Microsoft is calling DirectX 11 a "Big step forward for gaming, adding features onto existing DirectX 10"
- Full support (including all DX11 hardware features) on Windows Vista as well as future versions of Windows.
- Compatibility with DirectX 10 and 10.1 hardware, as well as support for new DirectX 11 hardware.
- New compute shader technology that lays the groundwork for the GPU to be used for more than just 3D graphics, so that developers can take advantage of the graphics card as a parallel processor
- Multi-threaded resource handling that will allow games to better take advantage of multi-core machines
- Support for tessellation, which blurs the line between super high quality pre-rendered scenes and scenes rendered in real-time, allowing game developers to refine models to be smoother and more attractive when seen up close