Windows 8 offers improved graphics performance

In a little more than three months, Windows 8 will be released to the public. Microsoft has done a great job of detailing various aspects of the operating system in its Building Windows 8 blog, and the latest entry provides a look at the hardware-accelerated graphics tweaks built into the OS. Graphics performance is a priority for Win8, and Microsoft created new test metrics to ensure a smooth experience for end users. In addition to targeting a 60 FPS frame rate for OS-related visuals, Microsoft started counting glitches, which it defines as frames that take longer than 16.7 milliseconds to render. Looks like someone’s been paying attention to our Inside the Second game benchmarking methods.

Microsoft’s graphics optimizations focus more on OS elements and applications than on 3D games. Time has been spent tweaking DirectWrite to speed text rendering, and tessellation performance has been improved for simple geometry like rectangles and ellipses. JPEG and PNG images should decode much faster on the new OS, as well. You can see some of the benefits on display in the video embedded below.

Windows 8 will include an update to DirectX, version 11.1, that supports a new Target Independent Rasterization (TIR) feature included in the latest GPUs. Microsoft says TIR uses fewer CPU cycles when tessellating irregular geometry, such as geographic borders or the spinning fractal on display at the end of the video.

Although it’s not mentioned in the video, Microsoft has also added Direct2D Effects, a set of libraries that will be exposed to developers through a puportedly simple API. These effects can be applied to any image and should make app interfaces a little snazzier. However, it looks like the effects could be limited to Metro. Ugh.

Tablets and other Metro-centric devices with relatively low-end hardware seem the most likely to benefit from Win8’s graphics tweaks. I’m eager to see how the OS feels on an Atom- or even ARM-powered tablet. With Apple devices famous for their smooth user experiences and Jelly Bean dramatically improving Android responsiveness, Windows 8 and its RT offshoot have their work cut out.

Comments closed
    • Mystic-G
    • 7 years ago

    Can someone elaborate to me how this will make any difference for the end user?

      • moose17145
      • 7 years ago

      It won’t.

    • south side sammy
    • 7 years ago

    remember everything that was promised before Vista came out. then we got a taste of it and went back to using XP. then W7 came out and felt like XP but it wasn’t as user friendly, still, but much better than Vista.

    why. no matter what, am i going back and still use XP everyday vs using anything else ?

    as far as opsytems go, i think microsoft is finished. they’re over priced, as smaller devises come out it becomes less desirable to have a hog ( “bloatware”) running. other options are available. with hand helds’ nobody is tied to their desktop.

    soon an opsys will be proprietary to the manufacturer and the device they are selling that has it on it. i don’t think microsoft will win.

    even the game set up they have ( games for windows )……… what a flop. when’s the last time you registered for that to play one of those games ? i did once. the game sucked ( being a pc gamer ) because there was no way to make it work the way i wanted on my pc. (m couldn’t map keys ) guess if i were a console gamer i could have used my game pad but that’s no “PC gaming”.

    if xbox doesn’t do anything for them it’s a continuing down hill spiral.

    to this day I keep 2 XP machines running and use one everyday ( 8-14 hours or so )

      • indeego
      • 7 years ago

      Vista was definitely more secure than XP. That was a promise delivered. Vista brought UAC, which was badly needed. A tad overzealous, but hell better than than nothing, like XP has.

      Microsoft only cares about GFWL to get people playing XBOX crossover. MS wants in the living room.

      meh on the rest of your post. Companies make missteps all the time. 7 is better than XP, bar none.

      I work on a laptop daily with 8 on it and I’m easily used to its quirks. It is stable and I get to my apps. I’m sure a year after 7 I’ll be fine on it. The main issue is going back and forth between 7 and 8 daily.

        • modulusshift
        • 7 years ago

        “MS wants in the living room.”

        That’s what she said! …Wait. No it isn’t. Dang. Really felt like it, too.

    • glacius555
    • 7 years ago

    So, waterworld from Crysis 2 will still be a nuisance then?

    • swaaye
    • 7 years ago

    Are they optimizing for the Rage Fury Maxx? I see some rather “seasoned” video cards on the wall…

      • JohnC
      • 7 years ago

      LOL, yea, I noticed that too… No 3Dfx cards, though :-/

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      Hey they still need to support that Matrox stuff.

      • Walkintarget
      • 7 years ago

      I’d love to do a video card wall display, but haven’t found any good acrylic units to make it happen. That’s the only way some of my gathered cards will ever see the light of day again.

    • Bensam123
    • 7 years ago

    …and still looks like another version I can skip. Did they talk about the resurgence of directsound?!?! Cause that rumor I was actually interested in.

    PS MS pandering to your seven year old consoles isn’t helping your OS.

      • Meadows
      • 7 years ago

      You don’t need DirectSound.

        • Bensam123
        • 7 years ago

        You don’t need directx.

          • MrJP
          • 7 years ago

          You don’t need more than 640kB.

          • Meadows
          • 7 years ago

          Yes I do.

            • Bensam123
            • 7 years ago

            Yes I do.

            • Kaleid
            • 7 years ago

            Congrats. You two are now married.

      • Airmantharp
      • 7 years ago

      Was pretty sure 7 had an improved audio stack of some sort, but I never saw details on it. I can’t see any reason to improve it though.

        • Bensam123
        • 7 years ago

        Yeah, MS stated they improved it, but they simply gutted the existing stack

          • Krogoth
          • 7 years ago

          Directsound is dead.

          Get over it.

          The problem has never been Microsoft.

          It is Creative and their stranglehold on EAX. 3D sound for legacy games generally require EAX support. It can be all done in software, but Creative doesn’t want to make that easy. They want people to pay for their hardware to get EAX support.

          This is a non-issue for modern games as developers who have already move away from EAX. They are using pure software solutions that aren’t artificially tied to the hardware like EAX and Creative. Modern CPUs have killed hardware accelerated audio by being too powerful and having plenty of cores to spare. Software audio processing is one of the most common threads in modern games.

