What is Direct3D? - Definition from WhatIs.com
Part of the Personal computing glossary:

Direct3D is the Microsoft 3D application programming interface (API) component of the DirectX API package.

Introduced with Windows 95, Direct3D's feature set allows for a dependable set of functions that graphics engine programmers can call upon for any supporting graphics card, ending developer decisions over which individual graphics accelerators API they should code for.

Newer Direct3D versions have increased feature sets allowing increased visual fidelity by supporting the features of newer advanced GPUs.  Direct3D's importance is so well-recognized for game and general real-time rasterized 3D performance that Microsoft has foregone updating older OS versions’ Direct3D. Instead, the company offers it as a feature exclusive to a newer version of Windows as it did with Vista and Direct3D 10.

Microsoft develops Direct3D with input from GPU makers and programmers. Direct3D’s competitor is OpenGL. While performance was often OpenGL's strong point, Direct3D maintained dominance in Windows due to Microsoft's ability to bring some key features to market first.

This was last updated in July 2014
Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

  • Platform as a Service (PaaS)

    - Platform as a service is a cloud model in which providers deliver apps over the Internet and host users' hardware and software on their infrastructure. (searchCloudComputing.com)

  • vision-correcting display

    - A vision-correcting display distorts the images on users' screens according to algorithms based on their prescriptions for eyeglasses. The distortion makes it possible for users to view the display... (WhatIs.com)

  • Intel Curie

    - Intel’s Curie module is a tiny system-on a-chip (SoC) based on the Intel Quark SE. The SoC is the size of a shirt button but includes everything required to provide compute power for wearable devi... (WhatIs.com)

Glossaries

  • Personal computing

    - Terms related to personal computers, including definitions about computers sold as consumer products and words and phrases about laptops, tablets and smartphones.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question. Find an Answer.Powered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Ask An IT Question

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Ask Question

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.