Add DirectX 12 Ultimate to the listing of stickers and logos you’ll wish to search for whereas shopping for PC {hardware}.

In March, Microsoft introduced DirectX 12 Ultimate, which encapsulates lots of the next-gen PC {hardware} and Xbox Series X applied sciences that Microsoft is now explicitly encouraging shoppers to purchase: DirectX Raytracing (DXR) tier 1.1, Variable Rate Shading tier 2, mesh shaders, and extra. DirectX 12 Ultimate didn’t appear like a model, simply a assortment of applied sciences governing the options of graphics playing cards just like the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Founder’s Edition, in addition to AMD’s RX 6800 sequence, too. Apparently, Microsoft thinks otherwise.

As a part of a new Xbox Game Bar for PC replace launched Thursday, Microsoft consists of an specific examine to find out whether or not your gaming PC qualifies for DirectX 12 Ultimate. The firm is additionally encouraging avid gamers to search for the DirectX 12 Ultimate brand on the product web page or retail bins.

Mark Hachman / IDG

Microsoft’s new Xbox Game Bar, with each the brand new Resources widget and DirectX 12 Ultimate checker highlighted. 

It’s as much as you whether or not to make use of the Xbox Game Bar in your PC, which is triggered by hitting the Win+G keyboard shortcut. Over time, the Game Bar’s overlay has been used to regulate screenshots and livestreams, monitor associates and gaming Achievements, and most just lately as a supply of third-party widgets.

Microsoft’s Game Bar announcement is really tied to a new Resources widget, which lets you keep watch over what different apps are sucking up reminiscence and CPU energy. Even although PC gaming has advanced properly previous the times of configuring autoexec.bat and himem.sys, avid gamers know that efficiency is tied to minimizing the assets sucked up by different apps.

To be honest, the brand new Resources performance is discovered inside Windows’ personal Task Manager, although that interface doesn’t spotlight offending apps. (The expanded view proven in our screenshot above does away with the colour coding.) In different phrases, there’s no real want so as to add this specific widget, besides for many who wish to maintain a sharp eye on any runaway apps which may influence body charge. Like all the different Xbox widgets, they are often accessed from the bulleted widget menu icon simply to the suitable of the system clock.

DirectX 12 Ultimate or go house

The DirectX 12 Ultimate checker is the extra understated addition to Game Bar, but it’s essentially the most fascinating. The DirectX 12 Ultimate checker might be discovered inside Settings below Gaming Features.

It appears like an afterthought, but when your system doesn’t qualify for DirectX 12 Ultimate (as my Surface Laptop doesn’t), a hyperlink connects you to Microsoft’s weblog put up on the topic, the place its targets develop into clear.

gamebar directX 12 Microsoft

Here, plainly Microsoft has bigger aspirations for the DirectX 12 Ultimate customary as a model: “DirectX 12 Ultimate is the new gold standard for gaming graphics on both PC and the next generation of Xbox consoles,” Jianye Lu, a program supervisor on the graphics group, writes. Lu lays out a guidelines of software program, {hardware}, Game Bar, and recreation assist for enabling DirectX 12 Ultimate, together with Far Cry 6, World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, Godfall, Dirt 5, and The Riftbreaker.

“If you are upgrading your gaming PC or buying a new one, look no further than ‘DirectX 12 Ultimate’ on the product page or retail boxes!” Lu proclaims.

With laptops already sporting stickers and logos from CPU and GPU makers, in addition to audio enhancement applied sciences, it’s maybe not shocking that Microsoft feels compelled to affix the branding social gathering. Apparently this era of PCs, GPUs and consoles is the DirectX 12 Ultimate era in any case.

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