DirectX - Overview


Microsoft DirectX graphics include a set of APIs that help a user to create games and high-performance multimedia applications. The graphics of DirectX include support for high-performance 2D and 3D graphics.

For 3D graphics, it is always recommended to use Microsoft Direct3D 11 API. Even if a user has Microsoft Direct3D 9-level or Microsoft Direct3D 10-level hardware, the developer can implement Direct3D 11 API and target a feature level 9_x or feature level 10_x device.

DirectWrite and DirectComposition

For 2D graphics and text, it is recommended to use Direct2D and DirectWrite rather than Windows Graphics Device Interface (GDI).

The composition of bitmaps include Direct3D 11 or Direct2D populated, which uses DirectComposition.

Graphics Device Interface


Direct2D is a hardware-accelerated, immediate-mode, 2D graphics API that includes high performance and high-quality rendering for 2D geometry, bitmaps, and text. The Direct2D API is designed for a user to interoperate well with GDI, GDI+, and Direct3D.

It is important to understand the target audience of Direct2D and 3D. It is designed primarily for use by the following classes of developers −

  • Developers who involve in large, enterprise-scale, native applications.

  • Developers who are involved in control toolkits and libraries for consumption by downstream developers.

  • Developers who are involved in server-side rendering of 2D graphics.

  • Developers who are known to use Direct3D graphics and need simple, high-performance 2D and text rendering for menus, user-interface (UI) elements, and Heads-up Displays (HUDs).

System Requirements

The system requirements are as follows −

  • Windows 8 or higher versions of Windows.

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2008 with Service Pack 2 (SP2) and Platform Update for Windows Server 2008 and later.

Direct3D on the other hand is a low-level API that can be used to draw triangles, lines, or points per frame.

The properties of Direct3D are mentioned below −

  • Hides different GPU implementations behind a coherent abstraction.

  • Designed to drive a separate graphics-specific processor.

  • Newer GPUs have hundreds or thousands of parallel processors.

  • Emphasizes parallel processing. A user can set up a bunch of rendering or compute state and then start an operation.

The official website of DirectX is −

From the mentioned link, it is clearly visible that it is a Microsoft product.