Microsoft @GDC: UWP VSYNC Fix, Shader Model 6, HDR Support & Windows Pix Coming

Alessio Palumbo
Posted 7 months ago

A couple of days ago, Microsoft held a GDC 2016 session called DirectX 12 advancements and hosted by Principal Development Lead Max McMullen alongside Program Manager Chas Boyd.

To begin with, Microsoft boasted “great” adoption for DirectX 12 with a significant number of titles being developed for the new API. The DX12 team is also working on improvements in stability and performance while they build tools to address common problems that developers may encounter.

The next topic has been discussed a lot on our pages recently. It looks like Microsoft heard the overwhelming feedback regarding the need to remove enforced VSYNC on UWP applications (specifically, games) and they will be adding support for two flags in the API:


This should also fix Freesync and G-Sync not working in UWP applications; more info on this particular matter will be discussed at Build in a couple weeks.

The talk continued with a look at the objectives for the upcoming HLSL (High-Level Shader Language) update, which will expose the latest hardware features through a language model. Moreover, Shader Model 6 is coming with several interesting features such as wave-level operations and 64-bit units.

This is the first Shader Model built on the LLVM/Clang OSS project. It will require the latest Windows OS version and GPU driver, and Microsoft is targeting feature level 12.0+ hardware for it.


The second part of the session was heavily focused on HDR (High Dynamic Range). Microsoft seems to be fully on board with this technology and it predicts that it will spread faster than 4K, because the difference is more clearly noticeable for customers.

Shadow Warrior 2 Becomes the First PC Game Taking Advantage of HDR & NVIDIA's Multi-Res Shading

HDR will allow displays to emit significantly higher peaks of brightness for certain pixels, thus illuminating the scene in ways that weren’t previously possible. Support for larger color gamuts is also coming, though it is deemed to be less important by Microsoft than HDR.

Both of these will be available to developers at some point in 2016, with a projected availability for the public in 2017. Finally, PIX (Performance Investigator for Xbox, a performance analysis tool originally conceived for Xbox games) will be ported to Windows development tools after many developer requests.

Overall, this seems like the right direction for Microsoft. Stay tuned on WCCFtech and we’ll bring you everything that comes out of Build 2016, too.

Source Credit: DualShockers

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