DirectX 12 Ultimate logo (source: Microsoft)

Microsoft DirectX 12 Ultimate is coming for PC and Xbox Series X

DirectX 12 Ultimate is coming later this year with new features for the next generation of games, and here's all you need to know.

Microsoft is announcing a new version of DirectX 12 (DX12) known as DirectX 12 Ultimate, which is expected to bridge the gap between the features and capabilities of gaming on Windows and Xbox.

If you’re not familiar, DirectX 12 is the technology standard for creating and managing gaming, images, and multimedia (such as visual effects and audio effects) that run on Windows-based devices.

The Ultimate version isn’t a significant upgrade from the original DirectX 12, but it brings some new changes. For example, with the new version, you’ll have access to Ray Tracing 1.1, which won’t require the GPU overload the main processor making games for Xbox Series X, Nvidia, and AMD graphics cards easier to optimize.

When getting a new graphics card or an Xbox Series X console, you’ll now see a new DX12 Ultimate logo letting you know that the hardware is ready for the next generation of graphics features. These features include DirectX Raytracing, Variable Rate Shading, Mesh Shaders, and Sampler Feedback.

Although with the Ultimate version of DirectX 12, you may not see noticeable changes, it’ll allow developers to start building new and better experiences for the next generation of games.

Microsoft didn’t reveal the DirectX 12 Ultimate release date, but it’s likely to launch sometime during the 2020 holiday season after the Xbox Series X becomes available.

You can learn more about the changes and benefits of DirectX 12 Ultimate in this Microsoft website, this Nvidia post, and this AMD article.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 15 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 21 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].