Gaming / Windows

What is DirectStorage and Why It Matters for Gamers

  • Windows 11 comes with DirectStorage, a technology that will speed up game assets’ loading times significantly.
  • DirectStorage was first implemented on Xbox Series X and Series S consoles.
  • Despite the initial announcement, DirectStorage will also be available for Windows 10.
microsoft directstorage

Deemed just a graphic upgrade initially, Windows 11 is shaping up to be a significant step up from Windows 10. Fortunately, for those who want to keep on using the current Windows version, some of the features will make it down the pipeline.

One such feature might be Microsoft DirectStorage.

What is Direct Storage?

DirectStorage is a technology meant especially for gamers, which will bypass the CPU when loading assets (textures, objects, and so on). The GPU will get these resources directly from the system NVMe drive (Gen 3 and Gen 4) and will decompress them faster while keeping the CPU available for other tasks.

There are three main advantages of DirectStorage, according to a DirectX program manager:

  • Input and output requests are bundled up together for less overhead.
  • GPU will do the decompression, instead of the CPU, which will be faster, and almost instant on powerful hardware.
  • The new storage stack in Windows 11 will further improve performance, but Windows 10 (version 1909 and newer) users will benefit too from DirectStorage.

Learn how to check if your PC supports DirectStorage

The technology will only be compatible with newer NVMe SSDs. Older spinning drives will be able to run newer games, but without actually taking advantage of DirectStorage.

As open-world games become more popular, technologies like DirectStorage will make it possible to seamlessly transition from area to area, without loading times. Some games already feel unrestricted in this regard, so DirectStorage will surely help more titles load faster.

The gaming landscape is changing aggressively thanks to new technologies such as Auto HDR, NVIDIA DLSS, AMD FSR, and Direct Storage and I like what they bring to the table.

Want to improve your laptop gaming performance? Read about MUX Switch technology.

Avatar for Ionuț-Alexandru Popa
I'm a writer and Editor-in-Chief at BinaryFork. I am passionate about technology, science, space exploration, and movies. I started writing about tech more than 20 years ago, after graduating in Computer Science.
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