Microsoft Announced DirectX 12 Last Week

posted in: Game News | 0

microsoftThere will be a new version of DirectX coming in 18 months or so and like all announcements, there’s unbridled optimism for the latest Microsoft API.

The hallmark feature of DirectX 12 is the return of low level graphics programming. Low level graphics programming –something console game developers have been enjoying on closed ecosystems — allows developers to forgo abstraction layers and execute code with better performance.

With DirectX 12, Microsoft and the GPU vendors including AMD, NVIDIA, Intel and Qualcommm have agreed to a set of standards that will make low level programming possible across different graphics cards.

Microsoft and its partners are promising DirectX 12 compatibility with many of today’s and yesteryear’s graphics cards:

AMD GCN 1.0 (Radeon 7000/8000/200)
GCN 1.1 (Radeon 200)
Intel Gen 7.5 (Haswell/4th Gen Core)
NVIDIA Fermi (GeForce 400/500)
Kepler (GeForce 600/700/800)
Maxwell (GeForce 700/800)

Great news! All my active video cards will support the upcoming API. The next obvious question is: which operating systems will support DirectX 12? It’s obvious that Windows 8 will but what about Windows 7?

Since the Xbox One sports a supported and compatible AMD GPU, it too will receive DirectX 12 support. This will undoubtedly enable easier porting between consoles and PCs.

I hope DirectX 12 manages to deliver on all its promises. Game developers need all the performance and compatibility help they could get.

Hey guys, Windows 8 won’t ruin your life…

posted in: Editorials & Features | 0

windows-8-logoBut it won’t necessarily revolutionize it either.

Many folks are proclaiming Windows 8 to be the next Windows Vista and are utilizing developer comments as a source of ammunition. Well at least some are. Most of the comments I’ve read is just FUD.

Windows Store

Game developers haven’t explicitly stated why they’re panning Windows 8 but it’s safe to look at the Windows Store as the source for worry. They see it as potential threat to their own stores because Microsoft has included it on the operating system level.

I think it’s a little late to worry about the Windows Store toppling the likes of Steam. It’s not going to happen unless Microsoft somehow gets away with forcibly locking out “unauthorized applications”. Apple’s Mac OS X Mountain Lion gives the user the “Gatekeeper” option to lock out unauthorized applications but they also recognize that people need to be able to install whatever application they want. Desktops are not tablets or smartphones and no matter how things look on the interface side, that kind of “walled garden” approach won’t fly.

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Checkpoint: Split Steam Install Edition

posted in: Editorials & Features | 0

checkpoint-split-steam-install-edition

Note: I recently posted this on NeoGAF, but decided to spruce it up a bit for here.

I recently upgraded my OS drive to a OCZ Vertex 2 60 GB solid state drive. Even with Windows 7 and a handful of applications, it has approximately 35 GB worth of free space. That’s more than enough for a game or two, but not my entire Steam directory.

Steam and it likes to keep everything under one directory. So I did a bit of searching to see if I could somehow split my Steam install. Apparently, you can. I found this little trick on the Steam forums. (Note: this only works with Windows Vista and Windows 7)

It essentially works like this:

  1. Install Steam and games on Hard Drive 1
  2. Move required games folder/files to Hard Drive 2
  3. Use Windows command to point Steam to folder on Hard Drive 2

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