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What is considered a hardware accelerated device?

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--noob alert-- I'm confused about what it takes to figure out hardware capabilities through Direct3D. For example: IDirect3D9::CheckDeviceType says it "Verifies wether a hardware accelerated device can be used on this adapter." - so one would think the only logical value to pass in as a device type would be D3DDEVTYPE_HAL, right? What does hardware acceleration mean for a device if the requested device type is anything other than D3DDEVTYPE_HAL?

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I guess what I don't understand is - for the return value of CheckDeviceType -->

"D3DERR_NOTAVAILABLE is returned if the requested back buffer format is not supported, or if hardware acceleration is not available for the specified formats."

What is the meaning of "hardware acceleration" here? If I use the reference rasterizer as the device I still get back D3D_OK...(similar to the return remarks in EnumAdapterModes).

...and the equally confusing summary of CheckDeviceType:

"Verifies whether a hardware accelerated device type can be used on this adapter."

...and a successful result:

"If the device can be used on this adapter, D3D_OK is returned."

So...does CheckDeviceType simply test if the modes, device, and window settings will succeed if CreateDevice is called? ...or....what?

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I may not be entirely correct here but hardware accelerated means that the requested operation can be carried out by the GPU on the graphics card which leaves the CPU free for other tasks which obviously make's matters a great deal faster otherwise it will be "emulated" in software using only the CPU which will slow things down.

I may be a little off with my explanation so please correct any mistakes I may have made.

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Ok...try this on and see if it fits: (since for some reason it's IMPOSSIBLE to find out exactly what they mean).

CheckDeviceType ultimately tells you if the backbuffer/display/device/windowed combination can be successfully created by a call to CreateDevice. It fails if the backbuffer/display combo is not supported.

However, there is an additional requirement for the D3DDEVTYPE_HAL device that the adapter's hardware accelerated features be compatible with the surfaces as well.

So only for D3DDEVTYPE_HAL can CheckDeviceType fail due to no hardware acceleration support.

Same reasoning for return of D3DERR_NOTAVAILABLE by EnumAdapterModes?

Anway, right now that's the only thing that makes sense to me.

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