If you need any convincing that DirectX 10 is worth it or not, then this will blow you away. Throw away OpenGL, trash your DirectX 9 graphics card, it’s time to upgrade to cinematic-quality real-time computer generated graphics!
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From the DirectX 10 Whitepaper on the Windows Vista Team Blog.
As you can see from the comparison between the two screenshots, this is not fake. There is no structural changes between the two images; except only lighting, weather effects and the water. Infact, the reflection and refraction of mountains in the water didn’t even change, just the water texture! But the difference is nothing short of amazing.
These renders come from the Microsoft Flight Simulator X game. If infact, and only if, the DirectX 10 version is a real-time rendered screenshot straight from the game, then it gets me thinking, why not a virtual wallpaper? In the early betas of Windows Longhorn, there were hints of a 3D rendered wallpaper called “Aurora” which showcased moving light auras. If Microsoft can leverage the power of DirectX 10 to the desktop, literally, then the possibilities of 3D wallpapers are endless.
Edit: Some people say the DX10 version is purely a pre-rendered concept screenshot. However, the Windows Vista Team Blog claims it was “created using Microsoft Flight Simulator X in DirectX 10”. Regardless if it was pre-rendered or live-rendered, it would have used the capabilities in DirectX 10.
Updated: Changed face model to F.E.A.R.’s game model to better reflect the capabilities of DirectX 9. This is not a direct comparison and should be taken as a guide.