Microsoft Announces DirectX 12 Ultimate

Source: Microsoft Microsoft Announces DirectX 12 Ultimate

Microsoft Partners with AMD and NVIDIA for Next-Gen Graphics

Microsoft has revealed the newest version of their DirectX API, and rather than adding a version number it is called “DirectX 12 Ultimate”. The announcement comes as Microsoft kicks of DirectX Developer Day 2020, which is streaming now on Mixer.

“From the team that has brought PC and Console gamers the latest in graphics innovation for nearly 25 years, we are beyond pleased to bring gamers DirectX 12 Ultimate, the culmination of the best graphics technology we’ve ever introduced in an unprecedented alignment between PC and Xbox Series X.

When gamers purchase PC graphics hardware with the DX12 Ultimate logo or an Xbox Series X, they can do so with the confidence that their hardware is guaranteed to support ALL next generation graphics hardware features, including DirectX Raytracing, Variable Rate Shading, Mesh Shaders and Sampler Feedback. This mark of quality ensures stellar ‘future-proof’ feature support for next generation games!”

AMD To Support DirectX 12 Ultimate In Upcoming RDNA 2 Architecture

Hardware-accelerated ray tracing is coming to future AMD graphics solutions with DXR (DirectX Raytracing) 1.1 coming via RDNA 2 to “allow both PC and console gamers to experience stunning, next-level visuals in games that support DirectX 12 Ultimate”.

From AMD:

“AMD has long been a strong supporter of next-generation, low-overhead graphics API technologies like Microsoft DirectX 12 that help take games to a whole new level. Therefore, we’re pleased to announce that in partnership with Microsoft we will provide full support for DirectX 12 Ultimate in our upcoming AMD RDNA 2 gaming architecture.

With this architecture powering both the next generation of AMD Radeon graphics cards and the forthcoming Xbox Series X gaming console, we’ve been working very closely with Microsoft to help move gaming graphics to a new level of photorealism and smoothness thanks to the four key DirectX 12 Ultimate graphics features — DirectX Raytracing (DXR), Variable Rate Shading (VRS), Mesh Shaders, and Sampler Feedback.

DXR adds a new level of graphics realism to video games previously only available in movies, and AMD has collaborated with Microsoft on the design of DXR 1.1, an update to DXR that can deliver better efficiency and performance in many raytracing effects.”

NVIDIA Supporting DirectX 12 Ultimate With GeForce RTX

While the new DX12 Ultimate features are coming to all major platforms, NVIDIA says “it’ll look and run best on GeForce RTX GPUs due to dedicated ray tracing hardware called RT Cores, and our performance-boosting DLSS technology”.

NVIDIA explains that VRS (Variable Rate Shading), along with Mesh Shading and Sampler Feedback, will help provide better performance for real-time raytraced content.


“While DirectX Ray Tracing and Variable Rate Shading are supported in Windows 10 today, Microsoft’s Windows 10 ‘20H1’ update will add DirectX support for Mesh Shading and Sampler Feedback, as well as update DXR to version 1.1. NVIDIA will be ready on the day of Windows 10 20H1 release with full driver support for all the new and updated DirectX 12 Ultimate capabilities.

Already, you’ve seen the power of ray tracing in blockbuster games, and the benefits of Variable Rate Shading in Wolfenstein. And now, you can look forward to higher levels of detail thanks to Mesh Shading, and even-faster performance thanks to Sampler Feedback.

These features are fully -and currently only- supported by GeForce RTX graphics cards and laptops, so if you own one you’re game ready for all upcoming titles powered by the DirectX 12 Ultimate API.”

We will have to wait for news of upcoming (or existing) games that will take advantage of these DirectX 12 Ultimate technologies.

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About The Author

Sebastian Peak

Editor-in-Chief at PC Perspective. Writer of computer stuff, vintage PC nerd, and full-time dad. Still in search of the perfect smartphone. In his nonexistent spare time Sebastian's hobbies include hi-fi audio, guitars, and road bikes. Currently investigating time travel.


  1. LegoGuy23

    I’m holding off for Direct-X XII: Championship Edition, personally, to get a new GPU.

    • KN

      When Direct X 12: Super Mega Ultimate edition is released, I will get mine.

  2. DDG4005

    Well, I guess my old Titan X ain’t supported. I might have to consider one NVIDIA’s upcoming Ampere-based GPUs to get the goods.


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