Windows 11 will disable prebuilt PCs to slow down gaming performance

Microsoft claims that windows 11 asennus is made for gamers, but you need to be aware of future prebuilt PCs that have the new OS factory installed. This is because the Big M has made PCs more secure by default. One, in particular, can severely impact gaming performance.

We found that this can lead to a 28% decrease in frame rates. You thought TPM 2.0 was a pain?

This kind of frame rate delta would be like dropping down an entire level of graphics cards. In these times where GPUs are scarce, Microsoft gimping performance on your new build machine would be difficult for gamers to swallow.

Virtualization-Based Security is the issue. This setting was introduced in Windows 10 and uses software and hardware virtualization to increase your system’s security. This creates an isolated subsystem to prevent malware from causing damage to your computer.

Microsoft explains the following: “VBS uses hardware Virtualization features to create an isolated region of memory from your normal operating system. This ‘virtual safe mode’ can be used by Windows to host security solutions. It provides greater protection against vulnerabilities and prevents malicious exploits from being used to disable protections.

This feature is primarily for enterprise customers. It allows them to lock down corporate PCs that they bring into their offices and prevents them from being compromised.

VBS is not required to be enabled if you are upgrading from Windows 10 or Windows 11. This is a problem if the machine has an OEM version of Windows 11.

Microsoft has again highlighted the improved security features in the new OS in a late August post. This was the one that introduced the PC Health Check app to Windows 11 Insiders.

You probably already know the requirements for the TPM 2.0. However, this post will also discuss VBS and the desire of the company to match the Department of Defense’s demands for Virtualization Based Security as a standard.

clarifies that VBS is not required for Windows 11 upgrades. However, the post states that “we believe that the security benefits it provides are so important that the system requirements were minimal to ensure that all Windows 11-running PCs can have the same level of security as the DoD.”

“We will enable VBS and HVCI for all new PCs in partnership with our OEM partners and silicon partners over the next year.” We will also continue to look for opportunities to expand VBS to more systems in the future.

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PCG Test Rig

CPU: Intel Core I7 10700K
motherboard MSI Z490 Gaming Carbon WiFi
Graphics card Nvidia RX3060 Ti Founders Edition

SSD:1TB SK Hynix gold P31
Cooler: Corsair H100i RGB Pro XT
Chassis: DimasTech Mini V2
OS: Windows 11 Building 22000.194

We have tested a variety of games with the latest Windows 11 release.

Far Cry New Dawn, the exception, is the one that barely shrugs off VBS with a 5% decrease in frame rate. Horizon Zero Dawn drops 25%, Metro Exodus drops 24%, Shadow of the Tomb Raider drops 28%, and Metro Exodus drops 24%. The 3DMark Time Spy score dropped only 10%.

This is why it’s so interesting. This is because it was UL that brought this matter to our attention. It made mention of this performance-damaging security feature when it informed us about Windows 11 support in its full benchmarking suite. That’s when benchmarking began for me.

“In our testing of pre-release Windows 11 builds, UL reports that a feature called Virtualization-based Security caused performance drops. VBS is automatically enabled after a clean installation of Windows 11. However, it is not available when you upgrade from Windows 10. The same system may get different benchmark scores depending upon how Windows 11 was installed, and whether VBS has been enabled.

“We will add VBS detection in our benchmarks in a future upgrade to help you compare scores fairly.”

However, VBS doesn’t have any effect on the speed of the hardware. Metro Exodus has been run several times and we have seen no slowdown in the CPU or graphics cards. The CPU and GPU are very similar in terms of frequency.

However, we noticed that both the processor and graphics card have had their power draw drop. The reason for this performance drop is undoubtedly coming from another source.

VBS is not automatically enabled on all Windows 11 clean installations. To enable VBS on our test rig I downloaded the ISO version. However, it was necessary to make some registry changes and tweak BIOS settings for the OS to be enabled. It’s not something to worry about if you are just downloading Windows 11 for a fresh installation.

Windows 11 PCs built by the largest OEMs like Dell, HP, and Lenovo are likely to include VBS as standard. We are not sure if these companies will have VBS enabled for their gaming brands. Or if system builders will be exempted and continue shipping gaming PCs with VBS.

My instinct is that gaming-focused companies should be able to bypass any Microsoft request for VBS by default. But these are fascinating times… You can quickly check if it is on or off by pressing the ‘Win” key and then typing ‘MSInfo32. Then, scroll down to the bottom of the report to see if VBS is enabled.

It might require some registry work to get rid of it if it is found.

We have reached out to Microsoft as well as certain OEMs to get clarification on Windows 11 and VBS. We will keep you updated if we receive any concrete information from them. One thing is certain, though: this security feature does not make me feel confident about the gaming performance on tomorrow’s computers.