Intel turns to code translation to run old DirectX9 games on its newest GPUs

Enlarge / Workforce Fortress 2 is certainly one of a number of still-popular video games that use the DirectX9 API as an alternative of a extra fashionable model.


Intel’s graphics advertising crew is at present in the midst of an expectations-setting PR blitz round its upcoming Arc GPUs. Partly due to immature drivers, the brand new graphics playing cards typically carry out a lot better in newer video games utilizing the DirectX12 and Vulkan APIs than they do in older DirectX and OpenGL video games. The issue for Intel is that not all video games use the newest APIs, particularly aggressive multiplayer titles which have been round for some time.

For older video games utilizing the DirectX9 API, the corporate has provide you with a novel resolution. Tom’s {Hardware} reports that Intel’s newest GPUs will now not help DirectX9 natively, as an alternative counting on a Microsoft-provided software program translation layer known as D3D9On12 to transform Direct3D9 API calls into Direct3D12 ones (Direct3D is the title for the 3D graphics-related elements of DirectX).

Intel’s support page, dated August 10, says that D3D9On12 might be used on all Arc GPUs and the built-in GPUs in Twelfth-generation Core processors. Regardless of being practically similar to their Twelfth-gen counterparts, the built-in GPUs in Eleventh-generation CPUs will proceed to help DirectX9 natively until they’re in a PC with an Arc GPU current.

Microsoft says that D3D9On12 is “a whole and comparatively performant implementation of a D3D9 driver,” however Intel notes that it may possibly trigger points in some video games, together with “visible errors, artifacts, flickering, and even crashes.” That mentioned, a buggy native Direct3D9 implementation could cause the identical issues.

Intel could also be giving up some efficiency by turning to DirectX9 translation for these GPUs, however the firm can be releasing up sources to concentrate on DirectX11 and different variations because it tries to enhance its Arc GPU drivers. The corporate may now punt any performance issues and bugs in DirectX9 video games to Microsoft (certainly, as of this writing, lots of Intel’s linked D3D9On12 information pages redirect to its homepage, however the one telling people to go to Microsoft with problems is working nice).

DirectX9 is a vital model of the API for older PC video games, partly as a result of it was the ultimate model supported by Home windows XP. That working system’s dominance and lengthy life, plus its lighter system necessities relative to Home windows Vista and seven, made it so common with avid gamers that it was a standard growth goal for a few years—a stunning variety of still widely played games are based mostly on this model of the API, together with Counter-Strike: International Offensive and Workforce Fortress 2. Valve’s DOTA 2 only removed DirectX9 support last year.

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