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Microsoft's Windows 11 performance tips are helping Intel in a bit unexpected way

Intel and Windows 11 logos side by side with Windows 11 default wallpaper as background

Last month, Microsoft published an advisory regarding boosting performance on Windows 11. In that, the company recommended disabling certain security features to gain gaming performance. So it was an option, a trade-off for those gamers who were willing to compromise a more secure device in lieu of raw horsepower.

While Microsoft did not detail the kind of boost users could expect from the change, early reports from last year claimed that Memory Integrity or Virtualization-based Security (VBS) was leading to nearly 30% loss in certain scenarios, even on systems that were officially Windows 11 ready. It is generally considered that these features eat up CPU cycles and disk usage, among other things, which is why disabling them improves performance.

And with memory integrity off, Intel's Arc discrete GPUs are seeing a decent uptick in performance. According to Twitter user Löschzwerg, the Arc A380 graphics card gained around two to three thousand points in 3DMark03, which is a DirectX 9 benchmark. To put the score into context, the card originally got around 58,000 points which is a 5.2% uptick in performance.

Meanwhile, using DXVK, a Vulkan-based translation layer for Direct3D 9/10/11, the performance went up by three times in total as you can see in the images below.

Intel Arc performance on DXVK with VBS on

Intel Arc performance on DXVK with VBS off

This is because Intel does not run DX9 natively on Arc and employs the D3D9On12 mapping layer. DXVK though is far more efficient at extracting the performance and it seems to help a lot for the driver overhead Intel discrete cards are currently having. After all, Arc is new and making efficient software takes time.

Since the Arc A380, which is an entry-level card, was tested here, it is possible to a degree that the higher-end SKUs like the Arc A750 or A770 end up getting a bigger boost than the 5.2% noted here with the disabled Windows features. However, we must remember that synthetic 3D benchmarks like 3DMark are already quite light on CPU usage and there may be less headroom left for further gains.

Source and images: Löschzwerg (Twitter)

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