Microsoft says Windows 8 will bring improved 2D graphics acceleration, as part of an effort to improve the performance of Metro (which has already seemed blazing fast). Metro have divided consumers, with the desktop environment being preferable for a section of users.
Windows 8 will double the frame rate from previous version of Windows 8, as Microsoft aims to improve performance
For people who have used Windows 8 in the Consumer and/or Release Preview builds of the operating system, it’s probably clear Windows 8 is quite fast. So fast, in fact, that booting up the operating system doesn’t leave time for entering BIOS. Along with the improved boot times, Windows 8 also brings an improved graphics engine.
Microsoft said in its latest blog post the company is improving 2D graphic acceleration, as the company aims to improve the user experience across Metro (the colorful, tile-based, part of Windows 8 we’ve seen in Windows Phone notably).
Microsoft claimed Direct2D will double the frame rate, from 131% to 336% when rendering graphics from UI labels to headings. On higher-specification machines it shouldn’t be an issue, but for ARM-based devices – running Windows RT, and less powerful than their Windows 8 Pro counterparts – the enhancements should ensure a smooth experience.
GPUs supporting DirectX 11.1 support Target Independent Rasterisation; in other words, the technology will use few CPU cycles. Microsoft also said in the post that, on devices with lower specifications, image quality will be reduced but ensures better battery life. The CPU and GPU will also be balanced, ensuring consistent performance.
There are also improvements to rendering JPEG and PNG files, and Microsoft said – compared to Windows 7 – Windows 8 takes 40% less time to display 64 images.
Microsoft also added its monitoring the glitch count of the operating system – when the operating systems takes longer than 1/60 of a second, meaning the frame rate drops.
Most of this, apart from the sacrifice in image quality for some machines, will hopefully mean consistent performance across the operating system. If it means buying apps from the Windows Store in Windows 8 instantly boot, then it’s going to be an impressive debut for the sceptical Metro users. The operating system is, generally, better than Windows 7.
Windows 8 releases October 26.
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