Microsoft ready to release preview of Windows 10 Game Mode update

William Gayde

Posts: 373   +5
Staff member

Late last year Microsoft shared the first details about its upcoming Creators Update for Windows 10, which is focused on media professionals with new features for virtual reality and 3D content. Shortly after, leaked DLL files suggested a new Game Mode could also ship with the update. Microsoft has since confirmed this, and in an interview with Ars Technica, has also described some of its functionality.

The main premise is this: Game development for consoles has some key differences than with PCs. On consoles, game designers know exactly how many cores, GPU shaders, and memory they will have at any given time. On the PC, exact specifications vary widely from budget computers all the way up to extreme workstations. Background apps and other processes can also take away resources from a game. 

The upcoming Game Mode update looks to make the PC behave more closely to a console from this perspective. Kevin Gammill, a program manager at Microsoft, wouldn't divulge much in terms of specifics, but he said that they were seeing framerate improvements of 2 to 5% in their tests. This performance gain was most likely achieved by "deferring unnecessary background tasks and using process priorities" to ensure games receive all the available resources that they needed.

Game Mode will be compatible with standard Win32 based games as well as Microsoft's new Universal Windows Platform games from the Windows Store. UWP games are more standardized with the way they utilize resources so they will likely see the biggest improvement from the update. Users will be able to opt-in and opt-out on a per-game basis and the update will feature a list of known games that will automatically trigger Game Mode.

The first Insider Preview build should be available on Thursday with more updates to come.

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Evernessince

Posts: 4,998   +5,124
"this performance gain was most likely achieved by "deferring unnecessary background tasks and using process priorities" to ensure games receive all the available resources that they needed."

Pretty much the first two things you are told to do when you are getting unusually bad performance. Windows should have been able to do this automatically years ago.
 

Rockstarrrr

Posts: 97   +72
They have no shame if they talk about this as something "cool" Bloated W10 with spyware and then, two years later, introducing script that will temporarily turn that off as "gaming mode" LOL.
 

Skidmarksdeluxe

Posts: 8,645   +3,281
Loosely translated, what this could mean is that "We (M$) can transform you uber expensive and powerful X199, 12 core, hyper threaded Kaby Lake E proc, 128 GB DDR4, 2TB NVMe drive, GeForce 2080Ti SLI setup into a 80286 type PC during gaming, if we feel like it. We can't let THE proper gaming platform steal all the thunder from our anemic, money spinning console but we also don't want to admit to the PC master race that we feel stuff all for them because they don't add much to our bottom line".
 

jonny888

Posts: 72   +88
In the interest of balance (since the first 4 comments are complaints/jibes) I don't see how them offering an update that improves performance when gaming to be a bad thing. It's a good thing. How can it not be a good thing? (unless it breaks something else)

You can always argue what they "should've" done before, what else they "should" be working on instead, but let's try and take this positive for what it is. A positive. A step in the right direction.
 
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Teko03

Posts: 609   +322
In the interest of balance (since the first 4 comments are complaints/jibes) I don't see how them offering an update that improves performance when gaming to be a bad thing. It's a good thing. How can it not be a good thing? (unless it breaks something else)

You can always argue what they "should've" done before, what else they "should" be working on instead, but let's try and take this positive for what it is. A positive. A step in the right direction.
It's Microsoft, anything they do people want to make it seem bad. There would be praise if it were any of the other "cool" tech giants.