Although Microsoft claims that “if you are a gamer, Windows 11 was born for you”, you still need to pay attention to pre-built PCs with new operating systems in the future. That’s because Big M will enable more security features in the PC by default, especially one of them will seriously affect game performance.
In our tests, this reduced the average frame rate by as much as 28%. Do you think TPM 2.0 limitations are painful…
This frame rate increment is like putting down an entire layer of graphics cards. Today, when GPUs are so difficult to obtain, Microsoft’s weakening of the chip’s performance on your new machine will definitely make it unbearable for gamers.
The problem is virtualization-based security (VBS), which is a setting introduced in Windows 10 that uses hardware and software virtualization to enhance the security of the system. It basically creates an isolated subsystem that helps prevent malware from damaging your PC.
Microsoft explained It is as follows: “VBS uses hardware virtualization to create a secure memory area and isolate it from the normal operating system. Windows can use this “virtual security mode” to host many security solutions, providing them with greatly enhanced vulnerabilities Protection is in the operating system and prevents malicious attacks that attempt to undermine the protection.”
This is a feature mainly used by corporate customers to lock down the company PCs they put in the office and ensure that they will not be compromised.
If you are upgrading from Windows 10 to Windows 11, then you don’t have to worry about enabling VBS, unless you are already running the enterprise version of the old operating system. If you receive a machine with an OEM version of Windows 11 installed, there will be problems.
In an article in late August, Microsoft once again reintroduced the PC Health Check application for Windows 11 Insiders, and once again talked about the enhanced security features of the new operating system.
I hope you already understand the requirements of the Trusted Platform Module (TPM 2.0), but this article also discusses VBS, and the company’s wishes match the Department of Defense and its need for virtualization-based security to be enabled as a standard.
“Although we don’t need VBS when upgrading to Windows 11,” Explain the post“We believe the security advantages it provides are so important that we want the minimum system requirements to ensure that every PC running Windows 11 can meet the same security that the Department of Defense relies on.
“Working with our OEM and chip partners, we will enable VBS and HVCI on most new PCs next year. Over time, we will continue to seek opportunities to expand VBS in more systems.”
PCG test bench
CPU: Intel Core i7 10700K
motherboard: MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Carbon WiFi
Graphics card: NVIDIA RTX 3060 Ti Founding Edition
memory: 32GB Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro DDR4-3200
Cooler: Corsair H100i RGB Pro XT
chassis: DimasTech Mini V2
you: Windows 11 build 22000.194
We tested some games on the current version of Windows 11, turned off VBS and enabled VBS (though not actually running), and the impact is obvious.
Far Cry New Dawn is the outlier here, it barely shrugs in VBS, and the frame rate is only reduced by 5%. But Horizon Zero Dawn has dropped by about 25%, Metro: Departed by 24%, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider has dropped by 28%. Interestingly, the 3DMark Time Spy score dropped by only 10%.
Why is it so interesting? Because it was actually UL that brought us to our attention. When it updated us about Windows 11 support being included in its complete benchmarking product suite, it noticed this performance-damaging security feature. That was when I started benchmarking.
“In our testing of the pre-release version of Windows 11,” UL told us, “A feature called Virtualization-Based Security (VBS) can cause performance degradation. VBS is enabled by default after a fresh installation of Windows 11, but There will be no upgrade from Windows 10. This means that depending on how Windows 11 is installed and whether VBS is enabled, the same system can get different benchmark scores.
“We plan to add VBS detection to our benchmark in a future update to help you compare scores fairly.”
However, enabling VBS will not affect the actual speed of the hardware in the system. We have thoroughly researched what happened in multiple benchmark runs of Metro Exodus, and the CPU or graphics card has not slowed down. The average frequency of GPU and CPU is practically unchanged.
However, what we have noticed is that the power consumption of the processor and the graphics card has dropped. But the reason for the performance degradation must come from elsewhere.
However, it should be noted that for all new installations of Windows 11, VBS is not enabled by default. I downloaded the latest ISO version of the operating system to check the VBS on our test device, but some registry editing and BIOS adjustments must be made to actually enable it. Therefore, if you just download Windows 11 for a clean installation, you don’t need to worry.
However, Windows 11 PCs made by the largest OEMs such as Dell, HP, and Lenovo look likely to come standard with VBS. However, what we don’t know is whether the game brands of these companies will also enable VBS. Or whether the system manufacturer will be exempted and can continue to ship gaming PCs without VBS.
My instinct is to focus on gaming brands should It can bypass any request from Microsoft to open VBS by default, but these are interesting moments… You can quickly check whether it is turned on or off by clicking the “Win” key and typing “MSInfo32” at the bottom of the bottom. Shows whether VBS is enabled.
Although if you do find it lurking there, you may need to do some registry work to disable it.
We have contacted Microsoft and certain OEMs to clarify issues regarding Windows 11 and VBS, and if we hear any specific news from them, we will update them. But one thing is certain, this security feature does not make me feel safe about future PC gaming performance.