Windows 95 didn’t have a direct line of communication to video hardware – until Microsoft developed its DirectX suite of APIs.
At first, DirectX didn’t take off, as developers mostly relied on OpenGL at the time and programmed efficiently in the DOS environment. Microsoft’s graphics API suite gained momentum over time once developers figured out it wouldn’t ever go away.
DirectX seemingly pushed OpenGL out of the way by the time DirectX 9 hit the PC gaming scene in 2002. Windows XP likely accelerated DirectX’s growth, as that particular platform was highly stable and is still in use across the globe. Windows 10 is very popular, and with the latest in the DirectX series, DirectX 12.
With DirectX 12, games will likely see better performance since the load is shared between the multiple cores simultaneously instead of dumping loads onto one core at a time.
This is a big deal, as DirectX 11 doesn’t take advantage of multiple cores in this fashion, thus a single core is doing all the work while the others remain idle.
Look at it this way: computers have moved from a single-lane to an eight-lane superhighway, allowing the CPU to throw rendering and compute commands to the GPU faster than ever before. For the gamer, that means better frame rates and a better image quality.
DirectX 12: Things You NEED TO KNOW
Microsoft® DirectX® 12: Ushering in the New Era of PC Gaming
Nvidia: Stop being a DICK
DirectX 12 Analysis & Benchmarks: AMD Knocks Nvidia Out In The First Round