Avid PC gamers will be glad to know that Microsoft has announced its Windows 10 operating system will, as of January 26, be optimized for playing games. The announcement was first made about a week ago and before the “Game Mode” is released, the tech giant has started to explain what exactly it is and what can be expected from the update.
When the operating system has been switched to Game Mode, Microsoft says, the computer will be re-configured to prioritize its CPU and GPU resources to provide a better gaming experience. For one, it is expected to improve any game’s frame rate, according to The Verge. Windows 10 will also be upgraded to include gaming functions that will be independent of Game Mode. These functions will include things like a toolbar (dubbed the “Game Bar”) which can be activated by pressing “Windows + G” to reveal shortcuts which can be used for, among other things, capturing screenshots, recording game play, and uploading them to Beam – Microsoft’s newly acquired live streaming service for sharing and participating in real-time games.
To enable Game Mode, the Game Bar is pulled up, and from a popup window, players choose the game they want the system optimized for by checking a box. The games, of course (with the exception of the very few that can enable Game Mode automatically) should be opened first.
Going further into the technical details Forbes explains that, normally PCs and consoles use GPUs (called graphics cards in PCs) to render video games. These cards transmit the images in single frames and, hence, use a lot of processing power which makes them rather expensive, the main reason serious gamers dish out serious money for graphics cards, which means the more powerful the card, the smoother the gaming experience.
With Game Mode included in Windows 10, whatever resources that are standing idle or are being under-utilized are garnered to enhance the performance of the game. But, Microsoft says, it is more about ensuring consistency rather than flat-out performance boots (although it will happen every once in a while) by preventing other system tasks from “stealing resources” from the game. This will result in fewer dropped frames that are common in resource-intense scenes.
While Game Mode is new to the PC operating system, it is already available in Xbox One, with it being primarily built for games. The feature will start being rolled out in Windows builds on January 26, but will be part of the Windows 10 Creators Update which is planned to be released “early” in 2017.
By Liku Zelleke
Photo Courtesy Microsoft