DirectX 11.1 is the latest Direct X 11 technology will be exclusive to Windows 8, Windows RT and Windows 2012. According to Microsoft developer Daniel Moth on developer network blog said, “Directx 11.1 is part of Windows 8, just like Directx 11 was part of Windows 7. Directx 11 was made available for Vista, but at this point there is no plan for Directx 11.1 to be made available on Windows 7.”
What so Unique about DirectX 11.1?
The highest profile difference between the new version and the older DirectX 11 is that DirectX 11.1 has native stereoscopic 3D support, a graphic feature of which most gamers probably don’t take too much advantage unless you’re running a bunch of 3D software, you most likely don’t need to worry too much about upgrading to Windows 8 in order to nab DirectX 11.1.
Before this addition, graphic developers could only add stereoscopic 3D support to software by intentionally programming it with specific graphics cards that support it in mind.
Another Windows 8 DirectX 11.1 new features will be WARP, a high speed, fully conformant software rasterizer. It is a component of the DirectX graphics technology that was introduced by the Direct3D 11 runtime.
- Feature Level 11.1 hardware
- All D3D11_FEATURE_DATA_D3D11_OPTIONS features for Feature Level 10.x/11.0 devices
- 16bpp format support (DXGI_FORMAT_B5G6R5_UNORM, DXGI_FORMAT_B5G5R5A1_UNORM, DXGI_FORMAT_B4G4R4A4_UNORM)
- Tile-based Deferred Renderer optimizations (D3D11_FEATURE_DATA_ARCHITECTURE_INFO)
- HLSL minimum precision shader optimizations (D3D11_FEATURE_SHADER_MIN_PRECISION_SUPPORT)
- DXGI 1.2 features for Stereo, Occlusion status notifications, Desktop Duplication, and NT Handle shared resources
- Windows Store app ICoreWindow features of DXGI 1.2
- WARP support for Feature Levels 11.0 and 11.1
- Direct3D hardware support in Session 0
- The DirectComposition API
Making DirectX 11.1 exclusive to Windows 8 seemingly pushes PC game developers into embracing the updated platform if they want to utilize those features. Various developers have expressed their distaste for the built-in storefront, but now that we’re weeks into the platform’s release, there really doesn’t appear to be anything to stress over. Gamers can still purchase their games from Steam, GameFly, GameStop and more as if they’ve never left the Windows 7 desktop.
Updates on DirectX 11.1 for Windows 7
Microsoft reveals that some of DirectX 11.1 features are being made available on Windows 7 Service Pack 1 via the platform update KB 2670838. The new features are limited to the WDDM 1.1 drivers on Windows 7.
DirectX 11.1 component that adds to Windows 7 Service Pack 1:
- ID3D11Device1, ID2D1Factory1, IDWriteFactory1, IDXGIFactory2, IWICImagingFactory2, ID3DUserDefinedAnnotation and related APIs are available. Methods that depend on WDDM 1.2 drivers or new Windows Store app APIs are not supported.
- Improved Direct3D 11 device interoperability via ID3DDeviceContextState, including the improved interop with Direct2D/DirectWrite
- D3D11_FEATURE_DATA_D3D9_OPTIONS feature detection
- In addition to the new Windows 8 WIC features, this update also fixes decoding of 96bpp floating-point TIFF images.