In Windows 8 will all be accelerated by hardware
Laaaaaaaargo Microsoft published a post on his official blog explaining in detail the extensive changes made to the graphics subsystem of Windows 8 and DirectX 11.1. Basically, everything in Windows 8 is hardware accelerated, and as a result the performance text, 2D and 3D far exceed the performance of Windows 7. directx 11.1 also had some changes and should operate more quickly and efficiently in games and applications.
hardware acceleration is primarily concerned with applications “Metro style”, which are rich in typography and whose design is based on simple geometric forms. For this reason, rendering of text and simple shapes in Windows 8 has been increased greatly, so that titles and headings carry 336% faster than Windows 7, lines 184% faster, a 438% rectangles, ellipses a 369%, etc..
Also made improvements to the loading of JPEG, PNG and GIF. In a demo, Windows 8 decodes and displays 64 JPEGs in 4.38 seconds, while Windows 7 takes 7.28 seconds to do the same. The image rendering impacts almost any Windows application, but may have a greater impact on image editing programs and browsers.
Meanwhile, DirectX 11.1 parts received improvements to redraw the screen – for example, a site with text and video, only to constantly update the part where the video, not the rest of the page. Similarly, if you scroll to read the text is below, just update the missing text and already charged moves up, it is reloaded. By reducing the amount of things that must be processed, less memory usage and processor.
Also added the Direct2D Effects that enable such applications to manipulate photographs metro access image effects accelerated by hardware. At the moment is limited to Metro but it is possible that other applications like Photoshop or Gimp can use these options later.
Microsoft also announced it will release a new DirectX 11.1 API for developers, which will be simpler and unified.
Overall, a better system to load and deploy the applications interface and results in lower hardware utilization, which also reduces power consumption. This should improve efficiency and battery life, something that Microsoft seems to be trying to improve to better compete with mobile systems already have Apple and Google.
Link: Hardware accelerating everything: Windows 8 graphics (Building Windows)