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Graphics Cards

Is there a way to force DirectX 12 on a DirectX 10 graphics card?

I was told few days ago that DirectX is software level.

So I was wondering if the only reason for example my HD 4870 doesn't support DX 12 is the lack of driver support, can't I just force the feature on it? People are making modded drivers, can I use them to run DX12 programs?

16 Replies

Even though DirectX is software both the GPU hardware and  Windows version will still need to be able to support and use the different features of the various DirectX versions.

That is why when a GPU card is said to support DirectX 10.1 such as your GPU card it means due to Hardware technology limitations it is only able to support DirectX 10.1(Feature Level)  features. Any newer features that come in later version won't be supported due to hardware limitations.

Someone asked a similar question in Quora and found this Computer Technician give a good explanation:

Screenshot 2022-06-01 124724.png


It just feels kind of stupid, for example the GTX 480 is way more powerfull then the GT 1030 but gt1030 can "run" way more games than the GTX 480, whats the point of buying high end GPUs then...other than heating up you room?

I heard it is possible to emulate DX 12 features, how well would that work?

@FileNotFound__, I feel you, what's even worse than an older AMD card is when you bought a new one that they only optimized for DirectX12 or Vulkan; for example, my RX 480. You need minimum i5 4670K single threaded performance to get a good non-DX12 experience on this card. For example, recently purchased WRC 9 on special on Epic games, my 3GB GTX 1060 is getting 35FPS more on the CPU than my 8GB RX 480 in DirectX 11, super annoying that AMD performs like this after spending a lot of money on their products.

Back to the topic, your best bet (I would guess) is maybe using the latest NimeZ modded Radeon driver, then try to get DXVK working for the game (just be careful if it is a multiplayer game, there is a slight chance that you might get banned then).

Which game is it that you are trying to play? DXVK already works for a lot of DX9 to DX11 games and I think they are working on a DX12 wrapper, but your GPU will likely require some DX12 hardware feature sets for it to work, although there is a very slight chance that this might improve your compatibility.

EDIT: Also seems like VKD3D might be an option for converting DX12 to Vulkan, but have not tested if it works on Windows.

I have an RX 580 in my main system that I play games on, but I have a lot of other GPUs that performance wise should run the games but can't because of DX support. It is just annoying, fully functional and powerful cards beeing turned into trash because of DX. My RX580 is now 6 years old, it is capable of running everything I throw at it, I even use it underclocked. But simce my 2 years older r9 270x that I also have is no longer supported, I don't think this one wil be for long eather then I will be forced to buy a new gpu just to be abale to play new games that would very likely run on the old one. It is just so frustrating.


I agree to some extent, for me it is reasonable if they support a card for at least 5 years (my reason being PS4 and XBOX One is still around and PS3 had game support for 5 years after launch).

Technically, the HD7000 series can still be supported for most games, but even it is lacking some DirectX12 features. It comes down to certain architectures on the GPU; for example, from my understanding the HD 7000 series were the first GPUs to support Asynchronous Compute which is one of the main reasons why it had proper DirectX12 support, I think Nvidia only integrated Asynchronous Compute since Pascal (the GT/X 1000 series).

Furthermore, this is likely why the XBOX One and PS4 is still around (other than the fact that only a handful of people can afford next-gen consoles), since the XBOX One had something similar to a HD 7790 I think with eight jaguar cores built around it.

Might I ask why you are downclocking your RX 580 (my RX 480 runs at the default 1303Mhz stable since I bought a CoolerMaster MB511) and also which CPU is paired with your RX 580?

The thing is software emulation will only bring one so far, and even if it was still possible for say a HD 4000 card, it might not manage more than 15FPS due to the delays in emulation there will be. But, for a R9 2xx/3xx card there is still a chance for 30-50FPS gameplay if you use modded drivers.


The reason for downclocking the RX 580 is mostly to reduce temperatures and power consuption. All games that I play are 1080p lowest settings 60fps limited and I just don't need it to run at the higher clocks. The CPU paired is the FX 6300 and 16GB DDR3 ram. I mostly play APEX, OVERWATCH and GTA5.


Sounds like a nice system, I have a FX 8350 but I am currently testing my i7 870 overclocked to 3.9Ghz. You will not believe the variation in game performance where the FX 8350 does better in some and the i7 870 does better in some other games and it is mostly related due to the pickiness of Radeon drivers and CPU architectures even though these two CPUs score very similar stock.

