Windows 10 will get performance enhancing "Game Mode"

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#1 Edited by isomeri (2894 posts) -

According to sources such as Windows Central, GameSpot and The Verge, Microsoft are nearing the introduction of a "Game Mode" to Windows 10. The Game Mode would adjust how resources are allocated within the PC as well as hibernate or shut down most background programs, freeing up more computational power for the use of games. Essentially, it would make a Windows 10 machine function more like a console than a traditional PC.

Details are still understandably very slim, as most of the info is based on Windows Central's sources and a leak from an upcoming Windows 10 build (14997). The two main questions are probably how major of a performance boost this Game Mode would bring, and what kind of games would the mode support? Would Microsoft be hawkish enough to only allow the feature for games in the Xbox ecosystem, or could services like Origin and Steam also gain benefits from this?

In any case, I guess even a slight performance boost to only a few games is not a bad thing by any means. If this means that I can finally reach a solid 60 fps in Forza Horizon 3, I'll be pretty content.

EDIT: Edited the title to reflect the confirmation of the rumors.

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#2 Posted by DharmaBum (1703 posts) -

Windows Store needs to get its shit together from what I hear, but I could see them maybe using this as an incentive to use their client.

@isomeri said:

Would Microsoft be hawkish enough to only allow the feature for games in the Xbox ecosystem, or could services like Origin and Steam also gain benefits from this?

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#3 Posted by MezZa (2873 posts) -

This sounds like something I'd never turn on. My pc already runs everything I want to run fine, and the idea of background tasks shutting down doesn't sound too appealing to me. I do a lot of tabbing and running things in the background simultaneously while I game, so the last thing I want is the console experience. Might be neat for the people who can get some use out of it though.

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#4 Edited by OurSin_360 (5002 posts) -

Hopefully whatever it is its optional, i dont need more shit to troubleshoot.

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#5 Posted by isomeri (2894 posts) -

Windows Central have some more info on said Game Mode. According to their sources, Game Mode is a framework for Windows 10, Xbox One and Project Scorpio games, which enables a common code base to be used for all three platforms. This decreases the need for platform-specific optimization and makes "porting" console games to the PC much easier. However, since Game Mode is a UWP feature, it only benefits games sold through the Windows Store. Here's a quote from the linked article.

"This means that developers using Game Mode enabled UWP today to build games for Xbox One at 900-1080p and up to 4K for Windows 10 PCs are ready to deploy those games for Project Scorpio, with over 95% of the existing project code intact."

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#6 Posted by Humanity (16842 posts) -

@isomeri: Well thats a shame. Was hoping it could be a flat toggle for your system rather than a specific case-by-case thing. The idea was fascinating to limit resource drag to a bare minimum and channel your entire PC into purely running a game with all the attention it can muster.

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#7 Posted by Cirdain (3797 posts) -

I'm pretty sure someone's gonna fine an easy way of tricking it on when you want it on.

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#8 Edited by isomeri (2894 posts) -

Microsoft have now given official details on the Game Mode, which will arrive to some users as a part of the latest "Creators Update". The Game Mode is indeed intended to increase performance while playing games on the PC, and I've heard people on Twitter and NeoGaf and such say that this would also apply to Win32 games, but I've not been able to nail down an official source for that tidbit.

"Our goal is to make Windows 10 the best Windows ever for gaming. With the Creators Update, we’re introducing a new feature called Game Mode. Windows Insiders will start seeing some of the visual elements for Game Mode this week, with the feature being fully operational in builds shortly thereafter. Our vision is for Game Mode to optimize your Windows 10 PC for increased performance in gaming. This is a big update for Windows; we’re looking forward to Insiders getting their hands on this new feature for further testing, and we’ll have much more to share on what it is and how it works soon, so stayed tuned."

EDIT: Here's Mike Ybarra saying that Game Mode works for UWP and Win32 titles.

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#9 Edited by fnrslvr (436 posts) -

@isomeri:The claims described in the Windows Central article sound really wild. Games being ported between console and PC have to deal with the whole separated vs shared memory model thing and all the caching differences and whatnot that that sort of thing forces on the engine developers, and probably the content creators too. There's probably a lot of boilerplate that can be streamlined by making many of the APIs in the two ecosystems align (which is a big part of what UWP is about), but I'll be impressed if Microsoft is able to abstract away the kinds of fundamental machine model differences that the article seems to be talking about. It's basically the holy grail that'd force through Microsoft's entire Play Anywhere strategy.

It does make me curious about what's going to go down at E3 at least.

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#10 Posted by AlexW00d (7530 posts) -

Don't wanna be cynical, but with how UWP has gone so far I'm sure this will just add even more chance of shitty bugs, like the ones already plaguing Forza.

