DirectStorage для быстрой загрузки игр появится не только в Windows 11, но и в Windows 10 !
How to Use DirectStorage in Windows 11
Jeremy Laukkonen is automotive and tech writer for numerous major trade publications. When not researching and testing computers, game consoles or smartphones, he stays up-to-date on the myriad complex systems that power battery electric vehicles.
What to Know
- Press Windows Key G Gear icon Gaming Features, and check both the Graphics and DirectStorage sections to see if your hardware is compatible.
- For DirectStorage to work, your PC needs to have an NVMe SSD and a DirectX 12 compatible graphics card.
- DirectStorage is enabled automatically if your PC supports it, so you don’t need to turn it on.
This article explains how to take advantage of DirectStorage in Windows 11 to improve your game loading times.
How to Use DirectStorage in Windows 11
DirectStorage is built into Windows 11, so you don’t need to do anything to enable it. If your PC has the necessary specifications for DirectStorage to work, and you play a game that’s compatible with DirectStorage, Windows 11 will automatically leverage this feature to improve your load times and game performance.
For DirectStorage to work, your computer needs to meet or exceed these specifications:
- An NVMe SSD (PCIe 4.0 recommended)
- A video card that supports DirectX 12 and Shader Model 6.0
- Windows 11
Windows 10 also supports DirectStorage via a patch, but Microsoft recommends Windows 11.
How to Check if Your PC Can Use DirectStorage
If you aren’t sure whether or not your PC is compatible with DirectStorage, that is something you can check. You’ll need to check what kind of storage drive you have and check what kind of video card you have.
Here’s how to check if your PC can use DirectStorage:
- Press Windows Key G to open the Xbox Game Bar on your Windows 11 PC, then click the gear icon.
Click Gaming Features.
Look in the messages Your system is DirectX 12 Ultimate ready, and DirectStorage supported. If you see both messages, your PC supports DirectStorage.
How to Enable DirectStorage on a PC That Doesn’t Support It
If your Windows 11 PC doesn’t meet the requirements for DirectStorage, then you won’t be able to enable the feature. If you choose to upgrade your PC, you will need to install an NVMe SSD and upgrade your graphics card to DirectX 12. After performing those upgrades, Windows 11 will automatically enable DirectStorage for games that support it.
What Is DirectStorage, and How Does It Work?
DirectStorage is a feature that Microsoft developed for Xbox consoles that can improve load times and graphics performance when gaming on Windows 11 by speeding up the storage and retrieval of data. It takes advantage of the incredibly fast read and write times provided by NVMe drives, which is why the feature isn’t available if you don’t have an NVMe drive.
In addition to taking advantage of speedy NVME drives, DirectStorage also uses your graphics card to handle compressed data directly, instead of first having your CPU decompress everything (which is the way things normally work). This removes a potential bottleneck, as the graphics card can start rendering things right away instead of waiting on the CPU, and it’s why DirectStorage won’t work if your video card doesn’t support DirectX 12.
When your PC has both an NVMe and a DirectX 12 video card, and a game developer has opted to take advantage of DirectStorage, the result is significantly faster load times. Microsoft states that load times can be up to 40 times faster, and in many instances that results in nearly instantaneous loading.
In one way yes, in another, likely more important way, no. If you are talking about loading games and overall waiting for the game to be ready to play, yes, it’ll be faster. Will using a system with DirectStorage increase graphics fluidity and FPS, then no. For better and faster graphics you need a beefier graphics card.
As with DirectStorage, yes but mostly no. An SSD will make your game load faster so there’ll be less waiting to start playing the game and less waiting while new levels load into memory. An SSD is a worthwhile investment beyond gaming as it speeds up boot time, opening apps, and saving files.
How to Enable Direct Storage in Windows 11
The recent announcement of Windows systems integrating DirectStorage has raised gamers’ expectations worldwide. This Xbox-based storage improvement API allows developers to drastically improve the user’s gameplay experience. In this article, we’ll go over how to enable direct storage and everything you need to know about it.
What Is Direct Storage on Windows 11?
Microsoft’s DirectStorage is a low-level storage API, that you can use to load your games in milliseconds.
DirectStorage saves all of the game’s assets to your computer’s hard drive when you load it. This includes graphics, sounds, maps, and character models. The game then uses an Application Programming Interface (API) to access the data on the hard drive.
