released Direct X 7 a few weeks ago, and since then, we have received a
number of emails from folks who have had problems with it. In particular,
several folks said their frame rates dropped by as much as 40% after
upgrading to Direct X 7. Even newer video drivers did not seem to
help with the problem.
We have been working with Direct X
7.0 for about three weeks now, but so far, we have been unable to
reproduce the problem with the frame rate decline. But we also did not
detect any performance boost, despite Microsoft's claims. This is
what Microsoft had to say about the changes in Direct X 7.
- Increased support for
"transform" and "lighting", which should help
video cards that perform these functions. GeForce cards should
- Environment mapping.
- Runs 20% faster than Direct X 6.1
- hardware 3D sound acceleration for
"Direct Music" enabled games
- Visual Basic programming support for
We ran some benchmarks on a system
here that we were about to upgrade to Direct X 7.0. The operating
system was Windows 98SE, and the hardware was a Pentium III 450
overclocked to 504MHz, with 128MB of PC-100 SDRAM and a Voodoo3 3000 AGP
card set at default clock speeds. We used 3D Mark 99 Max to test
Direct 3D performance. Pentium III SSE optimization was enabled.
Here are the results.
Direct X 6.1 with previous Voodoo3
800 x 600 x 16bit = 4753 3D Marks
1024 x 768 x 16 bit = 4502 3D Marks
1280 x 1024 x 16 bit = 3326 3D Marks
Direct X 7.0 with previous Voodoo3
800 x 600 x 16bit = 4761 3D Marks
1024 x 768 x 16 bit = 4504 3D Marks
1280 x 1024 x 16 bit = 3330 3D Marks
Direct X 7.0 with new, DX7 Voodoo3
800 x 600 x 16bit = 4707 3D Marks
1024 x 768 x 16 bit = 4478 3D Marks
1280 x 1024 x 16 bit = 3321 3D Marks
These numbers are virtually
identical, the differences are statistically insignificant. While we can see no reason not to install
Direct X 7, we also can't see any compelling reason to install it either.
We did not see any performance boost, even though Microsoft claimed a 20%
improvement. It may have benefits when future games are optimized for
Microsoft's site: http://www.microsoft.com/directx/