Windows 8 ‘Project Butter’
We’ve been hearing a lot of stories regarding the complete absence of the performance-sucking ‘Aero transparency’ on the latest build of Windows 8 (similar with windows XP and older), Microsoft has finally decided to stay true to its roots by bidding farewell to the excessive eye candies and gaining raw performance by taking the ‘less is more’ approach.
Steven Sinofsky, (President, Windows and Windows Live Division) has just revealed that the jaw-dropping framerate increase of overall UI graphics in Windows 8 [over its predecessor] is a result of re-engineering how 2D graphical elements are rendered on the desktop/Start Screen.
The mission is to make sure that screen animations and transitions are kept at a smooth 60FPS and matching at least a minimum refresh rate of 60Hz which is standard on most built-in displays (sounds familiar?), basically they’re trying to render pretty much everything off the GPU, including the fonts through the use of Microsoft’s new DirectWrite API, talk about overkill.
They’ve done a lot of memory usage optimizations and a ton of tweaks to the DirectX 11.1 API as well since Windows 8 will now fully rely on the DirectX runtime to render the overall computer visuals — didn’t the Windows 7 have this? Microsoft has also upgraded the CPU graphics utilization by making sure that the CPU and GPU tasks are distributed evenly thus, letting the cores do other things even though it’s preoccupied with some GPU-related processes, resulting to an overall improvement in user interface responsiveness.
Windows 8 is designed for use mainly on tablets so making the UI as responsive as possible is the top priority, the improved hardware acceleration isn’t all about the user interface though. Microsoft has promised that with DirectX 11.1, 3D games will also gain immense performance bumps, something that gamers would be happy to hear.
We’ve been using the Windows 8 Release Candidate for a few weeks now and so far we’re really impressed with how fast it performs. It boots up in about 17 seconds, shuts down in a little over 3 seconds, apps open in a flash and It’s running on a pretty outdated Core2Duo platform mind you! We’re just not a big fan of switching between the old desktop and the so-called ‘Start Screen’ frequently.
This is all great news to us consumers and It’s certainly a step in the right direction, let’s hope that Windows 8 will deliver in real-life.
To know more about the hardware-accelerated enhancements on the Windows 8, please click here.