Hi everyone

I've got a question that is partly conceptual and partly practical oriented. I didn't find a good web resource to clarify the relation between Shader Model and DirectX library version, as they are shipped together by Microsoft - but seem possible to be used apart from each other.

For example, when I compile my shaders against Shader Model 4 or 5 (vs/ps_4_0 or 5_0) I can easily use them in my directX 9 game. This makes the compilation faster and lets me use new intrinsic functions like ddx_coarse/fine.

But: Does this bring any benefits in terms of graphical features, quality, or hardware support? Or is a newer Shader Model alone purely extending the syntactical/functional power of the HLSL language, without giving access to any DX10/11 features in a DX9 game?

Thanks in advance for helping me with that.