Windows 10 has a dormant ‘game mode’, but don’t get your hopes up just yet

Windows 10 has a dormant ‘game mode’, but don’t get your hopes up just yet

A Twitter user has spotted a dormant feature in Windows 10 that just might increase performance in games.

Twitter user h0x0d tweeted that he found a ‘gamemode.dll’ file in the Windows installation directory. At a guess, this mode will prioritise gaming processes over everything else, theoretically enhancing in-game performance.


This might sound like good news to you, but don’t get your hopes up. The reason consoles like the PS4 and Xbox One can still deliver half-decent graphics (yes, my dear #ConsolePeasant, you don’t know any better) with such limited hardware is that the games get priority access to all the processing power that the console’s piddly hardware can muster.

On a PC, you’ve got Windows’ own processes, dozens of background programs and more eating up precious resources. That’s the theory, anyway.

However, it must be noted that most games today are console ports and are not capable of stressing a reasonably powerful gaming PC in the first place. Even “heavy” games usually dump all the processing load on the GPU.

I’ve rarely seen a game use more than 40 percent of available CPU resources myself, and in my experience, the GPU is almost always the bottleneck. DirectX 12 and AMD’s Mantle have done more to reduce CPU overhead than any game mode ever can.

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A ‘game mode’ in Windows 10 could, conceivably, provide a boost on low-end systems with low-end GPUs and integrated graphics, but I don’t see what else it can achieve. Also, Microsoft is yet to fully iron out Windows’ UWP gaming modes, which is a bottleneck in its own right.