1. Post #1
    I once worked at a sperm bank, the food was terrible
    The Baconator's Avatar
    April 2011
    9,228 Posts

    In computer graphics, high performance is a guiding principle. In the early days of personal computing, discrete, add-on graphics cards were mostly focused on specialized applications such as CAD/CAM and gaming. Even early on, there was a view that all of this graphics horsepower could be used for more: notably a better user interface and experience. One of the first graphics cards for a PC was called a “Windows Accelerator” from S3 Graphics, which focused on the user experience by moving windows around the screen faster. As graphics hardware evolved, so, too, did the methods that developers use to interact with that hardware.

    DirectX is the part of Windows that provides a common application programming interface, or API, that allows developers to use the graphics hardware in the PC to draw text, shapes, and three-dimensional scenes, and display them on the screen. DirectX has also evolved over time in both capabilities and performance characteristics. In the early years, DirectX was focused mainly on games. As applications evolved to provide richer and more graphically-intense user experiences, many of them started to use DirectX as a way to get better performance and richer visuals.

    Enter Windows 8

    When we started to plan the work we’d undertake for graphics in Windows 8, we knew that we would be creating a new, visually rich way for users to interact with apps and with Windows itself. We also knew that we’d be building a new platform for creating Metro style apps, and that we’d be targeting a more diverse set of hardware than ever before. While we had a great graphics platform to start with, there was more work to do in order to support those efforts. We came up with four main goals:

    Ensure that all Metro style experiences are rendered smoothly and quickly.
    Provide a hardware-accelerated platform for all Metro style apps.
    Add new capabilities to DirectX to enable stunning visual experiences.
    Support the widest diversity of graphics hardware ever.
    While each of these focus on different aspects of building Windows 8, they all depend on great performance and capabilities from the graphics platform.

    Planning for performance

    Graphics performance on Windows depends on both the operating system and the hardware system, comprised of the CPU, the GPU (graphics processing unit), and the associated display driver. To ensure that we could deliver a great experience for new Metro style apps, we needed to make sure that both the software platform and the hardware system would deliver great performance.

    In the past we’ve used many different benchmarks and apps to measure the performance of DirectX. These have been largely focused on 3D games. While games are still very important, we knew that many of these existing ways to measure graphics performance did not tell us everything we needed to know for graphics-intensive, 2D, mainstream apps.

    So we created new scenario-focused tests and metrics to track our progress. The metrics we use are as follows:

    1. Frame rate

    We express frame rate in frames per second (FPS). This metric is widely reported for gaming benchmarks, and is equally important for video content and other apps. When something is animating on the screen, a rate of 60 FPS makes the animation appear smooth. We target that rate because most computer screens refresh at 60 hertz. With that frame rate, Windows can provide very smooth animations with “stick to your finger” touch interactions.

    2. Glitch count

    While frame rate is an important metric, it doesn't tell the whole story. For example, running a benchmark for 10 minutes and getting 60 FPS on average sounds perfect. But, it doesn’t tell us how low the frame rate might have dropped during the test. For example, if the frame rate dips down to 10 FPS momentarily during demanding parts, the animations will stutter. The glitch count metric looks for the total number of times that rendering took more than 1/60 of a second, thus resulting in a reduced frame rate. It also looks at the number of concurrent frames missed. The goal here is to have no missed frames during animations.

    3. Time to first frame

    Most people expect their apps to launch quickly, so initializing DirectX needs to be fast. “Time to first frame” tells us how much time it takes from the moment you tap or click to launch an app until you see the first frame of the app on the screen. To measure this, we created simple apps to help analyze and optimize the graphics system for the time it takes to initialize a graphics device, allocate the required memory, and so on. This helps us ensure that the work to set up DirectX takes very little time.

    4. Memory utilization

    The more memory our graphics components use, the less memory is available for apps. By ensuring that most of the system’s memory is available for apps, you get the best app performance, and more apps can run at the same time. Apps use a mix of system memory and GPU memory. GPU memory is mostly used for rendering operations such as drawing images, geometric shapes, and text. Additionally there are graphics operations that use the CPU and therefore use system memory.

