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Hardware Farewell to DirectX?

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by arcticstoat, 16 Mar 2011.

  1. general22

    general22 What's a Dremel?

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    ROFL at the comments of DX being useless and bloated all from people without a clue. That said if vendors like AMD/NVIDIA provide a low level API for their hardware then it would be a good supplement to existing DX API's. The bulk of the code could still run through DX but performance critical areas could use the low level API to remove overheads at the cost of extra effort by the developer.
     
  2. Grape Flavor

    Grape Flavor What's a Dremel?

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    What an interesting article. Unfortunately, I don't have enough knowledge of how these things work on a technical level to really have an opinion.

    Besides I thought the X360 used DirectX and the PS3 used OpenGL, anyway. At least to a significant extent.
     
  3. Pazu

    Pazu What's a Dremel?

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    Erm... Am I the only one to find this article factually weird?

    I'm no expert but I did console development on the X360 and guess what? It's using a special version of DirectX9 with the ability to not use fixed function renderers.

    I'm puzzled by the inconsistent comparison between PC and consoles. Does having the ability to push more draw calls equates performance? AFAIK, you want to minimise draw calls and instead optimise each call to push as much polygons as possible.

    No matter's the approach to development of games, there will have to be some level of abstraction for the sake of sanity of programmers. Meaning to say if it's not DirectX, there will likely be some proprietary layer. So who's to say they can do a much better job than MS and still provide as much functionality as DirectX11?
     
  4. DarkLord7854

    DarkLord7854 What's a Dremel?

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    Maybe I'm wrong, but last I checked, PCs also have to run a whole OS and any background application the user left running, which does take up resources.

    Comparing Consoles to a computer isn't very fair IMO, because a computer OS is significantly heavier than the firmware a console runs, not counting the extra load created by programs running in the background and any OS customization.

    Also, last I checked, the XboX's OS is built off .NET and uses DirectX (I believe it uses DX9).


    I can't help but feel that this is like comparing apples to oranges and that the article is completely irrelevant and holds no real value.


    Edit:
    The Xbox runs off a slightly customized version of DirectX9, so yea, it's just AMD publishing b/s IMO.
     
    Last edited: 17 Mar 2011
  5. ajfsound

    ajfsound Minimodder

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    Thanks - so this article does have to be taken with a pinch of salt...

    Does anyone know which games have or are being coded direct to metal (at least an example)? I've been looking but haven't found anything conclusive (I'm unsure as to other expressions of this proceedure though).
     
  6. Snips

    Snips I can do dat, giz a job

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    Couldn't have said it better myself....no really... I couldn't.
     
  7. Marvin-HHGTTG

    Marvin-HHGTTG CTRL + SHIFT + ESC

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    I think the only way we can see this become anything approaching a reality is for the devs to bypass DX by designing their game engines to take its place, thus cutting out the 'middle man'. However, considering how many devs can't be arsed to put simple PC features in their games, fix ridiculously simple bugs, or even release at all, I think this might be asking a bit much...

    Have to say that comparing PCs to consoles in this regard is pretty naive. Sure, if one PC configuration existed then great, but there are potentially millions of configurations to cater for.

    I do like the sound of someone's suggestion of a lightweight gaming OS, but I can't see Microsoft bothering, I'm fairly sure they'd rather you pick up an XBox.

    Also, considering that DX11 doesn't have to be backwards compatible, why didn't they strip this one out? And the same for DX10 and backwards? Each new version isn't hardware backwards compatible. Surely just have a version of DX installed for each game (as in DX9, DX10, DX11 all installed, then the appropriate one used for a specific game). While it'd take up more room on the HDD, it's not like anyone's really struggling for storage space, and if this speeds games up/makes them more efficient, then that's only a good thing for the PC.

    Had another point too, but I've forgotten what it was after that lot...

    Ah, got it. I think until we reach a X86-like state, where instruction sets are standardised, we're not going to see direct to metal games, and the issue with reaching an X86 type state is that AMD and NVidia have to agree on a standard, which I can't see happening.
     
  8. Reavenk

    Reavenk What's a Dremel?

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    10 years too late on your news

    http://www.geek.com/articles/games/john-carmack-finally-prefers-directx-to-opengl-20110311/
    OpenGL isn't catching up, it hasn't been since 2.1 - it's just been catching up with the features of DirectX10 and 11.
     
  9. Hakuren

    Hakuren What's a Dremel?

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    Frankly, it won't happen any time soon. Unless something extraordinary happens (like AMD/nVidia going bust, new more powerful player on VGA market emerging than AMD+nVidia put together).

    You can scream and curse M$ & DirectX but honestly it is the best thing that happened for games, ever - so far. Thanks to [established standard] DX API all players can enjoy same games. Of course system power and so on means that some enjoy certain game more than others, but still if you want to play (e.g.) Metro2033 on ancient P4 you can try.

