Lost Planet: DirectX 10 vs. DirectX 9

Lost Planet marks gaming world’s first foray into DirectX 10. Check out how it compares to DirectX 9.


We've been waiting for the first DirectX 10-capable game to appear, anything really. Windows Vista has been available for almost half a year, and we've been wasting our GeForce 8800 GTX's precious GPU performance on pedestrian DirectX 9 games since last November. We initially expected Crysis or Company of Heroes, or maybe even Supreme Commander (which is no longer coming), to be the first game to introduce us to Windows Vista's DirectX 10 world, but patch delays and ever-moving release windows have let Lost Planet, a port of an Xbox 360 game, grab the spotlight.

Lost Planet originally came out for the Xbox 360 in January of 2007. The game takes place on an icy planet filled with monsters, pirates, big guns, and even bigger monsters. As Wayne the snow pirate, you make your way through snow-ravaged landscapes to avenge the death of your father. The stark, frigid world makes for a great backdrop to highlight the benefits of high dynamic range lighting. The white environment can reflect blinding sunlight, while fancy particle systems toss up tufts of snow and ice.

The game looks great in both DirectX 9 and 10, but we couldn't tell much of a difference between the two versions. Shadows looked slightly better in DirectX 10, but that's only because we could change the shadows setting to high, whereas in DirectX 9 we could only use the medium setting. After failing to see any major graphical differences between the two versions, we asked Capcom about what makes the DirectX 10 version special. A Capcom representative told us that the DirectX 10 improvements primarily enhanced performance by up to "10 to 20 percent" through the use of "geometry shaders, depth resolve, and stream output." That means that the Lost Planet demo is only using DirectX 10 to increase performance, not to produce advanced graphics effects.

We found that the DirectX 10 version of Lost Planet performed markedly slower when compared to the DirectX 9 version at the exact same settings. Additionally, the high-quality shadows we saw in DirectX 10 didn't seem to justify the performance hit. We did not perform an ATI versus Nvidia comparison because Capcom worked with Nvidia on the DirectX 10 development process and ATI didn't have the opportunity to tune its Radeon HD 2900 XT for the demo release.

The Lost Planet demo isn't a final version of the game, but the developers don't have much time to add in new effects before the game's June 26 release date. It looks like we can safely go back to waiting on Crysis or Company of Heroes for all those amazing DirectX 10 graphics.

Mouse over each DirectX 9 image to see the DirectX 10 comparison image.

Lost Planet DirectX 9 vs. DirectX 10

System Setup: Intel Core 2 X6800, EVGA nForce680i SLI, 2GB Corsair Dominator CM2X1024 Memory (1GB x 2), 160GB Seagate 7200.7 SATA Hard Disk Drive, Windows Vista Ultimate. Graphics Cards: Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTX 768MB. Graphics Driver: Nvidia Forceware beta 158.43.

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Avatar image for malachi_27

I wish GameSpot would continue these kinds of great features that they used to give us.

Avatar image for johnny27

the game runs smoother for me in dx10 then using the same settings in dx9 turning on the dx10 only effects do cause quite a performance hit though but the game looks nice running on m 4870 1G at 1920x1200 4xAA DX10 minus the special dx10 effects lol

Avatar image for IzE-DraGoN

is just Me or does anyone else have problems with the resolution??? I have vista 64, Ati Sapphire 3870 Toxic video card and i can't get more than a 1280x960 res!! I want 1280x1024 !!!

Avatar image for videocon

i can't run this game (or the demo) even on the lowest settings. but i can run call of duty 4 and unreal tournament 3 with most settings on high very smoothly. and i have : -intel core 2 duo e6600 @2.40ghz -2 gig corsair ram -512 mb nvidia 8600 m gt -windows vista home premium Can somebody tell me if they have similar specs and the game works for them so i know if something is broken. or does my pc need an upgrade?

Avatar image for Petri87

@Marius_thq - it seems like you havent played Unreal 3 since the difference there is pretty big between DX9 and DX10

Avatar image for the_dead_killer

its good game and the difference is not big i think that Marius_thq are right

Avatar image for hollow_ichigo7

Well, you all say "oh, what's the difference? DX9 and DX10? nothing much. Ms just wants to get more cash." Well, I can tell you, it ain't true. You can't compare Lost Planet, as it is not a full DX10 compatible game. It's made for both DX9 and 10. And from what I hear from these people, the XBOX 360 version uses DX9, and the PC version of the game is a port, if you play it, you will understand, because most things, like "continue" or "next mission" require you to press A. And so you are wondering, " Then why not make it just for DX10?" Why? Because most people don't have Vista and Dx10 needs Vista to work. Currently, Vista isn't as good, because it's new. If you wait a few years, Vista will be a lot better, and more people will own it. THEN FULL DX0 COMPATIBLE GAMES WILL BE RELEASED, and then you will see the remarkable difference, both in performance and graphics. Also, if you read the article, Lost Planet's developer, CAPCOM, uses DX10 to mostly enhance performance only. Therefore, you can't say much about graphics.

