AMD advises faster PC game load times with ‘SmartAccess storage’ for its GPUs

AMD is working to speed up 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 beginning to implement. It works by taking advantage of a PC’s NVME storage to reduce game load times to seconds.

On its own, DirectStorage promises to speed up game load times. However, AMD reports that its SmartAccess storage can take improvements further by leveraging its GPU to aid in data decompression.

“Traditional game loading requires a significant amount of computing power to decompress game data, requiring the CPU to perform decompression and data transfer, which introduces latency and takes up significant system resources,” said said Frank Azor, AMD’s chief gaming solutions and marketing architect, said during the company’s keynote(Opens in a new window) at Computex.


“To help circumvent these bottlenecks, AMD has created SmartAccess Storage, a suite of technologies supporting Microsoft DirectStorage that uses Smart Access Memory as well as new AMD platform technologies and Radeon GPU resource decompression to improve both game load times and texture streaming,” he added.

Azor did not provide details on SmartAccess storage. But the upcoming tech looks 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 also focuses on using a GPU to help decompress game data.” When used with Microsoft’s new DirectStorage API for Windows, RTX IO offloads dozens of CPU cores on your GeForce RTX GPU, improving frame rates, enabling near-instant game loading, and ushering in a new era of large, incredibly detailed open-world games,” said Nvidia.(Opens in a new window).

Nvidia has already started rolling out RTX IO in its RTX 2000 and 3000 GPUs. Now it looks like AMD customers will be able to take advantage of similar technology once SmartAccess Storage arrives. AMD plans to share more about the system in the coming months. Still, it will be up to game developers to implement Microsoft’s DirectStorage API before consumers see the benefits.

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