In among all of the hoopla surround the launch of the Ampere-based GeForce RTX 30 series graphics cards, there was the introduction of RTX IO.
What the hell is NVIDIA RTX IO?!
NVIDIA is utilizing the new Ampere GPU architecture inside of its GeForce RTX 30 series graphics cards to introduce RTX IO, which is a "suite of technologies that enable rapid GPU-based loading and game asset decompression, accelerating I/O performance by up to 100x compared to hard drives and traditional storage APIs".
Microsoft has its new DirectStorage for Windows API coming, where an Ampere-based GeForce RTX 30 series graphics card can be used with RTX IO to offloads "dozens of CPU cores' worth of work to your GeForc RTX GPU" which NVIDIA says will improve "frame rates, enabling near-instantaneous game loading, and opening the door to a new era of large, incredibly detailed open world games".
- What is the DirectStorage API? Microsoft's upcoming DirectStorage API is a next-generation storage architecture that has been designed for next-gen gaming PCs with state-of-the-art NVMe-based SSDs -- as well as the upcoming Xbox Series X console.
NVIDIA explains that the streamlined and parallelized APIs that have been specifically tailored for gamers, will "allow dramatically reduced IO overhead and maximize performance/bandwidth from NVMe SSD to your RTX IO-enabled GPU".
NVIDIA adds: "Specifically, NVIDIA RTX IO brings GPU-based lossless decompression, allowing reads through DirectStorage to remain compressed while being delivered to the GPU for decompression. This removes the load from the CPU, moving the data from storage to the GPU in its more efficient, compressed form, and improving I/O performance by a factor of 2".
"GeForce RTX GPUs are capable of decompression performance beyond the limits of even Gen4 SSDs, offloading dozens of CPU cores' worth of work to deliver maximum overall system performance for next generation games".
Don't expect NVIDIA RTX IO tomorrow, with Microsoft itself aiming for a 2021 release for the developer preview of DirectStorage for Windows to game developers. We can expect more news on RTX IO in the coming months as this all rolls out.
We're pretty much seeing what the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X will have with their ultra-fast NVMe-based SSDs... but that's all PC tech, so of course we're getting it, and it'll be even better -- and even faster. NVIDIA has you handled with RTX IO going forward.