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DirectX 10 & the Future of Gaming 93

Posted by Zonk
from the yay-slideshow dept.
Homogeneous Cow writes "Brent Justice at [H] Enthusiast has put together a quick look at what DX10 has to offer gamers and what the main differences are between that and our current DX9. Unified Architecture and Small Batch Problems are shown to be addressed. There are a lot of ATI slides supporting the text as well." From the article: "The obvious question for the gamer that arises is, 'Will this terribly expensive and arduous upgrade path positively impact my gaming experience enough to justify the cost?' That has yet to be seen and can only be answered with the games we have yet to play. We can however discuss some of capabilities of DirectX 10 with a unified architecture and how it can potentially benefit gamers."
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DirectX 10 & the Future of Gaming

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  • Considering if it only works on Vista, I doubt I will use it any time soon.

    Unless of course Vista works fine on a dual boot Mac and costs less than $400 for a copy. Then maybe... maybe... I'll use Direct X 10.
    • It would be a hell of a lot better for everyone if you bought the Mac version of the game instead.
    • The main advantage of DX 10 is in supporting hardware that, frankly, doesn't exist yet.

      I think.

      This article appears to be a summary of a somewhat-intelligent Powerpoint. But, I can't really tell, because the summary is pure marketbabble -- that subtle mix of technobabble not really explained and repetitive marketspeak that doesn't really say anything.
  • Hey! Look! We've found it! We've found the reason to upgrade to Vista!

    Well, how else could you sell that DRM system? It happened quite the way I (and many others, I'm sure) expected it: No support for older systems if you want to use some features, so you HAVE to upgrade if you want them.

    I'm also quite sure that a lot of game studios will support DX-X and nothing else, so if you want to play Halflife 3 and Duke Nu... (ok, no lame jokes, I promised), you have to get Vista.

    I guess it's time to get used to som
    • "if you want to play Halflife 3"

      and you promised no lame jokes... tsk tsk tsk
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Why would any games developer want to lock out half their market with DX10 when they could be expanding it by switching to OpenGL?
    • I'm also quite sure that a lot of game studios will support DX-X and nothing else, so if you want to play Halflife 3 and Duke Nu... (ok, no lame jokes, I promised), you have to get Vista.

      So you think current game devs will target an OS which won't be on a majority of desktops for quite a few years?

      Well, I suppose they'd sell a few more copies that if they targeted only a Mac.
      • One can only hope. My fear is that they will think that Vista comes bundled with new PCs anyway, so there will be people with it. Next guess is that, since DRM will (ok, should) make copying impossible, they will sell more copies and have no lost sales due to free copies.

        That might be in their books enough to offset the smaller market. Also, they don't need to pay the SecuRom guys, which means that more bucks per copy stay in their pockets.

        Yes, I could very well see games coming out for DX10 only. And only
    • by ewhac (5844) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @12:46PM (#15255466) Homepage Journal
      I'm also quite sure that a lot of game studios will support DX-X and nothing else, so if you want to play Halflife 3 and Duke Nu... (ok, no lame jokes, I promised), you have to get Vista.

      Game publishers don't have a lot of flexibility in development (and pure development houses without a publishing arm have even less). Anything that sells less than 100K copies is considered an abject failure.

      DX-X is going to have a very, very narrow market for at least a year, and probably much longer. Publishers would sooner develop for the Nintendo Revolution before committing to a Vista-only release, because the numbers simply aren't going to be there. Further, Microsoft is a direct competitor, and it is not at all hard to imagine them pulling the same Secret API tricks for their game developers that they (allegedly) pulled for their Office developers.

      So, no. I think Vista will be treated with great trepidation for a long while after release.

      Schwab

  • No thanks. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Stavr0 (35032) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @10:55AM (#15254442) Homepage Journal
    You will not find DirectX 10 being released for the Windows XP operating system. DirectX 10 is deeply embedded into Windows Vista operation and we currently know of no plans by Microsoft to allow Windows XP to officially support the new API.

    Essentially, any game requiring DX10 support will screw itself out of an audience. A lot of people are not about to sacrifice a working XP install just to get some new game.
    Especially if it means that losing 50% of multimedia functionality due to mandatory Digital Restrictions Management being enforced at the OS level.

    • Re:No thanks. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Surt (22457) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @11:16AM (#15254611) Homepage Journal
      Yep, it'll no doubt be a dismal failure the likes of which have not been seen since the time that technology was developed that required everyone to have win95 and excluded all the dos & win3.x users ... what was it called ... oh yeah, DirectX 1.0.

      • You don't have a clue what you are talking about. DX 1 wasn't a driving factor for acceptace of Win95. If anything, it was that they back ported the 'new' kernel interface, win32, as Win32s, so that you could target 95 while not leaving 3.1x people out in the cold.

        Also note this is what they are doing with .Net..

        At any rate, it will be some time before game devs target DX 10, since it will be some time before thier target audience moves to Vista.
        • You missed my point entirely. The parent poster suggested that game devs won't target dx10 because the market will be small due to the tie to vista. My claim is that much like the dx1 tie to win95 (which was a huge success with game developers), the feature advantages of dx10 will draw in plenty of developers regardless of the tie to vista. I'll guarantee the first B titles for dx10 within 6 months of release, and A titles to hit the first christmas more than 6 months away.
          • I understood your point completely, I just think you're wrong. DirectX games were NOT what pushed developers to Win95; it was the comforting fact that they could target Win95 and not shut out the huge (at the time) Win3.x people.

            I think few game devs moved to DX until version 2 or 3; I remember pretty well since I had just started college and was big into gaming.. and I don't ever remember seeing a game that required DX 1. If you know of any that had any kind of popularity, I'd love to know.
          • Re:No thanks. (Score:1, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward
            Actually, you're still wrong.

            Virtually no games used DirectX 1. It was an abject failure. It wasn't until DirectX 3 that games actually began to use it.

            Until that time, most games were DOS only, with a few Windows games using the standard Windows API for graphics display, and standard DOS-style drawing routines for the actual drawing. Games didn't start really using DirectX until two things happened.

            First, a very large number of people had Windows 95 instead of Windows 3.1, or DOS. That didn't happen for a
      • Yep, it'll no doubt be a dismal failure the likes of which have not been seen since the time that technology was developed that required everyone to have win95 and excluded all the dos & win3.x users ... what was it called ... oh yeah, DirectX 1.0.

        So you're comparing the technology leap between DOS/W31 to Win95, that is, going from a 16bit, preemptive multitask and 1MB memory to a 32bit memory architecture with preemptive multitasking with 2GB of Virtual Memory Management
        and
        What is essentialy a DRM,

      • Actually, it was called "Game SDK" and it was posed as a successor to WinG (a patch to Win32s which allowed direct access to bitmaps). Game SDK was the only way to get a decent graphics performance on Windows and it did not require to know details of different SVGA implementations.
    • Re:No thanks. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Kjella (173770) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @11:21AM (#15254660) Homepage
      Essentially, any game requiring DX10 support will screw itself out of an audience. A lot of people are not about to sacrifice a working XP install just to get some new game. Especially if it means that losing 50% of multimedia functionality due to mandatory Digital Restrictions Management being enforced at the OS level.

      A lot of people will get Vista on their new computer. The gaming freaks will upgrade if needed. And despite all the BS, DRM-less content will not stop functioning. What will happen is simply that you will have "Vista-only" services with hard DRM. I seriously don't get this argument, and those that think it will be a major showstopper/exodus to Linux over it. Vista will play all content where the DRM is broken and all the content where the DRM isn't broken yet. Hint: XP and Linux can only do one of two.
    • Let's also not forget the hundreds of thousands of people still using Windows 2000 Pro! Rock solid, has run anything I throw at it game wise, and is definitely not burdened with DRM at the OS level. Not to mention that unless I do something stupid, I decide what runs on my system - not MS, not Sony, not the RIAA, not anyone else - me. Plus, its "die date" was pushed back, what, until 2010? I'm thinking that since there are major corporations (reported in multiple places, no time for me to google for it righ
      • Re:No thanks. (Score:2, Insightful)

        by plague3106 (71849)
        I'd like to see a lot of money thrown into OpenGL 2.0 so that all the 'features' that are needed are in there and ready to rock (and easily upgraded when necessary). Then all game companies dump DX* as a secondary/backup way to play the games with OpenGL being the main. It would also make porting somewhat easier I would imagine.

