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The State of DX10 - Image Quality & Performance

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News Posted: Wed, Oct 3 2007 4:46 PM


When DirectX 10 was first introduced to the market by graphics manufacturers and subsequently supported by Windows Vista, it was generally  understood that adoption by game developers was going to be more of a slow  migration than a quick flip of a switch. That said, nearly a year later, the  question is how far have we come?

In this HotHardware article, we showcase  many of the most popular DX10-capable games, like Bioshock, World In  Conflict, Call of Juarez, Lost Planet, and Company of Heroes, and feature current image quality comparisons versus DX9 modes with each.  The article also  details the associated performance levels across many of the more popular graphics cards, from both the mid-range and high-end.  After digesting all of the data, you be the judge. Are we there yet?

The State of DirectX 10 - Image Quality & Performance



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News replied on Thu, Oct 4 2007 10:40 PM
Sorry we lost the previous comments on this post. We just added new functionality to the site and forum that allows you to comment in either place and it shows up on the main site.

The gist of the comment was that a loyal HH reader liked Mike's article here. We concur whole-heartedly. :)
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you guys are so weird. First you say that in BioShock the shadows are better because are sharp and crips. Which is weird as everybody knows that soft shadows are desirable because are more similar with reality. And games makers struggle to offer soft shadows. - And then you said "Call of Juarez's DX10 mode offers softer, more natural looking shadows." - It appears that you contradict yourself. - And then again in World In Conflict you say : "we noticed that, like in Bioshock, shadows in DX10 are crisper and more accurate than in DX9. In the image below, the shadow in DX9 has blurry edges while the same shadow in DX10 has sharp and crisp edges" - ? ? ? sebastian___
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sebastian___:
you guys

 

Reviews/commentaries are written by individuals, so naturally oppinions/perceptions will vary!

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I'm talking about a single review : "The State of DirectX 10 - Image Quality & Performance" - written by (I think) a single reviewer/writer. And it's clearly a contradiction, because one minute he said ..." in BioShock the shadows are better because are sharp" , then the next minute he says : "Call of Juarez's DX10 mode offers softer, more natural looking shadows" ..and than again the writer change his mind by saying about World In Conflict : "we noticed that, like in Bioshock, shadows in DX10 are crisper and more accurate than in DX9".
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 My only fear with Dx10 is that it appears to have become one of only two reasons, the other being a shiny aero interface, that people have any interest in investing in Vista.

 

The difference between the comparative frames in World in Conflict are so negligible that Dx10, for most, would seem to be worth the financial outlay unless you are a complete techno purist. The hit in Company of Heroes is even more dumbfounding

 

I would have felt gutted if I had spent two hundred quid (400 dollars) on an 8800 GTS on the sole premise that I would have been able to play Dx10 games at reasonable frame rates  with a small modicum of future proofing.

 

Maybe Im just getting old and grumpy (actually I am, my wife keeps telling me) but Im sure Dx9 (especially c) was greeted with much more enthusiasm from gamers, developers as well as hardware manufacturers and had an even more positive effect on the whole PC industry.

 

(By the way, I thought the actual article was well written). 

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MikeL_HH replied on Sun, Oct 7 2007 12:24 PM

sebastian___:
you guys are so weird. First you say that in BioShock the shadows are better because are sharp and crips.
 

Point out where it was said that the shadows were 'better'? The article simply points out the difference in the way shadows are rendered between DX9 and DX10, noting that they are sharper in DX10. No where does it say the difference makes things better/worse, therefore no contradiction. 

 

sebastian___:
and than again the writer change his mind by saying about World In Conflict : "we noticed that, like in Bioshock, shadows in DX10 are crisper and more accurate than in DX9".

Note again that the article does not say that the difference in the way shadows are rendered improves image quality, simply noting that they are crisper and more accurate. In this case, "accurate" means how close the shadow resembles the silhouette of the object, not how accurate it is to real life.

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Well, maybe you're right. But he was writing about the BioShock DX 10 features like they were some improvements :

Quote 1 :

"The new DX10 enhancements include the use of dynamic water ripples, soft edges for particles, and crisper shadow edges"

Quote 2 :

"The last and least noticeable image quality difference between DX9 and DX10 in Bioshock is the appearance of shadows. In the screenshot you can see that the shadow in DX10 has a slightly sharper edge when compared to the same shadow rendered in DX9".

- Indeed it doesn't say it's better, but as you are reading this, you are inclined to think that the writer think this is an improvement albeit a very small one. 


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MikeL_HH replied on Sun, Oct 7 2007 12:54 PM

sebastian___:

Well, maybe you're right. But he was writing about the BioShock DX 10 features like they were some improvements :

Quote 1 :

"The new DX10 enhancements include the use of dynamic water ripples, soft edges for particles, and crisper shadow edges"

Quote 2 :

"The last and least noticeable image quality difference between DX9 and DX10 in Bioshock is the appearance of shadows. In the screenshot you can see that the shadow in DX10 has a slightly sharper edge when compared to the same shadow rendered in DX9".

- Indeed it doesn't say it's better, but as you are reading this, you are inclined to think that the writer think this is an improvement albeit a very small one. 

 

The articles mentions that crisper shadows was mentioned in the Bioshock game manual. I have my copy right here and it does indeed list crisp shadows as a game feature in a section titled "DirectX 10 Enhancements".

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