Game environment data is pre-compressed to the SSD or the hard drive on which the user has installed their game. From there they are loaded into the main memory of the computer, decompressed by the CPU and then transferred to the graphics card. However, this was a relatively complex and relatively slow process.
In the first step, Microsoft used its own DirectStorage technology to ensure that data was transferred directly from the hard drive to the graphics card’s memory, where it was unpacked back by the CPU. However, this actually eliminated one working step and speeded up the loading time of game graphics.
The first games are not until 2023
With available now DirectStorage version 1.1 Decompression is also performed by the graphics processing unit (GPU), which graphics memory belongs to anyway. This not only helps distribute system resources more efficiently, but also allows the graphics chip to perform decompression calculations more efficiently than the CPU. As a result, the speed of loading graphic data for games is almost tripled.
According to Microsoft developers, GPU decompression is supported on all graphics cards whose GPUs support DirectX 12 and Shader Model 6.0. The new feature is currently of particular interest to game developers in the form of an appropriately adapted API. Regular users will only benefit from the innovation if it is also supported by the game in question. This will only be the case for games that will be released within the next year.
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