Considering Windows has been ridiculed for decades because of its weak security, it’s no surprise that Microsoft is making security a critical factor in Windows 11. It has even made certain hardware-based security features a minimum requirement for upgrading to the next big Windows release. While that definitely sounds great in general, it seems that at least one aspect of those security measures may have a negative impact on games running on certain Windows 11 PCs.
Safety certification company UL, which also owns popular benchmarking tools like 3DMark and PCMark, revealed a surprising detail about Windows 11’s security features that Microsoft may have overlooked or just didn’t bother mentioning. Unfortunately, it’s a detail that could adversely affect the gaming experience on Windows 11, which is also one of the pillars of the update. Even worse, there might be no way around this feature, at least for now.
According to UL, the VBS or Virtualization-Based Security system that Windows 11 implements may cause gaming performance to drop, something that a few Windows 11 testers have reported. In theory, VBS shouldn’t even affect gaming since it focuses on a completely different aspect of the operating system. In a nutshell, it isolates a part of RAM from the rest of Windows 11 to securely host several security solutions.
VBS, however, isn’t even enabled on all Windows 11 PCs. UL states that only fresh installations of Windows 11 actually have it enabled. Those upgrading from Windows 10 won’t even see this VBS in action, which suggests it’s not a critical component for a completely functional Windows 11 system.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a clear way yet to disable this VBS feature that seems to be intended for enterprise systems. In the meantime, UL says that it will be updating its benchmarking software to detect whether VBS is present and enabled in order to adjust the scores for a fairer comparison with non-VBS Windows 11 PCs.