Microsoft released Windows 11 with many phenomenal updates. It comes with a redesigned Start menu and an improved user interface, but its new game features are the most significant upgrades to the Windows operating system to date. As a result, these changes have made Windows 11 the best gaming platform out there.
DirectStorage is one of the main features of Windows 11 that can really improve your game. So read on as we explore what DirectStorage is and what it means for gamers on Windows 11.
What is Windows 11 DirectStorage?
Microsoft DirectStorage enables the GPU to load game data quickly. It does this by reducing the time it takes to decompress game data between the CPU, RAM and GPU.
DirectStorage is an application programming interface (API) that revolutionized the way gaming APIs work.
Prior to DirectStorage, APIs temporarily stored compressed game data in RAM and had it sent to the CPU for decompression. The CPU would decompress the data and send it back to the RAM. The RAM would then eventually send the needed game data to the GPU for rendering.
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As you can imagine, this entire process took up valuable time and severely affected the users' gaming experience. With Microsoft DirectStorage, the GPU does all of the required compression and decompression itself, with minimal involvement of RAM and CPU. Add a fast SSD to the equation and the whole video game rendering process will be a lot faster.
How will DirectStorage affect your Windows 11 gaming experience?
DirectStorage was first introduced on the Xbox Series X / S and has now found its way into Windows 11.
As soon as you activate DirectStorage on your PC, you will likely see a tremendous increase in your gaming experience. Essentially, your GPU is receiving game data very quickly, which in turn allows you to experience games at lightning-fast loading speeds. Say goodbye to those excruciatingly slow loading screens as DirectStorage now optimizes the processing of video game data on Windows 11.
Since the CPU is no longer busy decompressing game data, it can take care of other processes, e.g. B. to improve your performance and to increase your frame rate. So not only will your games load faster, but your gameplay will also run smoother.
Another gameplay improvement in Windows 11, thanks to DirectStorage, is improved gameplay playback of the virtual world and minimal texture pop-in. This means that video games with huge, detailed worlds like Skyrim in Windows 11 will render better than ever.
Is your Windows 11 PC compatible with DirectStorage?
While Windows 11 is gradually rolling out to eligible Microsoft users worldwide, DirectStorage may not. Certain requirements are required to activate Microsoft DirectStorage on Windows 11.
DirectStorage requires a Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) architecture to handle parallel I / O requests.
To activate Microsoft DirectStorage under Windows 11, you need a PC with NVMe and at least PCIe (PCI Express) 3.0 or higher. Previously, an NVMe SSD of at least 1TB was required, but that appears to have been removed for now.
You also need a DirectX 12 GPU to run video games that use the NVMe controller.
Although Microsoft has enabled support for DirectStorage on Windows 10, there will be a significant performance gap compared to Windows 11. This limitation is due to the legacy operating system stack in Windows 10.
DirectStorage needs developer support
In theory, DirectStorage will play a critical role in improving the gaming experience for millions of PC users, but video game developers aren't quite on board. Microsoft is pushing for DirectStorage to become an industry standard, but time will tell when their efforts will bear fruit.
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Windows 11 is here, and with it comes new potential for PC gaming. Let's see what's on offer.
About the author
M. Fahad Khawaja
(69 published articles)
Fahad is a writer at MakeUseOf and is currently studying computer science. As an avid tech writer, he makes sure he stays up to date with the latest technology. He is particularly interested in football and technology.
By M. Fahad Khawaja
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