When Microsoft announced that Windows 10 would get a dedicated "Game Mode", our interest was definitely piqued. Can't say no to higher framerates for nothing, right? Well, it turns out you can when said new mode delivers minimal benefits, or in some cases, worse performance. How is that even possible?
When it comes to any new piece of software or hardware purporting to boost your framerate, there's only one way to verify those claims: Benchmarks... and lots of them.
The folks at PCGamesN took it upon themselves to put Game Mode through its paces — keeping in mind that the feature isn't officially a part of Windows 10 yet; it's still only available via Windows Insider, a sort of "testing" version of the operating system.
Still, the results were not promising. For Hitman, Game Mode did little, sometimes improving the minimum FPS on NVIDIA cards by a frame or two. And for Forza 3, well, it actually killed performance by up to 23 per cent.
OK, so that's the bad news. Rise of the Tomb Raider did go up a couple of percentage points, but it really shined when paired with a background process, such as a screen recording app, where it made a massive difference to minimum framerates, in the order of 25 to 33 per cent.
So... Game Mode hasn't really busted out of the gates, but it's still early days. Perhaps with some tweaks, it'll provide a net benefit, to the point where it can be always on and provide boosts in other situations where you have one dominate foreground task and a couple of things churning in the background.
For now, however, there's quite a bit of room for improvement.