Avatar image for relset

the only problem with dx10 is that runs only under Win vista, so I tried vista several times on different PCs and I can say that XP still the best!

Avatar image for AnnoyedDragon

Whose going to take full advantage of DX10 when only the minority can actually run it? It is like any new technology, if you take full advantage of it you will limit your audience. It is the same reason we are only just now hearing about multi core supporting games that utilize them for more than just performance. When the majority of PC gamers, low and high end, have DX10 compatible GPUs we will see more games with more drastic improvements. That is presuming the increased need to cross develop games over multiple platforms doesn't hinder its adoption. Remember that none of the consoles can use DX10, if they plan on milking multiple systems they won't use features only one system can run. Right now the changes are small; but as they take advantage of more DX10 features it will become increasingly difficult to undo them when porting, some developers might not bother.

Avatar image for Turisman4

'TronDoZy': Nah, because Crysis was programmed from the start to have full DX10 compatibility. You're right about Lost Planet: it's only an Xbox 360 port with DX10 tacked on.

Avatar image for TronDoZY

Wow, if you think a ported game will give the ultimate "dx10 experience" then you guyes should take primary school all over again. I mean seriously, the game looks the same on XBOX like it does on the computer, ITS PORTED, it was intended for xbox360, which is using dx9 equalient graphic card and software. Crysis won't show too much diffrence either, just some eye candy. Just wait a while till we have Dx10 standalone games, where you NEED dx10 to be able to play, then you'll see the true powers of dx10. Textures are way better in dx10, you can zoom all the way in, or walk all the way up to a wall, and the textures will still look realistic (shown by Nvidia's dx10 preview game) but in dx9 they will look like utter crap. Wow, Crysis will look awesome indeed, so will Bioshock, but both will look awesome on dx9 too. We'll have to wait a few years for the developers to gain knowledge and the community to get dx10 cards before we will be able to compare dx10 games to dx9 games..... I bet you won't see a game in the next year (except flight simulator, only game which looks WTFPWNAGE on dx10 and looks like utter crap on dx9) that has superb graphics in dx10 compared to dx9.

Avatar image for Steinin

Crysis, Bioshock, Crysis, Bioshock, Crysis, Bioshock, Crysis, Bioshock... That's a brief summary of what people have said so far... I really shouldn't post this article here, but I just can't help myself not too... http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/08/11/0524250&from=rss ps. Trace the article.

Avatar image for damariners

Wait For Crysis Dude,to get the real experience of DX10 Gaming

Avatar image for amj1984

So......What's the difference?

Avatar image for Marius_thq

There's not even a bloody difference people,the images are just a little more sharp and bright,BUT THAT'S IT...nothin' more to it,DX 10 has more than 80% of DX 9 source code...i can smell that from miles,DX 10 has some tweaks and improvements but nothing more it isnt revolutionary or anything,guys let us be honest with eachother,do you see any difference,i mean common DX 9 graphics already look real life,graphics now and even before DX 9c hit the net they were as real as they could get and the same result we have now even with DX 10,take a look at unreal III,take a look at X3 reunion,look at TES IV:Oblivion,the graphics are just gorgeous and damb real,and yes mates thats DX 9,Microsoft is just trying to reinvent the wheel,to make you buy all that new hardware(the geforce 8 series and many other components along it) and make them rich,because they say the new DX10 wont be backward compatible with DX9, DX 10 games wont work on DX 9 cards so go out and buy a DX10 card if you want to play the upcoming games,but i think this will lead to a briliant young mind creating another hack like always to make it backward compatible and even do the job that MS didnt want to do,i mean common...they could have made it backward compatible but then all the new hardware and OS software wouldnt sell that much,not as many profits...damb pricks!

Avatar image for jtvance

I can't believe you people have the audacity to say something like DX10 and DX9 have very little differences. Are you insane? First of all, this cannot be based on Lost Planet. This is essentially a DX9 game that is compatible with some DX10 features. Do yourself a favor, go back and look at some very early DX9 games and some very late DX8 games. There is little difference. Wait until Crysis comes out or some other game that is built to take full advantage of DX10 before you pass judgement. My god.

Avatar image for Total-KO

IMHO, DX10 and DX9 have very little difference. DX10 looks more detailed but has more glare. DX9 is the opposite.

Avatar image for Shehzad15

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Avatar image for kenshinhimura16

Do I need Vista to run it??

Avatar image for maawal

Nah, worthless change. I'll take vista when I'll see some real changes.

