There is no doubt that SSDs are undoubtedly the hardware that will have the most adoption in the coming years, especially due to the advantages they bring to games and that new generation consoles already have implemented. What is clear is that the PC as a leading platform in terms of technology cannot be left behind in this regard and the transition to the use of the SSD is taking place at great speed.
But, in consoles and especially in Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and Series S, we not only have the implementation of the SSD at the hardware level, but also the DirectStorage API, an extension of DirectX 12 that allows the GPU to directly access the SSD content bypassing the CPU. Unfortunately Microsoft has decided that it is necessary to have Windows 11 installed on our computer to use it and a considerable size SSD.
Microsoft lowers requirements for DirectStorage
A couple of days ago, Microsoft stated that a 1 TB size SSD was necessary to be able to use DirectStorage on our PC, which is a huge nonsense if we take into account a series of realities. The first one is that there are gaming laptops that are distributed with NVMe SSDs inside with capacities of 512 GB and even 256 GB. The second we have in the Xbox Series S console, which makes use of DirectStorage technology with a 512 GB solid state drive inside.
As well, Microsoft has pulled back and now on DirectStorage requirements they simply ask a GPU with support for Shader Model 6.0 and that is compatible with DirectX 12. Which is a logical change given the nonsense of the original technical requirements. So now both desktop and laptop PCs with NVMe SSDs of less than 1TB will be able to take advantage of Microsoft’s API.
On the other hand, we must remember that despite the fact that Microsoft claims that any GPU compatible with DirectX 12 can be used with DirectStorage. Only those that are compatible with DirectX 12 Ultimate have the ability to use DirectStorage in all its glory, having dedicated drives in the GPU.
Is DirectStorage the end for NVIDIA RTX IO
The DirectStorage API works in the same way as the proprietary NVIDIA RTX IO API, with the difference that it is intended to be used for all types of GPUs and not just for GeForce. So it is expected that it will eventually replace the use of RTX IO in games and the NVIDIA API will become a holdover from the past, although it is very likely that we will see both APIs being used together, especially if we have Note that RTX IO does not require updating the user’s operating system among its usage requirements.
In any case, we are still in the transition from games to SSD, since even for consoles games for the previous generation continue to come out, based on the use of the hard disk as a storage unit and with games adapted to their technical limitations. Partly driven by the lack of a universal API for using the SSD in games.