DirectX 11.2 is currently the latest version of DirectX and many of you are wondering how to get it if you’re not running Windows 8.1. The harsh truth is that you can’t; read to find out more
DirectX 11.2 is the latest version of the popular graphics software. Many folks all over the world are acquainted with DirectX because it was one of those annoying programs you had to install sometimes before playing a game. Not many know what it means exactly, but almost everybody has heard about it. And chances are, albeit slim, that when you will play a certain game, you will be asked to download the latest version of DirectX, which is 11.2 (or 12 for Windows 10 users).
But you will be extremely disappointed to find out that this is going to be EXCLUSIVE to Windows 8.1 and next-generation consoles. Initially, it was thought that only the Xbox One would’ve get it. This information has been made public at Microsoft‘s Build event which ends today, so hurry up to catch a live stream while you still can.
You can read all the details about DirectX 11.2 on Microsoft’s website if you’re interested in detailed technical specifications. Microsoft‘s decision to release DirectX 11.2 exclusively on the Windows 8.1 is obviously a move meant to force users to upgrade to Windows 8.1.
Want DirectX 11.2? Get Windows 8.1
Although it might seem like an incremental update, DirectX 11.2 is actually a big deal, especially for developers and programmers. The tiled resources ability is meant to augment the number of details on-screen, so it’s a very important tool for developing and even consuming apps and games, as I see it (correct me if I’m wrong). Gareth Halfacree with Bit-Tech does a much better job explaining this than myself:
Designed to allow a game to use both system RAM and graphics RAM to store textures, Leblond claimed that tiled resources will enable DirectX 11.2 games to vastly improve the resolution of textures displayed in-game. By way of proof, Leblond showed off a demonstration that used a claimed 9GB of texture data – the majority of which was held in system RAM, rather than graphics RAM.
It’s a clever trick, and one that could help boost the quality of future PC games – but it’s one that will require those who have yet to take the plunge to upgrade their operating systems. Leblond confirmed that Direct3D 11.2 will be the first version of the API to support tiled resources, and that it will be exclusive to Windows 8.1 on the PC as well as featuring in Microsoft’s next-generation Xbox One console.
You should also know that DirectX 11.2 won’t come to Windows 8 at all if that wasn’t made clear from the beginning. Windows 8 users currently have DirectX 11.1 at their disposal. Windows 8.1 users (don’t forget that this is still a preview) will be able to get the official stable release of Windows 8.1 in autumn.
Besides tiled resources, DirectX 11.2 also reduces the latency for DirectX applications, allowing for a faster user interface response. Also, there are other features, new or improved, that will come with DirectX 11.2:
- HLSL shader linking
- Inbox HLSL compiler
- GPU overlay support
- DirectX tiled resources
- Direct3D low-latency presentation API
- DXGI Trim API and map default buffer
- Frame buffer scaling
- Multithreading with SurfaceImageSource
- Interactive Microsoft DirectX composition of XAML visual elements
- Direct2D batching with SurfaceImageSource
All in all, let’s hope that the updates from DirectX 11.2 will allow for much more awesome games and apps. However, it will be interesting to see whether Microsoft‘s technique of luring users to upgrade to Windows 8 will function.
Update: DirectX 12 for Windows 10
At the time the article was written, the only option for gamers to improve their performance while using DirectX 11.2 was to install Windows 8. Now, we have great news – upgrading to Windows 10 not only offers you a better OS experience but it also gives you the possibility to use DirectX 12 that revolutionized the entire gaming industry.
This version is using up to 20% fewer GPU resources and improving CPU performance with 50%, it is one of the ‘must have’ software installed on your PC if you are a true gamer. Games like Gears of War or Forza Motorsport are utilizing this software and the results are awesome.
In case you encounter problems while installing the new version, you can find the right fixes in this guide we wrote after DirectX 12 release and some issues occurred.
Having all this information plus the update about DirectX 12 should help you choose which Windows version is better for you and what DirectX version suites your needs.