it did get good from v8 onwards.

I'd like to see a programmable final blend stage in D3D12 (that can do RMW ops). It would hurt performance when activated but would really come in handy in certain situations.

Will Xbox One take advantage of DirectX12? It would seem like a no brainer considering Microsoft is the author of the software- however, Xbox 360 was stuck with 10.1 if im remembering correctly. Anyone have any insight on this? Perhaps the tri-core IBM processor was the reason the X360 didnt take advantage of improvements to DX...?

Not true since at least the PS3/Xbox360/Wii era, and for some consoles even earlier. Xbox used DX9, 360 was DX10 ish, PS3 was very OpenGL-like, Wii was also OpenGL-like, and even the 3ds uses a modified OpenGL ES api.  Those are just the consoles on which I've done graphics programming, so I can't speak for others.

Oh, and OpenGL ES and DirectX are pretty close to the metal, unlike OpenGL of old. The realy time-sensitive rendering portions really boil down to saying: "here's a chunk of memory that contains mesh vertex data. Here are chunks of memory that represent textures to use. Here's the memory representing the various shader programs. GPU GO!" -- if the bits of memory are already on the GPU (or in shared memory like Xbox360/XB1/PS4) it's blazingly fast.

(yes, it's a simplification, but it's not too far off)

I guess I should hold off on buying that new video card. My Nvidia GeForce GTX295 (DirectX 10 card) has finally reached it's limit with new titles coming out that are "DirectX 11 only hardware" (like COD Ghosts). I was just about to pull the trigger... But I'll wait just a little longer to see what's around the corner with the 800 series cards.

You will have to wait almost 2 years for the "around the corner". MS will present their plans for DX12, not that they will release DX12. This will happen mid next year at best and after 7 to 10 months, cards will be available to the market.
In PC eco system the wait is not justified, each time there will be smth to come out.

looking foreward for the real opensource of these graphics drivers

for windows phone 7,8,9 xbox 360, and xbox one(ATI,Microsoft,EA)Mahle API

the silicon on the Adreno GPU(Qualcomm) former ATI selicon,,

looking foreward to this,, in the case of a Microsoft Sku up,, as we have seen in the past 3 years

we now have the bare metal.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLY3t6-b-80

and there will be a powerhouse running on the Nokia X Android phone..

Michael Hansen



Been running Mantle with BF4, started off okay but ended up with massive random frame rate drops. Switched back to DX and its all smooth sailing... Mantle is obviously still in its infancy, with DX12 hot on its tail it may be over before it begins for Mantle. Hopefully not, competition is good!

Competition is always a good thing, never wish for a competitor to die because without him you wouldn't have the same quality and price you have today, i wish success for both mental and directx

I never quite understood what Mantle was, but reading here I can see Mantle is the new Glide. Glide was awesome back in the day, but it was always doomed.

I think it's funny to see people praising AMD for "spurring" Microsoft to catch up. That's a load of utter garbage.

There is absolutely no way that ANY software company could create, test, and finalize a vastly different 3D rendering API within 6 months of a competitor's ANNOUNCEMENT of a similar effort.

As much as I like Microsoft, there's no way that they could possibly move that quickly. DirectX 12's enhancements have been in the works for years.

I think I will put off buying my R9 290 then, well waiting for the annoucement.

And yes I like the AMD cards, for price/performance they can not be beaten