DirectStorage API will significantly improve Windows 10 performance on NVMe SSDs

DirectX 12 Icon

Microsoft is porting XBox's DirectStorage API to Windows PCs, and is going to release it with DirecxX 12 Ultimate in order to reduce the load time for heavy apps and games.

As you may already know, latest Xbox devices are supercharged by the Xbox Velocity architecture that is based on four components that deliver incredible game performance: a special NVMe SSD, a hardware decompression block, DirectStorage API, and Sampler Feedback Streaming (SFS). Microsoft has decided to make the DirectStorage API portion available on Windows 10 devices.

Microsoft explains the change as follows:

NVMe devices are not only extremely high bandwidth SSD based devices, but they also have hardware data access pipes called NVMe queues which are particularly suited to gaming workloads. To get data off the drive, an OS submits a request to the drive and data is delivered to the app via these queues. An NVMe device can have multiple queues and each queue can contain many requests at a time. This is a perfect match to the parallel and batched nature of modern gaming workloads. The DirectStorage programming model essentially gives developers direct control over that highly optimized hardware.

Current storage APIs on Windows are not optimized for controlling NVMe queues. If you own a newest storage device, Windows 10 and games games will take advantage of this new API, and their performance won't be limited by older standards. If your storage device does not yet support the new feature, nothing will change for you and you can continue to play games as usual.


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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

One thought on “DirectStorage API will significantly improve Windows 10 performance on NVMe SSDs”

  1. So basically it is a technology which will allow GPUs to access data directly from storage devices without going through the CPU and system memory. That is a good performance advancement then. NVIDIA announced the same last year called GPUDirect Storage, MS is APIfying it with DirectStorage.

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