How many different relevant DirectX generations are there for GFX cards?

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How many different relevant DirectX generations are there for GFX cards?

Postby RetroFyre » 2019-2-20 @ 03:38

This seems to be tough to research because a lot of times, simple backwards compatibility is enough for people to skip looking into these differences, but I'm looking to separate out the different relevant generations\builds.

Right now I'm putting together a late dos Voodoo 3 and EAX\A3D Win98 machine.

I've read there's COMPLIANT vs COMPATIBLE cards here. Where as one can run for instance DirectX 9 directly, the other runs it in software. I've also seen certain features lose support from generation to generation.

So I suppose I'm looking for a matrix of sorts to look at this. In this case it is pretty straight forward the fastest cards for this machine depend on my DOS needs. For a late 98 machine, I can use for instance a Radeon 9800 or a GF 6600. Since this is late dos, the Voodoo 3 serves my needs nicely. Alternatively I could have chosen a Gf3 ti 500 for good dos compatibility as well.

But for an XP machine I want to build, it seems like the sky is the limit. That being said, if I put a 1080 in the machine, it doesn't appear that it will be running a directx 9 game natively, but instead wrapping it in a way. I want to avoid that.

For DirectX, I'm lost. There are so many hardware and driver changes I can make heads from tails. Any help is appreciated.
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Re: How many different relevant DirectX generations are there for GFX cards?

Postby agent_x007 » 2019-2-20 @ 12:35

Instead of DirectX vs. GPU, you should focus more on GPUs vs. features.
DirectX isn't start-all end-all API software.
Later GPUs can still support features relevant in actual games, that aren't part of DirectX specs.
Table fog and 8-bit Paletted Textures are good example. Later ATIs cards sucks at it, while GF ones don't. Not newer DirectX fault, it's simply implementation at work.

Now... example : Win98 SE base is DirectX 6.1.
If you don't install versions 7/8.x/9.x as updates (or a game doesn't do it during install), you can't use them, regardless if GPU you are using supports it or not. Also, they aren't "emulated".

On the other hand, using Maxwell class GPU on WinXP (last supported on NV side), it will work as native DX9 card.
There is no way a DirectX 9.x could be run in emulated mode under XP, because it simply doesn't exists (native implementation).
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Re: How many different relevant DirectX generations are there for GFX cards?

Postby RetroFyre » 2019-2-20 @ 13:47

>Later GPUs can still support features relevant in actual games, that aren't part of DirectX specs.
Table fog and 8-bit Paletted Textures are good example. Later ATIs cards sucks at it, while GF ones don't.

This is what I'm trying to sort out ultimately. Is this the only example of such a thing?
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Re: How many different relevant DirectX generations are there for GFX cards?

Postby Scali » 2019-2-20 @ 14:10

Perhaps this article gives you some background info on the relation between DirectX API versions, driver versions and hardware:
https://scalibq.wordpress.com/2012/12/0 ... atibility/
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Re: How many different relevant DirectX generations are there for GFX cards?

Postby infiniteclouds » 2019-2-24 @ 05:21

Maxwell might be the last native XP/DX9 card but Kepler was the last to support CSAA and there are certainly games that have this as their in-game anti-aliasing options.
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Re: How many different relevant DirectX generations are there for GFX cards?

Postby agent_x007 » 2019-2-24 @ 22:41

infiniteclouds wrote:Maxwell might be the last native XP/DX9 card but Kepler was the last to support CSAA and there are certainly games that have this as their in-game anti-aliasing options.
CSAA support isn't needed when higher end Maxwell cards have enough GPU power to push Super Sampling in pretty much every game you possibly can play on WinXP.
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Re: How many different relevant DirectX generations are there for GFX cards?

Postby infiniteclouds » 2019-2-25 @ 00:24

agent_x007 wrote:CSAA support isn't needed when higher end Maxwell cards have enough GPU power to push Super Sampling in pretty much every game you possibly can play on WinXP.



Does Maxwell's nvidia profile/forced settings play nice in XP? Still, I don't like seeing ingame settings greyed out or locked -- it bothers me.
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Re: How many different relevant DirectX generations are there for GFX cards?

Postby agent_x007 » 2019-2-25 @ 17:08

NV inspector FTW :)
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Re: How many different relevant DirectX generations are there for GFX cards?

Postby RetroFyre » 2019-3-05 @ 01:13

So it's basically from what I understand DX8 card like a TI4200 and then we go to Maxwell, the end of analog.
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Re: How many different relevant DirectX generations are there for GFX cards?

Postby swaaye » 2019-3-05 @ 01:38

Radeon 8500-9250's pixel shader 1.4 has some benefits. In Max Payne 2 for example you get functional mirrors and improved lighting. Won't see that on a GeForce 4.
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Re: How many different relevant DirectX generations are there for GFX cards?

