Microsoft details DirectX Feature Level 12_2
Microsoft has provided a list of features to be supported by the latest iteration of DirectX 12 graphics API. The upgrade to a newer feature level is, as the company says, ‘huge’.
DirectX feature levels determine the capabilities of graphics devices. There are currently three levels for the latest DirectX 12 API, which was first introduced with Windows 10 operating system. The new feature-level directly corresponds to the DirectX 12 Ultimate announcement back from March (source).
The most important feature upgrade is certainly the Raytracing tier 1.1. This technology will be hardware accelerated by all next-generation graphics architecture (including NVIDIA Ampere, AMD RDNA2, and Intel Xe-HPG).
The feature-level enum 12_2 also introduces mesh shading, an intelligent GPU control of details and a tesselation for objects. Additionally VRS (variable-rate shading) tier 2 will be part of the 12_2 set. This technology dynamically adjusts shading rates for different parts of the scene, reducing the GPU workload where it is not needed the most.
NVIDIA Maxwell (GTX 900), Pascal (GTX 10), Turing (GTX 16), AMD RDNA (RX 5000), GCN 5 (Vega), and INTEL Gen 9, Gen 9.5 all support DirectX 12_1. The DirectX Feature Level 12_2 will be supported by NVIDIA Turing (RTX 20), Ampere (RTX 30), AMD RDNA2 (RX 6000), and INTEL Xe-HPG.
GPU Manufacturers have their own websites underlining the features of DirectX 12:
- AMD (not updated since 2015), GPUOpen (updated for DirectX12 Ultimate)
- NVIDIA (updated for DX12 Ultimate)
- INTEL (not updated since 2015)
|Microsoft DirectX Feature Level 12_2|
|Feature||12_2 minimum||Public spec|
|Required driver model||WDDM 2.0|
|Raytracing tier||Tier 1.1||Link|
|Variable shading rate||Tier 2||Link|
|Mesh shader tier||Tier 1||Link|
|Sampler feedback||Tier 0.9||Link|
|Resource Binding Tier||Tier 3||Link|
|Tiled Resources||Tier 3|
|Conservative Rasterization||Tier 3||Link|
|Root Signature Tier||1.1||Link|
|WriteBufferImmediateSupportFlags||Direct, Compute, Bundle|
- Feature level 12_2 is supported on NVIDIA GeForce RTX and NVIDIA Quadro RTX GPUs.
- AMD’s upcoming RDNA 2 architecture based GPUs will include full feature level 12_2 support.
- Intel’s roadmap includes discrete GPUs that will empower developers to take full advantage of Feature Level 12_2.
- Microsoft is collaborating with Qualcomm to bring the benefits of DirectX feature level 12_2 to Snapdragon platforms.
The powerful new capabilities in feature level 12_2 represent exciting new possibilities for game and application developers.