DirectStorage is an API that helps capitalize on new, high-performance SSDs, specifically those that use a protocol called Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe). Instead of tens of megabytes per second, NVMe can deliver multi-gigabyte speeds — that is if you have the infrastructure to support those new and improved speeds.
As noted by Microsoft Developer, Andrew Yeung, DirectStorage is essentially Windows catching up with next-gen SSD hardware. DirectStorage has a number of advantages, but its biggest advantage is the ability to deal with gobs of I/O.
What is “I/O”? It’s just short-hand for “input / output”. If you’ve ever copied a folder with a load of small files, you’ve might have noticed that it’s slower than copying one large file. This is a bit of a simplification, but part of that overhead comes from the need to route all those files through the CPU.
As you may have noticed in Microsoft’s requirements, you’ll need to use Microsoft’s DirectX 12 Ultimate API, which means you’ll also need a compatible GPU. That means something like Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 30 Series or GeForce RTX 20 series.
Microsoft also specifically names AMD’s new Radeon RX 6800 Series and RX 6900 XT graphics cards in a blog post, though you won’t need something that that high spec to make it work.