DirectX stifling PC performance, says AMD

Friday, 18 March 2011 13:38 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Technology company AMD believes that to unlock the full potential of current PC hardware, it would be best to circumnavigate DirectX.

According to the firm’s developer relations manager Richard Huddy, with DirectX, PC hardware is being restrained by prioritizing console development.

“It’s funny,” he told “We often have at least ten times as much horsepower as an Xbox 360 or a PS3 in a high-end graphics card, yet it’s very clear that the games don’t look ten times as good.

“To a significant extent, that’s because, one way or another, for good reasons and bad – mostly good, DirectX is getting in the way,” adding that many developers wish the application programming interface would just “go away.”

“Being able to have total control over the machine, which is what the very best games developers want, by giving you access to the hardware at the very low level, you give games developers a chance to innovate, and that’s going to put pressure on Microsoft – no doubt at all,” said Huddy.

Huddy goes on to say it was hoped that the introduction of shaders in 2002 would create more “visual variety in games,” but instead shaders are used in the most obvious way.

“That means that they’ve used shaders to converge visually, and lots of games have the same kind of look and feel to them these days on the PC,” he said.

A standard 3D API supposedly ensures that code can run on many different hardware options as possible, but Huddy believes access to shader tools is both a benefit and a liability.

While some of the more vocal developers want to do away with the DX tech, Introversion’s Chris Delay doesn’t: “I don’t want anything to do with that, but presumably it depends on what you’re developing. If you’re making Crysis 3 or something like that, then it may be exactly what you want.”