They probably do not use the API as intended. For some feature options, you are supposed to initialize the feature query with the highest possible value, or a list of highest possible values, that your code can understand - and that's what the API returns back even when the driver supports higher tiers (to avoid breaking your code with values defined in later versions of the SDK, which could be supported by the latest WDDM driver and Direct3D runtime, but will be unknown to your program logic ). So if you are asking for SM 5.1 on SM 6.0 hardware, you will only get SM 5.1 as the highest supported shader model - but if you are asking for SM 6.5 on SM 6.0 hardware, you will get SM 6.0 as the highest (and SM 6.5 requires Windows 10 version 1903 - earlier versions will return E_INVALIDARG if you specify SM 6.5). Same for feature levels - you have to provide a list of feature levels known to your program, and the runtime returns the highest of them which is actually supported by hardware (but in this case, you can trick the runtime with yet undefined levels - shh, don't tell anyone!).  AIDA64 reports SM 6.3 on the Display / GPU tab with the WDDM 2.7 preview driver, which is not correct; I've filed a bug report. DirectX tab only shows Direct3D 11 information, and SM 5.1 is the highest supported in Direct3D 11.