Microsoft is updating its DirectStorage API, bringing the gaming tool up to version 1.1. The big news with this update is the addition of GPU decompression.
In normal situations, the CPU takes care of decompression. However, there are clear benefits to allowing the GPU to do it. Microsoft is bundling into DirectStorage a new developer tool it calls “GDeflate”. According to the company, this addition allows 3x (200%) better performance in asset time loading, down to 0.8 seconds from 2.36 seconds.
“We are offering an alternative method in DirectStorage 1.1 by moving the decompression of those assets to the GPU instead – known as “GPU decompression.” Graphics cards are extremely efficient at performing repeatable tasks in parallel, and we can utilize that capability along with the bandwidth of a high-speed NVMe drive to do more work at once. As a result, the amount of time it takes for an asset to load decreases, reducing level load times and improving open world streaming”.
Furthermore, DirectStorage allows much less load on the CPU, now down from 100% in decompression to just 15%. Microsoft is also optimising “in the IO Stack” for Windows 11. This will mean DirectStorage will work even better on the platform. It is worth remembering the API also works on Windows 10.
GPU giants AMD and Nvidia are already on board and have drivers in the pipeline that will cater to DirectStorage version 1.1. Intel – a relatively new player in dedicated GPUs – is also saying it will release a relevant driver for the update.
Of course, none of this really matters because the technology that DirectStorage offers is not yet available. The debut game for the API, Forspoken, has been delayed yet again.
Tip of the day: File History is a Windows back up feature that saves each version of files in the Documents, Pictures, Videos, Desktop, and Offline OneDrive folders. Though its name implies a primary focus on version control, you can actually use it as a fully-fledged backup tool for your important documents.