Windows 11 Security Feature Negatively Affects Gaming Performance: Tom’s Hardware Report

Virtualization-Based Security (VBS) is a feature in Windows 11 intended to heighten system security. However, according to Tom’s Hardware, a leading tech hardware review site, the feature has a negative impact on gaming performance. In a recent report published on the site, Tom’s Hardware found that having VBS enabled led to a significant decrease in gaming frame rates, presenting a serious concern for gamers who require peak system performance. Additionally, the report reveals that VBS was enabled without the user’s knowledge through a recent Windows 11 update, essentially removing user control over the matter. In this article, we will discuss the report’s findings, analyze the effects of VBS on gaming performance, and evaluate Microsoft’s decision to activate the feature without user consent.

VBS, or Visual Basic Script, is a programming language developed by Microsoft. It is often used for scripting Windows applications, automating tasks, and creating more complex programs. VBS is a lightweight language that can be easily written and executed within various Microsoft environments, such as Windows Script Host, Internet Explorer, and Microsoft Office applications.

Virtualization-Based Security (VBS) is a security feature introduced by Microsoft in Windows 10 and continued in Windows 11. VBS creates a secure environment known as a “virtual machine” (VM) within the operating system that shields critical system processes from malware and other malicious software. This additional layer of security is helpful in protecting organizations and users from cyber attacks.

However, VBS has also garnered criticism from gaming enthusiasts and hardware experts alike. It has been reported that enabling VBS can result in a significant reduction in gaming frame rates, thus negatively impacting the user experience. This is especially concerning for gamers who prioritize optimal system performance to avoid lag and stutter.

Report from Tom’s Hardware

Tom’s Hardware and its sister site conducted a recent benchmarking test on a Windows 11 system to assess the impact of VBS on gaming performance. However, the Senior Editor at Tom’s Hardware, Jarred Walton, discovered that VBS had been turned back on without his knowledge, which resulted in a decline in gaming frame rates.

According to the team at Tom’s Hardware, the effect of VBS on gaming performance differed based on game settings and resolution. At medium to high game settings and 1080p resolution, some games experienced a frame rate drop of over 18% due to VBS, while at ultra game settings and 4K resolution, the impact was only about 2%.

The Performance Impact of VBS

VBS (Visual Basic Scripting) is a lightweight programming language commonly used for scripting purposes. When it comes to performance, VBS may have some impact on the overall speed of system operations.

Since VBS scripts are interpreted, their execution time may be slower than compiled languages such as C++. Additionally, VBS may consume a larger amount of system resources compared to other scripting languages.

However, the impact of VBS on performance depends on various factors, such as the complexity of the script, hardware specifications, and the workload of the system. Therefore, it is important to consider the tradeoff between performance and functionality when deciding to use VBS in a particular application.

The impact of VBS on gaming frame rates is significant. According to Tom’s Hardware, enabling VBS caused a frame rate drop of up to 30% in some games. However, they also discovered that running various games with different settings resulted in only a 5% overall performance loss due to VBS.

At higher resolutions, the effect of VBS was even less noticeable, with frame rate drops that ranged from 0% to 2%, depending on the game and settings. However, the results were still concerning since performance drops happen without the user’s knowledge and limit the user’s ability to choose system settings.

Microsoft’s decision

Microsoft’s decision to enable VBS without user consent is cause for concern. While the feature is a part of the new security system in Windows 11, users should have the option to enable or disable it based on their security and performance requirements. Unfortunately, VBS is set as a default security feature in Windows 11, which makes it difficult to turn off, especially for users who are not aware of its existence.

It is possible that Microsoft may have enabled VBS with the intention of improving gaming performance. However, based on the evidence, this does not seem to be the case. As a result, many users have complained about the decrease in system performance, indicating that users prioritize optimized gaming performance over security.

User Choice and Security

User choice and security are crucial aspects that need to be considered in any application or platform. It is important to give users control over their personal information and how it is used. This includes the ability to opt-in or opt-out of certain features, as well as the ability to control who has access to their data.

At the same time, it is essential to ensure that the platform or application is secure and that user data is protected. This means implementing strong encryption, regularly updating software, and employing other security measures to prevent unauthorized access.

By prioritizing both user choice and security, platforms and applications can build trust with their users and create a safer, more transparent online environment.

The choice to use VBS for security or disable it for better performance is a personal decision that depends on individual game settings, preferences, and security concerns. Game developers usually optimize titles to provide the best gaming experience with optimal settings for system performance, graphics, and gameplay. However, Microsoft’s decision to enable VBS by default takes away that choice from users.

Additionally, this decision eliminates transparency and the freedom of choice from the process, which ultimately leads to user frustration. Users should retain control over their system settings to modify and optimize their systems according to their own preferences, requirements, and use cases.

In summary, VBS is a useful feature in Windows 11 that provides an additional level of security against potential cyber attacks. However, according to Tom’s Hardware’s latest report, VBS can significantly decrease gaming frame rates. The Windows operating system should prioritize transparency, allowing users to make their own choices, and optimizing system settings for optimal performance.

Although VBS remains a highly recommended security measure, disabling it for optimal gaming performance should be left to the user’s discretion. Microsoft should make it easier for users to access and disable VBS if they choose to do so, and ensure that users are aware of the trade-offs between security and system performance.

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