Preliminary view of DirectX 11

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Following is a list of the major features that have been announced to be included in Direct3D 11, the next generation Graphics API included in the DirectX SDK. In my opinion, the changes (rather, additions) brought into this API are excellent so far. It seems as if the API has finally grown up and is in no way, shape or form comparable with older DX versions and deprecates OpenGL 3.0 at this point.

Major Direct3D 11 Features:

  • Compatibility: Ability to run on previous generation hardware (9, 10, 10.1)
  • Multithreading: Resources may be created asynchronously on separate threads.
  • Tesselation: Allows for subdivision surface operations (Fixed Function, not programmable)
  • Compute Shaders: Allows for general programming on the CPU, much like NVIDIA’s CUDA.
  • No Overhaul: Direct3D 11 is a superset of Direct3D 10, no learning curve as with 9 → 10.

A DX11 preview should appear in your November 2008 DirectX SDK. Keep your eyes on this page for GDC 2008 DirectX 11 papers.


  1. Although you may use the Direct3D 11 SDK on older hardware features will naturally be limited to the hardware itself.