        While I would love this as well, it won't happen until OpenGL starts including audio, input control and network control as a single integrated library. Right now, you'll get the gre
        • Re:No thanks. (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Trelane (16124) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @11:58AM (#15255036) Journal
          Right now, you'll get the great graphics, but game devs have to do ALOT more work for input, audio and networking.
          No kidding. OpenGL is great. Now, if only we had a Simple, direct media layer [libsdl.org] to plug into. If that were coupled with an Open Audio Library [openal.org] for 3D audio, surely people would make a ton of cross-platform games!
          • My apologies for the sarcasm. I guess I'm just a wee bit bitter.
            • Interoperability and cross-platform are seldom in the best interests of an industry dominator. If they start to use words like those, then watch out. Most often it just means that they're looking to swallow a new market, and need an entry hook.
          • Is it all one unified API? Is it all ONE package to download? Or do you now need to visit three different sites, for three products, each with its own style of APIs?

            I already knew of the existence of those projects, I feel the problem is that they are three seperate projects, not one unified, integrated package, with the same style of API across all three.
            • I feel the problem is that they are three seperate projects, not one unified, integrated package, with the same style of API across all three.
              there are reasons, and there are excuses....
              • Whatever. You point out that there are equally capable APIs that would allow game devs to target multiple platforms with ease. Yet they aren't using them. Maybe the reason I give isn't the actual reason, or maybe it is. If those APIs were as good, don't you think game devs would use them to sell a few thousand more copies?
  • Quick Overview (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman@gma i l . c om> on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @10:56AM (#15254452) Homepage Journal
    Summary: DirectX has been rewritten as tighter, simpler, and faster code. The number of new features will actually be minimal, but the rendering architecture should be more powerful overall.

    My take: Graphical advances will continue, but will probably have minimal impact on gaming. Most of the pretty new effects will continue to be powered by new shader algorithms, and 3D video card vendors will look to optimize these micro-programs in their new cards.

    Required Gag: So if DirectX is now on 10.0, does that make it DirectXX?
    • And are people pronouncing it direct double-x yet? Hmmmm... specially optimised for the next Lara Croft outing perhaps.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Hmmmm... specially optimised for the next Lara Croft outing perhaps.

        You don't realize just how powerful the Direct Dos Equis API is: with Direct X 9, Lara Croft might look a little better... but with Direct Dos Equis, *any* female character looks like Lara Croft!

      • "And are people pronouncing it direct double-x yet? Hmmmm... specially optimised for the next Lara Croft outing perhaps."

        I think you are thinking of ErectX 10.
      • Yes, but the real genius is expected in the 10.10 patch release.

        DirectXXX, pr0n straight to you, from the internet.
  • What about OpenGL? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ender- (42944) <doubletwist@fear ... net minus langua> on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @11:01AM (#15254490) Homepage Journal
    Upon skimming over the article this question popped into my head. Of the disadvantages of DX9 that DX10 is supposed to fix [such as the small batch problem and the fixed pipeline shader architecture], does OpenGL have those same disadvantages and if so, what is being done about them? Are those disadvantages present in both Windows and Linux/OSX etc?

    Is it even possible to fix that kind of issue without having your API written into the OS/Kernel?

    This inquiring mind wants to know! :)
    • by dpilot (134227) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @11:17AM (#15254623) Homepage Journal
      I was also wondering this. Given that OpenGL has always held it's value in being cross-platform, not performance, I'm going to guess that it has overhead issues. Not the least reason would be that OpenGL runs in userspace, where I've been under the impression that DirectX has been in the kernel. Actually, I thought graphics were getting kicked out of the kernel for Vista, so I wonder how that affects this pitch.

      Beyond that, I see something interesting happening in graphics hardware. There's a saying that machines go through 3 phases:
      1. Simple, but not truly useful. (Got the base concept, but that's about it.)
      2. Horribly complex, but useful. (Tacked on fixes until it's usable, but now it's a mess.)
      3. Simple and usable. (Really understand what we're doing, finally.)

      It seems to me that "DirectX 10 hardware" may finally be approaching a phase-3 machine. Along with that thought, it seems to me that a gross rearchitecture might do better yet, because they may still be carrying too much baggage along with them. This would be an opportunity for Open Source / Open Hardware. Starting from the oft-mentioned open graphics card that's trying to get off the ground, imagine experimenting with the unified-shader as well as other architectural simplifications. To begin, it obviously wouldn't perform, but it could deliver scaling information to tell what would be possible with higher clock rates and more shaders. Even at some level of scaling, while not adequate for newest games, it could well deliver eye-candy desktops, and adequate performance for older games.

