The Microsoft DirectStorage API will not be exclusive to Windows 11

Shortly after the announcement of Windows 11 by Microsoft, it became known that it was possible to isolate the DirectStorage API and now its Developer Preview is already available for Windows 10, although it is true that it requires that you have installed version 1909 or later . This API allows game developers to start exploring the technology and consider integrating it into their product development to, as mentioned before, reduce load times.

DirectStorage already works on Windows 10

Microsoft DirectStorage

The DirectStorage API enables the GPU to directly stream compressed game assets from an NVMe SSD, where they are decompressed using Compute Shaders, thus significantly cutting back and forth trips to the CPU, freeing up hardware resources and resulting in a net gain in loading times and overall performance in games.

Being able to use this API in Windows 10 would give gamers a compelling reason to stay with this operating system until Windows 11 “matures”; However, and in addition to the version of Windows 10 required for it to work, here comes another “but” and that is that Microsoft’s new operating system could have an advantage over Windows 10 on machines with hybrid CPU cores, such as the next processors Alder Lake from Intel, since its programmer supposedly has a greater knowledge of topologies with this type of cores.

The problem of loading times in games

SSD loading screen limitations

Over the years and as games have become more advanced, so have their graphics, which has caused loading times to get longer and longer. However, thanks to developments in SSD and PCIe technologies, gaming PCs can have storage solutions that offer significantly more bandwidth than was previously possible with traditional hard drives, something that has managed to reduce them significantly.

However, these modern games also generate huge amounts of I / O requests that can bog down modern storage, as existing APIs’ require the application to manage and handle each of these requests one at a time by first sending the request , waiting for it to complete, and then handling its completion. “

With all of this in mind, DirectStorage does things differently by giving developers an extremely efficient way to handle many I / O commands at the same time, something that already out of the box minimizes the time players wait so long to enter the game as to change levels in these, at the same time making it possible to create larger and more detailed virtual worlds that load as fast as the character can move through them.

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