Monster RTX 4090 Gaming PC Tests DirectStorage In Forspoken With Fascinating Results

forspoken benchmark
Square-Enix's Forspoken is out now, meaning that you can actually test DirectStorage in a real game. Forspoken even includes a built-in benchmark that not only shows framerates but also tracks load times. As you'd expect, faster SSDs mean faster load times, but they have another curious effect too: lower frame rates.

This information comes from, which put up a video on its YouTube channel titled "Ladezeiten-Booster DirectStorage = Weniger FPS?!". That translates to "Load-time booster DirectStorage = Fewer FPS?" and that does indeed appear to be what's happening in PCGH's testing.

sata ssd forspoken benchmark pcgh
Load times for each scene are considerably longer on a SATA SSD.

The site ran the Forspoken benchmark from three types of storage devices: a PCIe 4.0 SSD, a PCIe 3.0 SSD, and a regular old SATA SSD. While the faster SSDs did indeed give drastically improved load times, the two NVMe drives also saw reduced average framerates in the Forspoken benchmark.

This actually makes a lot of sense. You see, the component of DirectStorage that's debuting with Forspoken is GPU Decompression. This is a feature that offloads the weight of asset decompression from the CPU to the GPU. This has two effects: it reduces the amount of data that has to be streamed over the PCIe bus, and it also reduces CPU load.

framerates pcgh forspoken
Image: PCGH. Data labels (blue) added by HotHardware.

That's probably going to be a lot more beneficial on systems with slower CPUs than PCGH's powerful 16-core Intel chip. On their machine, a Core i9-12900K paired with a GeForce RTX 4090, they found that using an NVMe SSD results in average framerates approximately 10% lower than when using a SATA SSD. However, as PCGH points out, the difference is less than 10 FPS, and the 1% and 0.1% low framerates are approximately the same or better. There's also the drastically improved load times to talk about: from five or six seconds per scene down to just one or two.

In other words, while these results aren't exactly stellar, the tested system is probably near to a worst-case scenario for DirectStorage. We predict that a machine with fewer and slower CPU cores, or one that's limited to PCIe 3.0 for its graphics, would be likely to see less performance impact from the new storage technology.