This Windows 11 Update Will Introduce One of the Best Xbox Series X/S Features
Microsoft has released an easy way to check if your PC is ready for DirectStorage in the latest Windows 11 update in the form of a preview of Microsoft Game Bar.
As reported by PC Gamer, (opens in new tab) Users can go to the Gaming Features tab in the Settings menu after updating the Xbox Game Bar. The updated version of this tool now displays whether your system is ready for DirectX 12 Ultimate as well as which parts of your gaming PC or laptop will need to be upgraded to be ready for the next-gen DirectStorage feature.
It’s worth noting that Windows 10 will also notify you if your system is ready for DirectX 12 Ultimate, but will mention that your operating system is in need of an upgrade, despite Microsoft previously confirmed that Both were compatible.
DirectStorage, for those unaware, is a useful piece of technology that speeds up SSD loading times and has already been implemented in hardware like the Microsoft Xbox Series X and Series S.
In short, DirectStorage allows developers to make better use of the speeds of the latest storage devices (especially NVMe SSDs) in order to achieve maximum performance out of the possible bandwidth available. Not only will this result in faster load times, but you should also see open-world games running more smoothly.
How to Update Your Xbox Game Bar
Unfortunately, it hasn’t been rolled out to the public yet, so you’ll need to download Xbox Insider Hub if you want early access to this feature. It’s a bit of a pain to set up, but you can follow the instructions below if you’re particularly curious.
- search for Microsoft Store Download More Within Windows 11 Taskbar Xbox Insider Hub (opens in new tab) Application. Follow the on-screen instructions to sign up.
- click on Glimpses left and then enter windows gaming,
- More on-screen instructions! to select Add And then complete the signup process. A few new windows may open to complete this step.
- go back to microsoft store homepage and head in your Library bottom-left side. once you’re in, hit update all on the top right and it will install xbox game bar (if it is not already on your system).
- To access, type xbox game bar in your taskbar or press Windows Key + G to load xbox game bar,
- press Adjustment icon, then click gaming features, It will now display the updated system information requirements.
Analysis: What does this really mean for gamers?
OK, SSD technology and advancements hardly sound as exciting as, like, more powerful graphics, but it’s actually a necessary development within the gaming space.
Cooper Partin, a senior software engineer at Microsoft, explains that “DirectStorage is designed for modern gaming systems. It handles short reads more efficiently, and you can batch multiple requests at once. When complete with your title When integrated properly, DirectStorage, with NVMe SSD on Windows 11, reduces CPU overhead in a game by 20-40%.”
This is a huge improvement, even though we are only considering a 20% reduction. This will result in smoother gameplay as well as smaller loading menus while streaming, and as game files get bigger and models more detailed, we’ll need to stay on top of any system bottlenecks that DirectStorage is addressing.
Support for DirectStorage was made available for PC games several months ago, but the tool will help you better understand what limitations are preventing your system from accessing the technology, just like Microsoft did for folks. A tool was even created to help. Their Windows 10 systems are ready to be upgraded to Windows 11.
In general, you’ll need an NVMe SSD with at least 1TB of storage that is capable of supporting and using the standard NVM Express controller driver, as well as a graphics card with DirectX 12 Ultimate and Shader Model 6.0 support. If you have anything from the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2000 series or AMD RDNA2, you’re golden, but otherwise, you’ll need to upgrade some components to make use of this technology.
Luckily, both the Nvidia Ampere and AMD RDNA 3 GPUs are on the horizon, making this an ideal time to consider some upgrades when paired with this DirectStorage rollout.