|ATI Radeon HD5770 Juniper GPU Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Bruce Normann|
|Tuesday, 13 October 2009|
Page 17 of 18
Radeon HD5770 Final Thoughts
The alternative title for this review could have been: "What Price DirectX 10?" or "Who Killed Crysis?". I know the big news is DirectX 11, and how it is a major advancement in both image quality and coding efficiency, but for the time being, we're stuck in a DirectX 10 world, for the most part. DX11 games won't be thick on the ground for at least a year, and some of us are going to continue playing our old favorites. So, with the switch to Windows 7, what's the impact on gaming performance? So far, it's a bit too random for my tastes.
We seem to be back to a situation where the software differences between games have a bigger influence on performance than hardware and raw pixel processing power. As the adoption rate for Windows 7 ramps up, more and more gamers are going to be wondering if DirectX 10 is a blessing or a curse. Crysis gets cut off at the knees, but Far Cry 2 gets a second wind with DX10. World In Conflict holds back its best game play for NVIDIA customers, but BattleForge swings the other way, with DX10 and DX11.
I have a feeling this is why gamers resolutely stuck with Windows XP, and never warmed up to Vista. It wasn't the operating system per se, as much as it was DirectX 10. And I want to clarify; there's probably nothing inherently wrong with DX10, it's just that so few games were designed to use it effectively. The other problem is that, unlike other image enhancing features, DirectX has no sliding scale. I can't select 2x or 4x or 8x, to optimize the experience, it's either all in, or all out.
The good news is that the adoption rate for Windows 7 will probably set records, if anyone is keeping score. Combine that with the real-world benefit to software coders that DirectX 11 brings, and there is a good probability that we won't be stuck in DX10 land for very long. New graphics hardware from both camps, a new operating system, a new graphics API, and maybe an economic recovery in the works? It's going to be an interesting holiday season, this year!