Microsoft published a blog post on DirectStorage yesterday, explaining that the technology will only support NVMe SSDs.
It sounds like both Microsoft and NVIDIA are working to address what Tim Sweeney called out when he said the PlayStation 5's storage architecture was way ahead of the standard one in place for PC games. That's great news, but there is a catch: Microsoft is 'targeting' a release for the DirectStorage API at some point next year in the hands of developers, and that's only as a preview. In all likelihood, we'll have to wait until 2022 before we see some games actually taking advantage of both RTX IO and DirectStorage.In a world where a game knows it needs to load and decompress thousands of blocks for the next frame, the one-at-a-time model results in loss of efficiency at various points in the data block’s journey. The DirectStorage API is architected in a way that takes all this into account and maximizes performance throughout the entire pipeline from NVMe drive all the way to the GPU.This API is the response to an evolving storage and IO landscape in PC gaming. DirectStorage will be supported on certain systems with NVMe drives and work to bring your gaming experience to the next level.
It does this in several ways: by reducing per-request NVMe overhead, enabling batched many-at-a-time parallel IO requests which can be efficiently fed to the GPU, and giving games finer grain control over when they get notified of IO request completion instead of having to react to every tiny IO completion.
NVIDIA and Microsoft revealed new details on RTX IO and DirectStorage, which will improve loading times and game asset decompression on PC.