Wednesday January 25, 2017

Windows 10 Game Mode: Free FPS Boost Of A Few Percent, With More To Come

Microsoft’s "Game Mode" for Windows 10 will supposedly be available for Insiders as early as tomorrow, and this Ars headline gets right to it in regards to what kind of performance improvement we can expectآ—the program manager for Xbox claims framerate increases of 2 to 5 percent. As suspected, Game Mode likely works by suspending background tasks and limiting the impact of multitasking through process priorities. The mode is reportedly being developed in "iterations," which probably means we will see more novel ways of bettering performance as the feature ages. I think the most interesting comment is the idea that Microsoft is trying to make PC gaming more console-like in an effort to boost "predictability."

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The overarching goal is to make Windows 10 "the best operating system for games"آ—and critically, to make it more consistent, so that frame rates and performance are more predictable and uniform. Gamill said that when Game Mode is active, the operating system will tend to be biased toward allocating CPU and GPU resources to the game. Gammill didn't say this (and probably for good reason; there are segments of the PC gaming community that would regard the following as dirty words), but it sounds to us like the aim is to make PC gaming a little more, well, console-like. Console hardware is much more predictable than PC hardware, with developers knowing exactly how many processor cores and GPU shaders, and how much system memory, they'll have access to at any moment. Game Mode won't be turning the PC into a console any time soon, but it could start to provide a little more predictability.