APIs are responsible for storing and retrieving data from the system’s hard drive into the system’s RAM. After that, it’s sent to be rendered by the computer’s graphics processing unit (GPU).
In order to preserve storage space, a game’s data is compressed before being downloaded. It is not possible to use compressed data on the GPU. As a result, decompression occurs on the CPU rather than in RAM. The game is then transferred to the GPU’s VRAM for display.
There is a bottleneck between the CPU and the graphics card or GPU because of compression difficulties. The legacy process of loading via the CPU is slower.
To alleviate these bottlenecks and improve PC gaming, Microsoft has introduced DirectStorage, which was previously only accessible for Xbox Series X/S game creators.
Since it replaces older APIs, DirectStorage has a lot to offer to developers. For starters, decompression at the CPU level is no longer possible after transferring game data into your PC’s RAM. DirectStorage, on the other hand, incorporates innovative GPU compression methods. There is no delay in rendering graphics since the GPU receives a large amount of compressed data at once and doesn’t have to wait. Modern high-end GPUs are required to decompress data at a faster rate than CPUs.
How to Enable DirectStorage in Windows 11
As DirectStorage is an API, you don’t need to do anything to activate this function if you’re using Windows 11. However, you need to wait on third-party developers’ inclusion of this functionality. Your computer will take care of the rest when you start up a DirectStorage-compatible title.
This feature has not yet been implemented in any games at the time of writing. The first DirectStorage-enabled games are expected to arrive in early 2023. We’ll have to wait and see how soon the gaming industry adopts this new technology.
Is DirectStorage Necessary?
No. If you don’t have DirectStorage, you can still play your games as you’ve been doing so far. However, DirectStorage will enhance your gaming experience. So, it’s a nice thing to have, but it’s not necessary.
Does My PC Have Direct Storage?
Not every machine can run the DirectStorage subsystem. In order to utilize DirectStorage, you must have a computer that meets its system requirements. You’ll need a 1TB NVMe SSD (or larger) to save and play your games. NVMe drives must also be able to support and use the Standard NVM Express Controller driver, which is required by the NVMe specification and shouldn’t be a huge setback.
You’ll also need a powerful GPU capable of running DirectX 12 Ultimate and supporting the Shader Model 6.0. Nvidia RTX 2000 or RTX 3000 series or AMD RDNA 2 graphics cards are required.
Using DirectStorage in conjunction with gaming is possible if you meet the minimum system requirements and have the proper hardware.
PCs also need to have either Windows 11 or Window 10 patch 1909 and above.
For games running on Windows 11, the new DirectStorage improvements will have a more significant impact because DirectStorage API is incorporated into Windows 11. The improved memory stack system in Windows 11 allows for better performance than the legacy OS stack in Windows 10, and future Windows patches won’t change the legacy features. Nevertheless, don’t be discouraged if you’re using Windows 10 because DirectStorage will still benefit Windows 10 users so long as your system is up to date. You will still have all the benefits mentioned above, like faster data loading and increased frame rates, but the raw speed won’t be as high as on Windows 11.
Therefore, if you want to stay on the cutting edge of gaming performance, it may be necessary for you to install the latest operating system. Luckily, that’s relatively straightforward with Windows 11’s free upgrade plan.
Even while DirectStorage is still in its infancy, game creators will soon be able to create high-quality games without having to deal with lengthy loading times. Gamers will enjoy a new level of immersion in their favorite games but also other PC software will benefit from the DirectStorage like Office.
Which version of Windows is better for DirectStorage?
DirectStorage performs significantly better in Windows 11 due to the implementation of new storage stack improvements.
Is DirectStorage a whole new application programming interface (API)?
Not entirely. The DirectStorage API is included on both the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles from Microsoft. However, it’s completely new when it comes to Windows.
DirectStorage Still Has a Long Way to Go
DirectStorage can theoretically play a critical part in enhancing the gaming experience of thousands of PC gamers. Still, video game makers are not totally on board with the idea at this time. Microsoft is attempting to make DirectStorage a de facto industry norm, but only time can tell whether or not their efforts are successful.
Game developers will now be able to create worlds that are larger in scope and have higher-quality visuals. Provided that your games support DirectStorage, you’ll also enjoy significantly quicker loading times.
