First post, by Zup
I was doing a list of compatibility for Windows retro machines, and I've got some doubts with DirectX.
This are my notes...
- Until DirectX 9, higher versions keep compatibility with lower ones. So a PC with DirectX 8 should run every game that requires DirectX 5 (more about that later).
- From Vista onwards, every OS seems to have their own DirectX (Vista being DirectX 10). The only exception is Windows 7, that can have a version of DirectX 12 installed.
- But, because some games requires some DLLs from DirectX 9 that may be not installed on modern Windows (i.e.: d3dx9_39.dll and d3dx9_43.dll), it would be a good idea to install a DirectX 9 runtime on later OSs (I've got a runtime from June 2010 that has both libraries).
- DirectX 3.0a is the latest version that runs on NT 4.0. There is a beta version of DirectX 5 that can be installed, but... why using a NT workstation for gaming?
6.1a7.0a is the latest version that can run on 80486 processors. But I can't imagine why anyone would want to run a DirectX 6 game on a 80486 (It's 7.0a. Tested on PCem using Windows 95 on a 486 board).
- DirectX 8.0a is the latest version that can be installed on Windows 95. There are people that states that DirectX 9 can run on Windows 95, but every bit of information I've found says that it's not compatible.
- DirectX 9.0c (July 2004) is the last version supported on Windows 98 (some later 9.0c versions can be installed on Windows 98SE, but I guess that sticking to that version is fine). It is strange that Microsoft used DirectX 9.0c as a kind of "rolling release" (well, I guess DirectX is a rolling release now)... there are at least 5 versions listed on wikipedia with the same number.
And two special components of DirectX that should be mentioned...
- DirectX Media seems to be an additional installer to DirectX, and a succesor to ActiveMovie. It includes old video codecs and some DLLs that seems related to DirectX, but it seems that it was never integrated into it (or maybe the functions on that DLL were put on other DLLs). Does anyone knows what is the minimum DirectX required to install DirectX Media? If it was integrated inside DirectX... what was the first version that includes that?
- DirectPlay was deprecated on DirectX 9 (and substituted by GWFL),
and it seems that DirectX 9 and later installers do not include DirectPlay DLLs. Do DirectX 9 support DirectPlay or should DirectX 8 be installed prior to DirectX 9 to ensure that DirectPlay games works fine? I thought that there was a standalone installer for DirectPlay (like the DirectX Media one), but I can't find it... maybe my mind is playing tricks and there was no installer?but DirectX 9 still has some DLLs from DirectPlay (I was wrong, see below).
I have traveled across the universe and through the years to find Her.
Sometimes going all the way is just a start...