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3D Gaming Advances In Microsoft Windows 7 Rev. 2.0
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3D Gaming Advances In Windows 7

When Microsoft officially releases Windows 7 on October 22, 2009, they will be delivering to the world what they promised Windows Vista would be... with a few nifty extras, of course. So, you can't blame some folks for skipping Windows Vista and hanging onto Windows XP while Microsoft gets Windows 7 working.

Beta testers have so far been very impressed with Windows 7. It's fast and it's stable. One of the reasons is the improved graphics capability in Windows 7. Microsoft seemed hesitant in utilizing the full capabilities of the graphics processor in Windows Vista, which was a real shame. Windows 7 changes all that, and that's what we will be talking about today.

We recently got our hands on more internal documents on DirectX improvements in Windows 7, or rather how Windows 7 takes better advantage of Direct3D. Although Microsoft has publicly revealed some details on what's improved, this document reveals the details on what's improved, as well as the new Direct2D and Direct3D 11 APIs.

Update @ Sept. 21, 2009 : We added two new pages on the improved multi-GPU support in Windows 7.

Note : For inside information on other graphics advances (non 3D) in Windows 7, please take a look at our Microsoft Windows 7 Graphics Enhancements article.


Windows 7 & Direct3D 10

The Direct3D 10 API that was released with Windows Vista was a rearchitecture and ground-up code rewrite of earlier Direct3D versions. Direct3D 10.1, which was released with Vista SP1, came with some incremental changes. Windows 7 further builds upon the Direct3D 10 infrastructure in the following areas :

  • Desktop Window Manager (DWM)
  • Direct3D 10-level-9
  • Remoting changes in Direct3D 10

Let's take a closer look at those changes...




Windows 7 & Direct3D 10


Desktop Windows Manager (DWM)
DirectX 10-Level-9


Remote Rendering
Direct2D API


Direct3D 11 Introduction
Compute Shader


New DirectX 11 Features For The Compute Shader
   - Explicit Thread Dispatch
   - Random Access I/O (Scatter)
   - Interthread Communications That Use Locally Shared Registers
   - Ability To Read And Sample DirectX Data Objects
   - Atomic Operators On Shared Memory Locations


Supported Configurations For The Compute Shader
Target Applications For The Compute Shader


3D Graphics Improvements In Direct3D 11
   - Use of multiple CPU cores
   - Tessellation
   - High-level shading language
   - Cross-platform development with the XBox 360 platform


Additional Direct3D 11 Features
   - Improved Texture Compression
   - Shader Model 5.0
   - Stream Output Flexibility
   - Depth Buffer Capabilities


Multi-GPU Support
   - Homogenous Configurations
   - Heterogenous Configurations


Linked Display Adapters
Multi-GPU & Aero Glass
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