DirectX is a suite of multimedia technologies required by many Windows games. If your computer doesn't have the right version of DirectX installed (the product box should tell you which one you need), your game might not work properly.
Windows 7 includes a new version of DirectX, the software behind the eye-popping 3D visuals and immersive sound effects found in many of today's PC games.
DirectX 11 includes numerous improvements. It's designed to be more efficient, leverage the power of today's multi-core processors, and provide support for sophisticated shading and texturing techniques such as tessellation. The result: smoother 3D animation, and graphics more lifelike and nuanced than ever before.
DirectX 12 introduces the next version of Direct3D, the graphics API at the heart of DirectX. Direct3D is one of the most critical pieces of a game or game engine, and we’ve redesigned it to be faster and more efficient than ever before. Direct3D 12 enables richer scenes, more objects, and full utilization of modern GPU hardware. And it isn’t just for high-end gaming PCs either – Direct3D 12 works across all the Microsoft devices you care about. From phones and tablets, to laptops and desktops, and, of course, Xbox One, Direct3D 12 is the API you’ve been waiting for.
What makes Direct3D 12 better? First and foremost, it provides a lower level of hardware abstraction than ever before, allowing games to significantly improve multithread scaling and CPU utilization. In addition, games will benefit from reduced GPU overhead via features such as descriptor tables and concise pipeline state objects. And that’s not all – Direct3D 12 also introduces a set of new rendering pipeline features that will dramatically improve the efficiency of algorithms such as order-independent transparency, collision detection, and geometry culling.
Of course, an API is only as good as the tools that help you use it. DirectX 12 will contain great tools for Direct3D, available immediately when Direct3D 12 is released.