NVIDIA announces RTX IO, GPU to Directly Access SSD

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NVIDIA yesterday introduced a whole bunch of technologies next to the three graphics cards. We'll do some writeups today and update the preview article. One that is particularly interesting is RTX IO, a set of tools that uses a GPU for file compression, in order to improve the storage of games.

NVIDIA mentioned that the RTX IO technology package works with the Windows DirectStorage API to improve game compression on SSDs. Consequently, your PC can open files faster, ensuring faster loading screens. The application is similar to what happens on the new generation of consoles, the PS5 and the Xbox Series X.

Nvidia aspires to resolve IO challenges with RTX IO, directing data from an SSD to the Vram and lossless decompression in the GPU itself. This should free CPU cores from the above work and drastically reduce loading times. Details about how RTX IO will work exactly are not yet available - at first glance it does not seem possible to have SSDs communicate with the video card without the intervention of the CPU, but we'll revisit that once we can actually review the technology

Nvidia notes that games have evolved a lot in recent times in this regard thanks to the use of NVMe SSDs, but the high processor usage load still creates headaches. Processing data directly on the video card pledges up to 100 times more performance than solutions currently in use. The procedure will also relieve the CPU and guarantee approximately 20% less work for the processor. The graph displayed by the manufacturer shows reads up to 14 GB/s with low CPU usage.

Windows DirectStorage should also reduce file size. Therefore, the trend is that developers can deliver games with faster downloads and this results in less space consumed on the SSD. NVIDIA confirmed that the tool will work with all Ampere and Turing GPUs, so that would be the RTX 20 and RTX 30 models. On the other hand,

According to Nvidia, Microsoft plans to start releasing DirectStorage for Windows next year.

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