Direct3D 11 Will Also Run… in Software Mode Thanks to WARP!

DirectX 11

This post is the follow up of this one. Direct3D 11 is a superset of Direct3D 9/10/10.1. Microsoft has relaxed the way Direct3D will work on the upcomming Windows 7 and if a Direct3D 9 graphics card is present, it will run. But the nice feature is that a Direct3D 9 card will be able to run Direct3D 10.x and Direct3D 11 applications! How? By software emulation. Direct3D 11 will be able to run in software mode all 3D features that are not supported by the graphics card. In the worst case, if Direct3D 11 doesn’t find any graphics adapter (there is always a graphics card in a computer but either the graphics card does not support Direct3D 9+ or the graphics drivers are not installed).

The software mode of Direct3D 11 is based on WARP: Windows Advanced Rasterization Platform. WARP is a high speed and fully conformant software rasterizer. Maybe Microsoft already targets Intel’s Larrabee…

More information about WARP: Windows Advanced Rasterization Platform (WARP) In-Depth Guide.


For french readers: Direct3D 11 Fonctionnera aussi sans Carte 3D grâce à WARP! @ Geeks3D VF

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  • grinder

    I can’t believe it!
    Is it Microsoft? Where’s the exclusiveness? :B

  • yes man, it’s Microsoft 😉

  • P4iN

    Dumb scenarios:

    – Developer would be dumb enough to drop DX9 support over DX10/11 emulation.
    – Developer would be dumb enough to go DX10/11 only and sell games to 1% of an already small legit market (PC gaming).
    – User would be dumb enough to choose DX10 @ 5 FPS with little to none image improvement over DX9 @ 300 FPS.

    Result: WARP is dumb.

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  • Matador

    Sweet! I’ve always loved software rendering technology like Pixomatic and SwiftShader. It ‘just works’ and even though it’s slow it’s better than nothing at all. Great to see Microsoft jump on that wagon. In time it should finally mean the end of graphics incompatibility issues.

  • Yep I think the end of graphics incompatibility issues is one of the most important consequences for all 3D graphics developers. I hope the same thing will happen to OpenGL one day…