Over at Apple’s WWDC 2022 occasion, the Cupertino firm introduced a handful of latest gaming options coming to its Apple silicon-powered Macs. One was MetalFX Upscaling, its very personal function to rival AMD and Nvidia’s present FSR and DLSS choices. But the opposite sounds precisely like Apple’s very personal model of Microsoft’s DirectStorage expertise.

Apple introduced the Fast Resource Loading API for Metal 3, the newest model of its graphics framework. Fast Resource Loading API “minimises wait time by providing a more direct path from storage to the GPU, so games can easily access high-quality textures and geometry needed to create expansive worlds for realistic and immersive gameplay.”

A variety of buzzwords on the finish there, however sound acquainted?

DirectStorage is a storage expertise created by Microsoft and set to be utilised by Nvidia and AMD with their respective RTX IO and SmartAccess Storage applied sciences. It primarily reroutes property out of your speedy storage drives, bypassing the CPU and sluggish APIs, straight to the GPU for rendering in a body. Thus decreasing general latency, maximising bandwidth from an NVMe SSD, and rushing up loading instances.

DirectStorage was initially a Windows 11 solely function however it has since been introduced it is usually headed to Windows 10. There are seemingly different necessities for DirectStorage: seemingly a supported GPU and a reasonably speedy SSD. Just how briskly that SSD must be we do not know, however seemingly PCIe 4.0 bandwidth or higher for the total impact.

Now it might seem that Apple plans to combine a DirectStorage various into its personal graphics programming mannequin. Makes sense—Apple has full management over its personal silicon these days and might piece collectively all of the constituent elements to make it work easily. Its newest silicon, the Apple M2, additionally guarantees to ship 35% extra graphics efficiency than its predecessor. So that is well-timed.

Microsoft DirectStorage Slide

(Image credit score: Microsoft/Reddit)

Apple’s Fast Resource Loading API will not be actually a competitor to DirectStorage, nonetheless. Apple’s silicon would not play good with Windows techniques, or vice versa. But it does go to indicate that these applied sciences—upscaling, NVMe storage APIs, and so on.—are beginning to develop into the brand new norm for gaming on all platforms

Don’t overlook, Xbox additionally makes use of a model of DirectStorage and game builders on the platform now have entry to AMD’s upscaling expertise within the Xbox GDK. The PlayStation 5’s Kraken and IO subsystem additionally operates similarly.

Peak Storage

SATA, NVMe M.2, and PCIe SSDs on blue background

(Image credit score: Future)

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Metal 3 is being launched alongside No Man’s Sky and Resident Evil: Village later this yr, although no actual date has been given. It’s very attainable that DirectStorage arrives inside the first PC video games alongside the next-generation of GPUs in the direction of the latter half of the yr, too, which means these two applied sciences arrive round an identical time. There are not any agency dates for both simply but, nonetheless.

We know AMD plans to roll out SmartAccess Storage alongside builders Luminous Productions in Forspoken, and it is already proven off how load instances can shrink from 10 seconds to only one second with the function enabled. So there’s at the very least good cause to get excited by its arrival. 

Goodbye, loading screens. We knew ye too effectively.