      Besides, how much *gameplay* improvement has the fps seen since the old Doom engine. (Doom, Doom2, Heretic, Hexen, Strife) Most of the work has been in graphical detail, though I'll agree that multiplayer and physics have seen significant advances. As for graphical detail, many of the source ports, like Doomsday, add some of that in.
      • It's hard to imagine that a rearchitecting will gain you very much, particularly vs dx10. DX9 was already a big rearchitecting, it fixed most of the api inconsistencies, and unified all functionality under the 3d code path (up to dx8 functionality was split between direct2d and direct3d). With DX10 they're leaving the old 2d features completely behind (no backwards compatibility required: 2d features supported only under separate directx 9 drivers), and further enhancing the consistency of the API (with e
        • by dpilot (134227)
          I was thinking more in terms of hardware rearchitecting, not software. From what I've learned, including the DX9->DX10 from TFM, it looks to me as if DX9 and earlier graphics cards shaders used to be implemented like a pipeline, whereas DX10 is implemented more like a multi-issue. That's using CPU terms, but that may not be inappropriate. It appears that in graphics, the elemental unit is the shader, where in a regular cpu there are various execution units. But it's the issue-time equality that's the key
          • Yeah, I realized after submit you meant more on the hardware side. But I think the answer is that the hardware side has become even more regularized than the software side: the software APIs are playing catchup with hardware that has become very regular (already, hardware is mostly handling the oddball old codepaths using work done in the driver to convert to the more standard/modern codepaths). The next generation will continue on that path, leaving, I think, very little room for improvement by the OpenH
            • Personally, for the moment I don't care if the OpenHardware people can't improve. Right now I'm hoping for them to start catching up, and this simplification of the hardware helps that along. That of course presumes that OpenGL can still use the simplified hardware, or get an extension to use it.
      • by MaestroSartori (146297) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @11:45AM (#15254897) Homepage
        "It seems to me that "DirectX 10 hardware" may finally be approaching a phase-3 machine."

        No, at least from a coding point of view it passed that around the time of maybe DX5 to DX7. Back then it was a real chore to write stuff for, documentation wasn't entirely great and textbooks got all confused and out of date really really quickly. Round about DX8 it really started to be OK though, and that's about when I did a bit of Xbox dev work. Since then, I've been on PS2 duties so have fallen out of touch.

        The thing is, DX isn't the same as OpenGL. It's pretty much a full game middleware platform, only for Windows and Xbox instead of being really multiplatform. Open Source stuff can approximate the feature set if you combine things (OpenGL + SDL + various things for audio, networking, etc.) but they're all done by different people, with different coding styles and different levels of goodness. DirectX's strength is its coherence, and the big install base of Windows users.

        DX10 is throwing away a big pile of audience, I'm not sure that's a good idea...
        • by dpilot (134227)
          You're right about the API thing. The DXOpenGL comparison is so frequent that I make the mistake, too.

          But isn't SDL pretty complete, once you let it wrap OpenGL?
          Is there much penalty for letting SDL wrap OpenGL?

          From what you know, is there a compelling reason why DX10 couldn't be done on XP? Has the driver model changed that much? MS is gambling a LOT on this stand, but ATI, nVidia, and the game developers are putting up the money.
      • One improvement since the Doom days is AI. Contrast a knot of simpleminded Doom imps versus a squad of opponents in Soldier of Fortune II. The latter will work together to kill you and the former just get in each other's way; also the AI has a finer-grained reaction to things like noise. Another improvement is a full-3D environment. Sure, you can fake it to an extent with Zdoom and other ports, but it's not up to the level of (again) SoF II.

        Don't get me wrong -- I've been playing Doom since about a week
    • by Big_Mamma (663104)

      Small batch problem? I think OpenGL solved that one with display lists - basically, you create a list with commands once, then you can execute the whole batch with a single call, instead of calling glVertex3f() for every single vertex.

      Fixed pipeline isn't really an api problem either, the gpu's added a function to allow a programmer to change pipeline type, from vertex to pixel and the other way around. It doesn't look like it's hard to implement in OpenGL either, it's just a setPipelines(int, int, int)

      • Oh, gosh no! You've got it wrong.

