DirectStorage will only be available on Windows 11, requires an NVMe SSD to enable

Written by Stuart Thomas on Fri, Jun 25, 2021 2:20 PM

If you’ve at all been following the news lately about Microsoft’s recently revealed Windows 11, then you’ll probably have heard that one of the most exciting features coming with it is DirectStorage for PC. But as it turns out, that feature is exclusive to Windows 11, and will not work on earlier OS versions like Windows 10.

DirectStorage was first introduced in the Xbox Series X/S consoles in order to leverage the power of the SSDs. Essentially, it is able to send data from the SSD without causing too much stress on the processor:

With DirectStorage, which will only be available with Windows 11, games can quickly load assets to the graphics card without bogging down the CPU. This means you’ll get to experience incredibly detailed game worlds rendered at lightning speeds, without long load times.

Additionally, it was originally reported that DirectStorage would only be compatible when using a 1TB NVMe SSD in order to be enabled. But the official requirements have since been updated without the 1TB requirement, so it looks like the only hardware requirement is an NVMe SSD, regardless of the capacity.

The new requirements for DirectStorage in Windows 11 now read as follows: “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.

There is certainly a chance that Microsoft could come out with an update to Windows 10 that enables DirectStorage support eventually, especially if enough people ask for it. But for now, users will have to upgrade to Windows 11 (for free) when it officially launches later this year.

What do you think? Are you excited for Windows 11? Are you excited for DirectStorage support? Will you upgrade to Windows 11 specifically for DirectStorage? Do you have an NVMe SSD? What size? And do you think we’ll eventually see it come to Windows 10? Let us know your thoughts!

Are you excited for Windows 11?

Are you excited for Direct Storage on PC?

Will you upgrade to an NVMe SSD for DirectStorage?

Do you think DirectStoirage will eventually come to Windows 10?

Our favourite comments:

So I assume that will only work with assets/files on the same NVME SSD that windows is installed on?

v3rmillioN

Very good feature for the 2% of people that have their games on an expensive NVME SSD, and not on SSD or HDDs. I have 8TB HDD storage 7200rpm and i never had any issues. (100+ games i have). With games like COD MW 2019 that are 200GB , it is very expensive to have all your video games on the NVME.

VIRUSERROR

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15:58 Jun-26-2021

Since new consoles came out i got myself 1.5Tb of nvme pcie4.0 storage, since i new fast ssds would have been a requirement soon. Good choice

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14:04 Jun-26-2021

Did anyone get the memo, where you will have to have an internet connection and a MS account to install the "official" version of Win 10?

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10:56 Jun-26-2021

Would be nice to use, if I could upgrade to Windows 11 at all.. Currently the Ryzen 1000 series is not supported..

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15:42 Jun-26-2021

It should work. Pretty much any computer from the last 10 years should work.

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21:37 Jun-27-2021

It should, but as of now Microsoft officially announced you can't upgrade with unsupported hardware (which includes the Ryzen 1000 series) Also TPM 2.0 will be mandatory, which my PC doesn't have.


Maybe there will be a work around, but at this moment we don't know.

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22:33 Jun-27-2021

tpm 2.0 will be required for system integrators, dell, asus, acer, hp, etc..
tpm 1.2 is required for diy.
Just wait until the full release next year. We'll see what happens

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09:47 Jun-26-2021

I wonder what NVME speeds are required,
because I have a very basic 1TB Intel 660p (QLC) which is slower than 1TB 860 EVO (SATA) in sustained use

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23:05 Jun-25-2021

Wait, "Standard NVM Express Controller"? WTF!?!
What about Samsung SSDs, all the other that don't use the "standard" controller?

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20:59 Jun-25-2021

Yeah, I will definitely upgrade to NVMe SSD, to use Direct Storage, was kind of planning to slowly upgrade my PC on pretty much everything,... then stuff happened... but yeah. As for Win10, I would say never say never, but I do think it might require some under the hood changes of Win11 to work, which might be too risky to port to 10. But then again, nothing is impossible, so it is up to MS.

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18:34 Jun-25-2021

So, my games need to be on a "NVME SSD" in order for me to take advantage of this new feature?

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20:03 Jun-25-2021

Correct.

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08:26 Jun-26-2021

Well, the whole point of this feature is to allow for higher readspeeds in games, so it will only be an improvement if you have a fast ssd anyway. They probably could technically make it work on hdds / sata ssds but it wouldn't have been faster.

