If you have ever wondered why graphics on consoles look better than most PC graphics, AMD has an answer for you: DirectX. AMD worldwide developer relations manager Richard Huddy blames Microsoft’s SDK for not being able to utilize the horsepower of today’s graphics processors.
"It’s funny," says Huddy. "We often have at least ten times as much horsepower as an Xbox 360 or a PS3 in a high-end graphics card, yet it’s very clear that the games don’t look ten times as good. To a significant extent, that’s because, one way or another, for good reasons and bad – mostly good, DirectX is getting in the way."
Huddy adds that developers often ask him to make that API just go away.
"I certainly hear this in my conversations with games developers and I guess it was actually the primary appeal of Larrabee to developers – not the hardware, which was hot and slow and unimpressive, but the software – being able to have total control over the machine, which is what the very best games developers want. By giving you access to the hardware at the very low level, you give games developers a chance to innovate, and that’s going to put pressure on Microsoft – no doubt at all."
Many developers apparently feel that, while there are certainly a lot of advantages to using a standard 3D API when developing games and applications, the trade-offs in performance are not always worth it.