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Windows 11: Gaming improvements put to the test – DirectStorage, DRR, AutoHDR






Windows 11 also includes some improvements that are not noticeable within a specific application, but rather improve Windows 11 as a whole. These include general performance improvements as well as new features such as DirectStorage, Dynamic Refresh Rate and AutoHDR.

DirectStorage

As we noted earlier this year, DirectStorage (and Nvidia’s RTX IO) allows NVMe SSDs to send data directly to the graphics card’s lightning-fast dedicated VRAM, bypassing the usual route via the CPU and general system memory. Microsoft already implemented DirectStorage on the Xbox Series X, and it’s surprisingly powerful: Microsoft calls it “Quick Resume,” and when you switch to a Quick Resume game, you switch straight to the game – with no introductory title screens, menus, or the like. Implementing this on the PC would be a huge benefit for PC gaming, especially when we see something similar to Quick Resume. At the moment we don’t know if and when we will get it.

DirectStorage is supposed to shorten the loading times of games significantly

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DirectStorage is supposed to shorten the loading times of games significantly

© Microsoft

Microsoft has informed us that DirectStorage support will be included in Windows 11 when it is launched on the market. (Games that implement DirectStorage will also be compatible with Windows 10 version 1909 or later). But game developers must also support the DirectStorage SDK, according to Microsoft, and so far Microsoft has not announced any PC games for Windows 11 that do this. Microsoft has also said that DirectStorage requires a terabyte NVMe SSD to enable DirectStorage, so you must have one in addition to Windows 11.

Dynamic Refresh Rate (DRR)

Dynamic Refresh Rate (DRR) is another feature of Windows 11 that uses a display with a high refresh rate above 60 Hz for coloring. DRR ensures a “smoother” inking experience if required by increasing the refresh rate to 90 Hz or even 120 Hz and then decreasing it again to save power. DRR is specifically designed for pen writing on tablets like the Microsoft Surface Pro 8, where we’ve seen it in action before. A similar technology with variable refresh rate as Nvidia’s G-Sync has been an integral part of gaming PCs for years.

AutoHDR

AutoHDR will do for PCs what AutoHDR does for Xbox Series X and S: It adds high dynamic range capabilities via AI for games that are not specifically encoded for HDR. This is a visual enhancement that z. B. increases the white balance of the screen when a figure steps out of the dark into bright sunlight.

In addition to Windows 11, your PC needs an HDR-capable graphics processor and a screen that also supports HDR. To be fair, you’ll likely need to do a head-to-head comparison to see the benefits of AutoHDR on older games, but it’s a nice visual bonus that Windows 11 players get for free.

Back to our main test: Windows 11 in the mega test

Windows 11: The operating system for gamers – all new functions explained

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