    In order to characterize memory utilization, we measure the memory used by the system for the following scenarios:

    The app is idle. That is, it is not doing any work and is not rendering or displaying new information to the screen.
    The app is displaying information to the screen. This represents the base memory cost of a simple drawing.
    Texture creation. This represents the memory used for creating a large number of image objects on the GPU.
    Vertex buffer creation. This represents the memory overhead of creating geometric shapes.
    GPU data upload. This measures memory overhead involved in uploading data to the GPU.
    Measuring memory usage across many types of apps and these various scenarios has helped us further optimize DirectX and the display drivers.

    5. CPU utilization

    Most graphics operations utilize the CPU in addition to the GPU. For example, when an app is figuring out what it’s going to draw, it typically does these calculations on the CPU. CPU utilization is important to understand because the higher the percentage of the CPU used by a task, the fewer cycles the CPU can devote to other tasks. For good graphics performance and overall system responsiveness, it is important to effectively balance work between the CPU and the GPU.

    These benchmarks and metrics help us ensure that the experiences and apps are smooth and have great performance. They play a big role in our understanding of mainstream apps. Of course, we still utilize industry benchmarks, games, and other ways to measure our overall performance.

    Hardware accelerating mainstream graphics

    There are many ways to look at mainstream graphics. To ensure that our work would give users the right performance and the right experiences we studied many examples of both Metro style and desktop apps to understand how they used the graphics hardware. In particular, Internet Explorer 9, Windows Live Mail, and Windows Live Messenger make excellent use of DirectX. Because these apps have done great work utilizing DirectX, they're good examples of what other apps might do. This led to a number of investments to ensure mainstream apps were fast and looked great.

    Improving text performance

    Text is by far the most frequently used graphical element in Windows, so improving text rendering performance goes a long way towards creating a better experience. Web pages, email programs, instant messaging, and other reading apps all benefit from high-quality and high-performance text display.

    The Metro style design language is typographically rich and a number of Metro style experiences are focused on providing an excellent reading experience. DirectWrite enables great typographic quality, super-fast processing of font data for rendering, and provides industry-leading global text support. We’ve continued to improve text performance in Windows 8 by optimizing our default text rendering in Metro style apps to deliver better performance and efficiency, while maintaining typographic quality and global text support.

    The bar chart below illustrates the performance improvements that result from this work. It includes measurements for the following text scenarios:

    Rendering a screen full of reading-size text formatted as paragraphs as you would find in a web page or Word document
    Rendering a screen full of small chunks of text at reading sizes as you would find in user interface controls such as button labels or menus
    Rendering a screen full of small chunks of heading-sized text as you would see in titles & headings in Metro style apps and as headlines on blog posts and news articles on the web.


    The most noticeable performance improvement can be seen when scrolling through a long document on a touch screen. The reduction in time required to render the characters frees up CPU cycles to handle other tasks like processing high-frequency touch input, or displaying more complex document layouts.

    Improving geometry rendering performance

    Along with text, we also made dramatic performance improvements for 2D geometry rendering. Geometry rendering is the core graphics technology that is used to create things like tables, charts, graphs, diagrams, and user interface elements, as shown in the example below. For Windows 8, our improvements in this area have primarily focused on delivering high-performance implementations of HTML5 Canvas and SVG technologies for use in Metro style apps, and webpages viewed with Internet Explorer 10.


    When Direct2D draws geometry, it takes instructions from the app about what to draw in the form of 2D figures (e.g. rectangles, ellipses, and paths), the size and location of the figures, and specifics about the style of rendering, including brush color and stroke style. Then it converts those instructions into a set of triangles and commands that it sends to Direct3D to generate the desired output. We call this conversion process tessellation.

    To improve geometry rendering performance in Windows 8, we focused on reducing the CPU cost associated with tessellation in two ways.

    First, we optimized our implementation of tessellation when rendering simple geometries like rectangles, lines, rounded rectangles, and ellipses. Below is a chart showing the impact of these improvements.


