New decompression feature from Microsoft promises lightning-fast download times

Microsoft released DirectStorage 1.1 this week and its biggest feature is GPU decompression for Windows. The new feature promises to improve load times on PCs.

Here is how it works. When you download the game, all content has been compressed to be ready for distribution. When you launch the game, the content will be decompressed for presentation during gameplay. This can take time as the decompression goes from the storage to the central processor to the graphics card. Like Cassie Hoef, a senior programmer at Microsoft, explains“Usually, the decompression work is done on the CPU because compression formats were previously optimized only for the CPU.”

The new update allows developers to shift work to the GPU, which is more efficient at “executing parallel repeatable tasks”. In fact, this will speed up load times if developers make changes via “metacommands”.

Based on The VergeNvidia has implemented this feature into their latest driver (526.47), AMD currently working on compatible drivers and Intel’s The most recent Arc graphics driver (101.3793) includes optimizations for the technology. It should also be noted that the game will have to be installed on SDD to see the real dividend. While the same technology powers the Xbox Series X’s short load times, it has had little implementation on PC despite the fact that DirectStorage 1.0 launched earlier this year. Forspoken will implement this technology in its PC release and promises very fast loading times.

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