(redirected from DirectX 8)


(programming, hardware)
A Microsoft programming interface standard, first included with Windows 95. DirectX gives (games) programmers a standard way to gain direct access to enhanced hardware features under Windows 95 instead of going via the Windows 95 GDI. Some DirectX code runs faster than the equivalent under MS DOS.

DirectX promises performance improvements for graphics, sound, video, 3D, and network capabilites of games, but only where both hardware and software support DirectX.

DirectX 2 introduced the Direct3D interface. Version 5 was current at 1998-02-01. Version 8.1 is included in Windows XP.

Latest version: 8.1 (as of 2001-12-31).


A set of Windows interfaces from Microsoft for programming graphics and sound. Windows developers program to the DirectX APIs, and the manufacturers of sound and graphics cards write DirectX drivers to be included with their hardware. DirectX provides a high-level interface for accessing low-level functions "directly." It accesses the hardware abstraction layer in Windows (see HAL).

The first DirectX API was introduced in late 1995 to encourage game developers to move their software to Windows. Before DirectX, games for the PC were written in DOS in order to redraw the screen fast enough for real-time animation. To obtain the speed, gaming companies had to write drivers for a variety of graphics cards, which was a development headache.

A Single Graphics Interface for Windows
DirectX provides the interface to access the frame buffer and advanced features of the graphics card, which are not provided in the standard Windows GDI graphics interface. When DirectX was introduced, vendors quickly developed drivers that exposed low-level functions of their graphics hardware to the application.

Emulate Graphics Functions in Software
Through the Hardware Emulation Layer (HEL), DirectX is capable of emulating graphics functions in software that are not built into the graphics card. See graphics pipeline.

Which DirectX Version Is Running?
To determine which version of DirectX is installed in your PC, select Run from the Start menu, type in dxdiag and click OK. Look under System Information for the DirectX Version number. See DirectX 10, DirectX 11, GDI, video accelerator and DirectSound.

DirectXInterface      Purpose

 DirectCompute  GPGPU computing

 DirectDraw     2D graphics

 Direct3D       3D graphics

 DirectSound    audio

 DirectSound3D  game audio

 DirectPlay     multi-player games

 DirectInput    game input

 DirectVoice    game audio chat

 DirectShow     streaming media

 DirectVideo    earlier video API
References in periodicals archive ?
ATI products have been designed to support the latest DirectX 8.
ATI is revolutionizing the 3D gaming experience with its hardware acceleration and full support of new DirectX 8.
Minimum system requirements for "Gods and Generals" include Windows 98/2000/ME/XP, Pentium II 500Mhz, 128MB RAM, 600MB Hard Drive Space, 4x CD-ROM, DirectX 8.
MOBILITY RADEON 9000 is the most advanced mobile graphics solution available - it is currently the only one to support DirectX 8.
The RADEON 9700 PRO obliterates the competition with its power and performance, while the RADEON 9000 PRO leads the mainstream market with high-end features like DirectX 8.
Minimum system requirements for Windows are a Pentium(TM) processor, 200 MHz MMX or faster processor, 32 MB RAM or greater, 60 MB free hard disk space, 8X speed CD-ROM drive, 16 bit DirectX-compatible sound card, 16-bit color, DirectX-compatible 2MB video card and DirectX 8.
Minimum system requirements: Windows 98, Pentium II 266Mhz, 32MB RAM, DirectX 8.
0, Windows Media Player 8, DirectX 8 API, Digital Rights Management 8, Windows Image Acquisition, USB, IEEE 1394 and Universal Plug and Play.
Incorporating suggestions from leading 3D application developers and researchers, ATI collaborated with Microsoft Corporation to improve the versatility, efficiency and usability of the existing Microsoft DirectX 8.
0, Beginning Direct3D Game Programming, Linux Game Programming, Game Design: The Art & Business of Creating Games, Pocket PC Game Programming, OpenGL Game Programming, Swords & Circuitry: A Designer's Guide to Computer Role-Playing Games, The Zen of Direct3D Game Programming, Multiplayer Game Programming, The Tao of Java 2 Game Programming, Programming Role-Playing Games with DirectX 8.
As part of its on-going strategy to drive content creation to the next level, NVIDIA(R) Corporation (Nasdaq:NVDA) introduced today its DirectX 8 Development Kit for the content and game developer community.
At the heart of the DirectX 8 Development kit is NVIDIA's next-generation GPU and the core graphics technology powering Microsoft's highly anticipated Xbox game console.