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AMD's RDNA 2 gaming architecture will fully support DirectX 12 Ultimate

AMD
AMD (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • AMD's RDNA 2 gaming architecture will fully support DirectX 12 Ultimate.
  • RDNA 2 will power the next generation of AMD Radeon graphics cards and the Xbox Series X.
  • DirectX 12 Ultimate brings DirectX Raytracing, Variable Rate Shading, Mesh Shaders, and more features to devices.

AMD announced today that its upcoming RDNA 2 gaming architecture will fully support DirectX 12 Ultimate. AMD RDNA 2 will power the next generation of AMD Radeon graphics cards and the Xbox Series X. The architecture has four key features, DirectX Raytracing (DXR), Variable Rate Shading (VRS), Mesh Shaders, and Sampler Feedback.

DXR makes games look more realistic. AMD and Microsoft worked together to design DXR 1.1, which is an update to the original DXR. The newer version features better performance and improved efficiency for many raytracing effects. AMD states that when devices such as PCs and consoles support DXR 1.1 and AMD RDNA 2 architecture that gamers will "experience stunning, next-level visuals in games that support DirectX 12 Ultimate." AMD shared the video below to show off these features in action.

One of the main benefits of companies like AMD and Microsoft working on a unified standard is that new features will be in more games. AMD states that "With this new common graphics standard for both PC and consoles, gamers can expect to see advanced effects like raytracing come to more games sooner." AMD adds that DirectX 12 Ultimate also makes things easier for developers.

Many of the features that are available through DirectX 12 Ultimate are already available, but bringing them into a unified suite makes it easier for developers to utilize them. With DirectX 12 Ultimate working on the Xbox Series X and AMD's new RDNA 2 gaming architecture supporting it, developers will produce quite a few titles that use the latest features.

There's a lot to digest when it comes to DirectX 12 Ultimate. We break down its features, what makes it unique, and what it means for gamers in our post covering DirectX 12 Ultimate's announcement.

Sean Endicott
Sean Endicott

Sean Endicott is the news writer for Windows Central. If it runs Windows, is made by Microsoft, or has anything to do with either, he's on it. Sean's been with Windows Central since 2017 and is also our resident app expert. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.

3 Comments
  • Yeah it's awesome how well designed RDNA 2 is alongside MS tools. Really look forward to this next Gen.
  • This is major. DirectX is still king, despite new architectures like Vulcan trying to emerge as an alternative. This kind of support and advancement is needed to keep the platform growing with the current times.
    Also nicely surprised with AMD, having a solid competence is better for the market and to push innovations forward.
  • Vulcan isn't an architecture. Both DirectX and Vulcan are API trying to win over developers. DirectX fully baked in to window os, where as Vulcan is a standalone api that offers low-level access and coding.