Testing the impact of the Core Isolation feature on performance in games under Windows 11, based on the example of the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti chip

Windows 11 is Microsoft’s latest operating system which debuted about six months ago. In the meantime, we have prepared a number of articles and guides, focusing on both general system review and presentation of individual problems, but closely related to Windows 11. One of the most controversial since its inception was the Core Isolation feature, which Microsoft intended to significantly improve the security issue. Finally, it turned out that the first version of Windows 11 deteriorates performance in games if the mentioned feature is enabled. As six months have passed since the premiere, and in the meantime a number of fixes and updates have been released, we decided to check what the performance issue looks like now.

Author: Damian Marusiak

Before we focus on the topic of DUT performance, let’s briefly focus on the basic isolation feature in Windows 11. In fact, we’re talking about a set of virtualization-based security (called VBS – Virtualization-Based Security). Central isolation is implicitly designed to provide additional protection against malware and other attacks by isolating your computer’s processes from the operating system and the device. Processes isolated in this way are kept in special memory regions that were previously allocated for this purpose. While Core Isolation and Memory Integrity (which specifically prevents attacks by inserting malicious code into high-security processors and works by creating an isolated environment through hardware virtualization) offers in fine a much higher level of computer security, the complexity of operation (which is closely related to the use of virtualization), this leads to a higher CPU load and, therefore, can negatively affect performance in certain scenarios. An example of this was in games where, since the launch of Windows 11, performance drops were noticed in a scenario with Core Isolation and Memory Integrity enabled. Interestingly, identical functions have already appeared in Windows 10, but by default they were not active, so they did not cause performance problems.

Core Isolation is still one of the most controversial gaming solutions. Since the launch of Windows 11, many gamers have complained about the drop in results in games. Six months after the debut, we check how the latest version of Microsoft’s system handles this.

Testing the impact of the Core Isolation feature on performance in games under Windows 11, based on the example of the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti chip [nc1]

Microsoft Windows 11 – We install the operating system step by step. Don’t have internet access? And we have a way for it

However, six months have passed since the premiere of Windows 11, and during this time the manufacturer has released dozens of updates that have not only changed certain aspects of the system, but also fixed minor or major errors introduced with the first version of the operating system. . So we decided to check out what current gaming performance looks like with Core Isolation and Memory Integrity enabled or disabled. Also, on the next page, we briefly discuss two ways to access these features and how to turn them on or off. Access is not particularly difficult, but requires going through several different windows… unless you choose access via a search engine.

Testing the impact of the Core Isolation feature on performance in games under Windows 11, based on the example of the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti chip [nc1]

Testing the impact of the Core Isolation feature on performance in games under Windows 11, based on the example of the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti chip [nc1]

ASUS ROG Flow Z13 review laptop – 2-in-1 hybrid for gaming with Intel Core i9-12900H processor and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 card

For testing, I in turn used the ASUS ROG Flow Z13 hybrid laptop with Windows 11 pre-installed with all the latest updates. The equipment has already been tested with us in conjunction with the ROG XG eGPU mobile station. This time, however, we will use the laptop itself, which offers an Intel Core i9-12900H processor and a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics chip, whose maximum TGP is 40W with Dynamic Boost 2.0. It is therefore a very energy-efficient system of a relatively low-efficiency tray. After all, we will see quite interesting results on such a setup.

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