From now on, the DirectStorage programming interface in combination with an NVMe SSD also guarantees shorter loading times from and in games under Windows 10* and Windows 11. DirectStorage is a key feature of Xbox Series X|S (Review).
DirectStorage is now also available for PC
After Microsoft released the DirectStorage Developer Preview, which is primarily aimed at developers and experienced users, in July 2021, the final version of the Xbox Series X|S File I/O API has now been released on PC as well. Windows 10 and Windows 11 are officially supported, but that’s only half the story.
*Windows 10 users, on the other hand, will have to live with limitations from the start, as Microsoft had already emphasized in the first developer preview:
- Windows 10 will not be able to use the full scope of so-called storage stack optimizations, which should only unlock the full potential of DirectStorage in Windows 11, which was also developed with an eye toward the new API.
- However, games should already benefit from Windows 10’s “new programming model and GPU decompression technology.”
On the other hand, comparable results to Xbox Series X|S with Windows 11 can be expected.
API ensures shorter load times in games
DirectStorage is a new programming interface for data input and output, known as the File I/O API. She is part of the call speed architecture of the two Microsoft game consoles released in November 2020.
The games can begin
With the release of the final version of DirectStorage, Microsoft is also releasing the corresponding development kit for the API and allowing game developers to implement the API.
This version of DirectStorage gives developers everything they need to move to a new IO model for their games, and we’re working on even more ways to offload the work of the CPU.
GPU decompression is next on our roadmap, a feature that will give developers more control over resources and how hardware is leveraged.
It is not yet possible to say for sure when the first patches are expected for games that have already been released or new titles that have already been optimized for release on DirectStorage.
As Andrew Yeung already pointed out in September 2020 in the Microsoft Developer Blog wrote, the DirectStorage API for Windows is officially seen as a DirectX 12 feature.
Nvidia RTX IO uses DirectStorage
Since, thanks to DirectStorage, graphics cards will be fed more efficiently with game data from the mass storage device, this also brings GPU manufacturers to the scene. Nvidia has included the GeForce RTX 3090, 3080 and 3070 as part of the presentation Nvidia RTX I/O already presented its interface to use DirectStorage. AMD will probably go with the open approach and get by without a proprietary solution. Nvidia is said to use the GeForce RTX 2000 series API.
Microsoft has all the information about DirectStorage in a 30 minute video on the official YouTube channel”Microsoft Game Stack” summarized.
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