            • l33t-g4m3r
            • 7 years ago

            No. The problem has always been Microsoft. EAX is not direct sound, it is a library of extensions that can be added over top any audio stack. That means EAX can be added to OpenAL or even SDL if creative wanted. This whole EAX = Direct sound retardation needs to stop. Yes, you and every other hater under the sun blindly hate creative, but that has nothing to do with Direct Sound 3d, so stop equating the two. Audio acceleration is a legitimate feature, and it would be nice if it was brought back without proprietary API’s.

            • Krogoth
            • 7 years ago

            Don’t you get it?

            The entire gaming industry has move away from hardware accelerated audio. It did long before Microsoft decided to pull the plug on Directsound with NT 6.x. The professional audio crowd has done the same thing as well.

            The reason is simple. Modern CPUs have become too powerful and have plenty of cores to spare. Audio cards have become nothing more than sup-up DACs.

            EAX has been dead for years and only supported by legacy titles. The sad part is that it can done entirely by software emulation (Directsound isn’t needed). Creative wants to retain hold of the IP and make it exclusive only to their hardware platforms. That’s where your *problem* comes from.

            • l33t-g4m3r
            • 7 years ago

            As long as you keep equating EAX with DS you’re wrong, regardless of anything else you say. Your bias is distorting reality. We know you don’t like Creative, get over it.

            In the above video the old method Microsoft uses is capable of rendering graphics at an acceptable speed. According to your “logic”, we shouldn’t use the faster accelerated method because the current method is good enough.

            Basically, the whole root of your argument stems from your hate of Creative, and it is blinding you against any benefits one might get with accelerated audio.

            edit: It also seems you hate 3D audio in general, considering your last reply to Bensam. “Niche”? Good audio can make or break games. Games like Amnesia wouldn’t be nearly as good without 3d audio, and most older 9x-XP titles did use 3d audio proving that it is not a “niche”, but has only become so recently due to Microsoft.

            You know what else? Headphones. Without proper 3d spatialization headphones don’t give you an immersive experience, bringing on the 5.1 headphone nutters. 5.1 headphones are a hardware hack job designed to fix a software problem, and if we aren’t going to support 3d audio, 5.1 headphones will take over. Not even Creative does headphones right, since they seem to add distorting 3d filters and a hidden EQ that cuts the dynamic range.

            • Krogoth
            • 7 years ago

            *facepalm*

            You still aren’t understanding the heart of the problem.

            The problem is that EAX in older titles required Directsound to work correctly. EAX was practically the only 3D hardware audio API that existed in games due to Creative’s strongarming during 1990s. They were able to get with all of this because software 3D audio processing used to be demanding on single-core chips of the era. They also controlled most of the IP in the hardware accelerated 3D audio. This begin to fall apart once CPUs grew more powerful and start to add cores into their die. Game developers were had interest in 3D audio could realistically pursue pure software solutions. This mark the beginning of the end for Creative’s stronghold. Developers haven’t look back since then. The results speak for themselves. Just check out the latest SHS.

            Microsoft just react to the current developer climate. There’s little need form them to continue to support legacy libraries (Directsound), while the audio stack itself had tons of room for improvement. They also have to keep MPAA/RIAA happy (OH NOES THE ANALOG HOLE!). Outside of the restrictions with protected content. Vista/7’s audio stack is far superior to Directsound.

            OpenAL is a cross-platform API that’s a viable replacement for Directsound for older titles. However there’s a minor caveat. In order to support some of its features (namely support beyond 2 channels) requires licensing from Creative. Only the top-tier audio card providers have it.

            ALCHEMY itself is actually EAX emulation done by Creative using OpenAL. Asus’s GSX (Xonar series) is their own version of EAX emulation.

            • l33t-g4m3r
            • 7 years ago

            Wrong. You’re still stuck on creative.
            [quote<]EAX was practically the only 3D hardware audio API[/quote<] EAX is a proprietary extension library, not a hardware API. Directsound3d was the hardware API, and that was the hardware API available in games, not EAX. You could still get hardware accelerated sound with other cards, just not EAX3+. EAX2 was actually available to other cards, even though it wasn't part of DS. [quote<]They were able to get with all of this because software 3D audio processing used to be demanding on single-core chips of the era.[/quote<] You're oversimplifying with a great deal of bias here. EAX sounded better than the competition, A3d aside, and EAX was easy to implement. EAX was an extension to DS, which developers were supporting anyways, so it was a shoe in to support. [quote<]OpenAL is a cross-platform API that's a viable replacement for Directsound for older titles. However there's a minor caveat. In order to support some of its features (namely support beyond 2 channels) requires licensing from Creative. Only the top-tier audio card providers have it.[/quote<] So I guess [url=http://kcat.strangesoft.net/openal.html<]OpenAL Soft[/url<] doesn't exist then? That's a bunch of bull. OpenAL is open, and the only thing the competition can't do is run EAX on it. [quote<]ALCHEMY itself is actually EAX emulation done by Creative using OpenAL. Asus's GSX (Xonar series) is their own version of EAX emulation.[/quote<] "emulation" Wrong. EAX is an extension library to any API, so it is full blown EAX. The only thing being "emulated" is the hardware DS3D interface. GSX is emulation, but it's more of an interpretation than true emulation. Creative's already covered this.

            • Krogoth
            • 7 years ago

            Because upper management at Creative has always been the problem.

            They create it themselves by sitting on their butts for almost a decade, while the gaming industry has move away from hardware solutions. They missed the software DSP boat. I’m surprise that the company is still solvent at this point.

            OpenAL is open, but it still requires driver developers to pay licensing fees to implement some of its features (EAX related stuff relabeled as EFX and audio output beyond stereo). That’s why Realteks codec family cannot do 3D audio with games that require EAX support for it work. They are stuck at stereo-only output. It is Creative’s little “gotcha” that “forces” you to buy their hardware to use anything that requires EAX.

            EAX didn’t sound better than the competition. For most of its life it was just a fancy reverb DSP effect. There’s a reason why Creative had to strong-arm Aureal into oblivion via frivolous lawsuits. It wasn’t until after Creative pick up Aureal’s remains that EAX got *better*. Can beat them? Sue them to death and collect their IP for the cheap.

            The sad part is that EAX can easily be done in software, but it trapped by legal red tape and Creative’s upper management failing to realize that hardware no longer drives the DSP market.

