How to find out if your Windows PC supports DirectStorage
DirectStorage is a relatively new technology to improve game loading times on supported devices. Microsoft's Windows 11 operating system supports DirectStorage, and support has also been added to Windows 10.
Microsoft has pushed out several versions of the DirectStorage API already, which developers may use in their games to benefit from the feature.
Many Windows gamers may be unaware of the technology. The two main reasons for that are that only one game has been released so far that supports DirectStorage and that DirectStorage benefits from very fast NVME drives. The one game is Forspoken, which has received mixed reviews so far.
DirectStorage requires a PCIe 3.0 NVME SSD and a graphics processing unit (GPU) that supports DirectX 12. Microsoft has noted previously that a GPU that supports DirectX 12 Ultimate is ideal for the feature.
Previously, DirectStorage required at least a 1 terabyte NVME hard drive, but Microsoft has removed the requirement from the official specifications.
Find out if DirectStorage is supported
It is actually quite easy to check if a Windows PC supports DirectStorage. Here are step-by-step instructions to do so:
- Use the keyboard shortcut Windows-G to open the Game Bar on the operating system; this opens an overlay on the desktop with all sorts of system information and tools related to gaming.
- Select the Settings icon, which is the cogwheel icon on the center toolbar at the top.
- Switch to Gaming Features when the Settings widget is displayed on the screen.
- Check the DirectStorage entries there to find out of DirectStorage is supported, and to what degree.
Windows provides the following details:
- Whether the GPU supports DirectStorage.
- Whether the operating system supports the latest DirectStorage IO optimizations.
- Whether any of the connected drives supports the feature.
The information is useful, as you may use it to select the best drive for the installation of games. The faster the drive the better the performance in games that make use of the feature.
Windows includes no option to turn on DirectStorage. The Windows PC either supports the feature, because it meets the requirements, or it does not support it. Games do need to support it as well, but there is only one that has been released that does support it.
Games that are in development currently may introduce support, and some future games will certainly support DirectStorage. It is unclear at this stage, whether DirectStorage will remain a niche feature, supported only by a small number of games, or enter mainstream. The latter won't happen overnight, but will take years.
Now You: what is your take on DirectStorage?
One of the first things a ‘real’ gamer does with a new windows install is disable everything in the ‘gaming’ subsection of the settings.
Thank for the tip, I was actually wondering about this whether by GEN 3 NVME was direct storage compatible and it was.