Windows 11 has some security settings tweaks that can help PC gamers get smoother frame rates, Microsoft advised.
On a blog post (opens in new tab) discovered by Tom’s Hardware (opens in new tab)Microsoft provides instructions on how to disable two features that provide stronger security for Windows 11 PCs, providing better gaming performance – with the downside that your system is more vulnerable to attacks with this functionality disabled.
The features in question are memory integrity (in Windows security, core isolation) and the virtual machine platform, known as VMP (in Windows features). Both are simple switches (well, a slider and a checkbox respectively) that can be turned off if you wish.
Microsoft notes, “As part of ongoing testing and user feedback, Microsoft has seen that in some scenarios and some game device configurations there may be a performance impact with memory health and VMP enabled.”
The company further notes, “Gamers who want to prioritize performance have the option to turn these features off during gameplay and turn them on again when they are done playing. However, if turned off, the device may be vulnerable to threats.”
As Microsoft makes clear, memory integrity helps ensure that all installed drivers are fully signed and trusted, blocking a malicious code injection route that nefarious types can use.
Analysis: How much performance impact are we talking about here?
Unfortunately, Microsoft doesn’t detail what kind of impact on framerates these two mentioned security features might have and how much you can earn by disabling them (approximately – no doubt this varies a bit based on all sorts of factors) .
It might not be much on average given what we anecdotally see online. (Tom theorizes perhaps a 5% to 10% slowdown, although the end of that estimate is more concerning – and the fact that Microsoft has admitted there is a problem here also seems to suggest that any impact isn’t completely trivial).
However, as noted, be careful about leaving these features permanently off, even though it is a bit of a pain to turn off VMP and memory integrity and then turn them on again. This task might seem like a simple matter of a few clicks on Settings, but the caveat is that you might have to restart your PC – which is when it can be a little more tiring to keep disabling these features and on and on.
Still, if you only play a competitive shooter, say once a week, and you absolutely want the smoothest framerates possible for those gaming sessions, it’s useful to know about these actions you can take on Windows 11. forget to reverse things later.