            They could making a decent chunk of change if they move onto software solutions, make them desirable and license them out.

            The only thing that Microsoft did was moving along with the times.

            • l33t-g4m3r
            • 7 years ago

            “Creative” Again? Really? Stop whining about Creative. They have nothing to do with Directsound3d, which was a Microsoft thing.Yeah, you don’t like how Creative kept EAX locked down, which is totally within their rights, but that has little to do with anything else.

            [quote<]OpenAL is open, but it still requires driver developers to pay licensing fees to implement some of its features[/quote<] Keyword: SOME. Which means not ALL. Nobody is forcing you to use EFX, and you are NOT stuck at stereo-only output. The restrictions to OpenAL applies to Creative's proprietary stuff, and you shouldn't be using their OpenAL DLL's anyways, being as they are years old. There are no restrictions in OpenAL Soft, other than you can't use EAX. Big whoop. You can include your own effects, aside from what's already available. Ever play Amnesia? This is exactly what they did, and it requires OpenAL Soft instead of OpenAL. Creative's OpenAL isn't even fully supported, as hardware mode doesn't work. [quote<]EAX didn't sound better than the competition. For most of its life it was just a fancy reverb DSP effect.[/quote<] Enough of the whining. EAX 1 and some 2 may have been a "fancy reverb DSP effect", but EAX 3 forward was 3d audio that improved more with each version. [quote<]It wasn't until after Creative pick up Aureal's remains that EAX got *better*. Can beat them? Sue them to death and collect their IP for the cheap.[/quote<] True, this is exactly what Creative did. But that also meant EAX was improved, and creative was the only way to continue getting enhanced 3d sound, aside from software implementations which weren't nearly as good. Yeah it was underhanded and sucked, but as a result EAX got better, and Creative was the only way to get it. You know what else? Aureal didn't have to sell out, and they could have continued to sell cards, as the vortex3 was right around the corner. Aureal and 3dfx (had rampage) sold out because they didn't care about you or their company, only about making short term money for the shareholders and CEO. If you want an example of a company that has stuck around regardless of bad times, we have no further to look than AMD, still going regardless. Aureal and 3dfx were not as idealistic, so therefore I'm not going to hold them in infinitely high regard. Yes they were good companies, but not good enough. They didn't have the determination to stay afloat when the going got tough, and the competition is the only way forward now. No sense crying over spilt milk. [quote<]They could making a decent chunk of change if they move onto software solutions, make them desirable and license them out. [/quote<] You do realize that a couple paragraphs back you were complaining about this very idea? Ugh. Creative is still taking the hardware approach, like it or not. They are doing some software things, but the software modes are not giving you full EAX, making their hardware the only way to get it. Buy auzentech if you don't want creative, it's not like there isn't options. [quote<]The only thing that Microsoft did was moving along with the times.[/quote<] That's a joke. Microsoft took the easy way out and it was largely due to DRM. Anything that limits your performance and choices is not moving along forwards, but moving along backwards. You know what else? Everything Microsoft is doing now is moving backwards, starting with [s<]Microsoft BOB[/s<] Metro[s<]sexual[/s<]. Guess what's moving forward? Linux. It's only a matter of time, and when it arrives I won't look back.

            • Krogoth
            • 7 years ago

            Funny you try to portray Creative as some innocent victim out of all this.

            They are their own victim. They did by being incompetent and sitting on some potential viable IP. The upper management still thinks that they can sell their 3D sound solution with the hardware, when the hardware itself has become nothing more than a over- glorified DAC. The SHS survey speaks for itself. Only a vanishing small minority go out of their way to get Creative audio solutions.

            Creative didn’t beat Aureal through the merits of their goods/services. They did it by launching frivolous lawsuits that would later proved to be baseless, but Aureal couldn’t stay solvent because of the legal costs. Legal battles over IP aren’t cheap whatever you win a case or not.

            Microsoft didn’t take any easy road out. They simply chose not to support legacy platforms that were already obsolete. When finally NT 6.x roll out, EAX was already dead.

            I think that it is funny you try to add *nix unto the mix. Creative support for *nix has always been subpar. Good luck getting EAX and 3D sound working under *nix.

            • l33t-g4m3r
            • 7 years ago

            [quote<]Funny you try to portray Creative as some innocent victim out of all this.[/quote<] Nope. I am only being realistic. Creative is the last one standing of the 3d sound era, regardless of how they got there. [quote<]Microsoft didn't take any easy road out. They simply chose not to support legacy platforms that were already obsolete. When finally NT 6.x roll out, EAX was already dead. [/quote<] You're apparently still equating EAX with Microsoft. Enough. Google it if you have to. EAX can sit on top of whatever audio API you throw at it, even software API's if creative wanted. Your statement makes no sense. Microsoft threw DS3D out for both political and business reasons, DRM being one of the major ones, being more complicated to implement in hardware. That whole "legacy platform" comment stems solely from your misguided hatred of Creative, and is not based in rational thought. [quote<]I think that it is funny you try to add *nix unto the mix. Creative support for *nix has always been subpar. Good luck getting EAX and 3D sound working under *nix.[/quote<] Really? OpenAL works under nix. All creative has to do here is port alchemy, or maybe wine could help. Regardless, this is just more pointless grasping at straws for anything you can bash Creative on. Stop the hate. EAX is considered deprecated by Creative, and is completely dead aside from legacy support. Creative is no longer the big bad boogie man that it once was, they've sold their hq, and really aren't doing much of anything anymore. The only reason I use their products is to get support of what little's left of 3d audio, along with decent 2d audio. If you don't want to support 3d audio, fine, but you don't need to spread lies about DS3D to promote your misguided hatred. DS3D was a well appreciated part of Microsoft's OS for years, and you wouldn't have had any 3d companies including Aureal, if not for DS3D. Yes, A3d was an extension to DS3D too, or didn't you know that. The loss of DS3D is much bigger than any single company, and even inhibits any future innovation. Sad to see so much hatred toward such a good product. It's not like MS couldn't have kept it as an extra option.

