Microsoft has finally published the API needed for decompressing video game textures by the GPU, called DirectStorage. This task, which is usually done by the processor, is equivalent to the loading time before you can actually play.
According to the first tests carried out by the various manufacturers, this time could be divided by three, while the occupation of the processor was drastically reduced. Thus, in the Microsoft demo, the loading time for a scene goes from 2.36 to 0.80 s without detailing the configuration. Intel was more verbose on this same demo, with load times going from 1.16s when decompression is performed by a Core i9-12900K to 0.42s when DirectStorage is enabled. Texture compression is achieved by the Arc A770 16GB graphics card.
The ball is in the developer’s court
The prerequisites to take advantage of DirectStorage are simple: Windows 10 or 11, an SSD and a DirectX12 graphics card. However, Microsoft says that for best performance Windows 11, an NVMe SSD and a DirectX12 Ultimate graphics card are recommended.
If the three GPU manufacturers AMD, Intel and Nvidia have released their drivers, we will have to wait for the first DirectStorage compatible game, Abandonedwhich is scheduled for release on January 24, 2023.