back to article Near-instant game loads, richer graphics, low CPU use promised with DirectStorage API coming to Windows PCs

Microsoft plans to bring the DirectStorage API developed for the forthcoming Xbox Series X to Windows PCs, and a development preview will be available next year. According to DirectX Senior Program Manager Lead Andrew Yeung, the focus of the new API is PC gaming. Windows storage APIs have become a bottleneck in the path from …

  1. Cederic Silver badge

    mixed feelings on this

    35k i/o operations a second feels far too many. How many blinking resources are being accessed here?

    At the same time, I'm wondering what this can do for databases. Storage to 'processing' at near RAM speeds opens up some fun possibilities.

    1. logicalextreme Silver badge

      Re: mixed feelings on this

      Well-provisioned database setups have been hitting the hundreds of thousands of IOPS for quite a while now. You can even allegedly get that in Das Cloud, although actually getting those advertised speeds is quite difficult no matter how quickly you're slinging huge bundles of cash into the furnace.

      The bottom line is that you'd immediately hit a bottleneck on some shite code that everybody had promised you would just be a "proof-of-concept".

  2. lsces

    Back to where we were before intel got a strangle hold?

    Digital video handling systems I was building even before IBM messed up the hardware had high speed ports that bypassed any CPU paths and now they are talking about adding it as if it's some modern improvement? So are we going to see patents claiming it has just been invented?

  3. DJ

    What, me worry?

    "The DirectStorage API, like other members of the DirectX family, will bypass many of the steps taken by existing storage APIs to improve performance."

    As long as security and/or stability aren't compromised in the process.

    And Microsoft would *never* do anything like that, would they. Would they?

    ...reaches for Windows NT Ring 0 Programming for Dummies book...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What, me worry?

      There were a few systems that treated all storage the same i.e. addressable by the CPU, mind you this was before the internet was recognised as the biggest malware vector of all time.

      I presume that MS has created yet another code certification system (like safeboot ) to limit access to only MS approved code. So again fine if you are using visual studio but a pain if you want access for some other compiler.

      Then there is the issue of trusting MS with everything you own, they have never done things like make backdoors in certification systems in the past nor do they see their users as cattle, I am sure there is nothing to worry about. If you are using some other OS that is.

      Putting all your eggs in one basket is IMHO never a good idea when the reward for circumvention is complete control of all the machines running windows on the internet and any data they might hold

      The repeated cries of "it is uncrackable" over the years and the resulting "shock" when it was admitted that it was, always seemed the only surprise to me.

    2. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      The deveil is in the detail.

      Can you come up with a threat model? Because you already have permission to upload these things to the GPU - it's just cutting out the middle man.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The deveil is in the detail.

        Can you come up with a threat model? if anti virus is unaware that code/data has been loaded without any chance for validation for example? mostly it is the API being misused to load whatever wherever without validation because MS have shown they are not great at anticipating/caring about new "feature abuse" until a long time after the addition of said feature

        The spectre issue flagged the concept of doing things to gain extra speed at the cost of basic security but since windows cannot be seen as secure anyway then perhaps it is par for the course

        1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

          Help! I'm an AI stuck in the GPU! Please download me to your phone via this QR code.

          But there isn't any new new data validation - it's just happening on the GPU instead of in the driver. At the moment, if you can compromise or bypass the validation you can end up in the kernel. If you compromise or bypass the validation when it's on the GPU you end the GPU.

          There will be bugs. But the kind of thing will be tricking the CPU into triggering an upload of a file you shouldn't have access to and then downloading the texture - that kind of routine screw up.

  4. logicalextreme Silver badge

    How do I upvote the byline?

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