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Knickerbocker

Percent of computers that have DX9 or better hardware?

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I was considering using XNA for my current project, but I backed off when I saw that a DX9 card is required. I've searched around for statistics on computers with such hardware, but I can't find any. Has anyone come across any numbers? It would be great if the majority had modern hardware like that, but I have a feeling that much of the market (casuals) are still using older hardware that won't work with XNA.

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That's good data, but, unfortunately, it's from the more hardcore gamers. I'm really looking for something more general that will capture statistics on casual types.

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You could always abstract the renderer and provide Legacy DirectX through MDX or, if your game is suited for it, even something like GDI plus.

That said, if you're only targetting the PC, and not the 360, you could just shoot for MDX support. XNA requires its own run-time on top of the CLR, the MDX runtime has come with DX9 for some time now. One further, Casual games often target those who aren't always likely to keep their computer up to date and are reluctant to install mysterious new things. Perhaps C++ should be considered, as its potentially fewer downloads and less scary for those individuals.

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I imagine that it'd be less than 20%. Perhaps even less than 10%. Intel's integrated graphics chips own, what, 40-50% of the market?

If you don't include computers not used for games, then I'd imagine that the ratio would be significantly higher.

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My Opinion is that is the user does not have a DirectX card, they are really no going to be playing any games.

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Quote:
Original post by RyanZec
My Opinion is that is the user does not have a DirectX card, they are really no going to be playing any games.


Wrong. Games like Dinner Dash, Bejeweled and Solitaire are played by many people who don't even know what a video card is.

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In my mind you are putting WAYYY to much thought into this. You should always be using the least common denomonator within reason for what you are trying to do! Whats the point of using DirectX 9 if you dont need DirectX 9... none. If you dont need or want the features of DirectX support, then no reason to support it. The people that have DirectX9+ cards are usualy the same people that play shelf-games and they want that wicked video card because to them these kinds of graphics are important. If they arnt going to get that out of your game, its stupid making that a requirement.

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I think you're confusing a "DirectX 9 Graphics Card" and "has DirectX 9.0c".

To run DirectX 9.0c you do not need a DirectX 9 graphics card. Certainly if you used DirectX 9 graphics commands they would either perform very slowly or not at all, but to make a game look good now days is more about shader programming. So you should be more interested in what shader models are supported and use Shaders rather than DirectX 9 in built commands.

Quote:

Originally posted by Microsoft
To run XNA Framework games on Windows, you will need a graphics card that supports Shader Model 1.1 or greater and DirectX 9.0c. We recommend that you use a graphics card that supports Shader Model 2.0 because some samples and starter kits may require it.


I think that just about every graphics card has support for shader model 1.1 and to implement games such as Bejewelled/Tetris/Mario etc. you aren't going to need DirectX 9.

Otherwise no one would be able to run Vista except 8800 owners :P (DirectX 10)

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Quote:
Original post by Ehrys
I think that just about every graphics card has support for shader model 1.1...

Discrete graphics cards, yes, but definitely not integrated graphics processors. Most notably laptops still have an IGP without shader support (like mine), and you can't upgrade them.
Quote:
Otherwise no one would be able to run Vista except 8800 owners :P (DirectX 10)

Vista only requires DirectX 9L.

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ati radeon xpress 200 is a common integrated chip which supports shader model 2.
There is also the Integrated GeForce® 6150. Some of the cheapest desktops come with these.

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relatively decent integrated ships do exist frm ATI and nVidia, however they have almost no market share. Intel's integrated GPUs make up roughly 50% (or more) of the overall graphics market; If you limit the discussion to only integrated GPUs, that number probably approaches 80-90 percent, with the remainder going to ATI, nVidia, or even smaller fish like SIS.

Intel's newer GPUs have been marketted as DX9, but they get by on the bare-minimum definition, and rely alot on software in the drivers to impliment the more expensive features. For example, the GMA9x0 have a pair of (slow) pixel shader pipelines, but the vertex shaders happen on the CPU. I think the latest GMA3000 finally implimented a pair of Vertex shaders in hardware. Basically, a lot of games don't work well with these intel chips because they are known to be so slow that most AAA game makers don't even bother to check if their game is compatible, let alone optimized for these chips.

They're certaily more than enough for casual games, and much of the casual game market will be running an integrated intel GPU (Most laptops and most low-to-midrange desktops from the major manufacturers run them.) So you should really try to support them.

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