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Intel graphics drop native DirectX 9 support, here's which GPUs are affected

12th Gen Intel Core i5
(Image credit: Future)

What you need to know

  • The integrated Xe graphics of 12th Gen Intel CPUs and Intel Arc GPUs no longer support DirectX 9 natively.
  • Instead, the newer processors will rely on emulation when called to run purely DirectX 9 games.
  • DirectX 9 is 20 years old, and very few titles rely on it, though there are some popular older games that utilize the API.

Intel has dropped native DirectX 9 (DX9) support for integrated graphics on its 12th Gen chips as well as Arc discrete GPUs. Systems with the newer processors will instead have to rely on emulation to play titles that rely on the older API. Intel announced the change in an updated support page

"12th generation Intel processor's integrated GPU and Arc discrete GPU no longer support D3D9 natively. Applications and games based on DirectX 9 can still work through Microsoft* D3D9On12 interface," explains Intel.

DirectX 9 is 20 years old, so none of the best PC games from the last few years utilize it. The Verge highlighted that a few games, including Unreal Tournament, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and Team Fortress 2, run on DX9. People playing those titles shouldn't see much of a performance difference between native and emulated DirectX 9 support.

Additionally, many older games that rely on DX9 have remakes. For example, the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic remake is on the way to PCs.

Integrated GPUs on 11th Gen Intel chips have native DX9 support built in, but even those processors may rely on emulation, depending on if a system features an Intel Arc GPU.

"The integrated GPU on 11th generation and older Intel processors supports DX9 natively, but they can be combined with Arc graphics cards," reads the Intel support dock. "If so, rendering is likely to be handled by the card and not the iGPU (unless the card is disabled). Thus, the system will be using DX9On12 instead of DX9."

With such a small list of titles affected by the change, very few gamers should have any issues. Since DirectX is owned and sustained by Microsoft, the company should keep an eye on reported issues to fix any bugs.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).