The game environment data was previously compressed on the SSD or hard drive on which the user had their game installed. 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 a first step, Microsoft used its DirectStorage technology to ensure that data was transferred directly from the hard drive to graphics card memory, where it was unpacked by the CPU again. However, this already removed one job step and the game’s graphics load time was sped up.
First games not until 2023
With the now available Direct Storage version 1.1 decompression is also done by the GPU, to which the graphics memory belongs anyway. Not only does this help allocate 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 of loading graphics data for games is approximately 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 tailored API. Normal users will only benefit from the innovation if it is also compatible with the respective game. This will only be the case for games that will be released over the course of the next year.
Introvert. Beer guru. Communicator. Travel fanatic. Web advocate. Certified alcohol geek. Tv buff. Subtly charming internet aficionado.