DirectX 11 includes numerous improvements. It’s designed to be more efficient, leverage the power of today’s multi-core processors, and provide support for sophisticated shading and texturing techniques such as tessellation. This is a set of runtime libraries that makes it easy for developers to target both Windows 7 and Windows Vista. According to Microsoft, the refreshed DirectX 11 release brings to the table the RTM version of Direct3D. It includes the new DirectX package, including DirectWrite, Direct2D, Direct3D 11, updates to the Windows Imaging Components, XPS Print API, XPS Rasterization Service, and DXGI 1.1, enabling all new DirectX technologies on Windows Vista as well as Windows 7.
Developers can now publish and distribute Direct3D 11 applications and games that leverage all of the software and hardware features of DirectX 11 in Windows 7 and Windows Vista. All headers, import libraries, and symbol files (.pdb files) are no longer marked as beta with the "_beta" suffix and now link to the RTM versions of the runtimes. In addition, the HLSL compiler features for Direct3D 11 are now of release quality. The beta DLLs are no longer available in the DirectX SDK.
The new Effects runtime for Direct3D 11 is now available. Effects 11 is provided in two parts: the D3DCompiler library and FXC. Both now support the new fx_5_0 target. Features of this new target include support for all Direct3D 11 features such as hull shaders, domain shaders, interfaces, and DirectCompute, as well as grouping of techniques within a single Effect file using the fxgroup keyword. Please refer to the documentation for more information (Effects (Direct3D 11)). The Effects 11 runtime is provided as source in the Utilities directory, including Visual Studio 2005 and 2008 projects for building the runtime into a library for use in applications. Features include effect cloning for multithreaded operation, the new shader stages, unordered access views, interfaces, and extended user-defined state control.
The Microsoft DirectX® End-User Runtime provides updates to 9.0c and previous versions of DirectX — the core Windows® technology that drives high-speed multimedia and games on the PC. DirectX 9.0c will help improve multimedia experiences on most PCs. This latest version of DirectX offers better security, updated graphics, faster frame rates, and support for massively multiplayer games. It also features more immersive audio when running and displaying programs rich in multimedia elements such as full-color graphics, video, 3-D animation and surround sound. If you had an earlier version of DirectX installed on your system, you will see little difference in available space on your hard drive following the installation. DirectX 9.0c will overwrite any earlier versions. This release also resolves a number of minor bugs and includes security updates.