Windows 11 InstallSource: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central

What you need to know

  • DirectStorage was announced as exclusive to Windows 11.
  • It's now confirmed to be coming to Windows 10 as well.
  • This means W10 users can benefit from faster game load times.

Windows 10, version 1909 and up, will be compatible with the DirectStorage API. However, you won't get the full DirectStorage experience unless you're on Microsoft's latest and greatest OS, Windows 11.

Here's what Microsoft's developer blog has to say about the API's features and what you can look forward to with it:

  • The new DirectStorage API programming model that provides a DX12-style batched submission/completion calling pattern, relieving apps from the need to individually manage thousands of IO requests/completion notifications per second
  • GPU decompression providing super-fast asset decompression for load time and streaming scenarios (coming in a later preview)
  • Storage stack optimizations: On Windows 11, this consists of an upgraded OS storage stack that unlocks the full potential of DirectStorage, and on Windows 10, games will still benefit from the more efficient use of the legacy OS storage stack

That last bullet point is the key one to note here. While the blog illustrates that users across both operating systems should receive faster load times as a result of playing games "built against the DirectStorage SDK," Windows 11 users are going to get the most optimized, speediest experience.

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It's not just legacy and modern software that DirectStorage won't discriminate against, but hardware as well. SSDs and HDDs alike will receive the API without issue. So even if you're rocking one of the best internal hard drives, have no fear, you won't be left out in the cold. The same goes for Windows 10 stalwarts who aren't quite ready to grab a preview build and dive into the future of windows.

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