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For Direct X 2.0 and 3.0, the Direct3D immediate mode used an "execute buffer" programming model that Microsoft hoped hardware vendors would support directly.Execute buffers were intended to be allocated in hardware memory and parsed by the hardware to perform the 3D rendering.The Redmond team added the Draw Primitive API that eliminated the need for applications to construct execute buffers, making Direct3D more closely resemble other immediate mode rendering APIs such as Glide and Open GL.

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Direct3D uses hardware acceleration if it is available on the graphics card, allowing for hardware acceleration of the entire 3D rendering pipeline or even only partial acceleration.

Direct3D exposes the advanced graphics capabilities of 3D graphics hardware, including Z-buffering, Integration with other Direct X technologies enables Direct3D to deliver such features as video mapping, hardware 3D rendering in 2D overlay planes, and even sprites, providing the use of 2D and 3D graphics in interactive media ties.

Game developers clamored for more direct control of the hardware's activities than the Direct3D retained mode could provide.

Only two games that sold a significant volume, Lego Island and Lego Rock Raiders, were based on the Direct3D retained mode, so Microsoft did not update the retained mode after Direct X 3.0.

Direct3D 6.0 also included support for features that had been licensed by Microsoft from specific hardware vendors for inclusion in the API, in exchange for the time-to-market advantage to the licensing vendor.

S3 texture compression support was one such feature, renamed as DXTC for purposes of inclusion in the API.Like other Direct X APIs, such as Direct Draw, both were based on COM.The retained mode was a scene graph API that attained little adoption.A minor update to Direct X 6.0 came in the February, 1999 Direct X 6.1 update.Besides adding Direct Music support for the first time, this release improved support for Intel Pentium III 3D extensions.Continuous updating Direct X11.2 & Direct X11.3 is also available on market.

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