Avatar image for placebo787

I just downloaded the full version from STEAM. Like rimet said - the DX10 version is jaw-dropping on the demo. I'm happy to report that the full version runs much smoother than the already slick demo, boasts much higher framerates, and can be FULLY maxed out using at 1680x1050 8XQ AA with a single 8800GTX. This F'n rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't wait to play through it again!

Avatar image for rimnet00

Just like Poshkidney said, unless you see it for yourself you won't understand the difference. I beat Lost Planet on the 360 when it first came out and only downloaded the demo to benchmark my computer. Well, let me tell you, its like night and day how amazing the DX10 version of this game is. It simply jaw dropping.

Avatar image for Poshkidney

i've played the demo and it on direct x 10 looks so good one of the best looking games iv'e had on my pc set the motion blur and atmoshic buffing on high and everything looks smashing it dosen't look like a game at all it looks more like CGI stuff. these picture don't show how good this looks get the demo a be amazed

Avatar image for Cheesefreak33

If anyone remembers the renders of Flight Simulator between DX9 and DX10... it would be easy to forgive these first few games that were programmed with DX9 with that kind of future in store...

Avatar image for f15srcool

Not much difference. Lost planet looks good both ways....

Avatar image for gameniko

difference is not worth, spending so much money on hardware.

Avatar image for MxAa

rofl, dx 10 is more realistic, thats not to say it looks better. The only thing its gonna improve in games like say... crysis... is motion blurr and particle effects. This means it has to be 2 videos compared to see the difference.

Avatar image for LOZFAN6537

I can barely see any difference.

Avatar image for fearmuke

It more clear on DX10 but the difference wouldn't stir me much knowing that the hardware is v.expensive. Cool review though.

Avatar image for ryokinshin6x3

some games with the dx10 patch look a hell of a lot better, and no i dont need a 1.5k pc, hell even 1k will play this game on high, the textures are a lot better though in dx10 mode

Avatar image for sainz2

like at 360 and ps3 but less changes...

Avatar image for 5th_element

what a joke !!! is this working( with nvidia!!)???? what the hell no changes are visible in pics!!!!

Avatar image for ANTICAN

its like looking at the 360 v. ps3 images...

Avatar image for diving_devil46

At this moment in time there isn't a lot between DX9 and 10 in terms of graphics because all games that are out are designed for DX9. Once we see some DX10 specific games I think it will look amazingly better. And yeah; also remember that DX10 will allow new levels of physics and a much better draw distance. All in all I am really looking forward to the rise of DX10.

Avatar image for SOKMHeadShot

like every new technology.. we will see 1 or 2 years from now what is capable to do!

Avatar image for McAleece

Seeing Something In Motion Is Night & Day To A Still Screen Shot. Everything Improves Through Time. Can't Wait For Native DX10 Games.

Avatar image for Xfire229

This is not that great. Probably because it was made for DX9. Just wait for Crysis then you'll see...

Avatar image for Trazac

Look...never trust images. If you were to play a DX10 game, it would look better. Object motion blur and depth of view are two things which can be used in DX10 as well as componant damage and destruction which are going to add a lot to not only graphics but gaming as well. The new arcitecture isn't just for graphics...it also deals a lot with gaming and gameplay.

Avatar image for bugtrip

Wasn't DX10 supposed to be some big, huge leap in graphics quality? Maybe this game just didn't utilize it. They look exactly the same, with DX10 having poorer frame rates. Why is this a good thing?

Avatar image for Gamefreak1296

can't see much difference and the loss of money over the lower framerate just isn't worth it

Avatar image for feicunjianxin

the picture is beautiful, DX10 brings us more

Avatar image for nbanic

Lets face the facts both versions look great. Only problem is, you need a 1500$ to play the game in any version at it's best

Avatar image for zejna

Hmm...thunder350 I smell Microsoft employee.... phyrburn you're card can't play lost planet it's too old! You need a new one that supports shader model 2.0! And you can't play dx10 version cuz your card HAS NOT DX10!

Avatar image for deactivated-5b8f394a1ad9a

Maube there isint a lot of change but the frame rates sure go down

Avatar image for bookum9of9

Just looks like the gamma is better,which could be done on the monitor,the card,or the game settings.Pretty sad,and no way worth installing Vista for.

Avatar image for jepps2007

read what it says and youll find gamespot agrees with you

Avatar image for Mausthemighty

Is it me, or aren't there much differences? They all look very alike.

Avatar image for Wardenb

Ill stay with my 7600 card, im still on vista but i think ill keep it like that till Crysis or maby bioshock

Avatar image for Hugo_M

For now I stay with DirectX 9

Avatar image for airguitargiles

Yep i don't see much diffrence.