In 2019, Epic Games announced that DirectX 12, which is also known for DX12 in short, support is coming to the game called Fortnite. Finally, the wait is over. Anyone updating to the v11.20 patch has the option to try out the beta DX12 path of Fortnite. What does this all mean?
For anyone who is wondering what is wrong with DirectX 11 or DX11, apparently, there is nothing wrong. The DirectX team designed the DirectX 11 to be the best API for the developers of the game to use in their engines. Even though they shipped DX11 a decade ago, for a lot of games it is still a great option. Having said that, DX12 has a few benefits over DX11.
A main difference between the two APIs called DX11 and DX12 is that DX12 is more low-level than DX11. It means that DX12 gives developers more fine-grained control of how their game interacts with your CPU and GPU. The thing is a double-edged sword. Basically, DX12 comes with fewer guardrails but gives developers more power and flexibility. With this API, developers have even more options to optimize their games.
In addition, DX12 is a modern API with more next-gen features than DX11, or any other graphics API. DX12 is the only one with broad native support for exciting new graphics features such as DirectX Raytracing, DirectML, and Variable Rate Shading.
What about the game called Fortnite? Will changing to DX12 improve your performance? While DX12 may improve your overall average frame rate, the most important advantage that DX12 can give is a performance boost when the players of Fortnite need it most. During a heated battle, a few objects on the screen can skyrocket, which locates additional demand on the CPU. This kind of additional demand on CPU is able to cause the frame rate to drop during the most crucial moments of the game. Because the thing called DX12 uses the CPU more efficiently, the frame rate will drop much less when the game demands the most performance, giving a more consistent frame rate throughout the whole gaming experience.
In order to show this, PrestonMon is used to collect some early performance data. Because competitive gamers care most about maximizing the frame rate and minimizing the latency, the graphics settings are lowered, but set the view distance to Far. Keep in mind that your specific results will vary depending on your exact machine configuration.
While the average frame rates for DX12 were a bit higher compared to DX11 92%), DX12 was much faster when it mattered the most. When the game known as Fortnite is rendering the most demanding frames (slowest .1% of frames), DX12 shows a ~10% average improvement in the frame rate.
If you want to try out DX12, go to your Settings menu in Fortnite and be sure you are looking at your Video games. at the very bottom of the menu, please select DirectX 12 (BETA) next to DirectX Version.