The current state of DirectStorage support is inconsistent, but is expected to improve over the next several years as the technology matures.
What do you think about Windows incorporating DirectStorage? How will it affect the gaming world, in your opinion? Let us know in the comment section below!
How to Enable DirectStorage on Windows 11
Originally developed for Xbox X/S, Microsoft introduced DirectStorage for Windows PC gaming on March 14, 2022. Microsoft has since released two updated versions, DirectStorage 1.1 and DirectStorage 1.2 on November 7th, 2022 and April 18th, 2023 as well.
It is an API (Application Programming Interface) that improves game performance by massively decreasing the load time of game assets. However, all systems and all games do not support this process.
Microsoft introduced DirectStorage to decrease the CPU usage and loading time of PC and Xbox console games.
All modern games have optimized the process of loading their assets by breaking them into chunks. However, this process creates the need to request and load the assets every time, vastly increasing the input/output (IO) requests. With older hard drives, this process could not be optimized any further due to the low bandwidth in such drives.
DirectStorage on Windows will make games so much better
It is now possible with the NVMe technology, but the older Win32 APIs were still causing bottlenecks. These general-purpose APIs require more CPU cycles and could not keep up with the IO bandwidth provided by NVMe drives.
So Microsoft designed the DirectStorage API to utilize the full IO throughput of these drives and efficiently load high-quality graphics assets. After the initial release, Microsoft continued integrating more advanced features into this API to exploit the capability of DirectX 12 Ultimate compatible GPUs.
How Does DirectStorage Work?
With its first PC release (version 1.0), DirectStorage introduced two features:
DirectStorage can handle smaller requests in batches more efficiently. It uses the improved file IO stack of the Windows 11 operating system to reduce CPU overhead.
Additionally, along with the high IO bandwidth of NVMe drives, it uses the extra CPU overhead to perform even more IO operations. This way, the games can load the necessary assets much faster.
The DirectStorage 1.1 release introduced GPU decompression into its list of features.
Modern games mostly use compressed assets as uncompressed ones take up a lot of space. These assets first go to the RAM (system memory). Then, traditionally, the CPU decompresses them and transfers them to the GPU’s VRAM. DirectStorage 1.1 allows the GPU to do this task instead, as it is more optimized for parallel processing. This process further brings down the load time.
DirectStorage 1.2 didn’t bring many further improvements to the API’s operation. But it did fix some bugs and introduce some features to make the API more accessible to developers.
Note: DirectStorage doesn’t make your normal gameplay faster but only affects the loading time.
How to Enable DirectStorage?
DirectStorage is an API available as a Software Development Kit (SDK) for game developers. You don’t need to perform any task or make any changes to your computer to enable this feature.
Game developers will include the corresponding support for the process in their games. Whenever you play these particular games, your computer will implement the DirectStorage features automatically as long as it is compatible with this API.
How to Check if My Computer is Compatible With Directstorage?
Games that include DirectStorage API will work on Windows 10 even with older storage or just DirectX 12 compatible GPU while providing some improvement. But if you want to use all the features provided by this API, you need to have,
You can check if your computer supports DirectStorage through the Xbox Game Bar settings.
- Press Windows key G to open the Game Bar.
- Click on the gear icon to open its settings and go to the Gaming Features tab.
- Here, under DirectStorage, check if the GPU, OS, and drives support this API.
- Also, check if it says that your system supports DirectX 12 Ultimate. If it doesn’t, your computer can’t use the GPU decompression feature of DirectStorage 1.1.
If your PC does not have the necessary requirements, the only option you have is to upgrade the OS or the hardware to meet the requirements. There are no shortcuts or patches you can use for this purpose.
Abhishek Silwal is an Electronics Engineer and a technical writer at TechNewsToday. He specializes in troubleshooting a wide range of computer-related issues. His educational background in Electronics Engineering has given him a solid foundation in understanding of computers. He is also proficient in several programming languages and has worked on various robotics projects. Even in his early days, he used to tinker with various computer components, both hardware, and software, to satiate his curiosity. This experience has given him a breadth of experience that goes beyond his educational qualification. Abhishek has been writing articles on dealing with varieties of technical issues and performing specific tasks, especially on a Windows machine. He strives to create comprehensive guides on fixing many system and hardware issues and help others solve their problems. You can contact him at email@example.com
Windows 11 features an ‘upgraded storage stack’ to deliver major storage benefits
Windows 10 will support DirectStorage, but only Windows 11 will see its full benefits
Today’s games don’t make great use of SSD storage. Most software applications treat SSDs as faster hard drives, and while that is true, it minimises the potential of today’s fastest drives. With the introduction of SSD-based storage into consoles, developers are now interested in fully exploiting the potential of SSD storage, and that’s where Microsoft’s DirectStorage API comes into play.
