In brief: If you’re put off from upgrading to Intel’s 12th-gen Alder Lake series by the prospect of not being able to play some of your favorite games, here’s some good news: the Digital Rights Management (DRM) issues that caused certain titles to not run on the latest processors without some form of workaround have now been completely addressed.
In November, Intel released a list of games that wouldn’t work with its new Alder Lake chips. The issues stemmed from Digital Rights Management software (Denuvo) conflicts. It seems the DRM software was incorrectly recognizing Alder Lake’s Efficient cores (E-cores) as another system. This prevented games from launching, caused crashes during gameplay, or shut them down unexpectedly.
Intel placed 90 titles on the list of impacted games, which included Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. There were ways to circumvent the problem, including enabling Legacy Game Compatibility Mode (where available) in a PC’s BIOS, placing the E-cores in a standby mode while playing games. And some motherboard manufacturers released tools allowing users to switch the E-cores on and off easily through a utility’s UI.
In December, Intel announced that the list of games impacted by the Alder Lake/DRM combo was down to just three— Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Fernbus Simulator, and Madden 22—though this writer never encountered any issues while playing Valhalla on an Alder Lake PC, even without the workarounds.
However, Intel has confirmed that it has now resolved all the DRM issues on its Alder Lake CPUs by working with game publishers and Microsoft; every title on the list has been fixed through either patches or OS updates. Intel is asking people who identify any games that still have problems running on Alder Lake to contact the company.