With the fast-growing advancement in computer peripherals, solid-state drives (SSDs) and other fast storage options are helpful for gaming. The only problem, however, is that their benefits aren’t increasing. Like, most games, you can’t tell the difference between an old SATA SSD and the newest PCIe Gen 4 SSD. However, Microsoft made DirectStorage for the Xbox Series X to take advantage of the increasing speed of SSDs, and it’s now coming to PCs. But they have a few shortcomings, including that “DirectStorage shows only loadspeed improvements PC.”
Before discussing the other features, let’s talk about what DirectStorage is. DirectStorage has new software that allows players to use fast NVMe SSDs. But this isn’t just done to make pages load faster. Additionally, it also improves your overall gaming experience. Considering the importance of DirectStorage, we have compiled some important information for you. So, in this article, we’ll discuss the benefits, applications, and troubleshooting for the DirectStorage on your PC to help you enjoy limitless excitement with your favorite games.
Significance of Direct Storage
The gaming engines of today have older technologies that take advantage of hard drives by loading many data at once. On the other hand, modern games tend to load many small bits of data slowly. It’s common for games to lose detail on faraway objects to make the game run faster. Because SSDs are so good at handling queries, developers are starting to optimize for them (also known as IO requests).
So, to handle the complexity of modern games, we need more powerful technology. Therefore, a fast NVMe Solid-state drive (SSD) like DirectStorage is almost a must-have for smooth gaming performance these days.
How Can DirectStorage Improve PC Gaming? – Advantages of DirectStorage
This new API will mainly help in two ways. Firstly, it’ll cut down on agonizingly long load times. Secondly, it makes it possible for video games to be immersive and more significant than ever before.
1. Faster Load Speed
Even though faster and bigger games seem to have nothing in common, they’ve improved DirectStorage’s impact on the IO system. The graphics processing unit (GPU) first needs to get data from a storage medium. After that, it draws anything, like your character’s clothes or the mountains in the distance. The first one happens on its own while the game is loading. The second occurs when you move through an open-world game, and the background slowly comes into view. In doing so, most of the objects fade out of sight.
Compared to older games, this DirectStorage is fantastic. The older games couldn’t do more than a few hundred IO requests per second at 64K block sizes. However, DirectStorage doesn’t take long for this number to skyrocket into the thousands of IO requests per second. But for this speed, they require NVMe devices that can move many gigabytes. Also, using the 2.4 GB/s discs in the Series X example, there are more than 35,000 IO requests every second for 64K blocks.
2. More Immersive Gaming Experience
Thanks to Auto HDR, games made with DirectX 11 or higher that used Standard Dynamic Range look even better. An Auto HDR is a feature added to Windows 11 and is only available from Microsoft (SDR). So, a game that supports high dynamic range (HDR) may show a broader range of colors and brightness levels. Therefore, DirectStorage technology makes the gaming experience more vivid and natural. This technology is in Microsoft’s Xbox Series X|S systems, and developers and gamers have been pleased with it. It’s exciting that Windows 11 has this cutting-edge technology. The new DirectStorage technology from Microsoft makes this possible.
3. The Best Decompressing Technology
Compression works for a lot of essential assets in video games. Before the CPU or GPU can use them, they need to be uncompressed. Even if a game can read as much as it wants from the disc, you still need a fast way to decompress the data. After that, it may send the data to the GPU for rendering.
The inefficiency happens at different points in the data block’s journey. Usually, it’s a problem in a world where a game knows it has to load and unpack tens of thousands of blocks for the next frame. In this case, everything is part of the consideration in the design of the DirectStorage API. So this technology improves performance from the NVMe drive to the graphics processor. Also, with DirectStorage, your games can use the most up-to-date methods to decompress files.
The DirectStorage does this decompression using the following methods,
- Lowering the NVMe overhead per request
- Allowing batching of several simultaneous IO queries at once
- Providing videogames greater control over when they’re alerted of IO request fulfillment
Real-Time Comparison of Load Speed of DirectStorage with the Existing Technologies
According to Microsoft, DirectStorage technology on the Xbox Series and Windows PCs will speed up the loading time and help the games load faster. This, in turn, would make the games easier to play. Moreover, the first game played with this DirectStorage was Square Enix’s Forsaken.
Reports reveal that with the help of a fast NVMe SSD and DirectStorage, some Forspoken visuals could load in as little as one second. That’s a massive improvement over waiting for a PlayStation 2 to finish loading huge open-world maps from a DVD.
