Microsoft DirectStorage in gaming, how much does it improve load times?
Forspoken has been one of the failures of the year, with a large number of users complaining about multiple sections of the game. From the story to the personality of the main character to technical aspects such as poor performance, even on next gen consoles like the PS5 or on PCs with powerful hardware. But focusing on its positive points, this game has instant loading times. This is thanks to Forspoken It is the first game to be released with the technology Microsoft DirectStorage and now one has been made performance comparison To see its effect, use ssd, HDD and GPUs NVIDIA, AMD and Intel.
We have been waiting for games with DirectStorage for a long time, that Microsoft technology that promised to eliminate the SSD bottleneck and finally make the PCIe have an advantage over SATA. Well, today, buying an M.2 compared to a SATA does not provide great advantages for the average user, unless they want much faster file transfers. In office automation, games and basic programs, with a SATA SSD we have enough and the high-speed M.2 hardly they save a couple of seconds at most at load times. But this was going to change with Microsoft DirectStorage and for that, what better than Forspoken, the first game that uses this technology.
This is how NVME SSDs perform with DirectStorage in Forspoken
I did run some #DirectStorage tests with @Forspoken. The difference in loading times between a SATA HDD and NVMe drive are huge, but is it possible to isolate the impact of DirectStorage? There is no toggle for DirectStorage unfortunately. pic.twitter.com/olTvaL0iDu
— Andreas Schilling 🇺🇦 (@aschilling) January 27, 2023
Forspoken has been received with a lot of criticism from userswhich we can see reflected with a 1.8/10 on Metacritic for the PC version. The PS5 version is not that it reaches the pass, as it is left with a 3.6/10, although here the professional reviews have been more positive, giving it a 66/100 average grade. We cannot say that this is an outstanding game and although it has many flaws, it also has some virtues. Their visual effects with particles and magic are the best we’ve seen in an open world video game and the combats and animations are very fluid.
Although its graphic section has strong points, it could be said that it is not the best we have seen, but even so, it is surprising to see that there are almost instant loading times. On both PS5 and PC, we hardly have to wait a second or two to load our games. Knowing that this title uses DirectStorage, Andreas Schilling of hardwareluxx has decided to do tests to see the performance on Forspoken. As we can see in the tweet or in the review of their website, the difference between using NVMe SSD and SATA HDD is huge:
- NVIDIA RTX 4080 2,516 seconds
- AMD RX 7900 XTX 2.544 seconds
- Intel Arc A770 5.95 seconds
- Intel Arc A770 35,220 seconds
- AMD RX 7900 XTX 37.618 seconds
- NVIDIA RTX 4080 38,990 seconds
Enabling DirectStorage hardly reduces load times
The previous performance comparison was using the saved game corresponding to scene 3 according to Hardwareluxx. We chose this one since it was the one that implied the most difference between NVMe SSDs and SATA HDDs, seeing how the hard drives were up to 15 times slower. We also see that the Intel Arc is positioned last when using the SSD but first with an HDD, although being a difference of three seconds it does not seem too worrying. Now, we are going to move on to the next testing phase where the DirectStorage performance on Forspokenon and off.
In the first scene, we see that both NVIDIA and AMD load the game in just 0.887 seconds Y 1,077 seconds respectively with DirectStorage enabled. To the turn it offloading times increase slightly with 1,135 seconds Y 1,479 seconds, respectively. Something similar is observed with the Intel Arc, increasing the time by just 0.4 seconds. Actually, the rest of the tests exhibit a similar behavior, so we can summarize in an advantage of 0.3-0.4 seconds when enabling DirectStorage on Forspoken.
This improvement is practically negligible and there is more of a difference when using an Intel Arc graphics card than with DirectStorage. Additionally, if we go to see the full review, we can see that Forspoken’s FPS they barely get better when using an NVMe SSD vs. a SATA HDD. In fact, we recently saw that with a M.2 reduced FPS by 10%.