In October 2016, Microsoft first revealed plans to launch the Windows 10 Creators Update, a major free update to its latest OS, sometime this spring. One of the features in this new version will be Game Mode, which is supposed to improve how PC games perform on Windows 10. This week, as part of the 2017 Game Developers Conference, Microsoft revealed more details on how Game Mode will actually work behind the scenes to make games run faster and perform better.
According to Ars Technica, Eric Walston, from Microsoft’s Xbox Advanced Technology Group, said during a GDC panel that when Game Mode is turned on in Windows 10, the majority of the cores in a PC’s processor will be devoted to running the game. For example, if your desktop or laptop PC has an eight-core processor, six of them might put into action to run a game if it is in Game Mode.
This new feature also optimizes performance on the GPU hardware as well. Walston said activating Game Mode will transfer a greater majority of GPU cycles to that game, along with putting in more favorable GPU memory residency to in-game assets. If it works as it should, PC games running in Game Mode should have better frame rates and performance, while also improving their visuals, compared to the same game running without Game Mode.
While this new feature can be turned on or off by the PC owner, Walston said that developers can program their game so it turns on Game Mode by default, if the hardware the game is installed on can handle it.
Game Mode is already available in preview versions of Windows 10 for members of the Windows Insider Program. If you are a member of the program, you can download the latest Windows 10 preview build, pull up the Game bar (Windows key + G) and click on the Settings button to access Game Mode. Microsoft has not yet revealed a specific release date for the Windows 10 Creators Update.