May 17, 2022

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Microsoft DirectStorage for Windows is ready – PC games will be greatly improved


Microsoft provides the DirectStorage API. This will allow games to load much faster than before.

Microsoft wants to make games on Windows 11 more attractive, and now there’s also one feature that makes that possible: DirectStorage. at

Blog post
Microsoft has announced that the DirectStorage API announced in September 2020 is now available to developers of game drivers and Windows devices.

In principle, Windows 10 is also compatible with DirectStorage, but its full potential can only be exploited under Windows 11, which is why Microsoft recommends PC gamers to use Windows 11.

DirectStorage technology is already in use on Xbox Series consoles, dramatically speeding up game load times. In addition, this also allows for a quick resume. This function ensures that games can be saved in the background after the change and can be continued later from the same place. This will also be possible on Windows 11 PCs in the near future.

DirectStorage should significantly reduce game load times

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DirectStorage should significantly reduce game load times

© Microsoft

Microsoft DirectStorage will also provide these features under Windows in the future

It’s also said that DirectStorage dramatically increases load times on PCs by simply changing the way the GPU interacts with the SSD. As a result, the data transfer rate is significantly increased. It’s not entirely clear yet if the PC experience will be the same as the current Xbox Series consoles. However, Jensen Huang, president of Nvidia, spoke about the “instant” loading and the potential to pick up where you left off. The Nvidia RTX IO, as Huang called it, connects video GPU RAM to an NVMe SSD, allowing the two to talk directly to each other and quickly load game digital content.

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Ultimately, this does two things: long load times are a thing of the past and GPU texture decompression processes are accelerated. The latter should have a positive effect, especially in open world games, where new material is constantly loaded in the background as you move through the open world. You can find more information about DirectStorage in this guide: Windows 11 is the operating system for gamers – all new functions explained

Developers can start working

With the release of the API, DirectStorage technology is now available to all developers, so not only Nvidia (with Nvidia RTX IO) but also AMD can use. Specifically, DirectStorage includes three things:

  • Connection pattern similar to DirectX12, so the applications themselves do not have to manage I/O requests

  • Decompress GPU assets

  • A storage stack that takes advantage of DirectStorage capabilities

What do you need to take advantage of DirectStorage

According to Microsoft, DirectStorage will also support older devices, even old hard drives. Microsoft will also provide DirectStorage for Windows 10. However, this technology is being optimized for Windows 11, which Microsoft says will “unleash the full potential of DirectStorage.” Fast I/O transfers between the GPU and the storage device will also benefit from faster storage, which means that an NVMe SSD is probably best.

According to Microsoft, the first Windows games that take advantage of DirectStorage will be delivered in the near future.

The DirectStorage API initially provides developers with everything they need to transition to the new I/O model for their games. In addition to that, they are also working on more ways to reduce CPU usage. “Next in our roadmap is GPU decompression, a feature that will give developers more control over resources and hardware usage,” Microsoft explains in the blog post. Moreover, the implementation of the current runtime will be further improved, as feedback from developers and users will also be taken into account.