" Ever since Game Mode surfaced as an upcoming Windows 10 feature, we’ve been curious to see what the new mode would offer as far as performance and capability. Microsoft has given guidance that the feature could give players an extra 2-5% frame rate in general, and while that’s not much, if you’re trying to make a marginal title playable you can use all the help you can get. "
" Early performance indicators are mixed, to put it kindly. A few titles, like Grand Theft Auto V, and Ashes of the Singularity, show a 1-3% performance increase. Others, show a 1-3% decrease — and Hitman deserves some kind of special award, for its 11-14% decreasedperformance. These are not the kind of gains that will endear Game Mode to anyone. The situation isn’t any different with AMD cards, or with low-end Nvidia hardware. Fast or slow, green or red, Game Mode isn’t boosting anyone’s performance by a measurable margin. "
Most of me wonders what Microsoft was expecting a "game mode" to do in 2017 other than attempt to get more people to use their adware filled Windows 10. In 2005 when we're talking about Windows XP, dual core processors just making it to the market, 32bit OSs and computers with 2GB RAM that's one thing. But 2017 is the age of inexpensive yet capable $100 range mainstream cards like the GTX 1050 and RX 460 which can push 30fps at high details in demanding games and over 60fps in less demanding, even AAA, titles like Doom and Overwatch, making a $600 system quite powerful.
Speaking of a $600 system, I got curious as to what kind of system one could build on that budget, and I came up with the following. I chose a Kaby Lake platform because the i3-7100 actually ranks above the FX-8350 in terms of performance (+50% IPC improvement), and because their MiniITX motherboards are much more fully featured than AMD's AM and FM based ATX and mATX boards. When Ryzen releases there is little doubt prices will be similar or better (most likely better because AMD needs to regain market share), so by next month this may be a $500 setup.