The in-depth photon counting x-ray detector (PCXD) is a multi-layer detector arrangement which has been introduced to tackle photon count rate limitations of current systems. The capability of resolving photon detections along the detector's depth direction enables multiple measurements in a single scan with energy information that could be potentially utilized for x-ray spectral imaging. The benefit of this depth information has not been explored. We conducted a simulation study to evaluate the performance of in-depth PCXDs for dual material decomposition and compared it against single layer detectors. Common semiconductor materials (Si, GaAs and CdTe) were assessed, with imperfect energy response modeled. We demonstrate that depth information is useful if spectral distortion is present. The benefits depend on how the detector is segmented in the depth direction.