DirectX is a set of free APIs in Windows that manages graphical elements in games: to provide hardware acceleration for heavy multimedia applications such as 3D games and HD video. Because no two game PCs have exactly the same set of components, game developers use DirectX libraries to write games that work on computers of all kinds.
In the old days, DirectX was its own separate download. He was often asked to check for the latest DirectX updates when installing a game. Since Windows 8, Microsoft has included DirectX as part of Windows. So you can update it directly from Windows Update.
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How you download the latest version of DirectX depends on which version of Windows you are using.
- WINDOWS 10: You cannot download any independent DirectX package. Microsoft provides updates for DirectX through Windows Update. So you won’t even have to update DirectX when you install a new game. Go to Settings > Update and Security > Windows Update and click Check for Updates to see if you can update DirectX.
- WINDOWS 8: As with Windows 10, there is no manual update link for DirectX. Windows 8.1 includes DirectX 11.2, which is the latest version compatible with Windows 8. Check Windows Update at Settings > Update and Recovery > Windows Update for DirectX updates.
- WINDOWS 7: The latest version of DirectX for Windows 7 is 11.1. This is available with Windows 7 Service Pack 1. To obtain this, you will need to install Windows Update KB2670838, either manually or through Windows Update.
All versions of Windows are not compatible with all versions of DirectX. Take special note of the differences between Windows 10 and Windows 8 and earlier versions of Windows. To confirm and check what version of DirectX you have installed on your PC, here’s what you’ll need to do:
- Go to the Home screen, type dxdiag and press Enter.
- Under the System tab, you will see the version of DirectX installed on your PC.
DirectX 12 is included with Windows 10 and is only compatible with that version of Windows. DirectX 12-related file updates are only available through Windows Update. No independent version of DirectX 12 is available.
The main feature of DirectX 12, the low-level abstraction to get closer to the metal access of the GPU hardware, is available for almost all graphics cards of the current generation. You don’t have to upgrade yet to enjoy that particular DirectX 12 advantage.
These are the main novelties it has:
- CPU and GPU division of labor for independent and dedicated processing with performance gains.
- Fixed bugs that prevented you from knowing when the GPU failed when interpreting instructions and what caused those bugs.
- Debugging has been improved in both information and commands. That is to say, it is easier to identify an error and for the gamer, it is easier to notify it and try to solve it.
- 4K resolution support.
- Improvements oriented to laptops.
However, this performance improvement is not reflected in some benchmarksÂ¸Â because, depending on the graphics card installed on the PC, DirectX 11 performs better than the most recent version.
All modern Windows operating systems include DirectX by default, so you’ll probably never have to install DirectX manually.
However, it is known that Microsoft has released updated versions of DirectX, and installing the latest updates may be the solution to a DirectX problem you have, such as dsetup.dll errors, or it may increase the performance of your games and graphics programs.
HOW TO INSTALL DIRECTX
Follow these simple steps below to upgrade DirectX to any version of Windows. DirectX installation will take less than 15 minutes!
- Visit the DirectX download page on the Microsoft site.
- Click the red Download button and then the blue Next button to save the installation file to your computer. Microsoft will recommend a couple of its other products after clicking on the download link, but you can uncheck those boxes if you prefer not to download them. If you skip the download, the Next button will be renamed to No thanks and will continue with the DirectX end-user runtime Web Installer.
- Open the dxwebsetup.exe file and complete the DirectX installation by following the instructions on the Microsoft website or the DirectX installation program. This DirectX download will be installed on Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista or Windows XP. Don’t worry if it says it’s only compatible with a different version of Windows. Any missing DirectX files will be replaced as necessary.
- Restart the computer, even if you are not asked to do so.
- After you restart your computer, check if the update to the latest version of DirectX fixed the problem you had.
DIRECTX WINDOWS XP
Windows XP and Vista are no longer compatible with Microsoft. Since they’re so old, you’re probably not playing any modern games with them. However, to complete it, we will note that the latest version of DirectX for Vista is 11.0 with Service Pack 2. On Windows XP, you are stuck with DirectX 9.0c that you can update with the Microsoft web installer.
Since the latest versions of DirectX are exclusively compatible with operating systems superior to Windows XP, fans of this operating system face multiple limitations when launching applications that only work with the latest versions of Microsoft’s runtime.
Although the title of the software may trick you into thinking that this package was created exclusively for Windows XP, it will also work on Windows 2000 and 2003 if you prefer to implement it on those operating systems. The installation process shouldn’t take long, but that depends on the computer you are trying to implement on. After implementation, a window will ask you to open the DirectX Diag to check that the package has been installed correctly on your PC.
DirectX 11 incorporates important new features in terms of graphics and sound quality, resulting in more realistic multimedia content.
- DIRECTX 11.4 and 11.3: Only compatible with Windows 10. As with DirectX 12.0, updates are only provided through Windows Update.
- DiIRECTX 11.2: Only compatible with Windows 10 and Windows 8 (8.1+). All file updates related to DirectX 11.2 are available in Windows Update in those versions of Windows. There is no separate download available for DirectX 11.2.
- DIRECTX 11.1: Supports Windows 10 and Windows 8. Windows 7 (SP1) is also supported, but only after installing Platform Update for Windows 7.
- DIRECTX 11.0: Compatible with Windows 10, Windows 8 and Windows 7. Support for Windows Vista is available, but only after a platform upgrade.
DirectX has evolved since then and its eleventh version, DirectX 11, which was released in October 2009, has served Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and 8.1, and Windows 10.
It has provided the graphics and sound technology of many of the most spectacular PC games we have been able to enjoy in recent years. Compared to previous versions such as DirectX 9 and DirectX 10, it has included greater operability taking advantage of the capacity of the processors and more detail in textures and shading. The result has been much more vivid and realistic graphics.
DirectX 9 is compatible with Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP. If you have a program that requires a DirectX 9 file on Windows 10 or Windows 8, installing the downloadable version (the above process) is the way to solve that problem – it will not “degrade” your DirectX 10/11/12 installation! This is also the latest version of DirectX that is compatible with Windows XP.
- DIRECT SETUP: installs DirectX components.
- DIRECT SHOW: allows audio and video playback with network transparency.
- DIRECT INPUT: is the utility in charge of processing data from the keyboard, mouse, gamepads and all kinds of controllers.
- DIRECT 3D: Dedicate yourself to the programming of three-dimensional graphics.
- DIRECT GRAPHICS: 2D image drawing tool also capable of representing 3D images.
- DIRECT PLAY: make your network communications much easier.
- DIRECT SOUND: reproduces and records wave sounds.
- DIRECT MUSIC: plays audio tracks created with DirectMusic Producer.
Avoid problems and failures in your PC when you want to play. Start downloading DirectX 9 for Windows XP for free or for any other compatible Windows operating system and you’ll have the libraries you need to run video games on your Windows operating system.
DirectX 10 is the version of Microsoft’s APIs library especially oriented to videogame development that was released for Windows Vista in 2006. It is compatible with Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7 and Windows Vista.
Windows 95 was the paradigm shift in many things for Microsoft operating systems, starting by replacing the traditional MS-DOS command console (although it had access to it) by a graphical interface that brought the people closer to computers (interface that already had OS / 2 or Mac). One of these changes affected the way of understanding the multimedia environment on the PC, which became richer in all its aspects.
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