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18:15 Jun-25-2021

This is the best thing in Windows 11 for gamers, good to see the 1TB requirement is gone
As for DirectX12 with 6.0 Shader Language, I think any GPU made after 2013-2014 should meet that no problem

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17:42 Jun-25-2021

Very good feature for the 2% of people that have their games on an expensive NVME SSD, and not on SSD or HDDs. I have 8TB HDD storage 7200rpm and i never had any issues. (100+ games i have). With games like COD MW 2019 that are 200GB , it is very expensive to have all your video games on the NVME.

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19:03 Jun-25-2021

Or You can use program like PrimoCache which can turn any ssd as cache drive to any HDD. I'm one ssd for 3 hdd and work perfectly, you don't need formating hdd only ssd.

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08:24 Jun-26-2021

NVME ssd's have come down in price a lot though, you could for example get a 500gb one for about 70$ and then only put the games you actively play on it. The rest goes to the HDD and just swap the games once you start playing them.

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21:34 Jun-26-2021

But its such a hassle to constantly move, organize where each of your game goes. Yes SSD's come down in price a lot but it still cant compete with good old HDD capacity. When AAA games takes around 100-200GB in space 500gb nowadays is simply not enough and if you want 2-4tb SSD prepare to spend some nice pile of cash for that.

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09:50 Jun-26-2021

yea that is a bit disturbing, especially when bigger SSDs are being sold out recently, and most computers can't really handle more than few NVME controllers

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21:43 Jun-26-2021

100% agreed, just make sure you have 7200rpm fast hdd and its still good. I personally have 4tb wd gold and i like it, no issues in games. People like to s#it on hdd's like they are completely dead... nope, far from that. Ofc ssd for boot drive is mandatory imo but you dont need big ssd for that.

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20:20 Jun-27-2021

I personally got rid of ALL my hdds, and I'm fine with few SSDs (right now only one 500GB ssd for Windows 10 and games I play) - and two NASes, so access to my data is "protected" from Windows fckery or computer failures

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00:27 Jun-28-2021

depends what games you play, if newest AAA games then i have no idea how you go around with only 500gb including OS

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10:42 Jun-28-2021

I don't have many games installed simultaneously indeed

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16:21 Jun-28-2021

then yeah its understandable, especially if you only play like csgo/dota/valorant mainly and maybe one single story game. But at least from my experience, data always accumulates slowly, like download folder, photos, documents, save files etc and even if 500gb looks quite decent amount its not imo. For example, 500gb ssd/hdd is 460gb in practice, then add -30-50gb for OS and maybe -20gb for other essential programs. With everything set you are left with like -390GB

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21:37 Jun-30-2021

yea you're right :D
I deleted RDR2 after I finished it, deleted CP2077 after few days of trying that broken game work properly,
nowadays I'm fine with Frostpunk and its all DLCs

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16:45 Jun-25-2021

There may be a few extra default things we dislike (which we can probably disable). I am most excited about DirectStorage and the new way the Windows can have templates, so that when I am working the windows can assume their specific positions for productivity. At the moment the screen can only be halved or quartered by snapping and using 3rd party software is a chore with task.

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15:48 Jun-25-2021

Cant wait to test this out :)

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14:41 Jun-25-2021

So I assume that will only work with assets/files on the same NVME SSD that windows is installed on?

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17:35 Jun-25-2021

I don't think so. The application that needs DirectStorage should be on a NVME SSD. Windows can be on a different SSD.

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19:14 Jun-25-2021

What I wonder is if that DirectStorage application will have a limited amount of space for games to be installed in.

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09:48 Jun-26-2021

good question, we'll see I guess

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Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core 3.6GHz GeForce GTX 1080 MSI Gaming X 8GB Edition 16GB
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Ryzen 5 3400G 4-Core 3.7GHz Radeon RX Vega 11 6GB
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Core i5-11400 6-Core 2.7GHz GeForce RTX 3050 Ti Mobile 8GB
66.6667% Yes [3 votes]
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Ryzen 5 3500U 4-Core 2.1 GHz Radeon RX Vega 8 8GB
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Ryzen 5 3500U 4-Core 2.1 GHz Radeon RX Vega 8 8GB
50% Yes [2 votes]