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Microsoft's DirectX 12 Ultimate program guarantees PC-Xbox Series X parity with VRS, mesh shaders, DXR, and more

DirectX 12 Ultimate certification guarantees compatibility with the latest DX12 featureset (Image source: Microsoft)
DirectX 12 Ultimate certification guarantees compatibility with the latest DX12 featureset (Image source: Microsoft)
Microsoft recently unveiled DirectX 12 Ultimate, a rebrand for the DirectX 12_2 featureset. Graphics cards that are DirectX 12 Ultimate Compatible will have feature parity with the next-gen Xbox Series X.
Arjun Krishna Lal,

Shortly after announcing detailed specifications for the Xbox Series X, Microsoft announced the DirectX 12 Ultimate program. DirectX 12 Ultimate is essentially a certification that will appear on graphics cards, confirming that they're compatible with a range of next-gen technology features deployed on the Xbox Series X, including variable rate shading, mesh shaders, sampler feedback, and DirectX raytracing. 

DirectX 12 Ultimate is essentially the marketing name for the DirectX 12_2 featureset. It doesn't actually change things radically from the perspective of the end user. What it does, however, is guarantee that products meeting the Ultimate spec will have feature parity with the Xbox Series X's GPU, meaning that they'll stay relevant for at least a couple  years to come. 

As of now, DirectX 12 Ultimate certification extends to RTX Turing cards, though we expect AMD's upcoming RDNA2 cards to support it as well. While some of the features, like DirectX ray tracing and mesh shaders have a tangible impact on the onscreen image, other features like variable rate shading enable higher performance levels. We expect the Xbox Series X to fully utilize these performance optimizations to eke out the best possible performance at 4K. 

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 03 > Microsoft's DirectX 12 Ultimate program guarantees PC-Xbox Series X parity with VRS, mesh shaders, DXR, and more
Arjun Krishna Lal, 2020-03-20 (Update: 2020-03-20)
Arjun Krishna Lal
Arjun Krishna Lal - News Editor
I've had a passion for PC gaming since 1996, when I watched my dad score frags in Quake as a 1 year-old. I've gone on to become a Penguin-published author and tech journalist. When I'm not traveling the world, gathering stories for my next book, you can find me tinkering with my PC.