    Programming directly to the metal, will mean that many of current Dev studios will go bust. In the current financial climate world-wide moving from API-DX to Direct-2-Metal way of doing things would be suicidal for whole game industry. I'm certain that in few decades it will happen, but at that time I won't probably care for anything... as I will be dead anyway! [some black humor ;)]
     
  10. Fizzban

    Fizzban Man of Many Typos

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    Direct X probably saved games for the PC. How many would still game on a PC if you had to mix and match hardware to play a certain game? Sure it was was done 15-20 years ago but that was then. Nowadays most people would just stop gaming on the PC altogether and pick up a console every few years. But I do see that giving game producers more options by allowing them a thinner API as a step in the right direction. Games have stagnated somewhat, visually for sure.
     
  11. Ayrto

    Ayrto What's a Dremel?

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    I don't think it would work like that. Currently many games run their own compatibility check at start up ( to obtain a CPU and GPU score), but in this new case it would use HW reference tables to set up how code is fed into a particular architecture - This built in, game optimization for different types of HW, happens already with DX . It would be more complex .
     
    Last edited: 17 Mar 2011
  12. bobvodka

    bobvodka What's a Dremel?

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    I'm just going to make a small point here; multi-threaded rendering via DX11 is, currently, fundamentally broken. NV and AMD are blaming MS, MS is blaming NV and AMD. Frankly, it's a mess.

    AMD are no where when it comes to supporting this, nor do we expect them to be for another 12+ months, as they are too hung up on their APUs.
    NV have got somewhere but their solution is pretty much broken as far as games are concerned (they use one thread to do alot of work basically breaking parallalism and causing problems for game developers trying to use CPU cores).
    DICE covered this in their recent GDC presentations.

    As for devs... well, yes, we'd like a thinner layer, however we don't want to be recoding thing for every new hardware arch which turns up every 18 to 24 months; heck even the change from the HD5 to HD6 series of card would have broken existing code if we had coded 'to the metal' because they changed internal arch from VLIW5 to VLIW4 changing the ISA and removing things such as co-issue ability and a complete hardware pipe!

    If they want such a thing then they are going to have to slow down hardware development; it takes time for people to get the best from the hardware (see PS3 and the SPUs) and changing up that hardware constantly is not going to help performance and, frankly, unless they are willing to give out a significant amount of hardware and information MONTHS before release when your new shiny card is released its going to be months before it'll see optimised support... if ever.
     
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  13. leveller

    leveller Yeti Sports 2 - 2011 Champion!

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    Maybe Apple should pick up OpenGL and run with it. It would benefit all of us.
     
  14. leslie

    leslie Just me!

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    What a crock. Seriously.

    The reason we don't do this is because of many crashes we used to have AND the fact that you had to code for everything. If you think that new game you got is buggy and crashes a lot, just wait till it causes your entire machine to crash.

    This was exactly why Microsoft took away that ability.


    By the way,
    Don't expect consoles to reign much longer. Add an expansion port/dock (hdmi and controller) and your phone will serve the same purpose. It's coming, the writing is on the wall.





    Yeah, that would work.
    What with their hold on the gaming market, it would be a walk in the park.
     
    Last edited: 18 Mar 2011
  15. Ayrto

    Ayrto What's a Dremel?

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    Thanks for sharing your obvious expertise on the subject :thumb: have some rep

    Speaking purely as a gamer , we've followed DICE PDF releases and comments from many other developers, about their annoyance with the lack of drivers to make DX11 multithreading a reality. After such an impressive DX11 launch fanfare / presentations from both Nvidia and ATI, everyone is disappointed with the situation you guys find yourselves in, especially now after such a long wait.

    I guess devs and PC gamers, can only hope that we're reaching a point of settled architecture, to which changes are complimentary and evolutionary( like die shrinks), rather than revolutionary. Then maybe 'to the metal' could be realistic. The secrecy aspect they put devs through is ridiculous, as is any proprietary crap.
     
    Last edited: 18 Mar 2011
  16. leveller

    leveller Yeti Sports 2 - 2011 Champion!

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    You predict the quick demise of consoles, the rise of mobile gaming to take it's place, and that Apple has a hold on the gaming Market.

    Did I read you wrong? Because none of that is actually true.

    Added: the bit about Apple was sarcasm ... ahhh I get it now. However, look at their cash pile, now back to me.
     
    Last edited: 18 Mar 2011
  17. Snips

    Snips I can do dat, giz a job

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    Yeah look at Microsoft's pile of cash as well. Oh and Intel, Nvidia........whose missing?
     
  18. leveller

    leveller Yeti Sports 2 - 2011 Champion!

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    MS created DX so they have no interest in advancing OpenGL. Intel and Nvidia ... well, actually if you'd like to add the official figures of unallocated cash that these two have to your posts, you'll see they don't have anywhere near the kind of development resource that Apple currently does.

    Sorry, what were you trying to say?
     
  19. Snips

    Snips I can do dat, giz a job

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    Allocated cash just means the cash is earmarked already. It doesn't mean it isn't there.

    And that developement resource at apple will soon go to waste unless they are working on iClone for Steve Jobs.

    Sorry, and the point of your post was?
     
  20. erratum1

    erratum1 What's a Dremel?

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    I agree that pc games should be ten times better given the horsepower, there seems to be a lot of wasted power in running a pc game.
     
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