Ok, I guess I understand, although Polaris does not consume that much power and in the Cooler Master Chassis I mentioned or a case with 3fan front intakes it keeps below 80C under high load (where 90C is the thermal limit).

In my experience, when a game is CPU-bound on a FX CPU due to the Radeon Driver scaling, the graphics settings do not even improve minimum frame-rates and one might just as well play on High in such a scenario.


First, most games are released with a retrocompatibility mode, so they have the option to run either on DX11 or DX12. In fact, I don´t know of the existance of any DX12 ONLY game.

Second, I don´t think that DirectX emulation is something possible, nor viable, much less with the computing power of a video card released 12 years ago.

The whole concept of releasing a new API is giving the developers more sophisticated tools to take advantage of the newer generations of cards. For example, back when DX11 was released, real time tesselation was its main selling point, and today, real time tesselation has become an standard.



The 185W TDP GPU is the Highest I ever had and as a  person who repairs graphics cards, I like to stay as far as possible from the Tj limit because damage caused by thermal stresses on the gpu are preety much never economically repairable and as you can see with the CPU, I keep my hardware for quite a long time. In fact I had an i5 7400 paired with the RX 580 that I bought to replace my c2d laptop, but after that motherboard's chipsed decided to self destruct, I grabbed whatever I had at hand. I was suprised how small the difference was between the FX 6300 and the i5 7400, so I just keept the FX system and so far I still have no reason to upgrade.


There are alredy quite a lot of dx12 only games, and I dont think developers care too much about low end users, why wouldn't they support AMD FSR?

I can't whait for the DirectX 13 to come out and make millions of systems outdated...

I renember playing minecraft back in 2012 on my old laptop and having fun with 7 fps averege, like even if the game knows it wouldn't run that well on the hardware, at least let me start it.

Again. DirectX 12 is retrocompatible with DirectX 11. Any DX12 game runs on DX 11 capable GPUs.

On the other hand, DirectX 11 doesn´t run on DX10 GPUs simply because they don´t have the hardware features.

It´s like saying "Why can´t I run AVX 512 on my Pentium Dual Core E2220". 


Can it be also use a Ram to add a video ram increase? coz i have a sony vaio laptop with Radeon Amd and i cant do the vram increase


@henry, what are you referring to for increasing your VRAM? If your laptop has an APU it automatically uses the system RAM as "VRAM" for your integrated graphics, but if your laptop has a dedicated Radeon graphics chip it will be limited to its' own VRAM.


@henryaham897 Usually more VRAM will not give you more performance, or at least not the amount of performance that you will need to run something heavier. Even more when we are talking about a laptop GPU.

@FileNotFound__, I see, I did not realize the TDP on the RX 580 was so much higher than my RX 480. In contradiction, my elder brother has the RX 580 Sapphire OC Edition and I have not seen it use that much power under high load, but it probably does under certain conditions. In addition, his RX 580 has better thermals than my RX 480, and I understand that you are trying to take care of your card, I've had to replace my thermal paste on the RX 480 until I bought this new Chassis and I can tell you a Radeon Polaris card definitely wants constant strong airflow as opposed to my 3GB GTX 1060 which can cool itself down.

@Chester1994, I agree that when a DX12 game releases, the developers usually built on a DX11 option, but this is mostly for games that does not make proper use of DX12 from scratch and usually is just a wrapper of DX12 over DX11, and from my experience usually performs worse CPU-side. But, I now have two games that run exclusively in DX12; namely, Hitman 3 and Grid, and they run much better than the Dual API releases like in Hitman 1 and Hitman 2. EDIT: You are not correct about all DX12 games being backwards compatible with DX11, in these cases it is just because the developers built the game with DX11 and then wrote a wrapper of DX12 over DX11. A game built from scratch in DX12 is not backwards compatible with DX11, and there is no DX11 option for Hitman 3.

Furthermore, it is not really referring to DX12 emulation (I used the wrong word), but DXVK is a wrapper to Vulkan, although they do have more control like optimizing CPU draw call submission.


The performance would be down there in the Mariana trench. There's a reason nobody emulated it the way people do with consoles, which have (well, had, before XOne/PS4) totally different APIs and hardware features. Software emulating would cause such a loss in efficiency you wouldn't be able to run jack, even at 720p 30fps.


@EFermi, I made a mistake mentioning the word "emulation". DXVK is a wrapper and not an emulator, it directly converts DirectX API calls to Vulkan API calls and in a lot of cases improves performance in older titles for Radeon GPUs.