Going forward, the DirectStorage API combined with the NVMe SSD ensures shorter load times of and within games under Windows 10* and Windows 11. DirectStorage is a major feature of Xbox Series X | S (review).
DirectStorage is now also available on PC
After Microsoft published DirectStorage Developer Preview, which is mainly aimed at developers and power users, in July 2021, the final version of the file I/O API for Xbox Series X was released | S for PC. Windows 10 and Windows 11 are officially supported, but that’s only half the story.
* On the other hand, Windows 10 users will have to live with the limitations from the start, as Microsoft already confirmed in the first developer preview:
- Windows 10 will not be able to use the full range of so-called stack improvements, which should only enable the full capabilities of DirectStorage under Windows 11, which was also developed with the aim of the new API.
- However, games should already benefit from Windows 10 “from the new programming model and GPU decompression technology”.
On the other hand, results similar to those found on Xbox Series X | . can be expected S under Windows 11.
API ensures shorter load times in games
DirectStorage is a new programming interface for data entry and output, known as File I/O API. It is part of what is called velocity architecture From two Microsoft game consoles released in November 2020.
Games can start
By introducing the final version of DirectStorage, Microsoft is also releasing a development kit corresponding to the API and allowing game developers to implement the API.
This version of DirectStorage gives developers everything they need to transition to a new paradigm of IO for their games, and we’re working on more ways to offload work from the CPU.
GPU decompression comes next in our roadmap, a feature that will give developers more control over resources and how they take advantage of hardware.
It is not yet possible to say for sure when the first patches for already released games or new titles that are already optimized for release on DirectStorage can be expected.
As Andrew Yeung already pointed out in September 2020 in Microsoft Developer Blog He wrote, DirectStorage API for Windows is officially seen as a feature of DirectX 12.
Nvidia RTX IO uses DirectStorage
Since, thanks to DirectStorage, graphics cards are fed more efficiently with game data from a mass storage device, this also brings GPU manufacturers into the arena. Nvidia included GeForce RTX 3090, 3080 and 3070 as part of the presentation Nvidia RTX IO He already introduced his interface to use DirectStorage. It is likely that AMD will choose the open approach and get by without a special solution. Nvidia is said to be using a GeForce RTX 2000 series API.
Microsoft has all the information about DirectStorage in a 30-minute video on the official YouTube channel”Microsoft GamestackBriefly.
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