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Microsoft Windows 7 Graphics Enhancements Rev. 2.0
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Graphics Enhancements 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.

Back in June, we first revealed inside information on the kind of improvement in graphics that you will see in Windows 7. That first article focused on DirectX improvements in Windows 7, which covers everything from Direct 2D to Direct3D 11. This article will refer to the same topics, albeit in much less detail, so be sure to give our in-depth article on Direct3D Improvements In Windows 7 a read.

In this article, we will focus on the Windows 7 graphical desktop, which will also include everything from Aero to 3D gaming and video playback. Although Microsoft has publicly revealed some details on some of these improvements, this article will give you the full details.


Windows 7 Graphical Desktop

Windows 7 builds upon the work done on harnessing the GPU for acceleration of desktop elements as well as games in Windows Vista. The Windows 7 graphical desktop now makes full use of the 2D, 3D and video engines of the GPU in these ways :

  • 2D Engine : The Windows 7 WDDM 1.1 driver model introduces graphics device interface (GDI) hardware acceleration of the GPU's 2D engine. This reduces the memory footprint of Aero.
  • 3D Engine : The Windows 7 Desktop Windows Manager (DWM) has better support for Direct3D 10 and introduces support for Direct2D and Direct3D 11.
  • Video Engine : The Windows 7 WDDM 1.1 driver model introduces several optional features for video playback that will help standardize playback of high-definition content through DirectX Video Acceleration - High Definition (DXVA-HD). It will also improve both the security of graphics data as well as overlay presentations.

Let's take a closer look at these improvements.


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Windows 7 Graphical Desktop


Windows 7 Display Drivers
Compatible With Windows 7
Optimized For Windows 7


Reduced Memory Footprint
But Not For Multi-GPU Systems


The New Aero Glass : No More Warnings & Slowdowns!


Improved Gaming Performance
Improved Diagnosis Of Performance & Stability Issues
IHV Graphics Drivers


Windows 7 Inbox Drivers
Unified WDDM Driver Packages


Display Colour Management
High Colour In Windows 7


Colour Calibration
Calibration Using The VESA Monitor Control Command Set
Color Calibration Wizard In Action


Color Calibration Wizard In Action
   - Gamma Adjustment
   - Brightness


Color Calibration Wizard In Action
   - Contrast
   - Colour Balance


High DPI & Readability
Windows 7 High DPI Features
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