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Windows 8 and Radeon 

Starting with the AMD Radeon™ HD 7000 Series, AMD Radeon™ graphics hardware is built to support two key technologies: the DirectX® 11.1 API and a new way of designing GPU drivers called “Windows Display Driver Model 1.2” (WDDM 1.2).1 Together, these technologies enable a range of new features for Windows® 8 and supporting software.

Other products from AMD, including all Accelerated Processing Units (APUs), the AMD Radeon™ HD 6000 Series, and HD 5000 Series are also certified for the features provided by WDDM 1.2.

The Six Key Features of DirectX 11.1 and WDDM 1.2

1.

Target-Independent Rasterization (DirectX 11.1 required)

TIR is a new rendering path that enables superior anti-aliasing performance in Direct2d-driven applications. These include the Windows® 8 UI, as well as the market’s variety of graphics-accelerated browsers: Google Chrome, Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. DirectX 11.1 enables this by allowing the GPU to stand in for the processor during the anti-aliasing stage, and the result is a sharper and clearer dynamic interface that better retains ideal performance.

2.

Native Stereoscopic 3D (DirectX 11.1 required)

Native Stereoscopic 3D

Now with more than 600 supported titles, AMD HD3D technologyhas provided gamers with an immersive gaming experience through stereoscopic 3D depth.2 Starting with Windows 8, stereoscopic 3D support will be implemented directly in the operating system with a standardized path for support in future games.

Provided a user has a fully 3D-enabled display chain (GPU, driver and display), users will see evidence of this native functionality in the control panel settings. Such a hardware combination might include an AMD Radeon™ HD 7000 GPU, the AMD Catalyst™ 12.8 driver (or later), and a Samsung SA950 (or other compatible display).

3.

D3D11 Video Playback Improvements

D3D11 Video Playback Improvements

Today, a game’s video content and its interactive content operate on different DirectX levels. Whereas gameplay might be rendered via DirectX 10 or DirectX 11, videos are frequently rendered with DirectX 9. This mixture of API levels makes it difficult for game developers to efficiently implement both types of content, an issue that will be streamlined by the API unification that DirectX 11.1 provides.

This unification also provides hardware-accelerated video that’s on par with DirectX Video Acceleration (DXVA), the software library that AMD’s App Acceleration technology already uses to deliver the world’s best video playback quality to AMD Radeon™ customers.3,5

One practical implication of these improvements could be the inclusion of more and higher quality video cutscenes in tomorrow’s games. Another implication might be improved video transcode performance, which AMD also offers across its full line of available Radeon™ Graphics products.

"We are excited about the immense potential for outstanding experiences that will be enabled by Windows 8 running on AMD-based PCs and tablets. From enabling the latest 3D graphics for games to HD video creation and playback, AMD is accelerating the performance of applications by making it easier for developers to harness the full compute capabilities of a range of devices."

Mike Angiulo
Microsoft CVP of Windows Planning, Hardware and PC  Ecosystem

 

4.

Screen Rotation

Tablet users are no stranger to rotating their devices between portrait and landscape mode. Compatible AMD Radeon™ graphics solutions and the AMD Catalyst™ graphics driver will utilize WDDM 1.2 to ensure that behaviors like rotating tablets are delivered with optimal consistency.

5.

Flicker-Free Display Handoff

During the course of operating a GPU, users may have noticed their screen flickering when performing such tasks as: installing a new GPU driver, switching from integrated to discrete graphics, or exiting sleep/hibernate to resume the desktop experience.

Thanks to WDDM 1.2, the AMD Catalyst™ graphics driver may now be smoothly transitioned from one component of the OS to another, which will reduce or eliminate monitor blanking in these scenarios.

6.

Optimized Power Consumption

A new mechanism called “DirectFlip” is designed to optimize power consumption for video playback and other full-screen scenarios. It accomplishes this by guaranteeing that alt+tab actions, or overlaid notifications, do not force the computer to perform an inefficient change of rendering modes.

Furthermore, DirectFlip provides optimized memory bandwidth requirements; intelligent management of idle and active power; and smooth transitions from full-screen applications to the desktop.

Support for this feature has been enabled in AMD Catalyst™, and will be available on AMD Radeon™ graphics products that support WDDM 1.2.