            • moose17145
            • 7 years ago

            you know… I find this whole argument annoying because you are both right on many things and each are refusing to see that…

            I have to agree with krogoth that creative did play a huge role in killing hardware accelerated audio… they are a company run by people that are so greedy that it actually keeps them from being successful and making more money… and lets face it… if you wanted hardware accelerated audio… well… yea there were “others” … but lets be real here… creative really was the only name in the game… Heck they could have helped themselves just by letting 3rd parties make sound cards (identical to how AMD/ATI/NVidia do…), but did they? No. They Forced you to buy the cards they made with inferior parts. And as much as l33t keeps saying that DirectSound was in no way tied to creative… though TECHNICALLY true… is still wrong. like i said… if you wanted hardware accelerated directsound… creative was basically the only kid on the block… and unfortunately that kid was a greedy bully…

            Creative could have licensed out their IP to other companies and created some genuine competition in the sound market. Which would have helped spur growth and competition to invent better/improved solutions to audio processing, as well as help keep prices in check for end consumers. But they didn’t… instead they wanted a total monopoly… which stifled growth and made the sound market pretty stale. Imagine if it was basically ONLY NVidia in the videocard market, and their only competitor was intel integrated video. We would still be running the FX series videocards. They would still be way better than what intel is offering, but we wouldn’t be anywhere near where we are today, and would probably be looking at new videocards only once every 2 to 5 years. Competition drives most industries. Without it we end up with exactly with what happens to directsound. (yes I know creative DID eventually let a few companies throw their X-Fi APU onto their own cards, and those cards were fairly superior to the stock creative x-fi’s made by creative, but by that time it was already too late… )

            But… I also have to agree with l33t-g4m3r that MS did the most damage when they killed off DirectSound with the ‘new’ audio stack that came about in windows vista. There was a nice library of games that supported hardware accelerated audio at the time too, so saying it was already dead is hardly an accurate statement. As powerful as processors were becoming, they still couldn’t come anywhere close to what dedicated hardware could do. I don’t really see the new audio stack as being any better than what they had in XP… and honestly after they introduced that new audio stack I think audio took FOREVER to catch back up… and quite frankly still has not caught back up to where it used to be IMHO. I think the new audio stack honestly had more to do with DRM related bullshit that anything else.

            A perfect example of what hardware accelerated audio could do was Battlefield 2 with its ultra mode that could only be enabled with an X-Fi. The game sounded absolutely amazing. And honestly I am questioning if even my i7 could run BF2’s ultra audio level without taking a hell of a hit to CPU utilization on at least one of it’s cores, if not all 4 of them. Remember, BF2’s ultra sound setting had up to 128 concurrent sounds each with schmancy EAX 5 effects. That a lot of concurrent sounds with effects stacked on top of them to process without dedicated hardware… even by today’s standards of hardware. When they killed off hardware accelerated audio in Vista, everything just sounded like muddled crap compared to when I was running in XP and able to let the sound card do what it was meant to. Even today I don’t think most games sound nearly as good as they did when I was able to run EAX 3+ and hardware accelerated audio and etc etc etc blah blah blah…

            But also as Krogoth kind of did say… sound was already hitting a “good enough” area with most people, and CPU’s paired with onboard audio on motherboards were getting powerful/decent enough to start delivering music and other sounds that were a lot clearer than they were even a generation or two ago. THEN… combine that with the fact that most games were becoming console ports at the time and just using whatever garbage a 360 or PS3 uses for sound…

            Anyways this is getting awefully long… point is, both of you have very valid points and both of you are correct with much of what you have both said. Much of directsound really was tied to creative simply because of the monopoly they pretty much had on hardware accelerated audio and the fact that EAX was almost always paired with it, but at the same time too I would say it was MS was the ones who in the end truly killed DirectSound.

            Either way the entire audio market for computers has just been one massive disappointment for me. I see what hardware accelerated audio could have been and how it should have remained relevant even to this day with new innovations and improved sound quality with ever more accurate/real life sounding sounds. Physical hardware that could deliver amazingly crisp sounds even at unrealistically high dB levels for easily affordable prices thanks to competition between companies. all ruins because of a few companies…

            • Bensam123
            • 7 years ago

            Creative isn’t innocent at anything, you’re just disregarding any merit of what they made based on pure unfettered hate of their name.

            Don’t turn this into another Aureal Vs Creative argument. This was about EAX and directsound. You don’t need to soapbox your hate for Creative.

            EAX wasn’t dead and games supported it right up till when Vista came out. It was a advertised feature and a selling point of both video games and sound cards alike (emulated EAX).

            As with many games and nix, they simply don’t work. Nix has neither directsound or directx. And that’s also why they don’t have games for the most part. See how one effects the other?

            • Krogoth
            • 7 years ago

            EAX was long dead long before NT 6.1 came out.

            The last major blockbusters that supported it were the first generation of UE3-based games (2007). Before that it was Doom 3 (iD was legally coaxed into supporting it) and BF2/BF2142 (2003-2004).

            • Bensam123
            • 7 years ago

            So, now games have to be ‘blockbusters’ in order for you to accept that they support it? Those games you mentioned are blockbusters, so why would they be exceptions?

            [url<]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_video_games_that_support_EAX[/url<] That isn't an exhaustive list. Your blinding hate for Creative isn't letting you see any of this straight. I sorta feel bad for you if you're a gamer and you missed out on the whole EAX thing during XP because you loathed Creative so much and simply equated EAX to reverb.

            • Krogoth
            • 7 years ago

            The point is that in the past tens years only a handful of blockbuster titles supported EAX nothing else.

            It is pretty safe to say it has been dead.

            • Bensam123
            • 7 years ago

            Those WERE the blockbusters before directsound died! Here is another way of looking at things… Name a blockbuster that DIDN’T support EAX during it’s lifetime.

            • Bensam123
            • 7 years ago

            OpenAL doesn’t require licensing.

            [url<]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenAL#History[/url<] I've never heard of games being limited to stereo only output because they feature EAX. They just sound worse if you don't have it on (because EAX effects DO make it sound better). Creative doesn't 'own' positional audio. EAX did a lot more then reverb and if you ever played games using it, you'd know it. leet is partially right, your post is now coming across as just Creative hate and has nothing to do with the actual argument.

            • Bensam123
            • 7 years ago

            Games could be played without EAX just fine. They just sounded a hell of a lot better with EAX.

