Blazing Fast NVMEs and Direct Storage API for PCs *spawn*

Discussion in 'PC Hardware, Software and Displays' started by DavidGraham, May 18, 2020.

  1. milk

    milk Like Verified
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    This is a really good point and I see it as a perfectly valid consideration. I just want to add some nuance to it, despite agreeing on a broader range.

    Even if you have 16Gb RAM on next gen machines, you won't be filling that up to the brim with static assets brought from storage. Of course we never did that before, we need a place to store game state, physics/animation data, dinamuc lighting, framebuffers, volumetric data etc... But the thing is, once you know you can grab random assets from storage at a finger's snap and at fine granularity, engines might start using much more of those 16Gbs for the aformentioned dynamic stuff and the actual pool for static asset data might actually shrink to as low as 4Gb or less. So that will trade in more agressive constant streaming for more available RAM to be used for the actual cool shit.

    Also, I can think of many scenarios where you are constantly cycling through repeated data without even noticing it.

    Imagine SpiderMan, you are cruising through NY. In the game, there are four types of food stand (hypothetical here) Hot Dog, Burgers, Ice-cream and Boiled goose. As you cruise across town at speed, you may cross through nultiple dozens of those within a minute or so of gameplay, yet there is usually only one of those on view at full detail LOD. That means the game is streaming in, out, and in again the data for those carts dozens of times every few seconds. Something a game would never do past gen, but now becomes sensible.
     
    #441 milk, Nov 20, 2020 at 6:13 PM
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2020 at 7:31 PM
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  2. milk

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    Or an even simpler example here: Imagine a shooter where you constantly switch weapons. On last gen(s), all the weapon models (and related animations, sound, particle effects, UI graphics, etc) would stay resident in RAM constantly. Now it can all be pulled out from storage at weapon switch. That means, during a single level, a player can potentially switch weapons enough times for the game to pull thousands of GB through the streaming system, all by cycling through a relatively small set of repeating data.
     
    #442 milk, Nov 20, 2020 at 6:22 PM
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2020 at 2:15 PM
  3. milk

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    Now imagine all sounds are streamed exactly on demand from SSD. Every time you shoot a gun, RAM only has the first 1/4 second of that sound clip resident in ram, and pulls the rest as it starts playing. That's what? A couple Kbs of data? But those couple Kbs of data will be streamed over and over and over throught a game session literally thousands of times.

    Imagine every sound effect, gun shot, explosion, foot-step, line of dialogue is pulled on demand, in small chuncks, loaded just in time. All those are assets (sound assets in this case) that end up being re-used repeatedly millions of times during a game.

    The same can be done with charcter animations, by the way...

    Once you open up to modern, ambitious uses of fast streaming, the idea of the crazy speeds being used more often than only at level load becomes way more plausible.
     
    #443 milk, Nov 20, 2020 at 6:26 PM
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2020 at 7:34 PM
  4. Davros

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    Remember the X-FI with it's 64mb of x-ram
     
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  5. milk

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    no, actually.
     
  6. PSman1700

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    How did the X-ram work actually? I remember having two XFi champion series with the 64mb xram. I think only the 64mb versions could enable Ultra in BF2.
     
  7. Davros

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    Theoretically the game would upload the game audio into the x-ram so it didnt have to use ram or stream it off the hdd
    the cheaper x-fi's had 2mb of x-ram and i think it was just used as a cache and the game didnt need to be coded to take advantage of it. (could be wrong on that)

    Here's some info on X-Ram :
    http://ixbtlabs.com/articles2/multimedia/creative-x-fi-part3.html
     
    #447 Davros, Nov 21, 2020 at 2:59 PM
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2020 at 3:16 PM
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  8. PSman1700

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    Oh ok thanks yes i remember that. I have to say, those higher end Xfi models did deliver. Not all games did support it, but quite many did, considering the niche market the Xfi 64mb versions where.
    No idea about performance, but in BF2 for example, there was a huge difference in sound quality and placement (channels too).
     
  9. Davros

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    The link claimed 25% increase in fps in doom3
     
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