By Microsoft Corporation
Date Added: 28-Oct-2021

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Microsoft DirectX

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DirectX is a Suite of Multimedia and Graphics Technologies, Required by Many Windows Games & Applications.

DirectX is a collection of application programming interfaces (APIs) developed by Microsoft Corporation, enabling developers to craft games, multimedia applications, and other computer graphics software specifically for the Windows platform. It serves as a suite of APIs designed to efficiently manage multimedia and gaming applications while offering a standardized approach for developers to access the hardware capabilities of graphics processing units (GPUs) and other multimedia hardware components.

Introduced in 1995, DirectX initially focused on multimedia applications for Windows 95. Over time, it has grown into a comprehensive set of APIs that encompasses DirectX Graphics, DirectX Audio, and DirectX Input. DirectX has become an indispensable tool for game developers, offering a uniform set of APIs for communicating with hardware components and facilitating the creation of games compatible with a wide range of hardware setups.

DirectX Graphics

DirectX Graphics is the most frequently utilized component within the DirectX suite, equipping developers with an extensive set of APIs to build graphics-intensive applications. It supports both 2D and 3D graphics and harnesses the power of GPUs for hardware-accelerated graphics. DirectX Graphics also includes advanced features such as shader programming, sophisticated lighting techniques, and various rendering effects. Notably, it standardizes the interaction with hardware components, sparing developers from writing custom code for each individual hardware piece. Additionally, DirectX Graphics supports multi-threading, allowing developers to leverage multi-core processors for enhanced application performance.

DirectX Audio

DirectX Audio is another critical component of DirectX, offering developers a consistent approach to creating and manipulating audio within their applications. It accommodates various audio formats, including MP3, WAV, and WMA, and provides tools for implementing advanced audio effects like reverb, echo, and distortion. DirectX Audio further supports hardware-accelerated audio through dedicated audio processing units (APUs) on modern GPUs, ensuring high-quality audio in games without overburdening the CPU.

DirectX Input

DirectX Input is a component of DirectX that provides developers with a standardized means of managing input devices, encompassing keyboards, mice, and game controllers. It boasts support for a wide array of input devices and offers advanced features, including force feedback and compatibility with multiple input devices. DirectX Input even facilitates the integration of custom input devices, enabling developers to design specialized controllers tailored to their specific game requirements. This feature is particularly beneficial for games with unique control schemes, such as flight simulators and racing games.

DirectX Versions

Over the years, DirectX has evolved significantly, with new versions adding new features and functionality to the suite. Here is a brief overview of the different versions of DirectX:

DirectX 1.0: The first version of DirectX was released in 1995, providing support for basic 2D graphics and sound.

DirectX 2.0: Released in 1996, DirectX 2.0 introduced support for 3D graphics and hardware-accelerated rendering.

DirectX 3.0: Released in 1996, DirectX 3.0 introduced support for video playback and DirectSound 3D.

DirectX 5.0: Released in 1997, DirectX 5.0 introduced support for DirectMusic and DirectInput.

DirectX 6.0: Released in 1998, DirectX 6.0 introduced support for hardware transform and lighting, which allowed for more realistic 3D graphics.

DirectX 7.0: Released in 1999, DirectX 7.0 introduced support for programmable shaders, which allowed for more advanced graphics effects.

DirectX 8.0: Released in 2000, DirectX 8.0 introduced support for pixel and vertex shaders, which allowed for even more advanced graphics effects.

DirectX 9.0: Released in 2002, DirectX 9.0 introduced support for high-level shading language (HLSL), which made it easier for developers to create advanced graphics effects. DirectX 9.0 also introduced support for anti-aliasing, which improved the visual quality of graphics.

DirectX 10: Released in 2006, DirectX 10 introduced support for new features, such as geometry shaders, unified shader architecture, and improved rendering techniques.

DirectX 11: Released in 2009, DirectX 11 introduced support for compute shaders, tessellation, and multi-threaded rendering, which significantly improved performance.

DirectX 12: Released in 2015, DirectX 12 introduced support for asynchronous compute, which allowed for better utilization of multi-core processors. It also introduced support for low-level programming, which allowed for greater control over hardware resources.

DirectX 12 Ultimate: Released in 2020, DirectX 12 Ultimate is the latest version of DirectX and introduces support for new features, such as variable-rate shading, mesh shaders, and sampler feedback.


DirectX has been an essential tool for game developers for over two decades, providing a standardized way to access hardware features and creating advanced graphics and audio effects. Its evolution over the years has seen the addition of new features and improved performance, enabling developers to create increasingly realistic and immersive games.


System Requirements:

Windows Server 2008 / Windows XP Service Pack 3 / Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 / Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 / Windows 7 / Windows XP Service Pack 2 / Windows Vista

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