Intel has dropped hardware support for the DirectX 9 API

Intel has dropped hardware support for the DirectX 9 API in its graphics cards – it is implemented through the DirectX 12 emulator

intel refused from hardware support for the DirectX 9 graphics API to integrated solutions based on the Xe architecture of 12th generation Core processors, as well as Arc A-series discrete graphics cards based on the Arc Alchemist architecture . Instead, DirectX 9 support is emulated using the DirectX 12 API.

    Image source: Gunnir

Image source: Gunnir

The emulation uses a conversion layer – a library Microsoft D3D9On12 open source. In this case, DirectX 9 graphics commands are sent to D3D9On12 instead of being sent directly to the Intel graphics driver. The D3D9On12 conversion layer translates the D3D9 graphics commands into queries that the D3D12 API algorithms can understand. Put simply, instead of a real graphics driver from Intel, the driver function is taken over by D3D9On12 itself.

According to Microsoft, the performance level of the emulation comes close to that of the actual implementation of the DirectX 9 API and in some cases is not at all inferior to it.

For Intel, the decision can be advantageous. The company can now focus more on optimizing its drivers for the newer DirectX 11 API, as is already the case with this problems are observed. All tasks related to the optimization of DirectX 9 are in turn “transferred” to Microsoft. It remains to be seen whether NVIDIA and AMD will eventually follow Intel’s lead. However, the omission of hardware support for the old API also has its downsides, such as a higher CPU load (D3D9On12 works in software) and side effects when playing games with DirectX 9.

About the author

Dylan Harris

Dylan Harris is fascinated by tests and reviews of computer hardware.

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