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Windows 11 Gaming Performance Will Be Reduced Amid Security

Windows 11 Gaming

Benchmark experts are currently assuming that various security functions within the new Windows 11 can cause performance losses in games. There is talk of up to 30 percent. New PCs and installations of Windows 11, in particular, could be affected.

Only a few days ago, the benchmark operator UL Benchmarks, which is known for 3DMark and PCMark, among other things, criticized the loss of performance under Windows 11. The reason for this is supposed to be the so-called Virtualization-based Security (VBS), which is activated by default on new computers and for new installations (e.g. via ISO file). An upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11, on the other hand, does not automatically result in inactivation. In addition to the typical system requirements, VBS requires another UEFI setting in order to influence the system.

Requirement for activating virtualization-based security

  • Active Secure Boot (in BIOS)
  • Active CPU virtualization (in BIOS: AMD AMD-V / SMV / Intel: VT-x)
  • Windows installation as UEFI, not Legacy (in BIOS)
  • No Windows driver should speak against it

Certain Conditions

According to the report, the “memory integrity” option, also known as Hypervisor-Protected Code Integrity (HVCI), as part of the VBS, ensures a reduction in gaming performance. From the factory, however, only the “core insulation”, which is also part of the safety functions, should be active, while HVCI must be switched on manually. However, both are to become the standard for the delivery of upcoming OEM PCs in the course of next year, which means that without a corresponding optimization, the loss of performance for ordinary consumers could become a reality.

The first benchmarks with activated virtualization-based security including HVCI show that the reduction in gaming performance occurs primarily with synthetic benchmarks (e.g. 3DMark). Proven with a deficit of up to 30 percent. In games like Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Horizon Zero Dawn, or Doom Eternal, the values ​​under Windows 11 are between four and eight percent compared to Windows 10 without the active security functions. The only outlier is F1 2020, which has to accept losses of up to 26 percent.

Finally, the performance of the built-in SSD was reduced by VBS and HVCI under Windows 11: “With random access (4K) via a thread, the performance drops by up to 10 percent”, so the colleagues. It remains to be seen whether Microsoft is working on adapting the security mechanisms to prevent a drop in the frame rate in games in the long term.

Mark Goodman

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