Windows Insiders Will Get Game Mode This Week

Posted on January 25, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Games, Windows 10 with 17 Comments

Windows Insiders Will Get Game Mode This Week

The least interesting and most overly-reported new feature in Windows 10 is going live this week for Windows Insiders.

As I wrote earlier this month, Game Mode is a new feature in Windows 10 that will debut with the Creators Update. It’s a, um, mode. For games.

I know, complicated.

“Our goal is to make Windows 10 the best Windows ever for gaming,” Microsoft’s Mike Ybarra wrote in an earlier post to the Xbox Wire blog. “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.”

Those visual elements consist of a checkbox in the Game DVR Settings interface (WINKEY + G, then select the Settings cog) in Windows 10 Insider Preview build 15014.

It reads, badly, “Game mode makes your PC’s top priority to improve your game’s quality.” There’s a checkbox that enables this mode on a per-game basis, but it doesn’t do anything in the current Insider build.

That’s going to change with the next Insider build. Meaning that the non-working checkbox you see in Game DVR settings for Game Mode will become active. You know, sometime this week.

That’s right. You’re going to be able to select a checkbox. Contain your excitement. 🙂

So what does Game Mode really do?

Nothing that isn’t obvious: It gives the game threads higher priority access to the CPU and GPU than background tasks. In other words, it’s how games should always run.

Which prompts a thought: Why even have a Game Mode? If you’re running a game on a PC, it should always be given priority access to system resources like CPU, GPU, RAM, disk, and so on. Obviously.


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