A new version of DirectX has been introduced with the new Windows 8.1 Preview. DirectX 11.2 includes the following new features:
- HLSL shader linking: Windows 8.1 Preview adds separate compilation and linking of HLSL shaders.
- GPU overlay support: GPU multi-plane overlay support keeps your gorgeous 2D art and interfaces looking their best in native resolution, while you draw your 3D scenes to a smaller, scaled frame buffer.
This feature allows the scaling and composition of two swap chains to happen automatically on the fixed-function overlays hardware, without using any GPU resources at all.
- Tiled resources: Windows 8.1 Preview includes a new Direct3D feature called tiled resources, which exposes a limited virtual graphics memory model to apps and thereby permits loose mapping between logical resource data and physical memory. This allows the creation of large logical resources that utilize small amounts of physical memory.
- Direct3D low-latency presentation API: Windows 8.1 Preview includes a new set of APIs for DirectX apps to present frames with lower latency, allowing for faster UI response.
- Frame buffer scaling: New GPU scaling lets you dynamically resize your frame buffer to keep your 3D graphics smooth.
- DXGI Trim API and map default buffer: Windows 8.1 Preview adds the new DXGI IDXGIDevice3::Trim method, which allows DirectX apps to release device memory allocated by the graphics driver thereby reducing the app’s memory profile while it is suspended. Additionally, Windows 8.1 Preview includes a new map default buffer operation for Direct3D apps that lets your app access a GPU’s default buffers directly (if supported by the device), without the need for a more expensive intermediate copy operation to a temporary buffer.
All details and more about these new features can be found HERE.
DirectX 11.2 will be available for PC and Xbox One. All current DX11 cards should be ok with DX11.2 according to this list of consumer GPUs that are supported by NVIDIA drivers for Windows 8.
Both AMD and NVIDIA have released graphics drivers for Windows 8.1 preview: