Microsoft plans to release DirectStorage 1.1 by the end of this year. From then on, developers can apply the technology in their games. With DirectStorage 1.1, the GPU Decompress the assets On, which reduces load times in games.
DirectStorage is one of the Microsoft technologies that should speed up decompression in games. Games contain compressed files, such as objects, characters, and environments. When the game needs these files, they are extracted by the CPU. With DirectStorage 1.1, these files can also be extracted by the GPU, Microsoft explains.
The advantage is that GPUs are “extremely efficient at running repetitive tasks in parallel,” the company wrote. This, combined with the fast NVMe drive, allows computers to extract files faster. As a result, games should load faster. The other advantage is that the CPU can be used for other tasks. Microsoft has developed its own example where scene execution is almost 3 times faster than CPU decompression.
Although Microsoft will release DirectStorage 1.1 this year, it will be some time before the technology can also be used in games. Nvidia and AMD must first implement the technology in their GPU drivers, in addition to this, the game developer must also support the functionality. Microsoft says DirectStorage 1.1 works best with Windows 11 and with an NVMe SSD. The latter is necessary due to the faster bandwidth of this disk.
Microsoft released the first version of DirectStorage in March. This storage API enables faster load times by better handling high I/O requests along with NVMe storage. AMD Previously released Smart Access Storagewhich also allows decompression of the GPU.
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