Microsoft’s DirectStorage technology finally debuted with the release of Forspoken on PC, but you might not want to use it. According to some preliminary testing, DirectStorage causes upwards of a 10% drop in your average frame rate.
German YouTube channel PC Games Hardware tested DirectStorage in Forspoken. Using an Intel Core i9-12900K and Nvidia RTX 4090, the channel ran the in-game benchmark from a PCIe 4.0 SSD, PCIe 3.0 SSD, and a SATA SSD. The SATA SSD, which doesn’t support DirectStorage, averaged 83.2 frames per second (fps) at 4K. The PCIe drives dropped to around 75 fps — roughly 10% slower.
If you’re unfamiliar with DirectStorage, it uses some GPU power to decompress game assets, vastly improving loading times. PC Games Hardware showed the power of the tech, with the PCIe 4.0 SSD loading the game’s benchmark in a second and a half. By comparison, the SATA SSD took almost three and a half seconds to load.
Don’t wait on next-gen gaming laptops — here’s what you should buy instead
What is DirectX, and why is it important for PC games?
GeForce Now Ultimate is a winner, even halfway across the country
That doesn’t sound like a big difference, but as PC Games Hardware points out, those extra seconds can add up as the game is loading new parts of the world and its dedicated open-world activities.
The trade-off is that your GPU takes a hit. A 10% drop is nothing to sneeze at, even if it only represents eight frames in the game. It’s important to remember that PC Games Hardware tested Forspoken with the RTX 4090, as well, which is by far the most powerful GPU on the market. Less powerful graphics cards may see a larger performance impact.
Worse is that there isn’t an option to disable DirectStorage in Forspoken. PC Games Hardware speculated that the improvements in loading times largely came on the back of the SSD speed, not DirectStorage itself, but it was unable to test that specifically. Consequently, that also means that installing a DirectStorage game on faster storage could represent lower performance without any option to disable the loading tech.
We have to wait for more DirectStorage testing before drawing any conclusions, though. As we’ve tested in Forspoken’s PC port, it’s poorly optimized and could be the worst-case scenario for DirectStorage. As the only title currently displaying Microsoft’s loading tech, it’s hard to say if this performance drop is specific to Forspoken or universal for DirectStorage titles.
Today’s tech news, curated and condensed for your inbox
Check your inbox!
Please provide a valid email address to continue.
This email address is currently on file. If you are not receiving newsletters, please check your spam folder.
Sorry, an error occurred during subscription. Please try again later.
Use a different email