Vista Service Pack 1 [ Registry Hack, Run with no product key] comes with an important update for gamers – DirectX 10.1. The catch? You need brand new hardware to support it, and NVIDIA enthusiasts are left totally out in the cold.
One of the benefit Windows Vista brought to the gaming table was the next version of DirectX – version 10. With the potential improvements to 3D gaming potentially outweighing the anticipated performance drop in running games on a more resource-hungry operating system, most hardcore gamers waited until ATI and NVIDIA released their DirectX 10-capable GPUs before taking the plunge and upgrading to Vista.
Well, it looks like those early adopters might be left somewhat in the lurch, as Microsoft has recently announced that Windows Vista SP1 will include a minor version upgrade to DirectX – DirectX 10.1. This includes some features originally intended for DirectX 10 but which had to be left to one side, and as such DirectX 10.1 is a superset of DirectX 10 – supporting all of DirectX 10’s features with some additions and enhancements of its own.
DirectX 10.1 offers greater application control of the GPU’s shading and filtering resources, especially multi-sampled and super-sampled antialiasing. The shader model is updated from 4.0 to 4.1, and floating point technology is beefed up from 16-bit to full 32-bit, which should demonstrate a direct improvement in quality for HDR (High Dynamic Range) lighting effects. In addition, all DirectX 10.1-capable hardware should be able to run 4xAA (antialiasing) as a mandatory setting.
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