DirectX 9

Intel Ditches DirectX 9 , Which May Be Nice.

DirectX 9

Intel’s integrated Xe graphics on Alder Lake CPUs and discrete Arc Alchemist GPUs no longer support DirectX 9.

Intel may still allow DX9 access. DirectX 12 will emulate DirectX 9 instead. Are gamers satisfied?

Intel quietly revealed this update on its product support website; Therefore,  as observed by SquashBionic. 12th-generation integrated graphics cards and Intel’s discrete GPU solutions (Arc Alchemist) no longer support DirectX 9 natively. Intel delegated DX9 support to Microsoft, which will switch to DX12.

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Microsoft’s “D3D9On12” open-source conversion layer will be used for emulation. D3D9On12 translates 3D DirectX 9 graphics commands into DirectX 12 commands. It operates as a bridge between the two technologies, replacing the GPU driver that handles DirectX 9 requests.

The change’s reception has been varied, but it shouldn’t be surprising. Intel Arc GPUs favour DirectX 12, with DirectX 11 performance half. DirectX 9, which launched 20 years ago, shouldn’t be a priority for Intel.

Microsoft is positive about the emulation tech, saying it’s a good DX 9 implementation. Performance should be close to native DX9 support. In rare circumstances, performance may match native DX9. Emulation may boost CPU use.
Intel has passed DX 9 on to Microsoft. Since Microsoft owns and maintains DirectX, resolving DX9 apps and games requires contacting Microsoft Support so they can incorporate the required solutions in their next OS and DirectX APIs update.

This update should be rather minor. Most popular games today support DirectX 11 or later, therefore Intel GPUs don’t need to be converted. Older games that use DX9 will be emulated by Microsoft. If you have an older Intel GPU (pre-Xe), DX9 will work without emulation.

Let’s hope that outsourcing DX9 to Microsoft will allow Intel to optimise DX11 before launching Intel Arc Alchemist.


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