When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Here’s how it works.

Forspoken on PCIe 5.0 NVMe hints at the true power of Microsoft DirectStorage on Windows 11


Luminous Studios' Forspoken is out on PC and a big reason for its anticipation among fans and enthusiasts was the debut of Microsoft's DirectStorage API. The feature promised enormous improvements in performance over legacy technology and preliminary tests indeed show extremely impressive results.

While the previous coverage focused on loading time improvements, some more testing by the YouTube channel Compusemble adds details like disk usage and disk speeds, which shows the SSD controller usage percentage and the disk data reading speeds. This gives us an idea of how DirectStorage can affect frame pacing. And just like load times, the frametimes in Forspoken also appear to be vastly improved as a result of the technology. The outcome is a generally stutter-free experience even when the game is streaming assets on the fly.

The images below are examples of such instances when the game is streaming in data but the frame pacing is quite even with no hitches or stutters which are characterized by large spikes in the frame time graph. One of the scenes below receives data at 830.7MB/s but the frame timings are fairly smooth.

DirectStorage test on Forspoken
DirectStorage test on Forspoken
DirectStorage test on Forspoken

While part of this performance credit goes to DirectStrorage, some of it is also due to the latest generation PCIe 5.0 SSD that was used in this test. The YouTuber says that a Gen5 Engineering Sample NVMe SSD with the Phison E26 controller was used for this.

However, despite the positives, there certainly are aspects of the game that may need a bit more polish. For example, the screenshots below show a sequence of scenes where Chapter 2 "Stuck" loads up. As you may note, it exhibits a few very noticeable frametime spikes and takes nearly eight seconds to load up. This is despite the read speeds not really being that high as the Gen5 SSD here is capable of much more, hence suggesting there may be issues elsewhere in the optimization pipeline.

DirectStorage test on Forspoken
DirectStorage test on Forspoken
DirectStorage test on Forspoken

Perhaps the biggest complaint one might have about Forspoken's DirectStorage implementation is the absence of the feature on Windows 10. However, Microsoft has already confirmed that Windows 11 features "additional optimizations in the IO stack" which may imply that the new OS would have been the better choice anyway.

Source: Compusemble (YouTube)

Report a problem with article
Next Article

UK CMA launches investigation into $61 billion Broadcom-VMware deal

Microsoft Teams and Slack logos on the side divided by a vertical line and a blurred background show
Previous Article

Microsoft to face antitrust probe over Slack complaint about Teams

Join the conversation!

Login or Sign Up to read and post a comment.

14 Comments - Add comment