If you hesitate between DirectX 11 and DirectX 12, check the difference between them by reading this post and then make a choice. Here, MiniTool Partition Wizard discusses DirectX 11 vs 12 and offers you some advice when making the decision.

About DirectX 11 and DirectX 12

DirectX 11 and DirectX 12 are two versions of Microsoft’s graphics API. They offer the same functionality and they can be used in parallel on the same system. Nevertheless, they have different capabilities and performance characteristics.

Compared with DirectX 11, DirectX 12 is newer and includes some improvements. Released alongside Windows 10 in 2015, DirectX 12 ushered in a new era for gamers and game developers.

What’s the difference between Direct 12 vs Direct 11? The section below will illustrate that for you.

DirectX 11 vs 12: What’s the Difference

DirectX 11 is a high-level API, while DirectX 12 is a low-level API. There are various layers between your game and your hardware. Low-level APIs are closer to the hardware, while high-level APIs are further away and more generalized.

It means that DirectX 12 has more direct control over the GPU and can work more efficiently. DirectX 11 still has access to the GPU and other hardware, but it is more removed and only has more generalized control over optimizations.

DirectX 11 is designed for use on systems with single GPU configurations, while DirectX 12 is built for systems with multiple GPUs. With DirectX 12, you can use 6 or even more cores if your CPU supports Hyper-threading.

As DirectX 12 can let multiple CPU cores simultaneously work on different system tasks, it uses less CPU time than previous versions of DirectX, allowing your computer to run games more smoothly.

With DirectX 12, you don’t have to process every frame on the computer’s graphics card. Instead, you just need to do it once and then sent it to the GPU for processing. It means that upgrading the graphics card is not enough if your PC is struggling to keep up with modern games’ demands for visual fidelity. You might be required to upgrade your CPU too.

Differently, operations are performed in a linear queue in DirectX 11, with functions like texture compression, physical simulation, shadow generation, and CPU data uploads. When you use DirectX 11, your GPU can only perform tasks one by one and in a certain order.

To use DirectX 12, you need a PC that runs Windows 10 or 11. As for DirectX 11, you can still use it on Windows 7 and 8, but you will get better PC performance if you upgrade to Windows 11. DirectX 12 is not compatible with all games yet. Fortunately, more titles are being added all the time.

DirectX 12 vs 11: what’s the difference? You may have found the answer in the content above.

DirectX 11 vs 12: Which to Choose

As a newer version of DirectX, DirectX 12 will grant you a better gaming experience. To be specific, it includes better frame rates and advanced visual effects. Besides, it makes other graphics software faster and more efficient. However, it requires hardware that supports it.

If you don’t have the right hardware, it’s likely that you won’t see any performance improvement. Besides, you may find that FPS drops and stutters after you switch to DirectX 12.

Some graphics cards don’t support DirectX 12 or they have limited support for it.

If you play games on older hardware, you might find that DirectX 11 boasts game stability. DirectX 11 is recommended for low-end computers. DirectX 11 vs DirectX 12: which is better? There’s no fixed answer. Instead, it depends on your computer configurations.

Further reading:

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