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Image Quality: DirectX 9 Versus DirectX 10

Resident Evil 5: Demo Performance Analyzed
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Let's have a closer look at performance differences between the DirectX 9 and DirectX 10 render paths using a GeForce GTX 260 and a Radeon HD 4870:

The Radeon HD 4870 is able to match the GeForce GTX 260's performance using the DirectX 9 render path, but when the DirectX 10 render path is used, the Radeon is crippled and the GeForce keeps on truckin'.

What exactly is DirectX 10 doing that is eating up all of those processing resources on the Radeons and not on the GeForce cards? Let's look at some image comparisons to see what's going on:

As far as we can tell, not a heck of a lot. This is unexpected because of the substantial performance hit that the DirectX 10 render path imposes on Radeon cards, which is very strange and puzzling.

Intrigued by these results, we asked a Capcom representative to connect us with the game's programmers to find out exactly what kind of extra processing was going on under DirectX 10, and what we should look for in order to qualify it. It took the firm a little while to get an answer for us due to some translation issues, but it responded with the following note:

"Sorry, but the response from the team is not very exciting: simple answer for both, [no] new content, or shaders, [or] effects added to Direct[X] 10.

Benefits for the DirectX 10 users: nothing special, no enhancement.

I can tell you that Nvidia's GeForce 3D Vision LCD glasses require DX10, so there's a definite need to be on Vista in order to see the incredible 3D effects in action."

This explains a lot, actually: we're not seeing any difference between the DirectX 9 and 10 screenshots because there's no difference to see.

With this in mind, there's certainly no reason for anyone to play this game in DirectX 10 mode, except for GeForce owners who are using Nvidia's GeForce 3D Vision LCD glasses.

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