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DirectDraw is part of Microsoft's DirectX API. DirectDraw is used to render graphics in applications where top performance is important. DirectDraw also allows applications to run fullscreen instead of embedded in a window such as most other MS Windows applications. DirectDraw uses hardware acceleration[?] if it is available on the client's computer.

DirectDraw is a 2D API. That is, it contains commands for 2D rendering and does not support 3D hardware acceleration. A programmer could use DirectDraw to draw 3D graphics, but the rendering would be slow compared to an API such as Direct3D which does support 3D hardware acceleration.

As of DirectX version 8.0, DirectDraw was no longer updated and available directly in DirectX. Some of DirectDraw's functionality was rolled over into a new package called DirectX Graphics[?], which was really just Direct3D with a few DirectDraw API additions. DirectDraw can still be used by programmers, but they must use older DirectX interfaces (DirectX 7 and below).

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