Microsoft Windows 10 will offer shorter game loading times with DirectStorage API but Windows 11 is ‘best for gaming’?

DirectStorage API Windows 10 Gaming
Windows 11 is True Gaming OS? Pic credit: The IET/Flickr

Windows 10, an OS that already has a successor, will have access to an exclusive feature that previously only Windows 11 PC owners could use. The DirectStorage API will also help Windows 10 PC users improve game loading and gameplay.

Back in September 2020, Microsoft announced DirectStorage API a rather revolutionary technology for gamers. Now the company has allowed the Windows 11 exclusive feature to trickle down to Windows 10 OS as well.

DirectStorage API available and compatible with Windows 10 but its full potential possible under Windows 11 only?

Microsoft introduced the Xbox Velocity architecture last year. The technologies were to improve gameplay on next-gen Xbox Series X and Series S consoles.

Among other features, the new architecture includes a new DirectStorage API. Microsoft’s DirectStorage is an exciting, proprietary technology that promises to improve the gaming experience.

Quickly after launching the architecture, Microsoft confirmed that it will not only offer the same for the Xbox Series X|S but also for Windows PCs. Back then, there was no announcement about Windows 11.

However, Windows 11 is real and arriving soon as a free update to all modern-day Windows iterations. In other words, there were rumors about DirectStorage API benefitting only the upcoming OS.

But a new article on Microsoft’s DirectX Developer Blog strongly indicates the feature will work on Windows 10 PCs as well. It is important to note that Windows 10 needs to be on version 1909 or above.

Although Windows 10 PC owners will benefit from DirectStorage API, Microsoft has hinted that the full potential of the technology is available only in Windows 11.

Microsoft’s Program Manager Hassan Uraizee noted: “This means that every game that is built on DirectStorage will benefit from the new programming model and GPU decompression technology under Windows 10, version 1909 and higher. Since Windows 11 with DirectStorage in mind games that run on Windows 11 also benefit from new memory stack optimizations.”

What is DirectStorage API and how does it help improve game loading and gameplay on Windows PC?

Owing to limitations of the internal storage media, computing channels, and bandwidth, game developers had to rely on a rather slow track to funnel graphics and game data. Moving ahead, they can utilize a much faster shortcut.

Traditionally, slower hard drives delivered data to the CPU, which in turn passed the same onto the graphics card. However, the internal storage has become quite fast.

In combination with fast NVMe SSDs, the DirectStorage API ensures that Solid-State Drive exchanges data with the graphics card at a very high speed. In other words, there’s virtually no middle-man.

As there’s no additional load on the processor (CPU), developers can also increase the level of detail in their games. The primary benefit, of course, is significantly reduced game loading times.

It is important to note that game developers will need to bake support for DirectStorage API within their games. In other words, merely having the technology in a Windows OS will not help improve PC gaming.

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