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DirectStorage 1.1 Coming: A Big New Performance Leap in Games

DirectStorage 1.1.2 Update Soon, Microsoft says: The company announced it in the past few hours, and it will be a major update to the original version. We recall that DirectStorage is basically the same technology behind one of the greatest innovations of the latest generation of consoles, and in fact allows you to take full advantage of the capabilities of solid-state storage (SSD) in the gaming realm, and is an upsurge from previous applications still intended for older (and hard disks) much slower mechanical).

The big news in DirectStorage 1.1 compared to the initial release will be the so-called Decompress the GPU, which will further marginalize the CPU input in the process of moving graphics assets from storage to GPU memory. To summarize, the path to the files is as follows:

  1. The data package is in storage, compressed to save space
  2. Go to system memory
  3. The CPU decompresses the data
  4. The decompressed data is transferred to the GPU memory

Once you see this mirror, it becomes easy to guess what the GPU is for stress relief. So far, data compression and decompression algorithms (also trivially think of ZIP or RAR archives) have only been optimized for CPUs, but now a system has been developed for Benefit from highly specialized GPUs – who knows how to do some operation, but very well (the same logic that underlies the phenomenon of cryptocurrency mining, must be understood).

To make the idea more realistic, Microsoft created a small and highly optimized test archive and compared the differences in the decompression runtime between the GPU and the CPU. 5.65 GB of assets loaded in 0.80 seconds in the first case, in 2.36 seconds in the second. Almost three times that. Now, multiply that by the typical size of a 3D video game today (which also comes out to 70-80GB, compressed) and begins by showing how much load times can be reduced by using this system. Not only that: the load on the CPU, the core component most at risk of becoming a performance bottleneck, never rises to 100%.

As we have already seen in the case of DirectStorage 1.0, the results in Windows 11 will be better than in Windows 10, since the old system still relied on an older generation stack. However, Microsoft assures that both platforms will see notable improvements in the load times of compatible games. The company notes that users All you need is a DirectX 12 compatible graphics card that supports Shader Model 6.0even if the ideal option is to have a DX12 Ultimate compatible device.

Microsoft notes that developers can choose between different data compression algorithms, but at the same time introduces a new one created in collaboration with NVIDIA: it’s called GDeflateas the name suggests was Optimized specifically for DirectStorage 1.1. It is compatible with all major brands of video cards and GPUs (including Intel Arc). However, for now, Microsoft has not shared specific numbers about the benefits between one format and another.

DirectStorage 1.1 SDK and GPU Decompression SDK will be distributed Later this year the developers, who will then have to study and experiment to implement it in their games. In short, it will be a while before we see the technology in a purchasable title.

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