Jan, 27th Update
PCGamesHardware testing methodology was inaccurate, as it included the loading times between benchmark scenes. As a result, they incorrectly collected data and drew wrong conclusions. As shown by ComputerBase, there is no performance impact regardless if SATA or NVMe SSD is used:
FPS in @Forspoken using NVMe and SATA drives not including the very high FPS at (longer) loading periods (on SATA) ssds in the results: There is no negativ impact from #DirectStorage. btw. it should also be active on SATA anyway, it's not limited to NVMe pic.twitter.com/if0p7EHEfP
— ComputerBase 🕊️ (@ComputerBase) January 27, 2023
Original story: Forspoken with DirectStorage
Microsoft DirectStorage technology may improve load times by leveraging GPU power for game asset decompression. Therefore, the more data goes through the GPU, the more likely gamers may notice a graphics performance loss.
Exactly this was demonstrated by German PC Games Hardware team, who had tested the game with three different storage types: PCIe Gen4, PCIe Gen3 and SATA attached SSDs. Such storage was connected to an Intel Core i9-12900K system.
Forspoken being the first game to support Microsoft DirectStorage is a test ground not only for game developers, but also GPU makers. All companies involved will now have to account for performance impact when using this technology, but the results will vary depending on the hardware.
At 4K resolution, the RTX 4090 suffered up to 10% loss from 83.2 to 74.4 average FPS when switching from DirectStorage on SATA to PCIe Gen4 SSD. What is important to note though is that the slowest frames, the so called 1% percentile FPS shows no major difference, so gameplay smoothness should remain similar.
The site did not provide any data on what storage was used exactly, so naturally, more comprehensive testing is required to draw conclusions, including other GPU and different resolutions/quality settings.
Furthermore, one would expect PCIe Gen5 comparison to be included now as well, especially since such products are already available to other reviewers (video here).