What is DirectX 12 Ultimate? – Well, It’s Not That Complicated!

/ 4 years ago

With both AMD and Nvidia releasing tech demo videos showcasing DirectX 12 Ultimate, I daresay that many of you are wondering exactly what it is. Specifically, if something major had happened and you’d missed the memo entirely. Admittedly, I thought so too when the term first crossed my path.

So, in providing an answer to the question, we’ll try and keep this as brief and succinct as possible. Put simply, it’s actually just a rather straightforward new form of branding for graphics cards and/or compatible products.

What is DirectX 12 Ultimate?

Starting with one of the most fundamental misconceptions, DirectX 12 is not a brand new version of the driver software. So, unless you’re still rocking DirectX 11 on your PC (which seems more than a little unlikely) you don’t have to update or install anything new.

So, what is it? Well, in very basic terms, it’s a logo. Seeing this ‘DirectX 12 Ultimate’ symbol on a product will mean that it supports some of the key (and more bells and whistles) aspects of the software.

To qualify for the logo, the product must meet all of the following specifications:

  • Hardware acceleration for ray tracing
  • Support for Mesh Shaders
  • Variable Rate Shading
  • Sampler Feedback

If it doesn’t, it won’t have the logo and, by proxy, it means that the only technology current sporting it will be the Nvidia 20XX graphics cards and Titan RTX. Albeit, both the PS5 and Xbox Series X will likely sport this logo when they’re released.

Well, That Wasn’t So Difficult!

We wrote this article because it came to our attention that while many people were talking about it, very few were going into the specifics of what it actually meant. And, as you can see above, it’s not a particularly amazing mindblowing revelation.

Microsoft DirectX 12 remains the same, we just now have a logo now to tell us if the graphics card supports the highest-end technical features on offer. Which, quite frankly, most consumers probably already knew to begin with.

For more information on DirectX 12 Ultimate, you can check out the official Microsoft website via the link here!

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