Arc GPU: Intel turns to emulation for DirectX 9 video games
Intel he decided to remove native support for DirectX 9 (D3D9) APIs on architecture-based integrated GPUs Car (within 12th Generation Core CPUs) and on dedicated video cards Arc Alchemist. The US company has opted for resort to emulation via DirectX 12.
“DirectX 9-based applications and games can still work through the Microsoft D3D9On12 interface“, one reads note published by Intel itself. “The integrated GPU on Intel 11th Generation and earlier processors supports DirectX 9 natively, but can be paired with Arc graphics cards. If so, the rendering is likely to be handled by the card and not the iGPU (unless the card is not disabled). Therefore, the system will use DX9On12 instead of DX9 “.
As mentioned in the note, the emulation works thanks to an open source conversion layer called “D3D9On12”, which maps the graphics commands from D3D9 to D3D12 instead of sending them to the D3D9 graphics driver. Once the D3D9On12 layer receives the commands, it converts all calls to the D3D12 API. The passage of emulation is never at no cost but according to Microsoft, D3D9On12 “has grown in functionality to the point where it is a complete and relatively high-performance implementation of a D3D9 driver.”
Intel’s choice to switch to emulation is the result of the need for concentrate available resources in optimizing drivers for the latest APIs, especially DirectX 11. We have seen satisfactory results from the Arc GPUs with the DirectX 12 and Vulkan libraries, while the operation with DirectX 11 appeared deficient and, by Intel’s own admission, requires an important refinement work.
Where AMD and NVIDIA have been in the gaming industry for several decades, Intel’s approach should be seen as a fully-fledged start. It is true that the company has been in the graphics industry with integrated GPUs for an equally long time, but the effort and optimization needs are vastly different.
The choice to adopt the emulation for an outdated API to focus on the more modern ones and continue the optimization work for DX11 must therefore be seen as the lesser evil in a run-up to the competition in which it is necessary to make choices, sometimes even difficult.