Windows Insiders are getting an early glimpse at what Microsoft has in store for the next big Windows 10 update scheduled for the Autumn, with CPU throttling and potential anti-cheat systems taking centre stage for gamers.
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You may have only just let your machine go through the update dance to allow the latest Windows 10 Creators Update onto your rig, but Microsoft are already pushing out feature previews of the next big Win10 upgrade. If your PC’s setup on the Fast Ring of the Windows Insider program (you glutton for punishment, you) then you’ll soon be able to grab a taste of the Fall Creators Update.
Top of the list of accessible features for us gamers is arguably the new Power Throttling feature they’re bringing to bear on mobile machines. It’s a work-in-progress right now, so I would expect it to be given a more exciting, marketable, name in the future. After all, ‘throttling’ just isn’t that sexy. Well, unless you’re Christian Grey, I guess.
It was first spoken about back in April and is designed to utilise the dynamic power controlling capabilities of modern silicon (cos new chips have to run Win10, right?) to reduce the amount of processing effort that gets spent on battery-draining background processes.
Microsoft suggest they can save up to 11% in CPU power consumption in the ‘most strenuous of use cases’ which ought to mean that you will see improved battery life with your updated Windows 10 notebook under gaming duress. You will, however, be able to opt certain apps out of utilising the Power Throttling feature if you want them to use the full CPU power available to them.
It is worth noting though that when Ryzen Mobile arrives it might not be able to take advantage of the new feature. It’s currently only available to machines running Intel’s 6th Gen Core CPUs or above, because of their Speed Shift technology. Microsoft have though said they are working on expanding support to other processors.
Along with the functioning Power Throttling tech there is also an intriguing little placeholder feature which has appeared with the latest Insider builds. Game Monitor has popped up inside the Gaming section of settings, though it is purely just a dummy tab right now.
Microsoft noted in the recent patch notes for the latest build that “Windows Insiders will see a 'Game Monitor' page under Settings > Gaming for potential future functionality which doesn’t do anything right now.”
So at the moment all we’ve got is speculation as to what Game Monitor might actually do, but from the placeholder blurb on the page it looks a lot like some sort of built-in anti-cheat system for Windows:
Gaming is more fun when everyone plays fairly. We’ll share system info with games using Game Monitor to make sure everything runs the way it was meant to.
Turning this off may limit the games you can play.
It doesn’t seem like too much of a stretch to suggest Microsoft may be looking to get publishers and devs onboard with a system check feature which scouts out nefarious apps installed on your rig. If those programs are likely to result in an uneven playing field then Microsoft might end up locking you out of games participating in the Game Monitor system.
Whether this is really going to make a blind bit of difference to aimbots, wall hacks, or any number of different cheaty systems folk use to unfun online games, is still up for debate until Microsoft unveil the full details. We might hear some more at E3 next week as they unveil their grand PC gaming plans for the year ahead.
Chances are though it’ll just be another little hoop for the haxorz to jump through in order to make life online that little bit worse for everyone else. Though maybe Microsoft have got some grand plan to make whatever Game Monitor turns out to be unhackable. Maybe...