DirectX 10

10 Graphics rendering app for Windows

Tina de Pierre

Multimedia and gaming performance enhancements with improved visual effects and smoother framerates.

Freeware component software download, reviewed by Tina de Pierre

Gaming driver for graphics cards enabling advanced features and shader 4.0 that fulfills the requirements and support for modern games on Windows laptops and desktops.

Microsoft DirectX 10 is a group of technologies designed to make Windows-based computers an ideal platform for running and displaying applications rich in multimedia elements such as full-color graphics, video, 3D animation, and rich audio. DirectX includes security and performance updates, along with many new features across all technologies, which can be accessed by applications using the DirectX APIs.

Many former parts of DirectX API were deprecated in the latest DirectX SDK and will be preserved for compatibility only: DirectInput was deprecated in favor of XInput, DirectSound was deprecated in favor of the Cross-platform Audio Creation Tool system (XACT) and lost support for hardware accelerated audio, since Vista audio stack renders sound in software on the CPU. The DirectPlay DPLAY.DLL was also removed and was replaced with dplayx.dll; games that rely on this DLL must duplicate it and rename it to dplay.dll.

Here are a list of some improvements and modifications to the DirectX series up until the release of DirectX 10:

Direct3D 9: emulates Direct3D 9 behavior as it was on Windows XP. Details and advantages of Vista's Windows Display Driver Model are hidden from the application if WDDM drivers are installed. This is the only API available if there are only XP graphic drivers (XDDM) installed, after an upgrade to Vista for example.

Direct3D 9Ex: allows full access to the new capabilities of WDDM (if WDDM drivers are installed) while maintaining compatibility for existing Direct3D applications. The Windows Aero user interface relies on D3D 9Ex.

Direct3D 10 for DirectX 10: Designed around the new driver model in Windows Vista and featuring a number of improvements to rendering capabilities and flexibility, including Shader Model 4.

Overall: Due to the new driver model in Windows Vista and continuing through Windows 7, DirectX 10 is specially designed around those specifications, especially around ATI and nVidia cards.

You can also find DirectX 9.0C on this page or stay on this page and select the DirectX 10 free download link to the right hand side.

Features of DirectX 10

  • Compute Shaders: Optimized for gaming workloads.
  • DirectCompute: General purpose computing on GPUs.
  • Dynamic Textures: Dynamic and animated textures.
  • GPU-Based Physics: Accelerated physics simulation.
  • Geometry Shader: Dynamic geometry manipulation.
  • HDR Rendering: High dynamic range lighting.
  • Improved Anti-Aliasing: Smoother textures.
  • Low-Level APIs: Improved debugging capabilities.
  • Multi-Display Support: Multiple displays on a single card.
  • Multi-GPU Support: Increased performance with multiple GPUs.
  • Multi-Threaded Rendering: Better resource sharing.
  • Shader Model 4.0: Improved programmability.
  • Stream Output: Render to multiple streams.
  • Tessellation: Increased polygon detail.
  • Texture Compression: Reduces memory footprint.

Compatibility and License

DirectX 10 is provided under a freeware license on Windows from components with no restrictions on usage. Download and installation of this PC software is free and 10 is the latest version last time we checked.

Filed under:
  1. DirectX 10 Download
  2. Free Components
DirectX 10 has been picked by our editors as very good.
DirectX 10 has been tested for viruses and malware.
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