DirectStorage Shows Minor Loading Speed ​​Improvements in Realistic PC Demo

Zoom / Microsoft’s DirectStorage API makes a measurable, albeit slight, difference when it comes to loading PC games.

Microsoft’s DirectStorage API It promises to speed up game load times, both on Xbox Series X/S and on Windows PCs (where Microsoft recently exited the developer preview stage). Square Enix is ​​one of the first games to show the benefits of DirectStorage on PC foresbook, which was presented by Luminous Productions Technical Director Teppei Ono at GDC this week. As I mentioned the edgeOno said that with fast NVMe SSD support and DirectStorage support, some scenes are in foresbook It can be downloaded in less than one second. This is definitely a huge leap from the days of waiting for PlayStation 2 to load giant open world maps from DVD.

As proof of DirectStorage, though, foresbookMixed numbers. On the other hand, the scenes shown by Ono clearly show scenes loading DirectStorage much faster on the same device, compared to the old Win32 API – from 2.6 seconds to 2.2 seconds in one scene, and from 2.4 seconds to 1.9 seconds in another. foresbook It showed performance improvements over older SATA-based SSDs as well, although it’s marketed as a feature that will primarily benefit NVMe drives — dropping from 5.0 to 4.6 seconds in one scene, and from 4.1 to 3.4 seconds in another. Speed ​​improvements for SATA SSDs have been restricted for the better part of a decade now because the SATA interface itself (rather than an SSD controller or NAND flash chips) has been blocking them. So getting any kind of measurable improvement to those engines is noteworthy.

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On the other hand, Ono’s demo showed that the game’s loading time did not improve as dramatically as the initial I/O speeds suggest. On an NVMe SSD, I/O speeds increased from 2,862 MB/s using Win32 to 4829 MB/s using DirectStorage — nearly a 70 percent increase. But the scene’s loading time dropped from 2.1 to 1.9 seconds. That’s a drop that wouldn’t be noticeable even if you were attempt to notice it.

Realistic performance improvements are not compatible with theoretical performance improvements in DirectStorage.
Zoom / Realistic performance improvements are not compatible with theoretical performance improvements in DirectStorage.

The foresbook The demo at the end showed that the storage speed you are using still has an extension Much It’s more about how quickly games load than DirectStorage. One scene that took 24.6 seconds to load using DirectStorage to a hard drive took just 4.6 seconds to load to a SATA SSD and 2.2 seconds to load to an NVMe SSD. This is a much bigger gap than that between Win32 and DirectStorage running on the same machine.

It’s worth noting that this is just one game, and we’ll likely see a wider range of results as more developers implement DirectStorage in their own titles and as Microsoft improves the technology. Removing other CPU-related bottlenecks, including moving decompressing assets from the CPU to the GPU, can improve DirectStorage’s performance advantage further. GPU decompression is not supported in the PC version of DirectStorage yet, but Microsoft Claims The feature is Next Roadmap.

Picture list by Western Digital

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