02Sep

PC Computers, Xbox Series X & PS5 get something in common: DirectStorage, PCIe 4.0, 7nm CPUs

I usually upgrade my computer every 8 years, but things are changing so drastically that I feel the urge to jump onto this technology revolution.

The newest motherboards have PCIe 4.0 lanes — doubling the bandwidth of PCIe 3.0 up to 64GBps (in 16x slots).

Currently, you can use AMD Ryzen 9 3900X (12-core, 24-thread) Zen 2 CPU on PCIe 4.0 motherboards, but there is a new AMD Zen 3 CPU series coming sometime in late 2020 using a refined 7nm process; and a Zen 4 (5nm) rumored around 2021-2022 — leaving Intel behind to catch up.

Recently, Samsung leaked the specs of their upcoming Samsung 980 PRO NVMe SSD which features a crazy 7000MB/s read and 5000MB/s write speeds. That’s more than the PS5’s 5000MB/s read SSD.

NVIDIA announced yesterday their new line of NVDIA GeForce RTX 3070 / 3080 / 3090 graphic cards.

The last two are slated for late September, while the more appealing price/performance-wise — the entry level RTX 3070, is slated for October at $499.

The 3070 supports Raytracing and 4K TVs, and the other two support up to 8K TVs.

Finally, Microsoft announced today via blog details about DirectStorage — and this is the creme of how the integration of PCIe 4.0, crazy new NVMe SSDs, the new 7nm Zen 3/4 CPUs, and RTX 3070/3080/3090 combine together to provide gamers with a powerhouse for future high-end AAA games and updated AAA games like World of Warcraft: Shadowlands Beta.

Basically, Microsoft is telling new PCIe 4.0 users and current dinosaurs not to bother buying the Xbox Series X nor PS5 for that matter… simply upgrade to your new PCIe 4.0 Windows 10 PC. Buy and invest into the new technology, and with Microsoft’s DirectStorage API we have your back. The new PC systems are your Next-Gen Consoles.

This is what Andrew Yeung (from Microsoft) posted in this DirectX Developer blog:

Earlier this year, Microsoft showed the world how the Xbox Series X, with its portfolio of technology innovations, will introduce a new era of no-compromise gameplay. Alongside the actual console announcements, we unveiled the Xbox Velocity Architecture, a key part of how the Xbox Series X will deliver next generation gaming experiences.

We’re excited to bring DirectStorage, an API in the DirectX family originally designed for the Velocity Architecture to Windows PCs!  DirectStorage will bring best-in-class IO tech to both PC and console just as DirectX 12 Ultimate does with rendering tech. With a DirectStorage capable PC and a DirectStorage enabled game, you can look forward to vastly reduced load times and virtual worlds that are more expansive and detailed than ever.

The DirectStorage API and all these new technologies combined are designed to lower or remove bottlenecks. In essence, you could play Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart or any other XBox Series X / PS5 next-gen game on your PCIe. 4.0 computer with no loading screens, and no FPS loss.

What does this means in terms of what we can expect from future Blizzard Entertainment games — including Diablo 4? Only time will tell, but it seems Blizzard just got a powerful platform to develop games they could only dream of.

Microsoft is giving game developers (including Blizzard Entertainment) the tools to go unhinged with creative ways to build near realistic worlds.

Microsoft plans to provide developers around the world a development preview of DirectStorage in 2021. Hopefully, that means World of Warcraft and Diablo 4 get extra improvements to benefit from this technology.

I can just imagine how phasing technology with the DirectStorage API could allow for a whole Kalimdor or Eastern Kingdoms phasing to expand storytelling in old-world zones, or special events happening in them, or better yet an expansion that allows you to travel in time to different eras, encountering new challenges in the past or the future.

It is a good year to be an excited video gamer. Of course, your wife or husband won’t be as happy after reading the bank statement post-investment.

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BlizzCon 2019 Panel Transcripts

Tomas Hernandez is owner of Blizzplanet.com since 2003. I post news about World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard Careers, and the Warcraft film. Blizzplanet is a leading fansite covering news about upcoming Blizzard Entertainment licensed products. I also post previews and reviews. I have interviewed book writers and Blizzard game developers. I was previously an employee of the OGaming Network (2003), and IncGamers (2008-2010). I was a guest newsposter for GosuGamers (World of Warcraft) a few years ago and for Diablofans.com (formerly Diablo3.com) ***Fans who would love to watch Blizzard-related panels and appreciate our efforts can support Blizzplanet's patreon in a monthly-basis, or a one-time basis. Our staff are volunteer fans like you. Your donations will help us travel to all the Blizzard events we attend year-round to bring you the latest interview with the developers, photos, and panel videos (where allowed).