DirectX 10 Vs DirectX 9 - A Critical Analysis

By Roberto Sedycias Published 07/9/2009 | Computer
Videogames have brought about a revolution in the field of entertainment. They bring instant excitement, suspense, thrill and the exhilaration of getting under the skin of the protagonist of the story in the game.

What started off as basic entertainment for kids has developed into one of the best-loved pastimes for adults. The intricately woven stories, the exquisite graphics and special effects and the unadulterated delight of fighting battles gives endless pleasure to anyone who plays videogames. Among the many makers to jump into the bandwagon of making these interesting videogames, Microsoft is one of the leading manufacturers.

What is DirectX?
In order to ease the compatibility issue between the gaming consoles and PC architecture, Microsoft evolved the DirectX. You must understand that all gaming consoles have the same hardware which was not the case with PCs. Therefore to ensure that all video gaming consoles could be connected to the PCs, Microsoft introduced a common interface between gaming hardware, operating system and multimedia application. DirectX is the name of this interface. This is a piece of software which can coordinate between gaming consoles and multimedia programs. 

Along with the evolution of hardware and software, DirectX has also come of age. Currently, Direct-X 9.0 is the accepted version. This is compatible with Windows98. If we go down the line then version 8.0a is acceptable on Windows95 and version 3.0a on Windows NT 4. With the advent of Windows Vista, there was the need for DirectX 10.0. All these versions are backward compatible. DirectX is available on all versions of Windows. You can also upgrade it in case the game you have purchased does not run on the PC.

The war ensues between Direct-X 9.0 and Direct-X 10.0

Once we come down to the comparison of DirectX9.0 versus 10.0 there will not be much of a difference. Although the hardcore Direct-X 9.0 fans will swear by its name and say that Direct-X 9.0 is by far the better interface, Direct-X10.0 has a better graphics display. The video effects on the Direct-X 10.0 are to be seen to be believed. The images are of the best quality, the graphics are just mind blowing and the games give the best entertainment possible. But this does not mean that the graphics on DirectX 9.0 are by any means less worthy. In fact, the difference is very subtle.

Most users claim that version 9.0 is much better than 10.0. Measuring the frame rate of various videogames on both the interfaces shows that DirectX 9.0 gives a better performance. When similar minutes of a videogame were run in both interfaces, DirectX 9.0 showed more efficiency. There was a difference of almost 20fps in both. However, more evidence is necessary to support the fact that DirectX 9.0 is better.

Although Direct-X 10.0 is exclusive to Microsoft Vista, it is backward compatible. This means that although games made to be run on Direct-X 9.0 can be run on version 10.0, the reverse is not possible. Once the games are tailor-made to be run on Direct-X 10.0, they cannot run on any other platform except Windows Vista. As several enhancements were made in DirectX10.0 over DirectX 9.0, it is not possible for games made for the latter to be run on the former.

However much discussions continue on the comparison between both the interfaces, it is difficult to reach a conclusion. Although Microsoft claims heavy advancements made in version 10.0, the users are not ready to be convinced yet. They need more proof of the fact that DirectX 10.0 is indeed better. As of now, most of the proof points to the fact that version 9.0 has stolen a march over DirectX 10.0.