Postby Scali » 2019-3-05 @ 08:11

RetroFyre wrote:So it's basically from what I understand DX8 card like a TI4200 and then we go to Maxwell, the end of analog.


Not entirely.
However, DX8 was the last to have integer-only pixel processing.
DX9 hardware allows floating point pixel shading, which allows all the modern stuff like HDR.
But it's not like current videocards are anything like the Radeon 9700.

The only thing that truly answers your questions is the DXCapsViewer, which is included in the DirectX SDK (and now Windows SDK).
It's a tool that enumerates all supported versions of DirectX and their features and caps on the driver/GPU you run it on.
And yes indeed, there's tons of different possibilities and combinations.
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Re: How many different relevant DirectX generations are there for GFX cards?

Postby agent_x007 » 2019-3-07 @ 21:11

Like those ?
GPU-z Caps.png

GPU-z Caps1.png
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Re: How many different relevant DirectX generations are there for GFX cards?

Postby Scali » 2019-3-07 @ 21:15

agent_x007 wrote:Like those ?
GPU-z Caps.png

GPU-z Caps1.png


Maybe... Real DXCapsViewer looks like this, but perhaps GPU-Z gives you the same info, never tried:
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Re: How many different relevant DirectX generations are there for GFX cards?

Postby RetroFyre » 2019-3-09 @ 20:01

Scali wrote:
RetroFyre wrote:So it's basically from what I understand DX8 card like a TI4200 and then we go to Maxwell, the end of analog.


Not entirely.
However, DX8 was the last to have integer-only pixel processing.
DX9 hardware allows floating point pixel shading, which allows all the modern stuff like HDR.
But it's not like current videocards are anything like the Radeon 9700.

The only thing that truly answers your questions is the DXCapsViewer, which is included in the DirectX SDK (and now Windows SDK).
It's a tool that enumerates all supported versions of DirectX and their features and caps on the driver/GPU you run it on.
And yes indeed, there's tons of different possibilities and combinations.


So a Geforce 3 Ti500 for early DX games. Are there any games you think are too demanding for a GF3 that aren't properly rendered in modern cards (Maxwell)?
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Re: How many different relevant DirectX generations are there for GFX cards?

Postby Scali » 2019-3-10 @ 21:12

RetroFyre wrote:So a Geforce 3 Ti500 for early DX games.


Possibly, or perhaps the GF4 Ti series. They're very similar to the GF3, just much faster.

Other than that I think it's impossible to say much. Things are very dependent on specific hardware, drivers, and how games use the GPU.
For some games you probably wouldn't notice any difference, while with other games you do.
There's no hard limits or rules or anything. It's all just very specific exceptional cases. Sometimes it even matters whether you use Windows 9x or 2k/XP.
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Re: How many different relevant DirectX generations are there for GFX cards?

Postby RetroFyre » 2019-3-12 @ 16:56

Scali wrote:
RetroFyre wrote:So a Geforce 3 Ti500 for early DX games.


Possibly, or perhaps the GF4 Ti series. They're very similar to the GF3, just much faster.

Other than that I think it's impossible to say much. Things are very dependent on specific hardware, drivers, and how games use the GPU.
For some games you probably wouldn't notice any difference, while with other games you do.
There's no hard limits or rules or anything. It's all just very specific exceptional cases. Sometimes it even matters whether you use Windows 9x or 2k/XP.


That I suppose is the purpose of this thread. I'll resubmit it as this instead. More or less, what are the GPU exceptions, outside of APIs like Glide, PowerVR etc?
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Re: How many different relevant DirectX generations are there for GFX cards?

Postby infiniteclouds » 2019-3-13 @ 03:43

I personally had issues with Build Engine games (Blood/Duke3D) on my FX5900, and G4 Ti4200. I had to drop to a Geforce 3 to get smooth, tear-free performance at high resolutions on my Athlon 64.
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Re: How many different relevant DirectX generations are there for GFX cards?

Postby Scali » 2019-3-13 @ 08:06

RetroFyre wrote:That I suppose is the purpose of this thread. I'll resubmit it as this instead. More or less, what are the GPU exceptions, outside of APIs like Glide, PowerVR etc?


That's my point. You see how many caps there are. Any GPU can have a different combination of caps, and even then there are differences in how certain GPUs implement certain caps, or even differences between drivers etc.
The combinations are almost endless.
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Re: How many different relevant DirectX generations are there for GFX cards?

Postby RetroFyre » 2019-3-13 @ 17:49

I stumbled across the answer today.

http://www.playtool.com/pages/vidtable/ ... leadvanced

Highly recommended I'd say to copy this information here to retain it.
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Re: How many different relevant DirectX generations are there for GFX cards?

Postby swaaye » 2019-3-13 @ 18:25

I'd say copying the Playtool site data would be wrong without permission. :)
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