Microsoft DirectStorage 1.1

Microsoft DirectStorage 1.1 is one of the features or technologies included in the new version of Windows. The MS operating system has surprised us in some aspects, with improvements such as the inclusion of this and many other features that improve performance in Windows 11. In this article, we will show you what DirectStorage is and what it is used for…

What is DirectStorage?

DirectStorage is a low-level storage API from Microsoft for games that enables faster, near-instant load times. In this way, you will not have to wait too long during the loading of your game, since Microsoft DirectStorage 1.1 arrives to solve this problem.

When you’re running a game, DirectStorage loads the pixels, textures, audio, maps, and character models onto the storage media. The game then retrieves the data from the hard drive using an application programming interface (API) that must be supported by the game for it to be compatible and benefit from it.

On the other hand, the API moves the game data from the hard drive to the system’s RAM. From there, they go to the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) for rendering.

Please note that in video games data is compressed to save secondary storage space. The GPU, however, cannot use compressed data. So the data is passed from RAM to CPU for decompression. From there, the video game data is copied to the GPU’s VRAM to be processed by it and finally displayed.

Due to compression issues, there is a bottleneck between the CPU (which is constantly decompressing data as well as taking care of other details) and the graphics card or GPU. This is a legacy process that results in slower load times and lower frame rates.

To address these bottleneck issues and improve Windows 11 gaming, Microsoft DirectStorage 1.1 is here, now available to game developers.

How Direct Storage works

RTX 40 GPU GA107
RTX 40 GPU GA107

Microsoft DirectStorage 1.1 is a new storage API that offers significant improvements over previous APIs, as I mentioned earlier. There are two main advantages to its operation. First of all, after copying the game data to your PC’s RAM, there is no more CPU-level decompression, speeding up the process.

Instead of the CPU having to take care of it, DirectStorage includes new decompression techniques directly from the GPU. The GPU receives a large amount of compressed data at once and does not need to wait before rendering graphics. As a result, modern high-end GPUs can handle this data more efficiently than the CPU.

Second, Microsoft DirectStorage 1.1 takes advantage of the increased speed and bandwidth offered by an NVMe SSD-type drive, which can be GB/s. On the other hand, the old gaming APIs read at a slower speed, in the MB/s range.

The result is near-instant load time, improved frame rates, and an overall improvement in game complexity. The only problem at the moment is compatibility with games: we will have to wait for game developers to implement DirectStorage in games compatible with Windows 11.

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Abram left his e-business studies to devote himself to his entrepreneurial projects. In 2017, he created the company Inbound Media and wrote articles about high-tech products for his Chromebookeur site. In 2019, Chromebookeur was renamed Macbound and became a general purchasing advice site. Today, Abram manages the development and growth of Macbound, surrounded by a young and talented team.

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