With Windows 11, Microsoft introduced quite a few different new features to its operating system. Including Windows 11 and Windows 10 support for DirectStorage. It was previously available to owners of the new generation of Xbox. However many users are still wondering what exactly this technology does and why they might need it.
Why you need DirectStorage on Windows 11, Windows 10, and Xbox
As technology is constantly evolving, companies have to constantly add more and more features to their products in order to stay competitive. For this reason, users can quite often observe the next announcements of different new features of current operating systems.
In this regard, quite relevant are Microsoft with their Windows. The company is constantly releasing different updates where they improve performance and add new features in Windows 10 and in Windows 11.
When releasing Windows 11 the company said that this operating system would be the best choice for gamers. This is quite important for many users as gaming has been a part of modern culture for a long time now. Using a PC for gaming allows you to play with the highest graphics and FPS possible on modern hardware. Of course, this only applies to fairly powerful systems that are able to show such results.
And yet some features that are built into the operating system can also improve your gaming experience. One of these technologies is DirectStorage. It was introduced quite a while ago with the new generation of Xbox and was recently added to Windows 11 and Windows 10. It provides certain benefits to users who can use this technology. However, many people still don’t fully understand why DirectStorage can have a positive impact on their gaming experience and how they can enable it on their PC.
What DirectStorage is exactly doing
Basically, DirectStorage is a feature designed to maximize the speed of SSDs by paralleling the processing of modern GPUs, this is achieved through their huge power. This feature is compatible with DirectX 12 and was introduced in the Xbox Series S and Series X consoles. Later this feature was also implemented in Windows 10 or Windows 11 PCs. It allows you to almost completely get rid of loading screens and speed up the loading of locations in games.
To understand how exactly this function works you can understand how its analog works in PS5. The thing is that the maximum speed of the SSD in PS5 is 5.5 GB per second, while in PC you can put the SSD with a speed up to 7 GB per second. However, with Sony’s compression feature, they were able to achieve data transfer rates of up to 9GB per second.
The essence of this method is that the compression takes up much less space and the 5.5GB file is moved off the disk and then the PS5 uncompresses it and receives 9GB of data.
This method requires quite a lot of power to decompress the files and use them in a video game or app. Normally the CPU performs this task, but this can severely reduce the CPU power since other tasks will also require CPU resources. In the case of PS5, this problem is solved by using a dedicated CPU only for data decompression. However, in the PC you don’t put an additional processor for this purpose.
This is where DirectStorage comes in. This technology allows the computer to transfer the compressed data directly to the GPU (graphics processor) and decompress it there. The power of modern GPUs is quite sufficient for these purposes. This is a great solution for video games since most of this data will be used in the GPU for rendering one way or another.
So this technology allows the SSD and the GPU to work at their full potential and can save you from long loading screens. This is really a very useful and important feature for gamers which allows you to get more performance, but only if you have a powerful enough PC or Xbox.
What are the minimum system requirements for DirectStorage to work
When it comes to system requirements for DirectStorage to work. In the case of a PC, you need an NVMe drive with a capacity of 1TB or more. This means you need a drive that is connected via a suitable interface.
Since NVMe is much faster than the now outdated SATA, DirectStorage can only work with this interface.
You also need to have a video card with DirectX 12 Ultimate and Shader Model 6.0 support, as these are the only technologies with which DirectStorage works. At the moment, these cards are Nvidia 2000 series or higher, and video cards with RDNA 2 architecture from AMD.
If we’re talking about Xboxes, you only need to have a new generation Xbox Series S or Xbox Series X console. This feature will be available in them by default without any extra steps.
In addition, the game you run should also have support for DirectStorage. More such games should appear in 2022.
How to enable DirectStorage
You don’t really have to do anything to enable it. It will work automatically in DirectX 12. All you need to do is start the game with this driver.
In the case of the Xbox, it also works by default and will work in all compatible games.