DirectStorage is a technology made by Microsoft that will help your games load faster.
When the Xbox Series X came out, it came with Xbox Velocity Architecture, which made load times for games much shorter. At the time, Microsoft said that its DirectStorage program would bring the same technology to PCs.
It’s starting to become available now, but what is it, and is your system ready? Read on to find out.
DirectStorage and NVMe Storage
Even though NVMe storage is now the fastest option to load games and your operating system, performance is still being constrained by bottlenecks.
In the past, games’ complexity and download size were lower. However, today’s games must load many textures, character models, audio files, and other assets when they start up.
The massive amounts of data being transmitted through the system cannot be handled by the current storage APIs.
Even with an NVMe SSD, modern games are sophisticated and require much more graphical data to be loaded and fully played. However, this data flow isn’t being fully optimized.
Most of the time, game contents need to be loaded from the SSD, delivered to the RAM, decompressed by the CPU, and then sent to the graphics card for rendering. This strains the CPU and slows the system, which makes for a bad user experience.
As a result, even the most intricate game worlds will load more quickly than ever in the future, thanks to the DirectStorage API. Grouping assets into batches enables the simultaneous processing of numerous requests.
Additionally, it implies that gamers can now utilize SSDs with reading speeds of up to 7,000MB/s. But keep in mind that this is the promise for upcoming games:
“DirectStorage is now available as standard equipment for Windows games. By enabling developers to better take use of the speed of the most recent storage devices, this public SDK release ushers in a new era of quick load times and detailed environments in PC games.”
To benefit from DirectStorage, the games must be designed with it in mind. There aren’t any games that support it right now, but there might be some soon.
Fortunately, DirectStorage will function with both Windows 10 and Windows 11. Therefore, if you aren’t yet running Windows 11, you shouldn’t worry.
How DirectStorage works
The decompression load is transferred from the CPU to the GPU via the new DirectStorage API, which alters the situation. This expedites the procedure since the files are already in the proper location when the GPU renders them after they are decompressed, speeding up the process.
As a result, the CPU may perform other tasks without being slowed down by the decompression process. According to Microsoft, this might lower CPU load by as much as 40%, which would undoubtedly improve your overall experience. Read Also; Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 Release Date, Price, And Specs
As you may have probably surmised, DirectStorage requires fairly current hardware to function at its best. That involves having a current CPU and GPU running the most recent operating system. While a suitable NVMe SSD is required, a great gaming computer is not necessarily required.
DirectStorage will not work with traditional platter drives or 2.5-inch SSDs.
A graphics card that supports DirectX 12 is also required. The majority of them consider that all Nvidia Ampere, Turing, Pascal, Maxwell, Kepler, and Fermi GPUs support DirectX 12. So, you’re good to go if you recently purchased a graphics card.
How to check if your system is DirectStorage Ready
If you’re unsure whether your system meets the requirements and will play nicely with DirectStorage, don’t worry, as there’s an easy way to check. Though it does require a few steps:
- Register for Insider Access using your Microsoft account
- Download the Xbox Insider Hub from the Microsoft Store
- Open the Xbox Insider hub, click on the “preview tab,” and select “Windows Gaming Preview”
- Then go back to the Microsoft Store and check for updates
- Update the Xbox Game Bar app
- Once that’s updated, press Win+G to launch the overlay
- Go to the “gaming features” tab and look to see if your system is validated
Hopefully, your GPU, OS, and drive will all be marked as optimized. If not, an upgrade might be necessary.
As such, you can do nothing to activate DirectStorage, but if you wish to use it, your system must be prepared for it.
Which games support DirectStorage
Unfortunately, even though your system can use DirectStorage doesn’t guarantee that it will function correctly immediately. Game makers must adapt their creations to work with DirectStorage. Read Also; Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 Gaming Platform with a Razer developer kit
Forspoken is the first game to support DirectStorage. According to Luminous Productions, thanks to this technology, the game can load scenes in a few seconds. In contrast, it takes more than 20 seconds for the identical scene to load on a conventional HDD.
PC gaming has a promising future ahead of us, but we must wait.