DirectX is a collection of APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) developed by Microsoft that is used for creating and managing multimedia elements in Windows operating systems. It is primarily used for gaming and video playback, as well as other multimedia applications. DirectX 9 and DirectX 12 are two different versions of the DirectX API that are used in different versions of the Windows operating system.
DirectX 9 was first released in 2002 and was included in Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. It is still widely used today, and many older games and applications are built using this version of the API. DirectX 9 includes support for a wide range of features, including support for 3D graphics, video playback, and sound. It also includes support for hardware acceleration, which can improve the performance of multimedia applications.
DirectX 12, on the other hand, was first released in 2014 and is included in Windows 10 and later versions of the operating system. It is the most recent version of the DirectX API, and it is designed to take advantage of the latest hardware and software capabilities. One of the most significant differences between DirectX 9 and DirectX 12 is the way they handle the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) resources. DirectX 9 uses a single-threaded, synchronous model to access the GPU, whereas DirectX 12 uses a multi-threaded, asynchronous model. This means that in DirectX 9, all of the GPU resources are accessed by a single thread, which can lead to a bottleneck in performance. In DirectX 12, multiple threads can access the GPU resources at the same time, which can significantly improve performance.
Another important difference is that DirectX 12 allows for a more efficient use of the GPU resources by allowing the CPU (Central Processing Unit) to directly access the GPU memory, bypassing the need for the CPU to copy data to and from the GPU. This is known as “explicit” GPU programming, in contrast to the “implicit” GPU programming model used by DirectX 9. This allows for a more efficient use of system resources, which can lead to a significant increase in performance.
In addition to these changes, DirectX 12 also includes support for new features such as multi-adapter and cross-adapter resources, which allow for a more efficient use of multiple GPUs in a system. This can lead to a significant increase in performance for games and applications that are designed to take advantage of this feature.
Another major difference between DirectX 9 and DirectX 12 is the way they handle multi-threading. DirectX 9 is limited to single threading and this means that it can only use one core of the CPU at a time. This can lead to a bottleneck in performance, as the CPU can only handle one task at a time. DirectX 12, on the other hand, allows for multi-threading, which means that it can use multiple cores of the CPU at the same time. This can lead to a significant increase in performance, as the CPU can handle multiple tasks at the same time.
In terms of gaming performance, DirectX 12 offers a significant improvement over DirectX 9, especially on systems with powerful hardware. Games that are designed to take advantage of DirectX 12 can see an increase in frame rate and overall performance. However, it’s worth noting that not all games support DirectX 12 and some may not see any performance improvement when switching from DirectX 9 to DirectX 12.
In conclusion, DirectX 12 is a significant improvement over DirectX 9 in terms of performance and efficiency, and is designed to take advantage of the latest hardware and software capabilities. It offers a more efficient use of the GPU resources, a more efficient use of multi-threading, and support for new features such as multi-adapter and cross-adapter resources.