            Just because a company does something well and they trademark it doesn’t mean no one else can do it. And a lot of companies did. I’ve NEVER heard of a lawsuit filed by Creative against a company that added EAX support to their hardware. C-Media and Realtek did this. Asus did it too. It was popular for sound card manufacturers to advertise their EAX emulation… To this day Asus STILL advertises their EAX emulation support (I believe they call it GSX 2.5) and it sounds like utter crap if you try to use it with older games that supported EAX.

            The difference between developers now and back when they had EAX? They no longer have EAX. They don’t look back because MS killed directsound. EAX was a easy way for them to add custom environments to their game.

            Open AL DOES NOT require licensing fees. It never has and still doesn’t.

            [url<]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenAL#History[/url<] "Since 1.1, the implementation by Creative has turned proprietary, with the last releases in free licenses still accessible through the project's Subversion source-code repository" Proprietary doesn't mean it requires licensing. Not only that, but OpenAL covers all of EAX so essentially EAX 5 is now license free. How is W7s audio stack superior to Directsound? Besides limiting content to one output.

            • Krogoth
            • 7 years ago

            You needed EAX in legacy titles to enable 3D audio a.k.a more than 2 channels of output over analog. A3D can do the same thing in the titles that supported it, but it died once Aureal belly up.

            EAX 1.0 and 2.0 were free for a while, however EAX 1-2 is just fancy reverb effects. It always sounds like ass back when it came out with Live! family. It is no surprise that sounds no different with more modern Realtek/C-Media codes. EAX 3-5 is still closed and proprietary. It means that in order for OpenAL libraries to use EAX 3-5, they need the proprietary code for it. Creative isn’t giving that code away for free. That’s why same Realtek/C-Media codecs cannot utilize EAX 3-5, since neither company has any interest in paying licensing to use that part of the code. ASUS’s implementation is just emulation and reverse engineering which is why it is inferior to the genuine article (IHMO, it is only noticeable with old titles).

            W7 audio stack allow each application to how its own volume setting (a big plus for VOIP applications), supports newer digital formats, can handle HDMI/DP audio, more options to adjust settings, supports higher sampling rates (not that big of a deal) and the audio panel is far more useful. I’m aware of the whole protected mode (closing the analog hole), but that’s the MPAA/RIAA for you.

            • Bensam123
            • 7 years ago

            Uh, no… Name a title where you needed to have EAX for the game to support more then two channels. Audio works without EAX, EAX is just extensions that operate on top of directsound.

            You keep pointing out that EAX is just reverb effects (it’s not). It doesn’t matter what happened in earlier versions, EAX 5 exists. Arguments for earlier versions of EAX don’t apply anymore.

            I don’t understand why you’re differentiating Asus from Realtek and C-Media. All three of them are fully capable of emulating without lawsuits.

            All of the libraries are available on Creatives website for both OpenAL and EAX/EFX. Creative offers them for free on their website. There isn’t licensing for EAX anymore.

            [url<]http://connect.creativelabs.com/openal/Downloads/Forms/AllItems.aspx[/url<] [url<]http://connect.creativelabs.com/developer/Gaming/Forms/AllItems.aspx[/url<] Not just that, but OpenAL 1.1 includes all of the EAX extensions and abilities, plus more. That can be found here: [url<]http://connect.creativelabs.com/developer/Wiki/OpenAL%20SDK%20for%20Windows.aspx[/url<] I haven't heard anything about higher sample rates that couldn't be used in XP (24bit 192khz could be used), more options is ambigious and doesn't define anything, audio panel has nothing to do with the audio stack. Digital formats has nothing to do with the audio stack (that would be codecs). So the only thing the new stack adds after raping EAX is a protection scheme for DRM... which is what I said in my first post.

            • Krogoth
            • 7 years ago

            Quake series
            Thief series
            UT series
            Earlier Tomb Raiders
            Freespace 1&2 (not the open source project)
            Starcraft 1
            Earth 2150 trilogy
            Doom 3
            Infinity engine-based Bioware CRPGs

            That’s just what I know off top of my head.

            • l33t-g4m3r
            • 7 years ago

            LOL, Debunk time:
            Quake series : No EAX support Quake 1-3. Quake 4 was based off the doom3 engine and wasn’t made by id. Ioquake does have nice OpenAL support.
            Doom3 : Software mode surround. EAX is not required, nor does it add much, aside from echoing. It’s just there.
            UT : HAHAHAHA The unreal series from the beginning supported almost everything, hardware and software. Games based from the unreal engine occasionally included extra software modes like Miles or FMOD. UT didn’t even have great EAX until after special EAX patches were released, UT2004 also received extra updates.
            Tomb raider : don’t know, didn’t play.
            Freespace : played very little.
            Starcraft : never had EAX.
            Earth 2150 : dunno
            Bioware : yes, so what.
            Thief series : also supported A3D.

            Biggest rebuttal:
            You can enable EAX on [i<]any[/i<] alternative soundcard, and get up to EAX 2. Even if you didn't have a hardware accelerated card, you'd still fall back to software DS3D with software EAX. It just ran slower and used more cpu. Your whole argument about being limited to stereo is moot, because you could [u<]always[/u<] run EAX whether or not you had a creative card. You know what else? The majority of cheap junk soundcards didn't have multiple channels, even the vortex cards only supported 4, and used S/PDIF for movies. Creative and Aureal originally were the only decent cards available for gaming, later on the santa cruz with it's flaky drivers, and after that only creative. There really wasn't any point to using a lesser card for gaming, other than being a masochist. Also, most games didn't force you to use EAX if you didn't want to. There were usually multiple check boxes like use hardware acceleration (ds3d), and then a separate box for EAX/A3d.

            • Bensam123
            • 7 years ago

            Yeah, pretty much sums it up. I saw Starcraft on the list and I was like ‘uhh what’. It doesn’t even have multi-channel support, let alone EAX. (At least when it came out, I’m not sure about now after 15 years.)

            • Krogoth
            • 7 years ago

            SC1 has it. The positional audio come from your units on different parts of map relative to your main camera. It is just like 3D sound other in modern RTS.

