Today’s average gaming PC is more powerful than a PlayStation 4 or an Xbox One, but chances are that you probably also have several pieces of software taking up your processing power on your computer while you game. But Microsoft may have something in the works that could fix that.
The latest version of Windows 10 from Microsoft includes a dormant feature called “Game Mode” that will shift your PC’s CPU and GPU to prioritize the game over everything else (as first spotted by Twitter user h0x0d, who has uncovered Windows features before). By allocating resources away from background apps, games should perform better than when they are sharing compute cycles with Apple’s software update tool or whatever the hell else is running on your machine.
I’ve asked Microsoft for a comment about this possible upcoming feature, and we’ll update this story with any new information.
.@h0x0d looks like Windows will adjust its resource allocation logic (for CPU/Gfx etc.) to prioritize the "Game" when running in "Game Mode"
— WalkingCat (@h0x0d) December 28, 2016
A Game Mode on PC should behave a lot like Microsoft’s Xbox One console. That system runs on the same OS kernel as Windows 10, and it already has a feature that gives almost all of the CPU and GPU power to active games. This maximizes the performance so that the Xbox One can have a smooth framerate and high resolution, but it also means that it can take the Xbox One extra time to return back to its main menu and to pull up other apps.
It’s likely that in Game Mode, Windows 10 will help games look and run better, but it will cause similar sluggishness in returning to Windows 10 proper or switching to other apps. Hopefully, Microsoft will build in a whitelist so you can choose to leave other crucial apps, like Steam or Discord, unaffected. But yeah, go ahead, please take resources away from the Apple updater. I don’t care to ever update iTunes again.