NVIDIA has released a new driver update that adds support for Microsoft's DirectX 12 Ultimate framework. Announced earlier this year, the collection of developer APIs unifies support for several next-generation rendering techniques, including ray tracing, variable-rate shading (VRS), mesh shaders and sampler feedback.
A lot of DirectX 12's marquee features were already available on RTX GPUs either through existing DirectX 12 APIs or custom frameworks created by NVIDIA. In Wolfenstein: Youngblood, for instance, developer MachineGames used the company's Adaptive Shading technology to add VRS to its co-operative first-person shooter. There are a couple of noteworthy additions, including support for Microsoft's latest DirectX Raytracing (DXR) 1.1 API -- which will help make it easier for developers to optimize ray tracing performance in their games. But for the most part, DirectX 12 Ultimate is a branding exercise that will help consumers know whether the GPU they're about to buy will make the latest games look their best. The way NVIDIA sees it, DirectX 12 Ultimate "codifies GeForce RTX's innovative technologies as the standard for multi-platform, next-gen games."