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Microsoft Releases DirectStorage Version 1.1

DirectStorage

Microsoft recently released DirectStorage version 1.1. It is the updated gaming technology that significantly improves PC game loading times. Now the first partners are starting to support the new version.

This is reported by the online magazine Neowin, pointing out the updates from Intel, AMD, and Nvidia. Intel is now the last of the three to include support for DirectStorage in version 1.1.

Games that use DirectStorage 1.1 can shift decompression tasks from the processor to the graphics unit. This speeds up the process since GPUs are better suited for these tasks. At the same time, the CPU is relieved.

DirectStorage: Hardware requirements

DirectStorage 1.1 does not change the hardware requirements introduced with DirectStorage 1.0: These would primarily be a fast NVMe drive and a graphics processor that supports DirectX 12 and Shader Model 6.0.

GPUs that support DirectStorage generally also support the updated version. Manufacturers such as AMD, Intel, and Nvidia can release tweaks, called metacommands, to tweak the function of devices running their graphics cards. Intel this week released a new driver for its ARC line of GPUs that adds support for “optimized Microsoft DirectStorage* 1.1 with GPU-accelerated decompression for developer integration.”

AMD has not yet released a public driver with metacommands; the company announced that it has made “a build of a metacommand-capable graphics driver” available for partners. Nvidia has already released driver 526.98 and with it official support for DirectStorage 1.1.

Waiting For More Games

One of the first developers to announce support for DirectStorage was the developer of Forspoken, which will be released in January 2023. Another game is The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, or rather the next-gen version of the game, which CD Projekt Red plans to release on December 14, 2022. However, it’s unclear if the PC version will add support for DirectStorage upon release.

Mark Goodman

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