Microsoft's new DirectX feature will usher in 'a new era of performance and efficiency'

Microsoft's new Work Graphs API for DirectX sounds a lot like a tool designed to mitigate poor optimization when it comes to PC game releases.

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DirectSR, a new API from Microsoft that will allow developers to easily bring NVIDIA DLSS, AMD FSR, and Intel XeSS support to their games, isn't the only announcement from the DirectX team at this year's GDC conference. It's also planning to showcase the "Work Graphs API," which will usher in "a new era of performance and efficiency."

The Last of Us Part I is a great game, but its PC version was plagued with technical problems, image credit: PlayStation.

The Last of Us Part I is a great game, but its PC version was plagued with technical problems, image credit: PlayStation.

It's a bold claim, to be sure, but Microsoft will be teaming up with AMD to demonstrate the new Work Graphs API in person at the special 'GPU Work Graphs: Welcome to the Future of GPU Programming' at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco on Monday, March 18, 1:20 pm, South Hall Room 303.

Described as the future of GPU programming, the tool gives developers revolutionary ways of managing and approaching GPU workloads. Powered by DirectX and the new Shader Model 6.8 functionality, Microsoft is ambiguous about what it is besides a game-changer for game development.

However, all you really need to remember is that when it comes to GPU workloads in relation to performance and efficiency, you're essentially talking about optimization. Where games look better and run faster because they make the best use of the hardware available.

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is another game that arrived on PC with "issues," image credit: EA/Lucasfilm Games.

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is another game that arrived on PC with "issues," image credit: EA/Lucasfilm Games.

This is one of the reasons why games look great on seemingly underpowered console hardware; developers can focus on a single configuration and optimize accordingly. Work Graphs API sounds like a brand-new tool and method of managing GPU performance and easily seeing what technical parts of a game need improvement or might be causing issues.

This is great news for the PC gaming world, especially when major releases tend to be plagued by performance and optimization issues. In 2023 alone, we got poorly optimized day-one versions of The Last of Us Part I, Hogwarts Legacy, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, and Cities: Skylines II.

We'll learn more about the Work Graphs API at GDC 2024, so stay tuned.

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Kosta is a veteran gaming journalist that cut his teeth on well-respected Aussie publications like PC PowerPlay and HYPER back when articles were printed on paper. A lifelong gamer since the 8-bit Nintendo era, it was the CD-ROM-powered 90s that cemented his love for all things games and technology. From point-and-click adventure games to RTS games with full-motion video cut-scenes and FPS titles referred to as Doom clones. Genres he still loves to this day. Kosta is also a musician, releasing dreamy electronic jams under the name Kbit.

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