            Try playing it again with a EAX compliant hardware and pay attention.

            • l33t-g4m3r
            • 7 years ago

            Nope. Starcraft isn’t listed under Creative’s EAX list, and even if it did, you can still use EAX on any other sound card. It’s more likely to be using just Directsound3d. Starcraft is an old game, and if it had EAX you’d hear a lot of echoing. There is no echoing, only positional sound. The game uses DS3D at best, which tells us DS3D was a good feature even back then.

            official game list:
            [url<]http://www.creative.com/soundblaster/technology/welcome_flash.asp?j1=eax[/url<] I have read reviews saying starcraft sounded better on creative's cards, but that doesn't mean starcraft used EAX, that only means creative had better sound and supported DS3D better than onboard audio and the competition. Not to mention creative has stereo expansion features. Neither Blizzard or Creative claim to use EAX in starcraft. Side note: There used to be custom EAX presets one was able to apply to games, perhaps this is what you were thinking of, but it isn't naturally part of the game.

            • Bensam123
            • 7 years ago

            No, EAX died with Vista and developers then having to choose between EAX working with half their users or not at all. Then it died completely after everyone switched to W7.

            This doesn’t even take into account modern games are terrible when it comes to audio so there is NO benchmark as far as how much accelerated audio could actually help when your computer is reproducing 128 or more concurrent sounds. You’re lucky to find games with 16 sounds. I’m not talking about the number of buffers either, but the game legitimately can spit out that many sounds at the same time. The source engine has a problem with this where it simply cuts out sounds if too many are playing. A lot of games do this.

            • Krogoth
            • 7 years ago

            Most games don’t even support more than 16 sound sources at the same time. It was true back when Creative, Audigy and X-Fi were the talk of the town. There’s only a handful that went beyond that and the same games were pretty much tech demos for Creative (BF series and some simulators).

            I doubt it will change for one simple reason. The vast majority of gamers simply don’t care. They are using stereo speakers and headphones. The benefits of playing more than 16 audio sources at the same time is wasted.

            • Bensam123
            • 7 years ago

            …tech demos? Really?

            [url<]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_video_games_that_support_EAX[/url<] (That is a incomplete list) Gamers don't care because they don't have anything to compare it to. There is no set baseline to show how much better games sounded with EAX besides someones word on the forums. Almost no one is going to take the time to go back and check. Why do you think Soundblasters were such a big deal back during the XP era? Why do you think EAX was plastered all over everything? It wasn't because the logo looked cool.

            • Bensam123
            • 7 years ago

            …you know more then Creative used Directsound. Why jump on them right away?

            MS killed off EAX. It was never about the hardware acceleration, it was about having premade atmospheres you could tie into and add to your game.

            And no, most game developers aren’t using pure software DSPs, they aren’t using anything at all besides basic sound and positional audio! One of the exceptions being the BF series.

            • Krogoth
            • 7 years ago

            3D Audio has always been a niche since day 1, expecting it to be widespread though the industry is unrealistic at best. Does Angry Birds and its wannabes need 5.1 audio support? Most of the world gets by with some kind of stereo/headphone setup.

            Despite all of this, there are is a number of titles that do support it (mostly AAA or open-source products). Implementation is a different matter though. BF franchise being the shining example of how to do it correctly.

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 7 years ago

            It’s no more niche than spending 200+ on a video card (does Angry Birds need a 7770?).

            • Bensam123
            • 7 years ago

            …almost all FPSs have positional audio. A lot of RPGs do too. This is not only true for PC gaming, but it works that way on consoles too (consoles have positional audio capabilities).

            I think proclaiming the entire gaming industry consists of mobile games is pretty asinine.

            Positional audio != DSPs though. EAX was known for both positional audio and DSPs. I’m pretty sure you’re thinking of DSPs and not positional audio.

            And if you are referring to DSPs, almost no titles now have them because MS killed directsound, which killed EAX. After that, they had to learn OpenAL to get back on the EAX band wagon and the whole thing died.

            • Krogoth
            • 7 years ago

            Gaming on mobile platforms is growing fast and it is eating away at both PC and Console gaming markets.

            That’s why developers are trying to push for F2P and subscription based scheme via app stores on said portable devices.

            • Bensam123
            • 7 years ago

            No, I don’t think mobile gaming is ‘eating’ away at traditional gaming on PCs or consoles. It’s a new developing market, it doesn’t compete with consoles or PCs for gamers.

            Most gamers don’t come home from work and go ‘God, I really want to play angry birds for the next six hours’. They fulfill different niches.

      • Prion
      • 7 years ago

      I’m still waiting for the API that lets me run audio through DirectCompute or OpenCL. Not just for games either.

    • l33t-g4m3r
    • 7 years ago

    I hear the new KDE offers improved graphics performance too, and it’s not a touchscreen GUI.

    • codedivine
    • 7 years ago

    And they demonstrate that in … a 480p video. Bravo!

      • Meadows
      • 7 years ago

      You don’t need HD to demonstrate speed.

        • danny e.
        • 7 years ago

        true, but you need HD to demonstrate quality.

        So, they’re saying: win 8 will look like crap, kinda like our video, but be fast.

        that’s what I’m smelling.

          • Meadows
          • 7 years ago

          …what?

            • derFunkenstein
            • 7 years ago

            What ain’t no country I ever heard of. They speak English in What?

          • derFunkenstein
          • 7 years ago

          Unsurprisingly you’re just making things up and passing them off as fact.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 7 years ago

    I like how half the demos are done in desktop mode 🙂

    • jstern
    • 7 years ago

    That’s the one good thing about having to cater to weaker devices, that it forces, motivates to make developers make things more efficient.

    Take a Super Nintendo game that after many years was ported to the Gameboy Advance. On the weaker Super Nintendo the game ran great on a 16 MegaBit cart, but the exact same game, with no improvements and probably lower resolution from what I see using emulators, and less sound channels, would use over 4 times the memory, because the developer had more power to work with so didn’t really have to focus on making the game as efficient as possible.

      • Madman
      • 7 years ago

      I still have a feeling Win8 non-ARM tablets/hybrids/w-e will be power drainers and ARM ones will have no desktop.

