Thursday, June 24th 2021

Microsoft DirectStorage Walled Off from Windows 10, Now Needs Windows 11 and DirectX 12 Ultimate GPU

Microsoft's ambitious DirectStorage API, which attempts to solve the storage bottleneck in games, facilitating faster game load times, has been walled off from Windows 10. To use it, games now require the new Windows 11 operating system, and a GPU that supports the DirectX 12 Ultimate API. This limits the GPU choices to NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 20-series, RTX 30-series, and AMD's Radeon RX 6000 series.

The other hardware requirement intrinsic to DirectStorage is for you to use an NVMe SSD that uses Microsoft's "Standard NVM Express Controller" driver that's included with Windows. Another hardware requirement that's baffling is that the SSD should be at least 1 TB in capacity. DirectStorage facilitates compressed game asset data to be transferred directly to the GPU from the storage device, and for it to be uncompressed by the GPU (using compute shaders), so there is a significant reduction in storage sub-system latency, and CPU utilization, impacting game load times.
Sources: Microsoft, dampflokfreund (Reddit)
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103 Comments on Microsoft DirectStorage Walled Off from Windows 10, Now Needs Windows 11 and DirectX 12 Ultimate GPU

#1
Caring1
Ouch.
forced upgrades ala Apple.
Posted on Reply
#2
BorisDG
We will move to 11 anyway...forced or not just like we did with past versions. It's always good that there is driving force. Win 10 was DX12, Win 11 with it's DirectStorage feature, which to be honest doesn't look mandatory. At least not in the near future.
Posted on Reply
#3
Midland Dog
theres only 1 reason to own windows 10 for me and thats forza, if forza ran on 7 id be running on 7
Posted on Reply
#4
Rhein7
I don't care much as long as I don't have to pay for Win 11 tbh.
If I have to pay then gonna stick to Win 10 for foreseeble future.
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#5
Hardcore Games
I have many games that require Windows 10 x64

so Windows 11 etc will have to maintain backwards compatibility
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#6
Nucleoprotein
Midland Dogtheres only 1 reason to own windows 10 for me and thats forza, if forza ran on 7 id be running on 7
Just buy XBOX and you free to choice Windows you want?
Posted on Reply
#7
Hyderz
oh man i need to buy a bigger ssd?

radeon 5700,5600,5500 users... those gpu are not that old...

ssd companies be smiling
Posted on Reply
#8
watzupken
I believe MS is holding their users ransom by forcing them to adopt Windows 11 just to get the DirectStorage feature. The difference between the 2 boils down to simply just a new lipstick on the pig, so there is not reason why the same features on Win 11 cannot be enabled in Win 10.
Posted on Reply
#9
lynx29
Midland Dogtheres only 1 reason to own windows 10 for me and thats forza, if forza ran on 7 id be running on 7
M$ has always used latest Directx as a hostage for OS upgrades. and I was under impression DX12 should be a Windows 10 thing, they never even had time to get it optimized for 10 yet... this is really one of the crappiest moves I have ever seen a company make... seriously, I am going to Linux for indie games and older games on my backlog, and a PS5 and OLED tv for newer games. take care M$ im sick of your crap.
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#10
persondb
Seagate, Western Digital and Toshiba must be crying rn.

And well, probably not going to upgrade to windows 11 for many years. I have a 5700 XT, and there's really little reason to upgrade it for the next 3 years or so.
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#11
pantherx12
Microsoft do like dragging us kicking and screaming to the new versions .
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#12
john_
It's not the first time that MS restricts from it's current operating system something that can easily support in favor of a new version of it's operating system. It's stupid, they have done it a numerous times, but on the other hand they can't just sell a new UI interface as a new OS. They have to at least pretend that the new version brings something that the old version can not provide.
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#13
Readlight
Loading time and internet browsing already is slower on 10.
I only need light version who feels fast on old CPU.
With preinstalled things I need and unnecessary deleted.
Posted on Reply
#14
Mussels
Moderprator
Wait, why the hell dont RX 5K series work?
Posted on Reply
#15
Midland Dog
NucleoproteinJust buy XBOX and you free to choice Windows you want?
or change input from dp to hdmi and be on my devils canyon w7 machine
Posted on Reply
#16
ixi
Microsoft came and said f*** you all, listen to me and do what I'm saying.

