Microsoft has now made the improved version of its DirectStorage technology available. With this, the decompression of graphics data in games is pushed directly into the GPU and thus significantly accelerated.
The data of the gaming environment was previously compressed on the SSD or hard drive on which the user had installed his game. From there they were loaded into the computer’s main memory, decompressed by the CPU, and then transferred to the graphics card. However, this was a relatively complex and comparatively slow process.
In the first step, Microsoft used its DirectStorage technology to ensure that the data was transferred directly from the hard drive to the graphics card memory, where it was then unpacked again by the CPU. However, this already eliminated one work step and the loading time of the gaming graphics accelerated.
First games until 2023
With the DirectStorage version 1.1 that has now been made available, the decompression is also carried out by the GPU, to which the graphics memory belongs anyway. Not only does this help distribute system resources more efficiently, but it also allows the graphics chip to perform decompression calculations more efficiently than the CPU. As a result, the speed when loading the graphics data of the games roughly triples.
According to Microsoft developers, GPU decompression is supported on all graphics cards whose GPUs support DirectX 12 and Shader Model 6.0. At the moment, however, the new feature is particularly interesting for game developers in the form of the appropriately adapted API. Normal users will only benefit from the innovation if it is also supported by the respective game. This will only be the case for games that will be launched in the course of the coming year.
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