Next-Generation x86 Platforms

Next-Generation x86 Platforms

Today, consumers can purchase Windows 7-based PCs powered by AMD VISION technology. These systems offer multi-core processing for amazing multi-tasking, high-performance graphics for brilliant gaming and video, and AMD AllDay™ Power for entertainment on the go.

These products also ship with the AMD VISION Engine Software, which harnesses the capabilities of an APU’s built-in Radeon™ graphics to improve the quality of your video or eliminate camera shake with AMD Steady Video.4

As the industry’s only supplier of Accelerated Processing Units (APUs), processors, graphics cards and memory, AMD is uniquely positioned to extend these benefits to Windows 8 and the full dimension of compatible systems: tablets, desktops, laptops, workstations and servers.

 

AMD Catalyst™ and Windows 8

AMD Catalyst™ and Windows 8

A major component of the graphics experience in an AMD GPU or APU is a display driver compatible with all of the new and exciting features offered by Windows 8.

Users can now download a Microsoft-certified AMD Catalyst™ driver that enables full support for the DirectX 11.1 API on compatible hardware, such as the AMD Radeon™ HD 7000 Series.1 It also extends to Windows 8 the existing support AMD offers for our spectacular DirectX 11 products, such as the AMD Radeon™ HD 6000 Series or the AMD A, C and E-Series Accelerated Processing Units (APUs).

At this time, please note that AMD supports the following features with its certified driver:

DirectX 11.1 AMD Eyefinity technology AMD Dual Graphics
OpenGL AMD CrossFire™ technology AMD Unified Video Decoder (UVD)
OpenCL™ Blu-ray™ 3D (via DirectX) AMD Catalyst™ Control Center
AMD OverDrive™ Stereoscopic 3D (via DirectX) AMD Vision™ Engine Control Center

 

  1. The GCN Architecture and its associated features (PCI Express® 3.0, AMD ZeroCore Power technology, DDM Audio, and 28nm production) are exclusive to the AMD Radeon™ HD 7900, HD 7800 and HD 7700 Series.
  2. AMD HD3D is a technology designed to enable stereoscopic 3D support in games, movies and/or photos. Requires 3D stereo drivers, glasses, and display. Not all features may be supported on all components or systems – check with your component or system manufacturer for specific model capabilities and supported technologies. A list of supported stereoscopic 3D hardware is available at http://www.amd.com/uk/products/technologies/amd-hd3d/Pages/hd3d.aspx.
  3. AMD App Acceleration is a set of technologies designed to improve video quality and enhance application performance. Full enablement of some features requires support for OpenCL™, DirectCompute or DirectX® Video Acceleration (DXVA). Not all products have all features and full enablement of some capabilities and may require complementary products.
  4. AMD Steady Video is a technology designed to eliminate shakes and jitters during the playback of home video. Users may turn on this technology via the AMD Catalyst Control Center™ or the VISION Engine Control Center application. AMD Steady Video will work with content that can run on Adobe® Flash® Player 10.2 (and later versions) or on any player which has been programed to use AMD’s decode acceleration (DXVA) engine. AMD Steady Video is not designed to (a) isolate overlays, logos or captions, or (b) improve the playback of letter boxed, premium/commercial, or interlaced content. AMD Steady Video is only recommended for use with videos that contain unwanted shakes and jitters
  5. In tests conducted by AMD as of 20 July, 2012, the AMD Radeon™ HD 7000 Series obtained the highest HQV 2.0 score of any tested system: AMD Radeon™ HD 7970 (200/210), GeForce GTX 680 (192/210), GeForce GTX 580 Series (182/210), Intel Core i7-3770k (197/210) and Intel Core i7-2600k (182/210). HQV 2.0 is an industry benchmark used to evaluate video playback quality. HQV 2.0 provides visual feedback for scoring by the reviewer.  Scores may vary based on the skill and opinion of the reviewer.  All machines were tested using a 40" Sony Bravia HDTV connected via HDMI, at 1920x1080p resolution via Cyberlink PowerDVD 10. System configuration: AMD AthlonTM II X2 260u (1.8GHz) and AMD 890G for NVIDIA and AMD Radeon™-based system(s). Intel z68 chipset utilized for Intel systems. Drivers: 8.981.2 (AMD), 15.22.2.64.2372 (i7-2600k), 8.15.10.2696 (i7-3770k) and 304.42 (NVIDIA). GRDT-22