When Microsoft announced Windows 11, the software maker’s representatives stated that the API “will only be available on Windows 11”, a statement that has now proven to be false. Well. at best it’s partially true.
While Windows 10 users with Windows 10 version 1909 or above will benefit from DirectStorage support, Microsoft has confirmed that Windows 11 features an upgraded OS storage stack that can deliver the full potential of DirectStorage, delivering the best system performance in supported software. Windows 10 users will still get access to increased storage efficiency, but Windows 11 will offers gamers the best user experience.
Here is what Microsoft had to say in their latest development blog.
What is DirectStorage?
Microsoft’s DirectStorage API was designed for Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. The DirectStorage standard will also be coming to PC for everyone with PCIe Gen 3 (or faster) NVMe storage and a DirectX 12 compatible graphics card, delivering the same performance benefits to gamers on PC and Xbox. That said, DirectStorage is best used with DirectX 12 Ultimate compatible graphics hardware.
DirectStorage is designed to make more efficient use of system resources and take advantage of modern NVMe storage solutions, reducing I/O overhead on CPUs while also feeding graphics cards with data faster.
Today, traditional storage mechanisms feed data from storage and onto system memory, decompresses the data on your CPU, and then load the GPU memory data. With DirectStorage, the same data could be loaded onto your graphics card’s VRAM using a more direct path, saving CPU resources and system memory in the process. That said, this will force your graphics card to decompress its own data, spending some GPU resources.
Using DirectStorage, developers of Xbox and Windows games can load assets onto GPU memory with less latency and reduce the CPU overhead of high I/O rates. This change will free up CPU resources for other tasks, boosting CPU performance while also allowing assets to be loaded onto GPU memory faster.
DirectStorage is designed to allow gaming systems to take full advantage of the high I/O rates of NVMe storage solutions. This factor will enable games to exploit the performance benefits of SSD storage. This innovation will allow developers to create larger and more varied game worlds, as DirectStorage will make asset streaming a speedy process.
DirectStorage is a gamechanger, enabling faster loading times while enabling a more varied gaming experience. With games taking full advantage of NVMe storage, loading times will become much shorter, and in some cases, they may disappear entirely.
With Microsoft new storage API, game developers will be able to optimise their programs to utilise the performance of ultra-fast NVMe SSDs, feed graphics cards with data at a faster rate with less latency and reduce the system overhead of high I/O rates. These benefits are achieved through extra parallelism, more direct storage access and optimising I/O with SSDs in mind.
With decompression workloads moving onto graphics cards, Microsoft has worked to create GPU-friendly compression solutions that work well on modern graphics cards. That said, Microsoft has laid the groundwork for a DirectCompute decompressor, which can be implemented in silicon to deliver ultra-fast decompression rates on future CPUs and GPUs.
In the past, SSDs were treated by software as fast HDDs, often failing to take advantage of the strengths of the medium. While today’s fastest NVMe SSDs are orders of magnitude faster than their SATA-based counterparts, the performance disparity between these products is rarely seen in consumer applications, especially in games. Moving forward, this will change. Microsoft’s DirectStorage API will allow developers to exploit NVMe storage fully, and in time that will make NVMe SSDs a must for PC gamers.
When combined with Windows 11’s upgraded storage stack, DirectStorage will change PC gaming. Over the next few years, SSD storage will become a minimum system requirement for many AAA games and later DirectStorage compatibility will be added to those system requirements. Developers are starting to fully exploit the potential of SSDs, and that will change gaming across PC and consoles.
As we move further into the current console generation, games will make more extensive use of the NVMe SSDs within Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and Playstation 5. This movement will make NVMe storage a must for PC gamers, as storage speeds will soon impact loading times and gameplay.
You can join the discussion on Microsoft’s DirectStorage API on the OC3D Forums.