Microsoft opens DirectStorage 11 for developers GPU decompression speeds
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Microsoft opens DirectStorage 1.1 for developers – GPU decompression speeds up game loading

Last month, Microsoft announced DirectStorage technology version 1.1, which will allow the graphics card to receive data almost directly from the solid state drive to speed up game world loading. Now the technique became available Developers who will be able to implement GPU decompression support in their products. According to Microsoft, DirectStorage 1.1 speeds up game loading by up to 40%, depending on specific games and PC configurations.

    Image source: NVIDIA

Image source: NVIDIA

How DirectStorage works depends on a number of factors. To take advantage of the technology, users will need fairly modern hardware, including GPUs with support for DirectX 12 and Shader Model 6.0, as well as a fast solid state drive, such as one of the current NVMe SSDs.

During the DirectStorage 1.1 announcement, Microsoft showed a screenshot demonstrating the improvement in data decompression speed. In this case, the unpack time was reduced from 2.36 to 0.8 seconds and the CPU load was reduced from 100 to 15.08%.

It is noted that some optimized drivers are already ready to accept this API. On its blog, Microsoft provided links to support pages for major hardware partners such as AMD, intel and Nvidia. Because of this, users can learn more about how each hardware solution vendor is working to integrate support for DirectStorage 1.1.

    Image source: Microsoft

Image source: Microsoft

AMD determined that DirectStorage is a feature that game developers should leverage to realize the obvious benefits. At the same time, from the company’s announcement it is not clear whether support for the new technology is implemented in the delivered drivers or whether it will happen later. NVIDIA said in a release that Game Ready Driver version 526.47 adds support for the GDeflate compression format, and also notes the clear benefits of GPU decompression when loading games. According to Intel DirectStorage 1.1, the Arc driver 101.3793 contains optimizations for the Intel Xe architecture on systems with NVMe drives. In a test scenario in a system with a Core i9-12900K processor, Arc A770 graphics with 16 GB of memory, the download speed increased by almost three times.

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Robbie Elmers

Robbie Elmers is a staff writer for Tech News Space, covering software, applications and services.

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