    Second, to improve performance when rendering irregular geometry (e.g. geographical borders on a map), we use a new graphics hardware feature called Target Independent Rasterization, or TIR.

    TIR enables Direct2D to spend fewer CPU cycles on tessellation, so it can give drawing instructions to the GPU more quickly and efficiently, without sacrificing visual quality. TIR is available in new GPU hardware designed for Windows 8 that supports DirectX 11.1.

    Below is a chart showing the performance improvement for rendering anti-aliased geometry from a variety of SVG files on a DirectX 11.1 GPU supporting TIR:




    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2...-graphics.aspx

    very nice
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  2. Post #2
    Carnage2323's Avatar
    October 2009
    2,302 Posts
    welp, time to get Windows 8.
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  3. Post #3
    I do it all
    fruxodaily's Avatar
    November 2010
    14,209 Posts
    This sounds amazing, I'm thinking of purchasing windows 8 pro because of that $40 deal from Microsoft, they really want this to sell.
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  4. Post #4
    Gold Member
    snuwoods's Avatar
    February 2008
    1,603 Posts
    Still loving Linux. Especially since Valve has shown their penguin love(and apparent Windows 8 hate, Gabe is jumping ship AFAIK).
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  5. Post #5
    Guru mediation error
    Amiga OS's Avatar
    July 2012
    7,102 Posts
    To the people who are STILL bitching about how Windows 8 is terribad.
    Run it for 2 months before making such a stupid statement, it's actually brilliant.

    You are the kind of people that bitch with every Youtube redesign.
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  6. Post #6
    Gold Member
    Scot's Avatar
    March 2007
    15,933 Posts
    I'll need more than this to warrant an upgrade.
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  7. Post #7
    Fight until death, shoot until empty.

    November 2009
    15,884 Posts
    To the people who are STILL bitching about how Windows 8 is terribad.
    Run it for 2 months before making such a stupid statement, it's actually brilliant.

    You are the kind of people that bitch with every Youtube redesign.
    but the start button!
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  8. Post #8
    Conservative Cunt who fucking loves piss
    Elecbullet's Avatar
    November 2007
    11,802 Posts
    To the people who are STILL bitching about how Windows 8 is terribad.
    Run it for 2 months before making such a stupid statement, it's actually brilliant.

    You are the kind of people that bitch with every Youtube redesign.
    It's brilliant when we avoid using Metro shit, which is pretty easy to do.
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  9. Post #9
    Triumph Forks's Avatar
    July 2009
    4,689 Posts
    To the people who are STILL bitching about how Windows 8 is terribad.
    Run it for 2 months before making such a stupid statement, it's actually brilliant.

    You are the kind of people that bitch with every Youtube redesign.
    its like Timeline but worse omfg !
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  10. Post #10
    RISC MASTER RACE.
    MIPS's Avatar
    August 2010
    7,104 Posts
    People these days.
    When I was a kid we sparingly used graphics. You had 24 bit color in renter windows but your UI was 4-bit color and we liked it, dammit.
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  11. Post #11
    ffFf
    Uber|nooB's Avatar
    June 2005
    5,912 Posts
    People these days.
    When I was a kid we sparingly used graphics. You had 24 bit color in renter windows but your UI was 4-bit color and we liked it, dammit.
    When I was a kid we had to draw everything in sand with a stick. EVERYTHING.
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  12. Post #12
    Carnage2323's Avatar
    October 2009
    2,302 Posts
    When I was a kid we had to draw everything in sand with a stick. EVERYTHING.
    When I was a kid we had to make stars explode to see anything
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  13. Post #13
    CakeMaster7's Avatar
    October 2010
    11,828 Posts
    People these days.
    When I was a kid we sparingly used graphics. You had 24 bit color in renter windows but your UI was 4-bit color and we liked it, dammit.
    We played games where you read text and made your own goddamned graphics.
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  14. Post #14
    As a wise man once said: Never ask Fatfatfatty for computer advice
    Dennab
    March 2009
    13,456 Posts
    Bring the good old start menu back and we're talking
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  15. Post #15
    Dennab
    May 2007
    1,218 Posts
    Bring the good old start menu back and we're talking
    bring the, shut the hell up I'mm tired of reading these fucking comments made by people who have no idea what they're talking about, machine.
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  16. Post #16
    Dennab
    August 2011
    3,194 Posts
    People these days.
    When I was a kid we sparingly used graphics. You had 24 bit color in renter windows but your UI was 4-bit color and we liked it, dammit.
    "Don't advance! I want things to stay the same forever because back in my day everything was great!"
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  17. Post #17
    Gold Member
    DoctorSalt's Avatar
    January 2009
    2,652 Posts
    When I was a kid, people were arrogant and condescending! Today's generation ain't nothin' like it was!

