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Intel prepares for marketing U-turn on DirectX 11

By its very nature, Intel's tick-tock strategy means that important architectural changes are only introduced once the production process is operating near 100% efficiency, so what's going on with Ivy Bridge?

KitGuru prepares to get well and truly pixelated.


From what we have heard, every sales meeting that Intel has taken since the end of 2009 has included common themes:-

  • DX11 is not that important
  • DX11 is having little impact in the mass market
  • There are hardly any games that use DX11

Against that argument, nVidia and AMD have been engaged in a battle-royal [With cheese? – Ed] to include ever more DirectX 11 features – especially the advanced stuff like Tessellation.

Sources close to Intel have told KitGuru that the company is sick and tired of hearing AMD and nVidia banging on about DirectX 11. On a global level, Intel seems to have changed its mind – and decided that DX11 is important and has got a roll to play.

So can enough features be enabled within Ivy Bridge to allow Intel to tick the DX11 box in time for Microsoft's launch of DX11.1 with Windows 8 in 1012? Also, more importantly, will it be worth while?

How much effort you put into something, is largely based on the commercials. How big an audience is interested in spending money on the product you're creating?  Intel's Philip Taylor has been looking at the size of the market and has confidently predicted that of the 400 million computers that will be sold in 2014, 300 million will ship with integrated graphics.

He's also saying that once Ivy Bridge hits, only serious enthusiasts will need to think about graphic cards – everyone else will be happy with the GPU capabilities integrated inside the CPU. Interesting view point. KitGuru wonders if Phil's right?    What would it mean if 70% of the world's machines shipped with DirectX 11 or better onboard?

That brings us back to Intel's sales approach. Let's see if we can guess how the previous messaging will need to be updated, shall we ?

  • DX11 is not that important?  Might be to the +250m users that Intel is predicting will buy a new DX11 PC in future years
  • DX11 is having little impact in the mass market?  Those same users might disagree
  • There are hardly any games that use DX11  Looking at the launches, DX11 was taken up faster than any previous version

Right now, in air-conditioned luxury somewhere, Intel has a team of marketing folks working hard on telling the world just how amazing DirectX 11 is. While they are at it, there will also be messaging about how important it is and, we'd guess, how amazing Intel's implementation will be.

KitGuru says: We love the smell of burning tyres in the morning

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