        DX10 is compelling!!
        As soon as Vista is released, run out and buy it!!
        As soon as DX10 graphics cards are released, run out and buy one!!
        As soon as other hardware requirments are firmed up, buy new!!

        Revenue streams are counting on you!

        Oops, I forgot to tell you to buy those new DX10 games.
      • by Spy Hunter (317220) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @03:06AM (#15260578) Journal
        Display lists are an old solution, not used much any more. Vertex buffers are what is used nowadays. DirectX never even had a call analagous to glVertex3f, it started straight out with vertex buffers. The small batch problem refers to the fact that DirectX's rendering calls are incredibly CPU intensive. Making a call to render one triangle takes the same amount of time as a call to render thousands of triangles. Making more than about 200 draw calls per frame will cause your application to become CPU-bound, even if you're only rendering 200 triangles! The graphics card can handle the polygons without breaking a sweat but DirectX burns up your CPU doing God knows what instead of passing them along. This makes it difficult to render more than about 200 (depending on CPU speed) objects, which isn't really a whole lot when you think about all of the things that go into a realistic scene.

        I don't know if OpenGL suffers from the same phenomenon. My guess is that it does to some degree, but I can't imagine that it's as bad as DirectX.

        The geometry shader is actually a cool concept. It fits into the pipeline *before* the vertex shader, and it has the ability to create and delete vertices and polygons, which vertex shaders cannot do. This helps free up PCI bandwidth and CPU time by generating complex geometry completely on the graphics card. Applications using stencil shadow volumes and particle systems should benefit immediately, and in the future I expect a move toward lots more procedural generation of geometry. Today's graphics cards can render so many triangles that most applications just can't send them enough to keep them occupied, so having the card generate its own triangles makes sense. For example, you could send the card a list of points on the ground and it could generate a field of unique leafy plants swaying in the wind, one for each point. If the plants are complex then the bandwidth saved by generating that vertex data on the card instead of transferring it over the PCI bus from main memory could be huge.

    • Upon skimming over the article this question popped into my head. Of the disadvantages of DX9 that DX10 is supposed to fix [such as the small batch problem and the fixed pipeline shader architecture], does OpenGL have those same disadvantages and if so, what is being done about them? Are those disadvantages present in both Windows and Linux/OSX etc?are

      DirectX (and OpenGL) are APIs. They are interfaces to videocard (GPU) driver and some non-important utilities, no more. Their disadvantages are disadvana

  • by El_Smack (267329) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @11:29AM (#15254720)
    OK, I'm going to take another whack at a dead horse. I don't know that "immersion" comes from thousands of unique trees in a rendered forest. Honestly, I don't know where it comes from. I think it may come partly from the player _wanting_ to be immersed.

    Here comes the "back in my day" part. I remember sitting in the computer lab in college in '93 or so, and seeing guys literally jump backwards and rip the headphones off their heads while playing Doom. I did it myself a time or two. That seems pretty immersive

    Immersion at 320x200 with sprites that looked the same no matter what angle they are veiwed from comes from somewhere, and I hope that game devs can continue to tap that. I guess the good/great ones do, and the rest just make every chair in the game unique and hope that's enough.
    • System Shock 2 [sshock2.com] also did also a good job with its graphics (good during those days) and sounds.
    • You know, I consider myself in the gameplay over graphics camp any day...but people need to really stop complaining when new graphics technology comes out.

      Yes, gameplay is ESSENTIAL, however the Holy Grail of gaming technology has long been considered truely immersive virtual reality, and we can't get there without lifelike graphics.

      The people who say that older games were just fine sound like the infamous quote of "256k should be enough for anybody".

      I'm not saying graphics let developers off the hook in te

      • I agree with you. I love the new graphics tech, and certainly wasn't trying to run it down. I was really commenting on the article talking about the "immersion" that's possible with the new tech.

        My poorly made point was that I had an immersive experience without much in the way of realistic graphics, and that the graphics only have to be at a certain level before I can "feel like I'm there".

        I also hope we get other good stuff too. Like really good AI. I'll settle for the physics and graphics of HL2 w/
    • "Here comes the "back in my day" part. I remember sitting in the computer lab in college in '93 or so, and seeing guys literally jump backwards and rip the headphones off their heads while playing Doom. I did it myself a time or two. That seems pretty immersive"

      Yeah, I also remember back in the days, in 1895 exactly, when the Lumiere brothers showed the first movie ever made - a footage of a train pulling into a train station. Viewers were so shocked that they fled the theater. That's immersion. If only c

  • Since when did our computers become overpriced Xboxes?

