IslandGamers-Technology And Gaming Info

June 4, 2007

PC Games – User Stats, less than 2% DX10 Capable.

Filed under: PC, PC Games, Windows VISTA — Ramajay @ 7:54 am

I’ve taken an interest in the whole DirectX 10 phenomeneon which is supposed to usher in a new era of PC Gaming in the very near future. The games that we’ve seen previews of show graphical improvements over DirectX 9, but nothing thus far that is so incredible when put next to DX9 content as to make DX10 seem like a necessity. The differences between DX8 and DX9 were phenomenal, but DX9 and DX10’s differences seem to be incremental thus far at best. Additionally my understanding of early Windows Vista reviews suggested that the Unified Shader approach should allow for faster framerates as the GPUs will be used far more efficiently. Early benchmarks between DX9 and DX10 versions of demos on the market now have not shown this to be true. DX9 and DX10 framerates are comparable.

Valve has released their own recent statistics which show that actually just over 1% of gamers that play Steam titles  (about 325,386 gamers in all) are Direct X 10 compatible. In fact the majority of Steam gamers are running on Geforce 6600 and 7600 graphics cards, which represents the midrange to lowend of the graphics card market.

Among gamers only about 5% of Steam users have made the Vista upgrade. The fact that not only are there not many DX10 card owners, but not many people seem to own the OS that enables DX10 either raises a question mark as to how this technology is really going to revolutionise the PC Gaming sector as advertised.

Admittedly, it is still quite early in Vista’s lifecycle, and Nvidia’s DX10 capable cards have been on the market for just about 6 months so far. Valve’s statistics are interesting though, for developers who choose to release ‘Vista Only’ titles or who consider chopping the lowend to midrange from their playable specs in future titles.

Check the full Valve statistics here 


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