Xbox tech set to reduce CPU overhead up to 40% when gaming on Windows 11

Windows 11 gamers could reap some really big benefits from the DirectStorage technology, which was recently announced to be coming to Microsoft’s latest operating system, but it’s still going to be a while before developers integrate it into the system. Games.

We already knew that Windows 11 would give users “optimal” results with DirectStorage (compared to Windows 10) in terms of what this feature does – namely seriously speed up NVMe SSDs.

However, there has been a telling revelation regarding exactly what difference it will make when it comes to relieving pressure on the PC’s CPU.

Like TweakTown (opens in a new tab) reports, Cooper Partin, senior software engineer at Microsoft, explained that the PC implementation of DirectStorage is specifically designed for Windows.

Partin noted, “DirectStorage is designed for modern gaming systems. It handles small reads more efficiently, and you can group multiple queries together. When fully integrated into your title, DirectStorage with an NVMe SSD on Windows 11 reduces CPU overhead in a game by 20-40%.

“This is attributed to advancements in the file I/O stack on Windows 11 and improvements to that platform in general.”


Analysis: freed up CPU resources that will make a big difference elsewhere

A 40% reduction is a huge difference in terms of alleviating the load on the CPU, although that’s the best case scenario – but even 20% is a big step forward in freeing up CPU resources.

These resources can then be used elsewhere to help large open-world games run more smoothly – as we saw earlier, DirectStorage isn’t just about making games load faster. There’s a lot more to it than that, and now we’ve got some exciting glimpses of exactly what difference this Microsoft tech could make to PC gaming.

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Of course, although the public SDK (software development kit) has been released, it’s still up to game developers to integrate this technology when they code, and it will be some time before DirectStorage appears in many games.

The first game that uses DirectStorage is Forspoken, and we got a glimpse of it at GDC, where it was shown to load in a single second. Forspoken is expected to arrive in October 2022.

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