directx, what is DirectX, how DirectX works
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what is DirectX, how DirectX works?

What is DirectX?

Gaming and multimedia applications are some of the most satisfying programs you can get for your PC, but getting them to run properly isn't always as easy as it could be. First, the PC architecture was never designed as a gaming platform. Second, the wide-ranging nature of the PC means that one person's computer can be different from another, which can make gaming a headache. For fixing that problem, Microsoft introduced a common standard for all games and multimedia applications to follow. This common interface is DirectX. DirectX is an interface designed to make certain programming tasks much easier and also for both the game developer and the rest of us who just want to sit down to play.

How DirectX works?

At the most basic level, DirectX is an interface between the hardware in your PC and Windows itself, part of the Windows API, Application Programming Interface. When a game developer wants to play a sound file, it is simply a case of using the correct library function. When the game runs, this calls the DirectX API, which in turn plays the sound file. The developer doesn't need to know what type of sound card he is dealing with, what it is capable of, or how to talk to it. Microsoft has provided DirectX, and the sound card manufacturer has provided a DirectX-capable driver. He asks for the sound to be played, and it is whichever machine it runs on.

Diagnosing DirectX Problems

Diagnosing problems with a DirectX installation can be problematic, especially if you don't know which one of the many components is causing your newly purchased game to fall over. Thankfully, Microsoft provides a useful utility called the DirectX Diagnostic Tool. The easiest way to use it is to open the Start Menu and click Run dialog, type in dxdiag and then click OK. When the application first loads, it takes a few seconds to interrogate your DirectX installation and find any problems. First, the DirectX Files tab displays version information on each one of the files your installation uses. The Notes section at the bottom is worth checking, as missing or corrupted files will be flagged here.

The tabs marked Display, Sound, Music, Input and Network all relate to specific areas of DirectX, and all but the Input tab provide tools to test the correct functioning on your hardware. Finally, the More Help tab provides a useful way to start the DirectX Troubleshooter, Microsoft's simple linear problem solving tool for many common DirectX issues.

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