Microsoft is facing even more criticism following the release of Windows 11. Recent reports claim that customers of new pre-built computers may lose up to 28% of their gaming performance due to frame-rate-crushing security measures. That has gamers up in arms, so we conducted many rounds of testing in our laboratories using some of Intel and AMD’s greatest gaming CPUs.
Why Windows 11 Might Be a Bad Choice for Gamers
Websites like ExtremeTech and iDigitalTimes have revealed that Windows 11 allegedly puts Windows 10 gamers at risk of either higher latency. It is (due to optimization being disabled), reduced frame rates (since disabling these optimizations is very tricky), or slower framerates (if all modern settings are left active).
Microsoft has vehemently denied these claims, but we feel that the company’s stance has been overly clear and is likely due to poor positioning for its operating system.
Microsoft originally positioned Windows 11 as a “Game Mode” optimized for productivity, instead of a gaming operating system. That positioning has the benefit of allowing new and existing customers to upgrade to Windows 11. It is without losing the system’s advantages while providing an exciting new gaming experience.
What is New in Windows 11
Microsoft’s new gaming operating system is advertised to offer unprecedented hardware support. However, in practice, the company’s claims may not stand up to scrutiny. Windows is known for its steep learning curve. So users need to have experience with PCs before they can have an accurate idea of how Windows 11 stacks up to Windows 8. According to reports, gamers could lose up to 28% of their gaming performance. If they use Intel’s Core i7 processor with Nvidia’s GeForce GTX Titan X graphics. It is a situation that is bad enough to require the use of dedicated graphics processing units.
However, the testing proved that there are no performance problems with most gaming PCs equipped with Intel’s Core i5 or Intel Core i7 processors.
Before we even began testing, we had to resolve a few nagging problems with the Acer Aspire E15 and Aspire R 15 gaming laptops, as the review units shipped with 2.2 GHz 4-Core CPUs. According to Intel’s specification, such CPUs are expected to scale with CPU count, so we had to send these pre-built computers back to the manufacturer to swap out 2.1 GHz dual-core CPUs for faster quad-core units. To provide full testing depth, we also spent the money and shipped the Ultrabook Speed Machine test rigs to provide extensive testing depth for all our CPU-related tests.
DirectX 12 performance
Running on the testbed with an Intel Core i7-8700K CPU, ASUS Z370-A motherboard, and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti video card, I turned to the latest games, including Battlefield 1, Battlefield V, and The Division 2. I was able to see a similar frame-rate performance in all three of these games across all graphics settings. In most cases, performance didn’t change between Windows 10 and Windows 11. I was also able to make further gains on the PC using Windows 10. Such as by decreasing my settings in Division 2 to “Low,” which lowered the frame rate by 5-10%.
Below, we can see the differences between Windows 10 running Battlefield 1 with settings defaulted to “Ultra” and the new Windows 11 operating system.
Intel vs AMD performance
To make the investigation as accurate as possible, 100 or more tests were performed across several titles with the DX11 and DX12 extensions enabled.
The tech giants have run our CPU-centric testing using Intel and AMD processors. Both companies released their highly anticipated CPUs with higher clock speeds than their last-generation CPUs in recent months, which we include in our tests for comparative purposes.
The testing procedures use the latest and most updated drivers for each of our desktop and mobile CPUs to determine the effect that these chipsets have on our benchmark results.
They test the CPUs with the latest drivers for every OS we have available at the time. That means Windows 10, Windows 8.
However, even if it’s only by 2% to 5% for the games tested, Windows 11 regularly improves gaming performance for AMD Ryzen. The more we debated the issue, the more it became evident that we would be better off deleting all of the old data and beginning over.
In short, it turns out that Windows 11 Gaming Performance is considerably worse than that of Windows 10 Home, with improvements in Windows 10 Pro. However, running Windows 11 Gaming Performance alongside Windows 10 Home does not change the overall picture much, with both versions providing roughly the same online gaming experience. This is reflected in the scores we publish in our benchmarks – running at 3,840×2,160 at both resolutions puts the 32-core CPU at around 15% faster than running it at 2,560×1,440, for instance.
This performance gap, however, does not tell the whole story. Windows 10 Gaming Performance’s CPU-heavy benchmarks are very demanding, that our custom testing setup uses a number of the overclocked processors currently on the market.