Microsoft has released an easy way to check if your PC is ready for direct storage in the latest Windows 11 update in the form of a game bar preview.
As reported by PC gamers, (Opens in new tab) Users can go to the Gaming Properties tab in the settings menu after updating the Xbox game bar. The updated version of this tool now shows if your system is ready for DirectX 12 Ultimate, as well as what parts of your gaming PC or laptop you need to upgrade to be ready for the next-gen DirectStorage feature.
It’s worth noting that Windows 10 lets you know if your system is ready for DirectX 12 Ultimate, but it does indicate that your operating system needs an upgrade, although Microsoft has previously confirmed that the two were compatible.
Direct storage, for those who don’t know, is a useful piece of technology that speeds up SSD loading and has already been applied to hardware such as Microsoft Xbox Series X and Series S.
In short, direct storage allows developers to make better use of the speed of the latest storage devices (especially NVMe SSDs) to suppress performance beyond the potential bandwidth available. Not only will this result in faster load times, but you’ll see open-world games run more smoothly.
How to update your Xbox game bar
Unfortunately, it hasn’t been launched to the public yet, so you’ll need to download the Xbox Insider Hub if you want early access to the feature. It’s a bit of a pain to set up, but if you’re particularly interested, you can follow the instructions below.
- Search for Microsoft Store In the Windows 11 taskbar and download Xbox Insider Hub (Opens in new tab) Follow the on-screen instructions to sign up for the app.
- Click Preview Enter left and then Windows Gaming.
- More on-screen instructions! Select Join And then complete the signup process. Some new windows may open to complete this step.
- Go back to Microsoft Store homepage And head into you Library Bottom-left. Once you hit, Update all At the top right and it will install Xbox Game Bar (If it is not already in your system).
- To access, type Xbox Game Bar Click on your taskbar Windows key + G. To load Xbox Game Bar.
- Click Settings Icon, then click Gaming features. It will now display the updated system information requirements.
Analysis: What does this actually mean for gamers?
Okay, SSD technology and advances sound as exciting as more powerful graphics, but it’s an essential development in the gaming space.
Cooper Partin, a senior software engineer at Microsoft, explained that “Direct storage is designed for modern gaming systems. It handles small readings more efficiently and you can batch multiple requests at once. When fully integrated with your title, in Windows 11 DirectStorage with NVMe SSD reduces the CPU overhead of a game by 20-40%. “
This is a huge improvement, even if we are only considering a 20% reduction. This will result in smoother gameplay when streaming, as well as smaller loading menus, and models will become more detailed as game files get larger.
Support for direct storage was made available for PC games several months ago, but this tool will help you better understand what limitations may prevent your system from gaining access to technology, much like the way Microsoft has created a tool to help people. Their Windows 10 systems are ready to upgrade to Windows 11.
In general, you need an NVMe SSD with at least 1TB of storage capable of supporting and using the standard NVM Express controller driver, as well as a graphics card with support for DirectX 12 Ultimate and Shader Model 6.0. If you have something from the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2000 series or AMD RDNA2, you are golden, but otherwise, you will need to upgrade a few components to use this technology.
Fortunately, both the Nvidia Ampere and AMD RDNA3 GPUs are on the horizon, which could be an ideal time to consider a few upgrades when paired with this direct storage rollout.