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WoW goes DirectX 12

14 years have passed and World of Warcraft still can make
us spend several hours hunting monsters and clearing
dungeons. With the newest Addon beingg released soon,
also the newest Patch has already been rolled out.

So what does Patch 8.0 bring in detail? At first view there is no noticable change in graphics. All looks the same. However the settings page has changed. Where you earlier had the choice to select DX9 or DX11 as rendering engine, there’s now solely DX11 and DX12 to be selected.

Fans of the exclusive Fullscreen mode now have to use the Windowed Fullscreen mode.

What does that mean in general? Exclusive Fullscreen Mode allows DirectX to handle everything according to the game canvas. With the windowed mode, the DWM of Windows is also used for partial rendering tasks. All in all this means, that the performance may degrade a tad.

Then there’s the DX12 API where usually more options for rendering and physics effects become available. However for Users of Windows 7 there’s no win here as Windows 7 does not support DX12 at all. They are now tied to DX11 alone.

Blizzard is ditching DX9 support completely as this API becomes obsolete. With this, you can’t play WoW on XP any more if you still have a box that runs XP.

Another thing is that the WoW executable is now 64bit only. So if you use a 32bit OS then you’re doomed as you won’t be able to run it on 32bit versions of Windows anymore. That said many embedded systems that are rolled out with Windows 32bit editions are now useless for WoW gaming although they would have enough performance to do that.

The image settings now are set by sliders ranging from 1 to 10 instead of just Low, Medium, High and Ultra.Some other settings were already slider-based so no changes there.

And what does that mean in numbers?

On Nvidia cards you will notice a hefty 15-25% frame rate drop between DX11 and DX12, so why use DX12 then when there’s no noticable image improvement?

On AMD cards and Intel IGPs, however, the frame rate may slightly increase where DX12 really can be a bargain.

But all in all the 8.0 client is still rolled out and until the new addon gets released there might be some changes applied yet.

So for now I am not doing any performance tests. Doesn’t make sense yet!


July 19, 2018 Netspark - 1594 posts - Member since: May 9th, 2011 No Comments »

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