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Gaming with Windows 11: What to Expect with the New PC Performance Features

Windows users have been waiting since 2015 for Microsoft’s next operating system (OS), but finally the wait is over…Windows 11 is here! A lot of attention has been focused on the advanced features it offers, as well as its consolidating functions and improvements to the user experience. But Windows 11 brings with it some exciting new gaming features, let’s check them out.

DirectStorage

A close up of a hand installing Kingston FURY Renegade NVMe SSD in a computer’s motherboard

DirectStorage is (literally) a game-changing update, the technology allows NVMe SSDs to transfer a game’s data directly to the graphics card, bypassing CPU bottlenecks and delivering blistering speeds for rendering, without long load times. For gaming, this means saying goodbye to loading screens and hello to faster and smoother gameplay.

Such is the excitement around it, Microsoft has recently confirmed that DirectStorage will also be available for Windows 10. Therefore, even if you choose not to upgrade to Windows 11, you can still take advantage of the benefits of DirectStorage.

It’s important to note that the technology will only work with NVMe SSDs and, although compatible with PCIe 3.0 SSDs, PCIe 4.0 SSDs such as the Kingston FURY Renegade and KC3000 will provide the best experience, by making the most of the next-gen SSD speed.

Whether you choose to stick with Windows 10 or make the leap to Windows 11, it seems like the perfect time to upgrade to an NVMe SSD in order to see the benefits of DirectStorage. Combined with memory upgrades and increasing the speed and capacity of your device’s storage, these improvements can offer an opportunity to increase performance and thus your overall gaming experience.

Auto HDR

Windows 11 will give gamers the gift of superior graphics thanks to Auto HDR. Auto HDR is a technology that will automatically improve the visuals of a game’s content without any user input. Windows 11 will automatically detect an HDR-supported monitor and boost the color of games built on DirectX 11 or higher with dynamic range enhancements. Auto HDR is the way forward for the best visual gaming experience!

Gaming Tab

The settings app in Windows 11 has a dedicated gaming tab where you can switch to “Game Mode.” This will automatically reduce background app usage to free up CPU for gaming.

Xbox Game Pass

Windows 11 brings with it an incredible selection of games thanks to the Xbox app. Xbox Game Pass members have access to a library of over 100 high-quality games.

What About Compatibility?

According to the Windows 11 launch statement, you need a CPU that is 1GHz or faster with 2 or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or System on a Chip (SoC). In real terms, this means the following desktop/laptop CPUs will be compatible (as of June 2021):

  • Intel Core 8th generation (Coffee Lake, Whiskey Lake) and later
  • AMD Zen+ (Ryzen 2000, Threadripper 2000, Ryzen 3000G APU) and later

However, this list is not definitive and earlier CPUs may be compatible with Windows 11—but the age of other components of your system(s) may be a guiding factor, and subject to change. In any case, please consult the Windows 11 compatibility guide*.

Another important point is to consider your DRAM requirements, and whether these will also be compatible with your CPU, both today and in the future. For Windows 11, the minimum requirements are to have at least 4GB (gigabytes) of DRAM. However, as mentioned previously, ensuring you have more than the minimum requirements will ensure a better gaming experience.

What is TPM 2.0 and Do I Need It?

Trusted Platform Module, or TPM, was perhaps an unknown term prior to the Windows 11 announcement. But this is mandatory in order to use Windows 11. TPM itself is a cryptoprocessor that secures a computer on a hardware level, preventing the risk of attack by using an integrated cryptographic key. This then works with other systems and applications within your PC. As it is hardware based, it is considered more secure than using software encryption alone.

What this means is that those without TPM 2.0 won’t be able to upgrade to Windows 11, unless (for desktops) you purchase and install a TPM 2.0 Module. To find out if your device(s) has TPM 2.0, search for “Windows Security” from the start menu, select “Device Security” then select “Security processor details.” Be sure to check that “Specification Version” is 2.0, as previous versions will not be compatible.

Conclusion

The buzz around Windows 11 is growing, and it’s not difficult to see why. It seems like Microsoft has really considered gamers when creating the new OS, and Sarah Bond, the CVP of Game Creator Experience and Ecosystem at Microsoft went as far as to say that Windows 11 is “the best Windows ever for gaming.” As such, this might be the perfect opportunity to upgrade your system to make the most of the benefits Windows 11 offers.

#KingstonFURY #KingstonIsWithYou

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