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Related to DirectX: Directx 10, DirectX 11


(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).
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (


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
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References in periodicals archive ?
"FrameView can capture data from all major APIs and virtually all games thanks to support for DirectX 9, 10, 11 and 12, OpenGL, Vulkan, and Universal Windows Platform (UWP) applications.
DirectX 12 offers a good number of improvements gaming-wise, such as less overheads from DirectX 11 and the capacity to combine the graphics processing powers of AMD and NVIDIA GPUs.
Luna presents a comprehensive guide to 3D game programming using DirectX 12 software.
The AMD Radeon 300 Series GPUs feature AMD's revolutionary GCN Architecture with full support for DirectX 12.
The DirectX 12 game programming tools will reportedly improve the visual quality of games on mobile devices, PCs and the Xbox gaming console.
The software behind the visuals and sound effects in many of today's PC games, Microsoft DirectX 11 proA[degrees] vides support for shading and texturing, resulting in smoother animation.
India, March 29 -- Crytek has managed to make one of the best looking games of 2011 without using DirectX 11 graphics, but PC fans everywhere have been expecting a DX11 patch for the platform ever since the game's release.
"1080p resolution displays and Microsoft DirectX 11-enabled titles are affordable and have become quite popular among gamers.
AMD technology also offers native support for Microsoft DirectX 11, C++ AMP, OpenCL and Accelerated HTML5, as well as planned support of DirectX 11.1 features.
With the use of DirectX 11 and AMD's HD3D, this visually brilliant card provides crisp, clear graphics that leap off of the screen whether you're engrossed in an intense game or relaxing and watching a Blu-ray or 3D movie.
The new series is a potent casual gaming platform capable of rendering stunning 3D visuals with Microsoft DirectX 11 technology, it added.