Microsoft has officially launched DirectStorage on the Windows PC platform. This API will allow developers direct data interactions between the GPU, graphics memory and a storage device.
The benefits will be multiple, especially for video games. The API is compatible with Windows 10 and Windows 11. Naturally Microsoft recommends the latter, to take advantage of “built-in storage optimizations”. The good news is that you don’t need to have an NVMe-like storage device, such as an M.2 SSD, to benefit from this advancement. A SATA flash drive with the AHCI protocol is also compatible. However, Microsoft recommends using an NVMe SSD for best performance.
On the other hand, the giant does not activate all the features offered by the API, such as GPU-accelerated decompression. Its purpose is to allow the GPU to decompress game data stored in compressed resource libraries on disk. Most games use this approach to minimize their storage greed. Currently, without “in-house” development from a developer, this task is carried out by the processor.
Microsoft has however already announced that enabling GPU-accelerated decompression is the next step. However, we don’t have a timetable.