However, some other demonstrations presented entirely unexpected results. The stats for Forspoken are a terrible example of DirectStorage, which is a shame. For instance, Ono’s demos show that DirectStorage loads scenes faster on the same “hardware” as the old Win32 API. Even though Forspoken advertises as a feature that may help NVMe drives more than older SATA-based SSDs.
Moreover, DirectStorage also improved the performance of older SATA-based SSDs. It shows a loading time dropping from 5 seconds to 4.6 seconds. Also, SATA SSDs haven’t been able to get faster because of the SATA interface for almost 15 years. So, any improvement, no matter how small, is significant.
Our Thoughts on How DirectStorage Shows Just Loadspeed Improvements PC
The Forspoken demos proved that the speed of your PC affects load speed for most of the gaming. Although, DirectStorage is also very crucial and game-changing. With HDD, the same scene takes 4.6 seconds to run on a SATA SSD and 0.2 seconds on an NVMe SSD. That’s a big difference between Win32 and DirectStorage, which use the same “hardware.”
It’s significant to remember that this is just one game. As other developers add DirectStorage to their projects, Microsoft improves the technology. So, we can expect a broader range of results with our latest DirectStorage technology. However, you can increase the efficiency of DirectStorage by moving asset decompression from the CPU to the GPU. This decompression would help us get rid of other CPU bottlenecks.
The Requirements for DirectStorage Shows Just Loadspeed Improvements PC
To get the most out of your DirectStorage, you’ll have to ensure the following things are proper on your PC
1. NVMe SSD
First, you need an NVMe SSD to get the most out of DirectStorage. DirectStorage games are often made for PCIe 4.0 and 5.0 NVMe SSDs, so you should think about buying one.
2. DX12 Compatibility
The games that don’t support DirectX 12 can’t use DirectStorage because it is an API-level feature only available in DirectX 12. You can add DirectStorage to older games through patches, which is good news. This year, for example, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will get an update that supports DirectX 12. It will also have options for ray tracing and even direct access to save files.
Therefore, as DirectStorage necessitates DX12 compatibility, the vast majority of modern CPUs and GPUs should be able to use them. In terms of GPUs, all Nvidia GPUs from the 900 Series and all AMD GPUs from the 200 Series can run DX12. The following graphics processing units from Intel will also be able to run DX12.
3. CPU Generations
Additionally, all those CPUs from the Ryzen 1000 series or more having at least a third Generation can support DirectStorage. Likewise, Intel’s 11th and 12th generations using PCIe 4.0 are also the best combination for DirectStorage to show its magic. Thanks to their fastest available SSDs.
Issues in DirectStorage Technology
With each new generation of consoles, more high-resolution art assets become crucial, which makes game files bigger. Unfortunately, the Xbox One’s current software and hardware features make it hard for developers to move data from the console’s storage device to its memory. Due to the latest release of the DirectStorage technology, some significant issues are worth discussing. They are crucial to getting the most out of this magnificent addition from Microsoft. Some of the major issues are listed below.
- Intensive use of Central Processing unit
- Limited maximum disc bandwidth
- Disk requests are not prioritizable
- Cancellation of disc requests is not possible
- Decompression is not accelerated by hardware
FAQ: DirectStorage Shows Just Loadspeed Improvements PC
Do any games use DirectStorage?
Yes, Forspoken is the first videogame to demonstrate Microsoft’s DirectStorage technology. The demonstration was shared in March of this year.
Can my PC support DirectStorage?
Microsoft has developed a program to find out if your computer supports DirectStorage. To use DirectStorage, you need an NVMe solid-state drive (SSD), preferably one that works with PCI Express 4.0. You’ll also need a graphics card that works with DirectX 12 and Shader Model 6.0.
Is DirectStorage worth it?
Although DirectStorage shows just load speed improvements PCs can still perform better if they have the basic requirements. These requirements include NVMe SSDs, DX12 compatibility, and any PCs having Ryzen PCIe 3.0 and 4.0 slots along with the SSDs.
Conclusion: DirectStorage Shows Just Loadspeed Improvements PC
This article will be more than enough for you to have in-depth knowledge about DirectStorage technology by Microsoft. We have covered all the crucial aspects we thought were essential for you. Moreover, we have discussed the performance of this technology using examples of real demonstrations.
We’d say that although DirectStorage shows just loadspeed improvements PCs can benefit way better. The only thing they require is the proper hardware for DirectStorage compatibility. Moreover, you can also learn the essential requirements for your DirectStorage-based gaming.
We are looking forward to your experience with this innovative gaming improvement technology.