Direct3D 12 is a high-performance graphics API Application Programming Interface developed by Microsoft as part of the Direct3D 12 frameworks. It provides developers with low-level access to hardware resources, enabling efficient utilization of modern GPUs Graphics Processing Units. The Direct3D 12 runtime serves as the software layer that manages the interaction between applications and the underlying graphics hardware.
Low-Level Hardware Access: Direct3D 12 offers a low-level programming model, allowing developers to have more control over GPU resources and reducing CPU overhead. It enables efficient multithreaded rendering by providing explicit control over command lists, bundles, and pipeline states. This level of control results in improved performance and reduced latency, making it ideal for demanding graphics applications.
Asynchronous Compute: Direct3D 12 introduces the concept of asynchronous compute, which enables simultaneous execution of multiple graphics and compute tasks on the GPU. By leveraging the power of parallelism, developers can achieve better performance by efficiently utilizing the available hardware resources.
Resource Binding and Descriptor Heaps: Direct3D 12 introduces descriptor heaps, which provide efficient management of resource bindings. Developers can create and manage their own descriptor heaps, allowing for more flexibility in resource allocation and reducing CPU overhead. This feature enables dynamic resource binding, which is essential for modern rendering techniques and shade resource management.
Explicit Resource State Management: With Direct3D 12, developers have explicit control over the state of resources, such as buffers and textures. They can explicitly transition resources between different states, reducing the driver’s responsibility and improving performance. This feature enables more efficient resource usage and eliminates unnecessary state transitions.
Multi-Adapter Support: Direct3D 12 introduces multi-adapter support, allowing developers to utilize multiple GPUs simultaneously. This feature enables improved performance by distributing workload across multiple GPUs, leveraging their combined processing power. It is particularly beneficial for high-end gaming systems and virtual reality applications.
DirectX Ray tracing: Direct3D 12 includes support for DirectX Ray tracing d3d12.dll, which enables real-time ray tracing, a rendering technique that simulates the behavior of light in a more physically accurate manner. DXR provides developers with access to hardware-accelerated ray tracing features, allowing for stunning visuals and realistic lighting effects in games and applications.
Backward Compatibility: While Direct3D 12 offers significant performance and efficiency improvements, it is worth noting that it is not directly backward compatible with previous versions of DirectX. However, Microsoft has provided a feature called Direct3D 12 Ultimate, which allows developers to use a common codebase and target both Direct3D 12 and previous versions of DirectX.
The Direct3D 12 runtime, along with the features and capabilities it offers, empowers developers to create visually stunning and high-performance graphics applications. It allows for efficient utilization of modern GPUs, explicit resource management, and support for advanced rendering techniques like ray tracing. By leveraging the Direct3D 12 API, developers can push the boundaries of graphics and deliver immersive experiences to users.