Windows 10 is the best operating system for gaming, and it’s about to get even better with DirectStorage. Yes, this does mean that Microsoft has backtracked over its decision to keep DirectStorage exclusive to Windows 11, so people sticking with the older operating system of the two can also enjoy this feature.
Now that we’ve broken the good news, you may be wondering: what do you need to get DirectStorage on Windows 10? Here is everything you need to know about DirectStorage and how to prepare for its grand Windows 10 debut.
What Is DirectStorage?
DirectStorage is a storage API that aims to reduce game load times and texture pop-in by eliminating data streaming overhead. In other words, DirectStorage makes sure the GPU receives game data faster without jumping through a lot of hoops.
Every time a game needs to load files without DirectStorage, it must request compressed data from RAM. This compressed data then goes to the CPU for decompression before becoming available to the GPU for rendering. However, DirectStorage removes this need for CPU decompression.
As a result, whenever a GPU requests data using DirectStorage APIs, a huge amount of compressed data moves straight from the RAM to the GPU (VRAM). The GPU then decompresses the data and renders it on screen.
In short, DirectStorage makes gaming a lot faster by virtually eliminating load times and reducing texture pop-in.
The System Requirements for DirectStorage on Windows 10
To get DirectStorage on Windows 10, you need compatible hardware and a software stack for it to work.
First, you will need a PCIe 3.0 or up NVMe SSD. This is a minimum requirement for the DirectStorage APIs to work. However, a PCIe 4.0 SSD is recommended for maximum performance.
Second, you will also need a DirectX 12 GPU. As such, older GPUs will not be able to use DirectStorage.
Third, only Windows 10 version 1909 and above will support DirectStorage when it becomes available. If you haven’t updated your copy of Windows 10 in a while, do so before trying to activate DirectStorage.
DirectStorage Will Be Better on Windows 11
No matter how good your hardware is, DirectStorate will not work to its full potential on Windows 10. This comes down to Windows 10’s storage stack, which doesn’t gel well with the new APIs.
Windows 11, on the other hand, will take full advantage of DirectStorage. So, if you want to be on the cutting-edge of gaming, you might want to upgrade to the new OS.