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Why it matters: If you’re thinking about or have already made the upgrade to one of Intel’s latest Alder Lake CPUs, here’s some excellent news: the number of games that don’t run on the processors without using a workaround is now down to just a couple.
Intel early last month revealed a list of games that didn't boot on PCs with Alder Lake chips due to the DRM software (Denuvo) incorrectly recognizing Alder Lake’s efficient-cores (E-cores) as another system. There were initially 90 games that ran into issues with the 12th-gen CPUs, including a couple of modern titles, but that’s now down to just three, according to Intel. However, this writer can confirm that at least one of them appears to have been fixed.
Intel now lists Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Fernbus Simulator, and Madden 22 as the three games that still require patches to work with its hybrid processors, but I have been enjoying AC: Valhalla on my new Core i7-12700K (Windows 11) system since the weekend—it runs like a dream, by the way—and without using the workaround, so it seems that Intel hasn’t updated the list yet.
Alder Lake offers some excellent gaming performance
If you’re having issues with these games, Alder Lake owners can enable Legacy Game Compatibility Mode (where available) in their PC’s BIOS, which will place the E-cores in a standby mode while playing games. Alternatively, Gigabyte Z690 board owners can download a tool that allows them to switch the E-cores on and off easily through the utility's UI.
Here’s how to enable Legacy Game Compatibility mode:
1. Power-up system and enter system BIOS setup.
2. Switch Legacy Game Compatibility Mode to ON (one-time only) in BIOS.
3. Save BIOS setup changes and exit.
4. Boot to OS.
5. Toggle Keyboard Scroll Lock key ON.
6. Launch affected game title.
7. Toggle Keyboard Scroll Lock key OFF after ending game title.