DirectX 12 Lies Dormant Within Microsoft's Recent Windows 10 Update

After last Wednesday's Windows 10 event, which we covered here and here, no one could have blamed you if you were anxious for Microsoft to release the next preview build. Fortunately, it didn't take long: it came out on Friday, and I think it's safe to say that it introduced even more than we were anticipating (but still no Spartan, doh).

Thanks to some PC issues I experienced a few weeks ago, my Windows 8 installation has been a little problematic (USB-related). As such, I used that as an excuse to install Windows 10 fresh, on account of it being so stable. So far, I am really digging the OS; it's come a long way since the last preview build I used.

Most of what's new with the OS, I didn't even realize would be here - I just keep discovering new stuff. One thing I didn't think to check for, though, was which DirectX version came included. It's probably best I didn't, since I would have giggled like a little girl, and then been disappointed.

Windows 10 dxdiag

Yes, that says DirectX 12, and it's not a mistake. So what's there to be disappointed about? Well, there's the little fact that graphics drivers (and hardware, though the supported list is big) need to implement DX12 support in order for that part of the API to trigger -- and that's just one half of the equation. Our apps also need to have DX12 support, and I anticipate that given Futuremark's recent demos (one of which was even shown off at Microsoft's event last week), 3DMark will be one of the first to come out to tout support.

Like AMD's Mantle, DirectX 12 aims to be the most efficient graphics API ever. It's been designed to significantly reduce its overhead versus the last version, and ultimately, we should all gain a performance advantage. If AMD's Mantle is a gauge to things, those with lower-end rigs might stand to gain the most, namely if the CPU is the bottleneck.

Or, in other words, it's worth looking forward to.