DirectStorage benchmark shows massive transfer speed improvements

Why it issues: Microsoft’s DirectStorage API guarantees to deliver PCs ultra-fast load occasions akin to what Xbox Series console and PlayStation 5 customers have skilled for 2 years. As the primary sport supporting DirectStorage prepares to launch, a benchmark shows actual efficiency positive aspects on retail {hardware}.

Tests from PC Games Hardware present that Microsoft’s DirectStorage API can assist NVMe SSDs load belongings considerably sooner than SATA SSDs. They additionally provide the large benefits of GPU-based decompression over CPU decompression.

The website ran Microsoft’s publicly obtainable Avocado-loading DirectStorage demo on a SATA SSD, a PCIe 3.0 NVMe SSD, and a PCIe 4.0 NVMe. It additionally in contrast decompression speeds between three GPUs and a CPU –an AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT, an Intel Arc A770, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080, and a 5.2GHz Intel i9-12900K.

The chart under shows the transfer fee of every {hardware} configuration in GB/s, displaying the imply consequence out of 5 assessments. The NVMe SSDs ran a number of occasions sooner than the SATA SSD right here, and PCIe 4.0 had a slight benefit over PCIe 3.0. Possibly the strangest of all is that the A770 outperforms the RX 7900 XT and 4080 in GPU decompression regardless of being in a decrease weight class for sport efficiency.

Screenshots from the demo reveal the distinction between CPU and GPU decompression. Some present a number of gigabytes of belongings taking between one and a half seconds and 5 seconds to load, with between 30 % and one hundred pc CPU utilization. Others present the identical belongings loading in round half a second with lower than 5 % CPU utilization, indicating the GPU has taken over the job.

The demo shows promising early outcomes for {hardware} outdoors of Microsoft’s labs. Furthermore, they reveal an enormous turnaround from 2020 assessments displaying that latest video games don’t absolutely make the most of the bandwidth benefits of NVMes over SATA drives.

However, loading a bunch of avocados is not the identical as loading a 3D sport atmosphere. Those will not want to attend lengthy to check DirectStorage’s real-world efficiency. The function will debut in Square Enix’s Forspoken, which launches on January 24.

At GDC in March, Square Enix claimed that DirectStorage lets Forspoken load new scenes and environments in lower than two seconds on an NVMe SSD in comparison with a number of seconds on a SATA SSD and virtually half a minute on an HDD. Microsoft designed the brand new API to be used on Windows 11. Due to its legacy storage stack, Windows 10 programs will solely see restricted advantages.

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