With the release of Windows 11 in October 2021, PC owners received many upgrades in terms of overall efficiency, design, and utilities, but also several features to improve the quality of your PC gaming. From increased security measures, granular control over start-up applications, advanced data storage and retrieval methods, and improvements to graphics technology specializing in HDR integration, there are many things that can help you ensure that your PC is providing the best possible gaming experience. Check out these five ways that Windows 11 helps to optimize PC gaming and ensure that you have every available advantage working in your favor.
The newest version of Game Mode offered by Windows 11 provides a vastly upgraded experience from previous generations of the operating system. Users no longer must deal with potentially disastrous issues like infuriating increases in lag time or graphics stuttering out during a crucial moment in-game. By adding features like preventing drivers from being updated mid-game and unprompted restarts following installation, your PC can concentrate solely on gaming activities while also helping to minimize and prevent potential problems.
Anyone who has installed Windows 11 on their PC already has Game Mode enabled by default. After your computer detects that you are engaging in PC gaming, it will automatically ensure that your system runs on all cylinders and produces the best possible performance. Game Mode can also be easily toggled on and off on the rare occasion that it causes performance issues with a particular title.
For those unfamiliar with the differences between SDR (Standard Dynamic Range) and HDR (High Dynamic Range), these terms refer to graphics technology commonly used across a variety of computer monitors.
With the increasing popularity of HDR monitors, these components have become a highly sought-after component for both casual and professional PC gamers. Unfortunately, it must be noted that at this time, many PC games still run on SDR, which makes the decision to purchase a more technically capable monitor questionable since the hardware is ahead of the software in this instance.
Windows 11's Game Mode now comes with a never-before-seen solution for this lack of compatibility, which is referred to as Auto HDR. While this technology will not provide the same graphics experience as a PC that already offers HDR integration, Game Mode automatically activates to improve light quality and color balance to enhance the performance of all games, even those that only run using SDR. Should you already possess a monitor capable of HDR, your gaming visuals will also receive an immediate upgrade with no effort required on your part.
While Xbox owners will be more familiar with the benefits of this technology than PC users, Direct Storage is a recently developed technique that utilizes NVMe SSDs and their breakneck data transfer speeds to deliver game data more efficiently. As a newly made API (Application Programming Interface), there is a lack of solid technical details available to the public, but the general concept involves the use of a PCs GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) to unzip digital assets for PC games, allowing users to be transported into the game almost instantly.
Since the process of quickly accessing game data from digital storage remains a persistent issue throughout the gaming industry at large, the inclusion of such technology will go a long way toward augmenting your PC gaming experience. Furthermore, with graphics technology becoming an increasingly important and resource-heavy gaming component, such improvements will be greatly enjoyed by those playing PC games with large graphics files.
While most laptops and PCs made for casual users only come with a single GPU installed, many systems offer the option to install an additional GPU that is purpose-built with gaming performance in mind. So rather than having your game time being powered by a GPU that is simply not up to the task, Windows 11 users can take advantage of their newly installed and more powerful graphics card.
This process can be easily accomplished by selecting the Windows key and entering "Graphics" into the search bar. Click "Enter" to open the Graphics Options menu, then choose a game, and then select "Options." After choosing which GPU option you want a particular game to use, select "Save" to finalize your settings.
Graphic drivers are how your PC's hardware can effectively communicate with its operating system to have your game deliver its best possible performance. Because graphics drivers becoming corrupted or outdated is a fairly common occurrence, you can use Windows 11's taskbar search field to access the Device Manager, then select the Sound, Video, and Game Controllers menu to check each graphics driver and update them as needed.
With these five notable improvements and additions to the Windows 11 OS, users can take advantage of an enhanced gaming experience and invest in future-proof technology. While not all PC games can make the most out of the technology on offer, you can enjoy improved versions of games you already have while eagerly awaiting the newest batch of next-generation titles.