In order to be able to see whether your own PC is compatible with Direct Storage, Microsoft offers a new version of the Xbox Game Bar. Initially, the new feature is only available to Windows Insiders.
The Direct Storage feature is already being used in Xbox games that have been optimized for the Xbox Series X/S or are only released for the next-gen Xbox Series X/S console. Here, the I/O access to the NVMe SSD is optimized by automatically swapping parts to the graphics memory. The CPU overhead is reduced by up to 40 percent, Microsoft promises. Optimized PC games should load faster than without direct storage. The developer interface has been finished since March, and Forspoken, the first PC game with support for Direct Storage, will appear in the fall. Now there is a new tool to check whether your own PC is ready for Direct Storage.
Direct Storage from Nvidia and AMD
Microsoft has set up a corresponding area in the Xbox Game Bar settings in the “Gaming functions” menu item. This shows whether the GPU is compatible with it and which of the built-in SSDs can be used with Direct Storage. Finally, an NVMe SSD must be installed in the PC, as well as a graphics card from AMD or Nvidia that offers support for Direct X 12 and Shader Model 6.0. In addition, Smart Access Storage or RTX IO must be supported.
Direct Storage will not only be available on Windows 11, but also – to a lesser extent – will also appear for the predecessor. Correspondingly optimized PC games should also deliver better performance under Windows 10 than games that do not implement the new interface. However, Microsoft writes that only Windows 11 will be able to fully benefit from the I/O memory access optimization. The Direct Storage developer interface offers the following functions:
- Features available for Windows 11 and Windows 10 users:
- The new Direct Storage API programming modelwhich provides a DX12-like batch calling pattern for data submission/completion, relieves applications of the need to individually manage thousands of I/O requests per second.
- GPU decompression for super-fast asset decompression for load-time and streaming scenarios.
- Exclusive to Windows 11: Advanced memory stack optimization. On Windows 11, this consists of an updated OS storage stack that unleashes the full potential of Direct Storage.
With AMD Smart Access Storage and Nvidia RTX IO, both graphics chip manufacturers have developed their own to support the Direct Storage API. In addition to a drastic improvement in loading times, the new save function should enable new game worlds in the future. The new version of the Xbox Game Bar is currently only available to Windows Insiders; it will be distributed to all Windows 10 and Windows 11 users at a later date.
Also worth reading: Forspoken: First PC game shows advantages of Direct Storage
Direct Storage support tool collection:
- There’s a new tool to check if your PC is ready for Direct Storage. Windows Insiders have a new version of the Xbox Game Bar ready for this. At a later date, all users of Windows 10 and Windows 11 will get the new Xbox Game Bar.
- Microsoft has set up a corresponding area in the Xbox Game Bar settings in the “Gaming functions” menu item. This shows whether the GPU is compatible with it and which of the built-in SSDs can be used with Direct Storage.
- To use Direct Storage, an NVMe SSD and a graphics card with Direct X12, Shader Model 6.0 and either Nvidia RTX IO or AMD Smart Access Storage must be installed.
- PC games can load faster and – perspectively – new game worlds are made possible.
Source: PC gamers