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DX10 Gaming

Microsoft added two sets of DX10 assessments to Windows 7 - the base DX10 assessments, and DX10-specific assessments. The base DX10 assessments use the same geometries as the existing DX9 assessments. The base DX10 shaders are implemented as closely as possible to the existing DX9 shaders. The DX10-specific assessments use DX10 features such as geometry shaders and stream out.

From a scoring perspective, the plan is to overlap the DX10 and DX9 graphics adapter scores as shown in the diagram  below.

  • DX9 adapters will be limited to 5.9
  • DX10 is required for level 6 or higher

When the frame rates on the base DX10 assessments and the DX9 assessments are similar, then the DX10 adapter will score one point higher than a DX9-only adapter with the same performance.  Note that this isn’t done by literally adding +1, but by simply arranging the DX10 scoring table higher on the scoring (Y) axis.

For the base assessments, DX10 adapters that perform at less than 95% of the corresponding DX9 frame rate will not receive the DX10 scoring benefit. For such adapters, the scoring logic will use the DX9 model. This will prevent low-performing "check box" DX10 implementations from having their ratings artificially boosted. Adapters that exhibit this performance problem will not receive the scoring benefit of DX10, and will not be identified as DX10 in the WinEI Performance Information and Tools UI.

WDDM 1.1 drivers are relatively new but stabilizing quickly. In the pre-beta Windows 7 tests, Microsoft saw run-to-run variances that suggest that requiring base DX10 results to be within 5% of DX9 results may be too narrow a range. Preliminary data suggest that a delta of 15% will be workable.

Levels 6 and 7 will be achieved by cards that perform well on the DX10 advanced assessments. These assessments measure the performance of geometry shaders, constant buffer update performance, stream out performance, device creation overhead and small batch size efficiency.

All of WinSAT (Windows System Assessment Tool) DX10 assessments will support ATI's CrossFire and NVIDIA's SLI technologies (combined adapters). Microsoft investigated whether the WinSAT 'formal' assessment (used to generate the WinEI scores) could run in full screen exclusive mode for combined adapters. However, this mode is only used by some high-end games.

WinEI is intended to encourage good performance for games running in Windows mode, not only those running in exclusive mode. Therefore, the DX10 formal assessments will not be run in full screen exclusive mode. Independent hardware vendors (IHVs) will see the benefit of combined adapters in WinEI scores when their adapters and drives support 'combined' mode for windows and off screen rendering.


DX10 Scoring Rules

The DX10 scoring rules are :

  • < 2.0  means the system does not support DX9 or DX10.
  • 2.0 to 5.9 will be the score for DX10 adapters that do not perform well compared to their DX9 performance, or are WDDM 1.0 adapters.
    - In these cases, the scoring logic will simply use that adapters DX9 score and will ignore its DX10 performance.
  • 4.0 to 4.9 means the system supports basic DX10 gaming in a credible manner.
  • 5.0 to 5.9 represents good mainstream DX10 gaming performance.
  • 6.0 to 6.9 means that the user can expect very good frame rates (40-50 fps) for mainstream DX10 games at 1280x1024 resolutions with all but the most demanding graphics features enabled.
  • 7.0+ means the system supports high frame rates (>=60)  for demanding games at 1280x1024. All but the most demanding games can have all their features enabled.

Note:  The DX9 scoring rules remain the same as in Windows Vista.


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What Is The Windows Experience Index?


How Is The New Scoring System Similar To That Of Windows Vista?
So What's Changed In Windows 7?


Will My System Get The Same Score From Windows 7 As Windows Vista?
Memory Performance & Size


CPU Core Computations
Addition Of A Single-Threaded CPU Assessment


How Does The CPU Score Correlate With User Experience?


Storage System Performance


Write Flush Policy Tests
Assessing Enhanced Storage Systems


Storage Test FAQs


Storage Test FAQs (Continued)


DX10 Gaming
DX10 Scoring Rules


Items Under Investigation
DX10 & WDDM 1.1 Drivers
DX10 Graphics For DWM


High Definition Video Playback


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Features & Concepts No Longer Included
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