Windows 7 will offer significantly improved graphics performance over its predecessors due new abilities to more efficiently delegate work to 3D graphics cards. In an article posted on InformationWeek, Windows 7 Promises Faster Graphics, Windows 7 is said to be the first Windows operating system to treat the graphics processing unit (GPU) as a real peer to the CPU.
ISVs writing applications with heavy graphics requirements, including gamers, engineers, artists, and others can take advantage of the feature using
One key to Windows 7’s graphics performance is a new application programming interface known as DirectX Compute. The API enables computers to take full advantage of the parallel processing power built into today’s high-end cards.
Windows application developers have long used DirectX to provide high-quality, hardware-accelerated, 3D graphics.
Windows 7 puts even more graphics capability into the hands of application developers. Through a new set of DirectX APIs, Win32 developers can take advantage of the latest innovations in GPUs to add fast, scalable, high-quality, 2D and 3D graphics, text, and images to their applications. On the latest LCD displays, DirectX APIs can display desktop and window content using color depth greater than 8 bits per color component.
These enhanced graphics capabilities are provided by the following COM-based APIs:
- Direct 2D for drawing 2D graphics.
- DirectWrite for arranging and rendering text.
- Windows Imaging Component for processing and displaying images.
- Direct 3D 10 for drawing 3D graphics.
- DirectX Graphics Infrastructure (DXGI) for managing devices and GPU resources, and providing interoperability between DirectX and GDI.
For an early look at how WPF in .NET Framework 4 will support graphics, see .NET Framework 4 – Windows Presentation Foundation Graphics and Multimedia.
For more information about how you can take advantage of DirectX in your software development, see DirectX: Advanced Graphics on Windows on MSDN.
Bruce D. Kyle
ISV Architect Evangelist | Microsoft Corporation