Internet connection and ms login mandatory.

I'm shocked but not shocked as well. Same goes for android apps and samsung apps, want to use them - internet connection required with login.

I just hope that this 11 doesn't ***k and is not similiar to apple os.
Posted on Reply
#17
Zubasa
Hyderzoh man i need to buy a bigger ssd?

radeon 5700,5600,5500 users... those gpu are not that old...

ssd companies be smiling
Microsoft edied the requirements and it no long states a capacity requirement, other than the 64GB min-spec required to install Windows.
MusselsWait, why the hell dont RX 5K series work?

I don't see any reason why it wouldn't.
Microsoft edited the page thus the new url.
Posted on Reply
#18
Mussels
Moderprator
Yeah that update says a lot more

"DirectStorage requires an NVMe SSD to store and run games that use the "Standard NVM Express Controller" driver and a DirectX12 GPU with Shader Model 6.0 support."
That doesnt say it needs DX12 ultimate, just DX12
Posted on Reply
#19
Zubasa
MusselsYeah that update says a lot more

"DirectStorage requires an NVMe SSD to store and run games that use the "Standard NVM Express Controller" driver and a DirectX12 GPU with Shader Model 6.0 support."
That doesnt say it needs DX12 ultimate, just DX12
In theory Shader Model 6.0 is supported all the way back to GCN 1 and Kepler.

Just take M$ requirements with an ocean of salt. As usual they have trouble distinguishing their rear end from their mouth.
The support CPU list are even more entertaining.
For whatever black magic, Zen1 and Skylake CPUs are not supported, while Zen APUs and Zen+ also Coffelake are.
There are no practical difference in the ISA of Zen and Zen+ or between SkyLake/KabyLake/CoffeeLake.
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#20
AusWolf
"DirectStorage facilitates compressed game asset data to be transferred directly to the GPU from the storage device, and for it to be uncompressed by the GPU (using compute shaders)"

How will this affect SSD reads/writes and life expectancy?
Posted on Reply
#21
Mussels
Moderprator
AusWolf"DirectStorage facilitates compressed game asset data to be transferred directly to the GPU from the storage device, and for it to be uncompressed by the GPU (using compute shaders)"

How will this affect SSD reads/writes and life expectancy?
It's gunna read more, it aint gunna write more. Just expect game installs to get bigger, if they support this.
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#22
jesdals
Well lets say its usable in Games by 2025 - Ill gues it will be time for an upgrade anyway
Posted on Reply
#23
Deeveo
watzupkenI believe MS is holding their users ransom by forcing them to adopt Windows 11 just to get the DirectStorage feature. The difference between the 2 boils down to simply just a new lipstick on the pig, so there is not reason why the same features on Win 11 cannot be enabled in Win 10.
If it wasn't called Windows 11, but Windows 10 build 21H2, would you still not upgrade your Windows version to get the new feature(s)? All new features that have come to Windows 10 so far have required upgrading to the latest build.

Edit. If the upgrades are free, does the naming scheme really matter at all?
Posted on Reply
#24
bobsled
MusselsIt's gunna read more, it aint gunna write more. Just expect game installs to get bigger, if they support this.
I was under the impression directstorage didn't increase install sizes at all; if anything it meant texture packs could be smaller as the latency to access each texture in a scene is minimal by comparison to a mechanical drive (given directstorage mandates NAND storage) .
Posted on Reply
#25
W1zzard
bobsledI was under the impression directstorage didn't increase install sizes at all
That's what I thought, too. Maybe in the long term devs will be tempted to ship more data because it can be loaded so quickly and isn't as constrained by VRAM

Maybe the compression is slightly worse than the zlib that typical games use, doubt it.
bobsledif anything it meant texture packs could be smaller as the latency to access each texture in a scene is minimal
Could you elaborate how you think latency affects size?
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