      • mno
      • 7 years ago

      Actually the GBA has just 2 sound channels to the 8 of the SNES, which explains why the sound is so terrible on the SNES to GBA ports. Though given how terrible the speaker was, it didn’t matter all that much. Also, those ports were notoriously bad and weren’t representative of what the GBA was capable of.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 7 years ago

        +1. SNES to GBA ports were total shit. The SNES versions of the Super Mario games that were included with Mario All-Stars were way superior to GBA ports. Same goes for Final Fantasy VI which has depressingly out-of-tune instruments on the GBA port. The only way to play FF VI properly to this day remains on the SNES. The PSOne port had awful load times, and they’ve not seen fit to port to other systems yet. 🙁 🙁 Frickin’ SqEnix, get your crap together.

        • Prion
        • 7 years ago

        The “sound channels” are not even really comparable, either. The 2 channels on the GBA are like the 2 channels on a Sound Blaster Pro: left and right. All of the mixing on a GBA is done in software, which would be pretty limiting on a 16MHz ARM chip even if it didn’t have to do it on top of EVERYTHING ELSE you need the main processor for.

      • Farting Bob
      • 7 years ago

      When you here how developers made games on the early consoles its just amazing all the workarounds they came up with to meet the limitations of the system. Nowadays its just not important to focus on making sure every line of code is as efficient as possible. Nothing wrong with that, as long as your minimum spec you are targeting is an acceptable level.

        • danny e.
        • 7 years ago

        -1 for “here”

      • Arag0n
      • 7 years ago

      Yup, now that they must improve performance for tablets, desktop will benefit from improvements in areas that for desktop were “good enough”

    • ludi
    • 7 years ago

    “We reduced the GUI to flat, hueless surfaces that can be cycled by tapping on monocolored blocks…and the graphics performance improved.”

      • DeadOfKnight
      • 7 years ago

      I was thinking the same thing.

      • ULYXX
      • 7 years ago

      I know right? It BETTER have a low hit on the graphics demand.

      • Meadows
      • 7 years ago

      This is gold.

      • Mourmain
      • 7 years ago

      Problem?

      • danny e.
      • 7 years ago

      exactly. we improved performance of our application by commenting out a ton of code.
      works like crap. looks like crap. doesnt do crap. but, hey, it runs super fast.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 7 years ago

        -1 for a broken shift key (hey you did it to Farting Bob for misusing a homophone).

          • danny e.
          • 7 years ago

          🙂 i rarely use it and am fine with a -1 for that. some things annoy me and some things annoy other people.

      • Arag0n
      • 7 years ago

      I wanted to do a “reduced and flat intelligent comment without watching the video and a batch of people up-voted me for it”. I hope you can see that they are talking about core performance improvements into XAML/HTML apps…. no matter if desktop or metro, they improved the directx calls related to those to improve drawing performance.

      Seems we can´t see down the hood right?

        • rrr
        • 7 years ago

        Down the hood I see ghetto rats waiting to pop a cap in you punk a** b***.

      • HisDivineOrder
      • 7 years ago

      Removing Aero did help.

      • moog
      • 7 years ago

      I guess it depends if you like using resources to draw drop shadows etc.

      Personally I’d rather the OS just stay out of the way and just be a solid platform.

        • ludi
        • 7 years ago

        I felt the same way while using XP for nearly 10 years. Then I finally got scooted into the Windows7 experience by a laptop upgrade, and although it took me a while to adjust, I found some of the visual effects — particularly the hovering thumbnails and transparent previews when task-switching — to be quite useful.

        And just like that, they’re gone again. The Microsoft giveth, and the Microsoft taketh away.

          • indeego
          • 7 years ago

          Transparency is a distraction and eye-candy that quickly annoys. I think I found it useful for a batch job in the background, but quickly annoyed at seeing scrolling text in the border just as quickly when I didn’t need to see status.

        • BobbinThreadbare
        • 7 years ago

        There is no good reason to not have both skins.

      • Wirko
      • 7 years ago

      My Hotmail logon screen became Metro-flat and Metro-hueless yesterday. I’m now trying to enjoy the said performance but to no avail. Those of you who still use a P III-500, can you please confirm that anything got faster?

      • Chrispy_
      • 7 years ago

      +49 and still climbing.

      Microsoft have been really lazy in the past with their GUI acceleration and they rightly deserve to be ridiculed for it. It took a low-powered ARM phone to show them up. I appreciate that they are finally fixing their graphics but even this good effort does not let them off the hook for 15 years of sloppily recoding dated GDI routines.

        • Wirko
        • 7 years ago

        Fewer people woud have bought those early dual-core CPUs if Windows XP had a decent thread scheduler (etc.) to make the UI run smoothly. Not laziness, therefore, but conspiracy with both Intel and AMD.
        The “glitches” of course didn’t go away. The glitches that lasted thousands of milliseconds with CPU, disk and network activity at zero, that is.

    • Farting Bob
    • 7 years ago

    Good news for people buying cheap or older laptops that come with win8, or want to upgrade to it. Those of us with quad cores and multi-billion transistor GPU’s wont really benefit from tweaks as much, but people with 4 year old laptops that use old Intel IGP’s should be hopeful of a smoother experience.

      • Mourmain
      • 7 years ago

      And millions of laptop manufacturers around the world shook with fury.

      But then again, Microsoft is now aiming for phones, not laptops…

    • jackbomb
    • 7 years ago

    First thing I noticed when I tried Win8 on my turbocharged PIII was how silky smooth everything was. Metro and desktop animations were for the most part pegged at 60fps. The only thing that was a little choppy was IE scrolling. PIII-S at 1.8GHz, 3GB of PC2700, and an x1950Pro AGP card.

    I still think I’m going to skip Win8–at least on my main machine. The $40 upgrade price is so good that I might have to put it on my HTPC.

      • swaaye
      • 7 years ago

      What a glorious PIII you have there!

        • jackbomb
        • 7 years ago

        Thanks! It is a glorious DX7/8/9b gaming box.

          • Spunjji
          • 7 years ago

          DX9c too, if I recall my x1950 facts correctly! 😮

      • oldog
      • 7 years ago

      My old Lenovo x60t circa 2006 flies with Win8.

