Image: Intel

Intel has shared a new support document that can confirm the iGPUs in its 12th Gen Core processors, as well as its new Arc discrete GPUs, no longer support DirectX 9 (DX9) natively. All DirectX 9 support is being transferred to DirectX 12 in the form of emulation, per an open-source conversion layer known as “D3D9On12” from Microsoft.

The post from Intel in full:

12th generation Intel processor’s integrated GPU and Arc discrete GPU no longer support D3D9 natively. Applications and games based on DirectX 9 can still work through Microsoft D3D9On12 interface.

The integrated GPU on 11th generation and older Intel processors supports DX9 natively, but they can be combined with Arc graphics cards. If so, rendering is likely to be handled by the card and not the iGPU (unless the card is disabled). Thus, the system will be using DX9On12 instead of DX9.

Since DirectX is property of and is sustained by Microsoft, troubleshooting of DX9 apps and games issues require promoting any findings to Microsoft Support so they can include the proper fixes in their next update of the operating system and the DirectX APIs.

Here’s how the process is meant to work, according to Tom’s Hardware:

Conversion works by sending 3D DirectX 9 graphics commands to the D3D9On12 layer instead of the D3D9 graphics driver directly. Once the D3D9On12 layer receives commands from the D3D9 API, it will convert all commands into D3D12 API calls. Basically, D3D9On12 will act as a GPU driver all on its own, instead of the actual GPU driver from Intel.

Consequences of emulation may include ” including higher CPU usage (since the translation is software accelerated), and potential side-effects with older games.”

Source: Intel

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5 comments

  1. DX9 had a seemingly everlasting life in game development. By not supporting DX9, Intel has closed the door on a large base of older, yet still functional and fun games that require it. I get it that they want to keep moving forward, but if they alienate a good chunk of the existing market, they're not going to gain market share.

    Are they purposely trying to harpoon their success?
  2. Not a great look for certain.

    Apparently DX9 support is being provided by a Microsoft-written DX9-to-DX12 emulation layer.

    If you have enough brute force power, it'll work. I'm sure there's going to be a lot of optimization stuff lost in emulation though, particularly all those native driver efficiency tricks....

    Yeah this doesn't make sense. Sure, not many games are being written today that are only DX9 level support, but the back catalog of games that do is ~huge~, and includes a lot of very popular titles still played today.
  3. Its hard to know what the performance penalty would be, but given that pretty much all DX9 only titles are over 5yo now, I'd say that it won't be that big of a deal. I mean who wants to run AvP, Splinter Cell or Assasins Creed at over 300 fps. Now, if they wanted to go the extra mile, they could develop a DX12 renderer for UE3, that would cover a lot of games.
  4. DX9 had a seemingly everlasting life in game development. By not supporting DX9, Intel has closed the door on a large base of older, yet still functional and fun games that require it. I get it that they want to keep moving forward, but if they alienate a good chunk of the existing market, they're not going to gain market share.

    Are they purposely trying to harpoon their success?

    The problem intel is facing is that AMD and Nvidia made all those optimisations over a lot of years, intel can't just go and create optimisations for hundreds or thousands of games overnight, for DX 11 alone it is going to take them a long time to even add the most popular and most played games to run without issues.

    Intel does seem to have a solid DX12 implementation so it might be a good idea to make use of that as much as they can where it makes the most sense.

    I feel exited to see a new player in the GPU segment, and while I know it wont be easy, but for the sake of the market and our wallets I hope they will eventually be a valid option for gamers.

    If intel fails or abandons at this point, I think it's unlikely we will see another player anytime soon.
  5. The problem intel is facing is that AMD and Nvidia made all those optimisations over a lot of years, intel can't just go and create optimisations for hundreds or thousands of games overnight, for DX 11 alone it is going to take them a long time to even add the most popular and most played games to run without issues.
    I agree with this; however:

    Intel has had DX9 on their IGP for ... years.

    Now, I grant you, IGP isn't exactly the same bag as a bigger discrete chip. But they have all known this bigger discrete chip is coming... for years. At least 5 years, going by their own public announcement.

    If their driver team can't start pulling together a unified driver architecture in that time, let alone at least a driver, then there really isn't much more to say I don't think.

    You can also say, well, they didn't have silicon to write a driver for until just recently. That's probably true. But you know they have working design models in software, and while it will miss a lot of nuance about a physical chip - it'll let you write a driver. Especially if you have a unified driver architecture.

    Intel is only the #1 maker of graphics chips, in the world. You'd think they would have gotten this right.

    I really want some competition too. But I just can't stop the face palms that come from every bit of news that comes out recently -- I really can't believe this clown show is coming from a company like Intel. I had faith they would at least ship something -- probably overpriced and maybe hitting mid-tier performance, but something. We don't have ~anything~, and the news just goes from bad to worse.

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