Ray-tracing concept was first introduced in 2018 upon release of the RTX 2000 series lineup. This technology by NVidia is responsible for a big leap in graphics technology. This enabled bringing cinematic grade lighting, shadows and reflections to video games. Microsoft has hit us with great news by announcing their DirectX 12 (DX12) Ultimate API drivers. It was confirmed on Nvidia’s news section that RTX GPUs will support DX12 Ultimate API.
Why is This Great news?
The RTX GPUs supporting Directx 12 is a game-changer. This will help codify GeForce RTX’s innovative technologies to a standard for multiple platforms for next-gen games. DirectX 12 will aid developers by providing them a massive multi-platform install base of hardware and a variety of ready-made tools and examples to work from.
This helps make things far easier and faster in terms of game development. Developers will be able to take advantage of these innovative technologies in their games. We already have a fair number of developers which have made use of these technologies successfully executing next-gen features.
Graphics Engineering Director for Unreal Engine 4 (UE4), Mark Wassmer said:
DirectX 12 Ultimate unlocks the latest in hardware technology with support for ray tracing, mesh shaders, and variable rate shading. It’s the new gold standard for the next generation of games.
The DirectX 12 Ultimate will include support for DirectX ray-tracing (DXR) 1.1. Comparing this to the DXR 1.0, this is more advanced with newer features. The first new feature is the GPU work Creation support meaning the GPU can directly work on ray-tracing without any CPU usage. The second feature emphasizes on the streaming engines as they will be faster at loading shaders promising better ray-tracing capabilities. The third feature is the inline ray-tracing.
A feature that will enable developers to work on shaders themselves and not rely on the system all the time. The last feature on the list is Variable-Rate Shading (VRS). This gives developers the freedom to adjust a game’s shading rate. In simpler words, this helps control the amount of GPU power being invested into the game.
DirectX 12 Ultimate’s mostly about parity between Xbox Series X and gaming PCs. Microsoft has worked on making this parity a priority and it won’t take long for the Series X to stand on same grounds as a gaming PC. DX12 Ultimate should cover a widespread adoption fast as developers will be quick to take advantages of the new features on board.