Microsoft has openly declared that “if you’re a gamer, Windows 11 was made for you”, however you still need to be aware of the new OS coming out from Microsoft.
As sources indicate that Microsoft will be enabling more security features in PCs by default, and one, in particular, can seriously tank gaming performance. And this new feature can bring about a 28% drop in average frame rates.
This new feature is called Virtualization-Based Security (VBS). It is a setting introduced into Windows 10 which uses hardware and software virtualization to enhance the security of your system.
This feature creates an isolated subsystem that helps prevent malware from screwing your PC. Microsoft states that “VBS uses hardware virtualization features to create and isolate a secure region of memory from the normal operating system. Windows can use this ‘virtual secure mode’ to host several security solutions, providing them with greatly increased protection from vulnerabilities in the operating system, and preventing the use of malicious exploits which attempt to defeat protections.”
This feature is mainly developed for enterprise customers to lock down the corporate PCs they drop into their offices and make sure they don’t get compromised.
However, this feature is only a reason for headaches for PCs that will come with Windows 11 pre-built. But for those upgrading from Windows 10 to Windows 11, they don’t have to worry about VBS being enabled, unless you were already running an enterprise version of the older OS.
“While we are not requiring VBS when upgrading to Windows 11, we believe the security benefits it offers are so important that we wanted the minimum system requirements to ensure that every PC running Windows 11 can meet the same security the DoD relies on. In partnership with our OEM and silicon partners, we will be enabling VBS and HVCI on most new PCs over this next year. And we will continue to seek opportunities to expand VBS across more systems over time.”
The thing here is that Microsoft has not enabled the VBS by default for all clean installs of Windows 11. So, you don’t have to get concerned about it if you’re just grabbing a Windows 11 download for a fresh install yourself. However, Windows 11 PCs built by OEMs, such as Dell, HP, and Lenovo, are likely to come with VBS as standard.