    Anyhow, Amiga OS, could you be a little more specific on what you like over Win7? I know very little about win8, and it sounds kinda cool.

  18. Post #18
    Gold Member
    Techbot's Avatar
    February 2010
    3,201 Posts
    well you still have this you know

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  19. Post #19
    Gold Member
    smurfy's Avatar
    October 2007
    22,057 Posts
    I know a lot of people say you 'get used' to the start screen, but is it actually better? I can't understand how it could be better than the start menu
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  20. Post #20
    Dear leader of the DPRKFC
    Xieneus's Avatar
    December 2009
    14,643 Posts
    Most likely I will get Windows 8 but not for a long time.
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  21. Post #21
    McMissile's Avatar
    May 2007
    463 Posts
    That's cool and all, but what are the practical uses of this? I can't say I've ever needed to render hundreds of jpegs at once or generate blocks of text at unreadable speeds. I'm sure for the average person these differences would be negligible.
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  22. Post #22
    Guru mediation error
    Amiga OS's Avatar
    July 2012
    7,102 Posts
    When I was a kid, people were arrogant and condescending! Today's generation ain't nothin' like it was!

    Anyhow, Amiga OS, could you be a little more specific on what you like over Win7? I know very little about win8, and it sounds kinda cool.
    First of all, the boot times are incredible.
    The new window style is much nicer, square and flat, no silly gloss or gummyness.
    And I actually prefer the new start menu, the labeled categories you can create are great. Learn a few hotkeys for the charms and its a pleasure to use.
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  23. Post #23
    Conservative Cunt who fucking loves piss
    Elecbullet's Avatar
    November 2007
    11,802 Posts
    "Don't advance! I want things to stay the same forever because back in my day everything was great!"
    I sincerely doubt he is actually advocating 4-bit color over Windows 8's look.
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  24. Post #24
    Dennab
    August 2011
    3,194 Posts
    I sincerely doubt he is actually advocating 4-bit color over Windows 8's look.
    Hopefully
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  25. Post #25
    Conservative Cunt who fucking loves piss
    Elecbullet's Avatar
    November 2007
    11,802 Posts
    I know a lot of people say you 'get used' to the start screen, but is it actually better? I can't understand how it could be better than the start menu
    The Start Menu was developed in like 1995. I can see how it would be conceivable to Microsoft that there would be something better. Perhaps the new Start screen is a misstep in some ways but I don't hate them for trying.
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  26. Post #26
    Guru mediation error
    Amiga OS's Avatar
    July 2012
    7,102 Posts
    People these days.
    When I was a kid we sparingly used graphics. You had 24 bit color in renter windows but your UI was 4-bit color and we liked it, dammit.
    I really feel sorry for the people that had to put up with GEM on the Atari ST.
    What an eyesore.
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  27. Post #27
    TonyP's Avatar
    May 2012
    1,481 Posts
    Can someone post a screenshot of the windows 8 desktop/start menu?

    When I google it, all I get are pictures of the windows media center thing.
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  28. Post #28
    Gold Member
    GoDong-DK's Avatar
    November 2009
    14,886 Posts
    I know a lot of people say you 'get used' to the start screen, but is it actually better? I can't understand how it could be better than the start menu
    Whether it's better depends on what you use it for - for touch it's of course an immensely better experience, for a desktop it's about as functional as the old one, with a few perks here and there. Try it out, if you don't like it, just use a program to bring the old start menu back - overall it's a much better OS.

