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Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) Design Guide

Last Updated: 2/14/2017

The Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) is available starting with Windows Vista and is required starting with Windows 8. This section discusses requirements, specifications, and behavior for WDDM drivers.

NoteWindows 2000 Display Driver Model (XDDM) and VGA drivers will not compile on Windows 8 and later versions. If display hardware is attached to a Windows 8 computer without a driver that is certified to support WDDM 1.2 or later, the system defaults to running the Microsoft Basic Display Driver.

The following sections describe the Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM):

What's new for Windows 10 display drivers (WDDM 2.0)

What's new for Windows 8.1 display drivers (WDDM 1.3)

What's new for Windows 8 display drivers (WDDM 1.2)

What's new for Windows 7 display drivers (WDDM 1.1)

WDDM 2.0 and Windows 10

WDDM 1.2 and Windows 8

Introduction to the Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM)

Installation Requirements for Display Miniport and User-Mode Display Drivers

Installation Requirements for Display Drivers Optimized for Windows 7 and Later

Initializing Display Miniport and User-Mode Display Drivers

Windows Vista Display Driver Threading and Synchronization Model

Video Memory Management and GPU Scheduling

User-Mode Display Drivers

Monitor Drivers

Multiple Monitors and Video Present Networks

Tasks in the Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM)

Debugging Tips for the Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM)

Implementation Tips and Requirements for the Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM)

Display Samples

Note WDDM drivers do not directly use services of the Windows Graphics Device Interface (GDI) engine; therefore, the GDI section is not relevant to writing display drivers for the WDDM driver model.

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