AMD is working to accelerate PC game load times with a new technology called SmartAccess Storage, which is coming to the company’s Radeon GPUs.
The technology is designed to work with Microsoft DirectStorage, a new API that game developers are starting to implement. It works by taking advantage of a PC’s NVME storage to streamline game load times down to a few seconds.
On its own, DirectStorage promises to speed up game loading times. However, AMD is signaling its SmartAccess Storage can take the improvements further by tapping its GPU to aid in the data de-compression.
“Traditional game loading takes a significant amount of compute power to decompress the game’s data, requiring the CPU to do the decompression and data transfer, which introduces latency and takes considerable system resources,” Frank Azor, AMD’s Chief Architect of Gaming Solutions and Marketing, said during the company’s keynote(Opens in a new window) at the Computex trade show.
“To help bypass these bottlenecks, AMD has created SmartAccess Storage, a suite of technologies supporting Microsoft DirectStorage that utilizes Smart Access Memory along with new AMD platform technologies and Radeon GPU asset decompression to improve both game load times and texture streaming,” he added.
Azor didn’t offer details about SmartAccess Storage. But the upcoming technology sounds like the company’s answer to Nvidia’s RTX IO, which is also designed to work with the Microsoft DirectStorage API.
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RTX IO was introduced in 2020 and it too focuses on using a GPU to help with game data de-compression. “When used with Microsoft’s new DirectStorage for Windows API, RTX IO offloads dozens of CPU cores’ worth of work to your GeForce RTX GPU, improving frame rates, enabling near-instantaneous game loading, and opening the door to a new era of large, incredibly detailed open-world games,” Nvidia said(Opens in a new window).
Nvidia has already started rolling out RTX IO in its RTX 2000 and 3000 GPUs. Now it seems AMD customers will be able to take advantage of a similar technology once SmartAccess Storage arrives. AMD plans on sharing more about the system in the coming months. Still, it’ll be up to game developers to implement Microsoft’s DirectStorage API first before consumers will see the benefits.
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