Those who follow us have already heard about the DirectStorage API. This API is at the heart of the “Velocity architecture” of the Xbox Series X/S. In short, it allows to increase the performance of NVMe SSDs by using the GPU to reduce decompression times. Microsoft showed the interest of the arrival of this APi DirectStorage on PC last month, promising up to 200% improvements in game loading times. The other benefit of this technology is that CPU usage is also significantly reduced because the CPU no longer has to do the decompression work.
Today, DirectStorage version 1.1, which brings GPU decompression, is now available. The blog post detailing this announcement also highlights the changes in version 1.1:
The DirectStorage team is pleased to announce that GPU decompression with DirectStorage 1.1 is now available. This new version of DirectStorage contains everything a developer needs to get started with GPU decompression. What’s new:
- GPU decompression and GDeflate now available.
- Added EnqueueSetEvent to use Win32 event objects for completion notification.
- Performance improvements and bug fixes.
To fully exploit these features 2 things will have to come into play: firstly that developers use it (but it’s already well on the way) and that GPU vendors implement the features in their drivers. Here again, it’s done. Indeed, the drivers supported by DirectStorage 1.1 are available since about a week. AMD has not confirmed, however, which driver exactly comes with the support of the features. Intel and Nvidia, on the other hand, have confirmed the driver versions:
- For Intel, it is the beta version of the driver 188.8.131.5293.
- For Nvidia, it is the GeForce Game ready driver 526.47.