Friday, April 19, 2024

How Do I Enable Direct Storage

How Do I Enable DirectStorage?

Modern games require a lot of data to run. Enable Direct Storage is a new API that allows games to take advantage of NVMe SSDs. This will reduce load times and improve performance.

This technology was first introduced on Xbox Series X consoles, and is now available for PC gamers. It’s easy to enable, but your computer must meet the requirements.

Enabling Direct Storage on your Windows system involves several steps, and it’s essential to ensure that your hardware and software meet the necessary requirements. DirectStorage is a technology developed by Microsoft to improve the loading times and overall performance of games by allowing games to directly access NVMe storage devices.

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Follow These Steps to Enable DirectStorage:

  1. Check System Requirements: Before enabling DirectStorage, make sure your system meets the requirements. This includes having a compatible NVMe SSD and a DirectX 12 Ultimate-capable graphics card. Additionally, ensure that your Windows version is up to date.
  2. Update Windows: Ensure your Windows operating system is updated to the latest version. DirectStorage is a feature introduced with Windows 10 version 1909 and later. Go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update to check for updates and install any available ones.
  3. Update Graphics Drivers: It’s crucial to have the latest graphics drivers installed for your GPU. Visit the official website of your GPU manufacturer (e.g., NVIDIA or AMD) and download the latest drivers for your graphics card.
  4. Verify NVMe SSD Compatibility: DirectStorage requires a high-speed NVMe SSD to function optimally. Check whether your NVMe SSD is compatible with DirectStorage by reviewing the specifications provided by the manufacturer.
  5. Enable TPM 2.0: Some systems may require the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 to be enabled for DirectStorage. You can enable TPM in your system BIOS/UEFI settings. Access the BIOS/UEFI during the system startup (usually by pressing Del, F2, or F10) and navigate to the Security or Advanced settings to enable TPM.

Following These Steps

  1. Check Game Compatibility: Ensure that the games you want to play support DirectStorage. Game developers need to implement this technology into their games for it to work. Check the official game website or Steam page for information on DirectStorage support.
  2. Install DirectStorage API: Microsoft provides the DirectStorage API as part of the DirectX SDK. Game developers integrate this API into their games to enable DirectStorage. As a user, you don’t need to install the API separately; it should be included with the game updates and graphics driver updates.
  3. Check Storage Space: Make sure your NVMe SSD has sufficient free space for the games that will utilize DirectStorage. Games using this technology may require additional storage space due to the way they handle data streaming.
  4. Update Game Clients: Ensure that your game clients (e.g., Steam, Epic Games Store) are updated to the latest versions. These platforms often release updates that include support for new technologies like DirectStorage.
  5. Enable DirectStorage in Game Settings: Once you’ve completed the previous steps, the DirectStorage feature should be automatically enabled in supported games. Check the in-game settings or options menu to verify and, if necessary, enable any specific DirectStorage-related options.

Follow These Steps

  1. Optimize System Settings: To get the most out of DirectStorage, consider optimizing your system settings. This may include adjusting graphics settings, ensuring that background applications are minimized, and utilizing high-performance power plans.
  2. Monitor Performance: Keep an eye on your system’s performance while using DirectStorage-enabled games. Monitoring tools like Task Manager or third-party applications can help you track CPU, GPU, and storage usage to ensure everything is running smoothly.

By following these steps, you should be able to enable DirectStorage on your Windows system and enjoy improved game loading times and overall performance. Keep in mind that game developers need to implement DirectStorage in their titles for you to experience the benefits of this technology.

How to enable

Enable Direct Storage is Microsoft’s new low-level storage API that squashes the bottlenecks between your computer’s NVMe SSD and graphics card. This can result in up to 40% faster game loading speeds. It also lightens CPU overhead by up to 40%, freeing up resources for other tasks.

Getting this data from the hard drive to your GPU can be a major pain point that takes away from gaming experience. The existing Win32 APIs can take up to an entire CPU core just in overhead.

The main benefit of DirectStorage is that it removes a lot of the operating system’s overhead by closely interacting with the underlying NVMe hardware. This allows it to achieve a maximum bandwidth with as little CPU usage as possible.

It can handle up to 50K IOPS, and only uses up to 10% of a single CPU core. It does this by enqueuing read requests in a queue, and only signaling the next request when all previous entries have completed.

Requirements

Enable Direct Storage is an API that will help to improve game load times by offloading the job of decompressing textures and models from the CPU to the GPU. This will free up CPU resources and enable games to load in milliseconds. In order to take advantage of this API, you will need a system with a NVMe SSD.

NVMe SSDs are well known for their performance when it comes to gaming. They offer significantly faster data transfer rates than traditional SSDs, which makes them a great choice for gamers who want to get the most out of their gaming experience. DirectStorage is an API that will allow developers to take advantage of the fast NVMe speeds in their games, resulting in shorter loading times and better overall gaming performance.

One of the biggest benefits of DirectStorage is that it reduces the CPU overhead for handling read completion notifications. Traditionally, Win32 titles have a choice of either polling an OVERLAPPED structure or waiting for an associated Event handle or using a synchronous blocking read. The latter two approaches can increase the resource demands of a title, so DirectStorage uses an in-place notification queue that can signal the end of a sequence of reads with a single entry.

The in-place queue is implemented with real-time priority to prevent the need for title buffering. The queue size should be large enough to have at least four times the number of requests created per frame. This is to ensure that a title can enqueue new requests without creating bubbles in the pipeline, which can seriously hurt performance.

Benefits

The main benefit of Enable Direct Storage is that it frees up CPU resources and removes a bottleneck from game asset streaming. This frees up the CPU to do other tasks related to gaming, which can result in improved AI and physics performance.

Additionally, DirectStorage takes advantage of speedy SSDs, which can offer hundreds of thousands of IOPS and data transfer rates of up to 7GB/second. This results in significantly faster loading times.

Finally, DirectStorage enables games to dynamically load graphics resources in real-time, which can result in seamless worlds without any load screens or lag. This is made possible by using DirectStorage to transfer data between the SSD and the GPU, which can handle this task much more efficiently than the CPU can.

This is especially important since most modern games use compressed assets to reduce size and load time. By reducing the load time of these compressed assets, DirectStorage can make games playable in milliseconds. However, it is important to note that this does not make normal gameplay faster and only focuses on load times. Nevertheless, this is still a significant improvement over legacy APIs, which can take up to 10 seconds for a single request.

Conclusion

Microsoft claims Enable Direct Storage can speed up game load times by up to 40 percent and eliminate texture pop-in. The feature is also designed to make games run smoother and reduce framerate drops by accelerating asset processing. However, the benefits of direct storage will only be realized if developers make their games compatible with the technology. Currently, only a few titles such as Diablo IV and Hunt: Showdown have added support for the feature.

One of the key advantages of DirectStorage is that it bypasses the CPU to decompress read requests directly from the NVMe SSD using built-in hardware. This eliminates the need for a title to spend CPU resources doing this task and frees them up to do other work.

Another key aspect of DirectStorage is that it batches I/O instead of executing them individually. This dramatically reduces the amount of CPU overhead for each transition between pipeline stages. Finally, DirectStorage provides a mechanism for canceling requests that a title no longer needs. Each request has a 64-bit tag that the title can use as a bitmask for identifying which requests to cancel.

DirectStorage supports two types of queues – memory-sourced and disk-sourced.  DirectStorage also ensures that no data dependencies exist between pending requests by using lock-free queues.

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