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If a graphics card lists its DirectX API as DirectX 10.1, is that card backwards compatible with older systems that run Winows XP which only supports up to DirectX 9? Or does the system need to support the GPU's DirectX API version or higher? Or in other words, do you have to be running Windows Vista or 7 to install a DirectX 10.1 graphics card.

Thanks!

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That not the graphics card's DirectX API, that's the card's driver's DirectX API. (Which means, obviously, that the card can support that API but not that it must.) –  David Schwartz Jul 17 '12 at 20:05
    
> That not the graphics card's DirectX API, that's the card's driver's DirectX API. @DavidSchwartz, that's not entirely true. Many cards are listed as DX8, DX9, DX10, etc. indicating the DX version upto which the card support. Updating the driver cannot make a DX9 card magically support DX10 functions, anymore than updating the drivers of a PS2.0b card could not make it support PS3.0 (which is why many people were upset when games started coming out that required PS3, thus forcing people to upgrade their perfectly good cards). –  Synetech Jul 17 '12 at 21:35
    
@Synetech: Nothing you are saying conflicts with anything I'm saying. The driver will select a DirectX API version to present based on whatever factors it is coded to take into account which typically includes both its own limitations and the card's limitations. –  David Schwartz Jul 17 '12 at 21:54
    
> which typically includes ... the card's limitations. Yes, so the card does indeed have a specified DX version that is supported. So when you complained that it is not the card's DX API, you were just quibbling about semantics. –  Synetech Jul 18 '12 at 0:18

2 Answers 2

up vote 9 down vote accepted

If the manufacturers website has the drivers for Windows XP, then it will work on Windows XP. However, it will only function up to the DirectX 9 capabilities.

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DirectX 9 applications will run on higher runtimes(e.g. directx 11) but this does not mean that drivers will be universally available for older OS-es.

I think that directly addresses your question.

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Thanks for your answer! –  flackend Jul 17 '12 at 20:52
    
DirectX 9 applications will run on higher runtimes(e.g. directx 11) Not always, there are plenty of games that use DX9 and will not run on Windows 7; they will throw an error about needing DX9 and prompt you to install it. :-/ –  Synetech Aug 26 '13 at 17:04

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