Last month Microsoft released a full specification and features list for the Xbox Series X. We have learned that their lastest console is not only going to be very powerful but also very fast. The speed of the console is partially due to the CPU and memory bandwidth, but a very swift SSD plays a crucial role. To ensure both the quick Zen 2 based CPU and powerful RDNA 2 based GPU are occupied, they both have to be feed data at a very quick pace. This is where Xbox Series X Velocity Architecture comes in.
“The Xbox Velocity Architecture is the new architecture we’ve created for the Xbox Series X to unlock new capabilities never-before-seen in console development. It consists of four components: our custom NVMe SSD, a dedicated hardware decompression block, the all-new DirectStorage API, and Sampler Feedback Streaming (SFS). This combination of custom hardware and deep software integration allows developers to radically improve asset streaming and effectively multiply available memory. It will enable richer and more dynamic living worlds unlike anything ever seen before. It also effectively eliminates loading times, and makes fast travel systems just that: fast.”
Xbox Series X Velocity Architecture Breakdown
- Very Fast 1 TB Custom NVME SSD – 2.4 GB/s (Raw), 4.8 GB/s (Compressed, with custom hardware decompression block) I/O throughput
- Hardware Decompression – Hardware decompression is a dedicated hardware component introduced with Xbox Series X to allow games to consume as little space as possible on the SSD while eliminating all CPU overhead typically associated with run-time decompression. It reduces the software overhead of decompression when operating at full SSD performance from more than three CPU cores to zero – thereby freeing considerable CPU power for the game to spend on areas like better gameplay and improved framerates. Hardware decompression is one of the components of the Xbox Velocity Architecture.
- DirectStorage – DirectStorage is an all-new I/O system designed specifically for gaming to unleash the full performance of the SSD and hardware decompression. It is one of the components that comprise the Xbox Velocity Architecture. Modern games perform asset streaming in the background to continuously load the next parts of the world while you play, and DirectStorage can reduce the CPU overhead for these I/O operations from multiple cores to taking just a small fraction of a single core; thereby freeing considerable CPU power for the game to spend on areas like better physics or more NPCs in a scene. This newest member of the DirectX family is being introduced with Xbox Series X and we plan to bring it to Windows as well.
- Sampler Feedback Streaming (SFS) – A component of the Xbox Velocity Architecture, SFS is a feature of the Xbox Series X hardware that allows games to load into memory, with fine granularity, only the portions of textures that the GPU needs for a scene, as it needs it. This enables far better memory utilization for textures, which is important given that every 4K texture consumes 8MB of memory. Because it avoids the wastage of loading into memory the portions of textures that are never needed, it is an effective 2x or 3x (or higher) multiplier on both amount of physical memory and SSD performance.
SOURCE: Xbox Wire