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22. March 2020


At not-GDC this year, DirectX 12 Ultimate was announced.  DirectX 12 Ultimate is a new baseline version of Direct X for new Xbox consoles and PC’s, to make development as easy as possible.  In addition to existing features including DirectX Raytracing and Variable Rate Shading, Ultimate includes the new features of Mesh Shaders and Sampler Feedback.

Details of DirectX 12 Ultimate from the Microsoft developer blog:

Microsoft’s Game Stack exists to bring developers the tools they need to create bold, immersive game experiences, and DX12 Ultimate is the ideal tool to amplify gaming graphics. DX12 Ultimate is the result of continual investment in the DirectX 12 platform made over the last five years to ensure that Xbox and Windows 10 remain at the very pinnacle of graphics technology. To further empower game developers to create games with stunning visuals, we enhanced features that are already beginning to transform gaming such as DirectX Raytracing and Variable Rate Shading, and have added new major features such as Mesh Shaders and Sampler Feedback.

Together, these features represent many years of innovation from Microsoft and our partners in the hardware industry. DX12 Ultimate brings them all together in one common bundle, providing developers with a single key to unlock next generation graphics on PC and Xbox Series X.

Of course, even the most powerful features are of limited use without the tools necessary to fully exploit them, so we are pleased to announce that our industry-leading PIX graphics optimization tool and our open-source HLSL compiler will provide game developers with the ability to squeeze every last drop of performance out of an entire ecosystem of DX12 Ultimate hardware.

NVidia are currently the only video card maker with DX12 Ultimate compatible devices detailed here.  AMD however are the company behind the GPU of the next generation XBox and will be supporting DX12U in their upcoming RDNA 2 hardware.

If you are interested in learning more about DirectX 12 Ultimate you can start with the Getting Started guide available here.  You can learn more about the release in the video below.

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