      At $40 bucks it is definitely cheaper than a new computer.

      • Sargent Duck
      • 7 years ago

      ahhhh, the Tulatin core. Brings back fond memories. I had a celeron 1.1 that I oc’d to 1.4ghz with a 9600Pro. on a Via Apollo T motherboard. It was going strong till I heard a pop one day and magic blue smoke came out the back.

      The chip survived, the motherboard did not. And that was a couple of years after the Tulatin core was released, so finding new motherboards was near impossible.

        • l33t-g4m3r
        • 7 years ago

        Yes, but there are both slot1 and 370 adapters. I use a slot1 adapter on my retro box to get a Tualatin working on a 840 board.

          • Meadows
          • 7 years ago

          Can none of you spell Tualatin?

            • l33t-g4m3r
            • 7 years ago

            Yes, but I copied his way since wasn’t sure. Thanks grammar nazi.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 7 years ago

            It’s better not to follow the sheep. For a government conspiracy theorist, you should know better.

            • l33t-g4m3r
            • 7 years ago

            Sure, but laziness trumps thought sometimes. How else did BO get elected?

            • Spunjji
            • 7 years ago

            This comment commands as much respect as your handle.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 7 years ago

            This is the easiest trolling job in the business. I make the hint of a reference to the government and he snaps it up like so many Hippos that are Hungry Hungry.

            • l33t-g4m3r
            • 7 years ago

            Admitting you’re trolling, I think that summarizes the entire argument here, starting with Meadows.

        • bcronce
        • 7 years ago

        I could not afford the Tulatin. It was targeted at servers. My Celeron 300a@450mhz, then P3-700@933mhz on a BX chipset… memories…

        My cousin worked at a Uni datacenter where someone came in and said a “package” was left outside for them.

        My cousin went outside to see what it was… Intel donated a 40u rack full of 1u dual-socket 1.4ghz Tulatins.

        Because all of the blades came installed into the rack, they had a VERY hard time bringing it into the building. It also turned out they didn’t have enough cooling to even use the new rack.

      • yuhong
      • 7 years ago

      Unfortunately, they decided to require NX and SSE2 for the Release Preview. It never worked well anyway (opening Computer Management would crash for example).

        • jackbomb
        • 7 years ago

        Well that sucks. I’m going to have to check if the Dothan processor in my HTPC supports NX.

        So the two computers I was thinking of upgrading to Win8 might not run the final version…lol. I know how some Mac users feel now.

          • MadManOriginal
          • 7 years ago

          How? That their 15 year old CPUs won’t run the latest OS? :p

            • jackbomb
            • 7 years ago

            Didn’t 10.7 ditch support for Core Duo and early Core 2 Macs?

            • MadManOriginal
            • 7 years ago

            Darned if I know, who cares about OSX? All I know is the Tualatin CPUs are extremely old at this point.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            yes it did. if by early you mean late 2009. All because apple doesn’t want to bother with the graphics drivers.

            • Deanjo
            • 7 years ago

            2009’s are still supported in 10.7 and it has nothing to do with the graphics but everything to do with 64-bit support (btw which are written by their respective vendors but use the apple openGL stack). Get your facts straight.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            talk to ars technica about it.
            [url<]http://arstechnica.com/apple/2012/07/confirmed-mountain-lion-sends-some-64-bit-macs-gently-into-that-good-night/[/url<]

            • Deanjo
            • 7 years ago

            Mountian Lion is 10.8 not 10.7.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            ok.

            • Deanjo
            • 7 years ago

            Core duo only. Core 2 systems run 10.7 fine.

            • A_Pickle
            • 7 years ago

            Apple made Core Duo systems?

            • Deanjo
            • 7 years ago

            The very first x86 Mac’s were Core Duo.

            [url<]http://support.apple.com/kb/SP35[/url<] [url<]http://support.apple.com/kb/SP34[/url<] [url<]http://support.apple.com/kb/SP29[/url<] [url<]http://support.apple.com/kb/SP36[/url<] [url<]http://support.apple.com/kb/SP33[/url<] [url<]http://support.apple.com/kb/SP31[/url<] These are the products that 10.7 dropped support for.

            • Arag0n
            • 7 years ago

            That means 6 year old hardware… funny thing that someone that bought a 2GB version to make it future proof has more chances using Windows8 than OSX now… 6 years it´s not too many to make something obsolete. I don´t have it anymore, but I would expect my Pentium D 920, the processor to Core Duo to play nice with Windows 8… it DID play nice with Windows Vista, no way it would be slow for Windows 8 or OSX and I had it with 4Gb of RAM…. I bought it around 2005~ I replaced it around 3 years later in 2008 for an AMD Phenom 9950 because some CPU intensive video-codecs were unable to decode at 1080p at that time and also some games.

            Still, 4 years later with a “bad cpu at it´s time”, the more expensive and good options were the Q9300-Q9450 has enough headroom to do everything I need and play every game I wanted. It only feels “slow” emulating a PS2 lol. I bought 8Gb of memory for that System to make it future proof, so I would be pissed if Windows 9 in 2015 made it obsolete with no good reason. Hey, I could see myself in 2015 using my old Pentium D if it was not because some games and video codecs… with an upgraded GPU with hardware-video-decoding, I might have been able to keep the system going strong.

        • LiamC
        • 7 years ago

        Yeah discovered that Win8 RC requires NX/SSE2 a couple of weeks back. I’ve got a P-!!!-S 1.4 with 1GB of SDRAM , and an X1650 Pro and Win 7 32-bit runs OK with that. I might go back to the Consumer Preview and try again.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 7 years ago

    I am having flashbacks to ‘Windows acceleration’ benchmarks from the early 90’s. Yay!

      • can-a-tuna
      • 7 years ago

      I’m having flashbacks from an Amiga game called Flashback. Really good game.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 7 years ago

        I was more partial to Out of This World, but Flashback was great, too.

          • anotherengineer
          • 7 years ago

          I’m glad I’m not the only old fart around here 🙂

            • derFunkenstein
            • 7 years ago

            Well, here, let me blow some of my old fart cred here: I played OoTW and Flashback on a Sega Genesis rather than in DOS or on an Amiga. 😆

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