Carmack says he prefers Direct3D to OpenGL

John Carmack – of Wolfenstein, Doom and Quake fame – says he now prefers Direct3D to OpenGL for gaming.

“I actually think Direct3D is a rather better API today. [For example], Direct3D handles multi-threading better, [while] newer versions manage state better,” Carmack told Custom PC.

”[In addition], Microsoft had the courage to continue making significant incompatible changes to improve the API, while OpenGL has been held back by compatibility concerns.”

As BitGamer’s Ben Hardwidge notes, Carmack’s id Software has “rigidly stuck” by OpenGL for both Doom III and Quake 4, as many other game devs migrated to Direct3D. 

“It is really just inertia that keeps us on OpenGL at this point. [But it] still works fine and we wouldn’t get any huge benefits by making the switch, so I can’t work up much enthusiasm for cleaning it out of our codebase,” Carmack told BitGamer.

“[Sure], if it was just a matter of the game code, we could quite quickly produce a DirectX PC executable, but all of our tool code has to share resources with the game renderer, and I wouldn’t care to go over all of that for a dubious win.”

Meanwhile, AMD rep Richard Huddy opined that “true” graphics innovation has been “driven” by Microsoft over the past decade.

“OpenGL has largely been tracking that, rather than coming up with new methods. [Remember], the geometry shader, for example, which came in with Vista and DirectX 10, is wholly Microsoft’s invention in the first place.”