Loyd wrote an extensive overview article on the new features of DirectX 11 for Maximum PC, and it’s just been posted online. Actually I think it’s been posted last week but Loyd blogged about it just now which is how I learned about it…
Anyway, looks like DX11 brings somewhat more substantial improvements than DX10, and with a much smaller performance penalty.
When DirectX 10 games hit the streets, the new API gave users marginal improvements in image quality alongside huge performance decreases. The tiny gain in visual fidelity didn’t really make up for the performance hit. On the other hand, DirectX 11 brings users some very cool potential eye-candy improvements, but also promises better performance—even if you don’t have a DirectX 11 GPU.
This statement has me really excited. For some reason, abuot a 1.5 years ago I thought Microsoft had permanently moved DX to the back-burner. So glad to see new life in the API. Thanks for such a well written article.
However I do have a question. Didn’t ATI create a technology years ago that was supposed to “be the end of polygon heads” by rounding out hard edges by instering extra polygons? I’m looking for the name of it… can’t remember off the top of my head.
I remember enabling it in Madden 2004 and was really impressed with how it rounded out helmets. But it made other details like their muscles look like weird ovals. Also, ArmA2: Operation Arrowhead uses most of the new PP effects like SSAO. That would have been a good title to use for the tests because they use so many different shader effects to cover all aspects of warfare, including tools like film grain for special effect in creating movies. Of course some of the PP effects we dislike - like rotational blur. It adds to realism but makes many people motion sick… and generally when you have low frame rates, on a low refresh LCD you get a blurring effect naturally - lol.
Truform never became a standard, though. ATI also built in rudimentary hardware tessellation into the Xbox 360 GPU, but that was never adopted in any version of DirectX. The current version of H/W tessellation is more sophisticated that the techniques used in the 360.