October 21, 2021

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Windows 11 DirectStorage technology is enabled in Windows 10

Why is this important: DirectStorage is one of the many great features of Windows 11. Until now, we thought that the technology, which was originally built for Xbox Series X/S, would be exclusive to Windows 11. It turns out that’s not the case at all. It might not be as fast as Windows 11, but at least Microsoft takes care of its existing user base and developer partners.

Hassan Arizi, Microsoft’s program manager, said the company is committed to ensuring that when developers adopt a new API, they can reach as many players as possible. As such, games designed to use the DirectStorage SDK will also be compatible with Windows 10, version 1901 and later, just as they are with the DirectX 12 Agility SDK.

Microsoft DirectStorage technology aims to maximize local storage performance by providing an improved link between storage and the GPU. Specifically, it provides a complete submit/recall model, “eliminating the need to individually manage thousands of I/O requests/completion notifications per second.” A later preview will also allow the GPU to be decompressed to improve load times.

One notable difference between the implementation on Windows 10 and Windows 11 has to do with the storage stack. With Windows 11, DirectStorage will be able to access an upgraded operating system stack to unlock the technology’s full potential, but in Windows 10, it will have to use the legacy OS stack.

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