DirectStorage will only work on Windows 11 for the Forspoken title

by Alexandru Poloboc
Alexandru Poloboc
Alexandru Poloboc
News Editor
With an overpowering desire to always get to the bottom of things and uncover the truth, Alex spent most of his time working as a news reporter, anchor,... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Only one more week left until the launch of the highly-anticipated Forespoken title.
  • If you want the maximum experience on your PC, there's something you should know.
  • The DirectStorage function, providing exquisite graphics, will only work on Windows 11.
forespoken

It’s time to touch on some gaming, and what better title to start 2023 with, than the upcoming Forespoken title, which looks amazing.

If you remember, back in March 2020, Forspoken, which was the first title set to receive Microsoft’s DirectStorage API support was shown off yielding very impressive numbers.

On the off chance you don’t remember what DirectStorage is, it is actually a feature that was designed to take advantage of the latent power of NVMe SSDs, especially in games.

At first, it was announced that both Windows 10 and Windows 11 users are going to benefit from it, but it was later disclosed that it will only be available for Windows 11.

The better Forspoken experience will be on Windows 11

Note that, in some instances, the new storage API was up to 70% better than legacy technology, but the title kept getting delayed over and over until Square Enix finally settled on a release date.

This new gaming-oriented feature promised enormous improvements in performance over legacy technology and preliminary tests indeed show extremely impressive results.

Ever since Forspoken’s launch, enthusiasts have been testing the tech inside the game, trying to better grasp the benefits and see if it has drawbacks too.

The overall verdict has generally been positive, and by a large margin as well. Game and game-level loading times have improved tremendously as a result.

Even for a title as heavy and intense as this, navigating between the menu and the game has been a breeze, according to users.

At 1440p and higher resolutions, DirectStorage has virtually no impact on frame rate. When CPU limited at 1080p, however, DirectStorage can have a significant positive effect on frame rate, frame time consistency, and GPU utilization.

If you are actually looking towards performance improvement aspects of the feature like in framerate terms, there are positives to share here as well.

In fact, the frame timings have been smoothed out in Forspoken, which will lead to much tighter percentile low figures.

As gamers know, in real life, this should translate to smoother gameplay even when textures and other assets are streaming in and out of disk.

That being said, it looks like the biggest benefit of this technology will be seen at lower resolutions, such as 1080p.

Tech-savvy gamers that tested it noted that, at Full HD resolution, the frame times were much better due to better CPU utilization when DirectStorage was enabled.

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Of course, this might have to do with GPU decompression working behind the scenes as it is known to reduce CPU overhead.

Thus, DirectStorage looks like a big reason to be excited in the case of SSDs. However, not every NVMe-related news is positive. 

At first glance, the CPU and GPU requirements seem, seem fairly reasonable as an Nvidia GTX 1060 / RX 5500 XT alongside 3rd Gen Core i7 / 1st Gen Ryzen 5, are the minimum recommended specs.

That is until you see that this is only meant for a 720p30 experience. The system memory and storage requirements too are certainly anything but modest.

Furthermore, even minimum specs suggest you need 16GB of system RAM and 150GB of HDD storage. Expectedly, the requirements only get even more expensive from there.

And, in case you are wondering what you get for all these hefty requirements, Luminous Productions has also detailed some of the PC features that Forspoken brings to PCs.

Note that even though the title is supported on Windows 10 November 2019 update or later, it looks like DirectStorage will only work on Windows 11.

Previously, Microsoft has stated that the newer OS features additional optimizations in the IO stack even though the technology should work on both Windows 10 and Windows 11.

This new storage API was built on Xbox Velocity architecture and was set to revolutionize gaming. Early demos had shown extremely promising results and third-party testing on compatible hardware was equally impressive.

Earlier today, the Senior Social Media Manager at Square Enix, Sunil Godhania, published some expected performance numbers when DirectStorage is used.

He mentioned NVMe drives should reduce load times to around a couple of seconds, and SATA SSDs on the other hand will be able to do the same job in around 10 seconds.

Twitter users also noted the load times where the game loaded back into the level almost in the blink of an eye when the Continue option was clicked.

That being said, not every scene may yield great results, as many note that their loading times were far longer, with a few scenes taking over six seconds, even on a WD_BLACK SN850 Gen4 NVMe SSD.

However, we have to keep in mind that it’s a fairly new release which means the future overall looks really bright for DirectStorage and gaming on NVMe SSDs.

Have you already bought Forespoken for your gaming rig? Share your excitement and concerns with us in the comments section below.

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