  29. Post #29
    Gold Member
    spekter's Avatar
    January 2006
    10,144 Posts
    Don't bluntly force Metro UI onto PC users and it'll pull in the crowd easy.
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  30. Post #30
    Conservative Cunt who fucking loves piss
    Elecbullet's Avatar
    November 2007
    11,802 Posts
    Can someone post a screenshot of the windows 8 desktop/start menu?

    When I google it, all I get are pictures of the windows media center thing.


    The desktop is only marginally different from 7. Mainly, a lack of a Start button.
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  31. Post #31
    I do it all
    fruxodaily's Avatar
    November 2010
    14,209 Posts
    Still loving Linux. Especially since Valve has shown their penguin love(and apparent Windows 8 hate, Gabe is jumping ship AFAIK).
    Yeah have fun with valve games and 3-5 indie games, you'll get bored rather quickly and don't think developers will "WANT" to go onto linux, most haven't bothered to port to Macintosh. Also, steam runs on windows 8 just like 7, Gabe probably doesn't like metro but remember the time when he hated the PS3 and then suddenly portal 2 on PS3 with steam?
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  32. Post #32
    Guru mediation error
    Amiga OS's Avatar
    July 2012
    7,102 Posts
    Can someone post a screenshot of the windows 8 desktop/start menu?

    When I google it, all I get are pictures of the windows media center thing.
    Heres mine :
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  33. Post #33
    I do it all
    fruxodaily's Avatar
    November 2010
    14,209 Posts
    -snip-
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  34. Post #34
    Gold Member
    SGTNAPALM's Avatar
    October 2007
    22,452 Posts
    I know a lot of people say you 'get used' to the start screen, but is it actually better? I can't understand how it could be better than the start menu
    Depends who you're asking. I personally love the new start menu, it's every bit as functional as it was before, but some people really don't like how it's full screen, and some people swear that it's impossible to use because they can't seem to find where anything is.

    If you haven't used it, I'm not gonna try to force my opinions on you. Just download the free consumer preview, install it on a separate partition or in a virtual machine, and try it out for yourself for a week. You'll get a much better idea of how good or bad it is if you use it yourself instead of listening to nerds like me on the internet praising it and/or bitching about it.

  35. Post #35
    Gold Member
    LoLWaT?'s Avatar
    August 2008
    6,329 Posts


    The desktop is only marginally different from 7. Mainly, a lack of a Start button.
    Oh my god it looks so cluttered.
    I'll stick with my Windows 7 for now thanks.

    I'll get the next version that comes out when Microsoft improves upon what's in Windows 8
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Due to some miscommunication, I thought that the entire desktop in Windows 8 had been taken out, leaving Metro as a sort of new desktop.
    I now know that's not the case, and since people are telling me we don't have to use Metro, I may consider getting Windows 8 now.

    You have to admit, this does look like it was made for a smart phone.
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  36. Post #36
    Tucan Sam's Avatar
    May 2007
    858 Posts
    I sure hope Vmware and citrix add some added support for this

  37. Post #37
    TheJoker's Avatar
    July 2008
    3,766 Posts
    Vmware already added support for 8 unless you're talking about the hardware acceleration.
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  38. Post #38
    Gold Member
    Electrocuter's Avatar
    December 2005
    6,178 Posts
    Heres mine :
    Is there anyway to resize the buttons or make them auto-adjust the size? There's a load of wasted space in them and it just looks bad how the icons and names aren't centered.

  39. Post #39
    skynrdfan3's Avatar
    June 2010
    3,931 Posts


    The desktop is only marginally different from 7. Mainly, a lack of a Start button.

    "marginally different?"



    what are you smoking
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  40. Post #40
    Gold Member
    Lazor's Avatar
    July 2007
    9,253 Posts
    "marginally different?"



    what are you smoking
    he didn't post a picture of the desktop you dumb prole
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