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#11 Edited by DookieRope (303 posts) -

@dharmabum: It does indeed. I've still never been able to launch my free copy of Gears 4 I got with my new GPU.

Aside from that you can already do stuff like this with a few third party apps. Processor lasso comes to mind. It was good for prolly 10fps back the day when I was using it corral my processor and make it focus its attention on Planetside 2.

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#12 Posted by andythemeZ (175 posts) -

This is as good a place as ever to ask:

What stuff do ya'll turn down or off when playing games on PC? I already know it's recommended to put your Antivirus into its game-mode, but that's more of a "don't minimize the game window with stupid warnings" thing.

I remember in the past it was recommended to switch all the transparency and Theme effects of XP and Vista, essentially making them look like 95-98-ME, but I wouldn't know how to do that in W10, or if it'd even make a difference.

Can doing things like making the game, or client (Steam) a "high " priority in task manager help?

What else?

Online
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#13 Posted by Bollard (7710 posts) -

I can't imagine Microsoft not locking this behind Windows Store games.

@isomeri said:

Windows Central have some more info on said Game Mode. According to their sources, Game Mode is a framework for Windows 10, Xbox One and Project Scorpio games, which enables a common code base to be used for all three platforms. This decreases the need for platform-specific optimization and makes "porting" console games to the PC much easier. However, since Game Mode is a UWP feature, it only benefits games sold through the Windows Store. Here's a quote from the linked article.

"This means that developers using Game Mode enabled UWP today to build games for Xbox One at 900-1080p and up to 4K for Windows 10 PCs are ready to deploy those games for Project Scorpio, with over 95% of the existing project code intact."

Whoops, missed this post. Welp, at least my opinion of Microsoft was accurate...

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#14 Posted by fnrslvr (436 posts) -

@andythemez: I sometimes forget that I have KI running when I boot up other games. I use my 1070 for decadence.

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#15 Posted by isomeri (2894 posts) -
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#16 Posted by Sinusoidal (3515 posts) -

Sounds crasherrific!

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#17 Edited by spartica (125 posts) -

Sounds like a good idea that will most likely cause more problems than it's worth. I can optimize my PC already.

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#18 Posted by Daiphyer (1511 posts) -

@andythemez: In my experience, setting the affinity in Task Manager helps with games that are CPU-demanding, or games that are not optimized for multi-core use of CPUs. (Just Cause 3 and Dying Light are two good examples of the former and the latter)

I've found that tinkering with some of the Nvidia Manager's individual game settings have also gained me alot of performance for badly optimized games.

So, this just takes all those SHIT "Gaming Optimizer" applications and puts Microsoft's name on it?

Avatar image for isomeri
#19 Posted by isomeri (2894 posts) -

Microsoft have released a video detailing the functionality of Game Mode.

Loading Video...

A new article by Windows Central also has some further details, like for example what kind of benefits people can expect between Win32 and UWP titles.

"Microsoft told me that while Win32 PC games (typical of Steam) will see some benefits from Game Mode, it will be UWP games (typical of the Windows 10 Store) that see the biggest improvements. This is because the UWP environment is a little more standardized than Win32, and Microsoft can more easily optimize the feature as a result. Microsoft is working with their hardware partners, including Intel, AMD, and NVIDIA, to make sure Game Mode is as good as it can be, optimizing for the most popular hardware configurations available."

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#20 Posted by Dayve86 (171 posts) -

I can understand the scepticism, but this sounds awesome to me. Bring tight on money I hope this helps me squeeze just a little more life out of my ageing hardware.

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#21 Posted by burncoat (307 posts) -

*slams fist on table*

BRING BACK THE TURBO BUTTON BRING BACK THE TURBO BUTTON BRING BACK THE TURBO BUTTON

I'm looking forward to this. Even just a minor boost in framerate to keep my average FPS from dipping during intense moments would be great.

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#22 Posted by Zelyre (1788 posts) -

So, can I easily alt-tab to multi-task? If not, then it's sort of useless to me. If this just automatically sets the affinity for an executable to high, what will it do when one executable spawns another. Say you run a launcher and that launcher opens up the game and some other process to make sure you're not running cheat engine. How well will this work on non-UWP titles, because after the Forza thing, I'm not touching the Live store for quite some time. I don't need 100+ gigs of my now very enforced data cap eaten up, even if Comcast generously caps the overage charge at $200.

Will I need to rename all my game executables to quake.exe to enable game specific optimizations? Can I use compression to make my machine say I have 48 gigs of ram instead of 32? How do I download more ram?

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