…2007: DirectX has been the most important program interface for Windows games for years. Alternatives such as OpenGL or 3dfx’ Glide have successfully replaced Microsoft’s API, practically all current games run with DirectX and graphics chip manufacturers base their products on this standard. A new DX version was launched with Windows Vista in January 2007: DirectX 10 was intended to enable cinematic effects and thus persuade players to switch to the new operating system – because DirectX 10 did not and does not exist for Windows XP.
But suitable hardware is rare and DirectX 10 games are a long time coming. With Shadowrun and Halo 2, Microsoft supplies two Vista-exclusive games, but they don’t offer DX10 effects. The first playable DirectX 10 program will be released on May 15th, 2007: the demo to Capcom’s shooter ‘Lost Planet’, by Nvidia praised as the first program to make use of the capabilities of the Geforce 8 series. The full version of the game and other DX10 games such as Company of Heroes, World in Conflict and Crysis (see Overview of DirectX 10 games in the PCGH forum). But even they don’t change the fact that DirectX 10 has only had moderate success with developers and gamers: The advantages are too small, because DirectX 10 enables practically no effects that would not also be possible with DirectX 9 – and the hurdle in form is too big from Windows Vista.
Lost Planet may not be particularly innovative, but it still looks relatively appealing years later – you can download the demo from us (see below).
On the subject of DirectX 10, we also recommend:
• Lost Planet screenshots and benchmarks
• Stormrise first DX10 only game
• Knowledge: DirectX 10 Effects
• Retro: Ati’s first DirectX 10 graphics card
…2012.1: First the graphics functions migrated to separate plug-in cards to relieve the processor, then they come back to simplify and speed up the cooperation between the various circuits. AMD is a pioneer of this technology in the PC sector and calls its technology of marrying x86 CPU cores and Radeon HD shaders APU. This is short for Accelerated Processing Unit and highlights the fact that the shader units have become so powerful that they can help the x86 cores with everyday tasks. Under the hood of the second APU generation, called Trinity, is Piledriver and VLIW4 technology. The Trinity APUs are manufactured at Global Foundries using the 32-nanometer process including a Hi-K metal gate; all chips come from A1 stepping (Llano was B0, Ivy Bridge was even E1). With a die area of 246 square millimeters, the chip is larger than a Llano APU with its 228 square millimeters, but there are also 1,303 instead of 1,178 million transistors in the accelerated processing unit. You can find more details, such as performance or power consumption, in our AMD Trinity review.
…2012.2: On this day, Nvidia presents the flagship of its Kepler generation, the GK110, at the in-house exhibition and developer conference GPU Technology Conference 2012. The over 550 mm² chip is to be equipped with up to 6 gigabytes of GDDR5 memory and initially used in supercomputers, where its 7.1 billion transistors and up to 2,880 shader units can also be used in fast double-precision mode with over 1 TFLOPS/ sec can work. Incidentally, the corresponding Geforce card called GTX Titan will not be launched until February of the following year.
…2013.3: Blizzard takes off with Diablo 3 and the error 37 becomes the inglorious synonym for the bumpy start of a game that relies on a permanent online connection. The log-in problems of the third Diablo occupied players and the press alike in the following days, and Blizzard not only put players in a good mood with later activated and very controversial features such as the real-money auction house. That doesn’t seem to affect the success, because Diablo 3 is still selling well and numerous patches have now been released that clear up many problems.