Microsoft Says Windows 11 Security Features Can Impact Gaming Performance

Posted on October 7, 2022 by Laurent Giret in Windows, Windows 11 with 13 Comments

If Windows 11 brings some valuable new gaming features such as Auto HDR and DirectStorage, Microsoft has discovered that security and virtualization features can also impact gaming performance. In a support page published yesterday (via The Verge), the company explained that gamers may want to disable Memory Integrity and the Virtual Machine Platform (VMP) to improve performance in games.

“As part of continued testing and feedback from users, Microsoft has seen that in some scenarios and some configurations of gaming devices there may be a performance impact with Memory Integrity and VMP on,” the company explained. “Gamers who want to prioritize performance have the option to turn off these features while gaming and turn them back on when finished playing. However, if turned off, the device may be vulnerable to threats.”

Memory Integrity, also called Hypervisor-protected code integrity (HVCI), is a system-level feature that prevents attackers from inserting malicious code into high-security processes. It’s enabled by default on all new Windows 11 PCs, and it also makes sure that all drivers installed on a PC are safe to use.

The Virtual Machine Platform, however, needs to be turned on to run Hyper-V and emulate different operating systems on Windows 11. You also need this feature to use the Windows Subsystem for Android and the selection of 20,000 Android apps now available on the Amazon App Store.

The option to turn off Memory Integrity can be found in the Device Security section of the Windows Security app, which is where you configure Firewall, Microsoft Defender, and other settings. Microsoft noted that you might need to restart your device after turning off Memory Integrity.

To turn off the Virtual Machine Platform, you’ll need to search for ‘Windows Features’ in the search box and select ‘Turn Windows features on or off’ from the results. This will open the Windows Features window where you can scroll down to toggle off the Virtual Machine Platform.

Again, Microsoft said that the performance impact caused by Memory Integrity and VMP may not be noticeable in all games. Unless you really obsess over performance, you may not need to turn these features off every time you want to play.

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