    I'm sorry but DX10 or not, I won't be upgrading to Vista. In fact, I've been on Win2k til now when I managed to switch over my last app that I needed for Linux... City of Heroes. I play Half-life 2 and most other games through Cedega on my Fedora core 4 box and they run BETTER in most cases!

    Honestly, people who buy Vista just for the games are going to chuck out a couple thousand just for an overpriced X-box with DRM and virus collecting agent built in.
    • Re:Overpriced Xbox (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Reapman (740286)
      I don't see the major game publishers producing DX10 based games for awhile, not until market penetration for Vista is pretty deep. Basically your adding the cost of the Vista OS to your game, which is the same or more cost of a physical console gaming unit. I imagine DX9 will be around for a long, long, long time.
      • Well considering the fact that to upgrade to Vista, you are going to have to buy al new hardware (including a new monitor), I think alot of people will choose to either not upgrade or probably switch to another OS like MAC's.

        I think Vista may be the biggest change in Microsofts history and perhaps the biggest mistake. OEM's may have to start selling Linux and Mac in order to make their bottomline. Especially since they make most of their money off businesses and government purchases and consumer sales have
  • Here's the real plan guys - Microsoft is planning on bundling Duke Nukem Forever with Vista. It will have the most awesome graphics ever, and will provide amazing immersiveness due to being the first game to fully utilize all of the DirectX 10 features. In the game, Duke will walk up to a terminal to check your system's DRM to make sure you can play the next level. Gaming has truly evolved now! Boy oh boy! I just can't wait!
  • I haven't actually purchased a Windows disc since 98 SE, and I don't plan on ever having purchase one again. Yet I type this out on Windows XP, an operating system where if I want updates I need to "verify" my copy. Oh wait! 30 seconds on Google and a 500kb download, problem solved.

    On to Vista...

    Better copy protection at the install level? Perhaps I'll need to "dial in" to Richmond and get a "unique" key. That will take the crackers maybe a few days to get around at the most.

    DRM at the OS level you say? I'm
    • et I type this out on Windows XP, an operating system where if I want updates I need to "verify" my copy. Oh wait! 30 seconds on Google and a 500kb download, problem solved.

      Or, you could not use Windows....

      Is it sad that we will have to go to these measures to get a usable OS just to play games?

      Or, you could not use Windows....

      The more people use BSD/Linux/Amiga/whatever, the more companies will develop games for BSD/Linux/Amiga/whatever.

  • Batches (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ardor (673957) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @03:21PM (#15256821)
    Batches are necessary, they are right about that. Without batching, you can never use the graphics hardware optimally. Many games are CPU-bound because they issue too many API commands, for example, if there are 5000 visible trees, then you have to send 5000 drawcalls. It gets worse if one mesh has multiple materials, for example a tree with a material for the trunk, another for the leaves etc. In this case, you can only group the geometry with the same material together. Instancing helps reducing the overhead for rendering geometry with the *same* material, but if your game level has 47 materials, all of them visible, you have to render all of them separately. DX10 helps by introducing texture arrays and constant buffers, which means that you can stuff all your textures into one array adressable without issuing commands, same for constants (like, color or specular exponent). In the end, you just issue ONE drawcall, and the mesh gets drawn, with its multiple materials.
    Mind you, display lists could be an OpenGL equivalent, but usually aren't (performance-wise).
  • To quote from page numero uno in the link provided in the summary:

    "The next constraint with DirectX 9 and current GPUs are the nature of the fixed pipeline path. In a GPU all the vertex and pixel processing are separated with a fixed number of processors for both."

    Umm, excuse me, how many processors do we have right now onboard a graphics card? Let's see... 1. Main GPU, 2. TMU (I think, please correct if inaccurate) and that's it.Aand there's only one of each, beefy as hell. Hrm, I recall a Creative 3
  • All the sudden talk about ATi on the bottom of page 2. This somewhat reeks of advertisement. Can we not find something that doesn't have to resort to citing examples that brag about some company's stuff? Can we not just have technical details, like true nerds and geeks like me want, or are we going to have to suffer through corporate advertising even when we want to know details about cool technology?

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