Windows 10 Vs Windows 8 Game Performance Review, Major Titles On Microsoft's New OS

Introduction & Our Test System

Windows 10 is finally here. The new OS has been spit-shined and primed for an official release. As advertised, Windows 8/8.1 users can upgrade to the new operating system, provided that current Win8 installs have been properly activated. Make sure you check our comprehensive Migration Guide for details on upgrades and clean installs.


MSFT's new operating system ushers in a host of new features and functions for media lovers and productivity. Part of the kit and caboodle is a brand new browser, embedded Microsoft Office, Cortana search assistant inclusion and most importantly for us gamers--the introduction of the anxiously-awaited DirectX 12. Not many (like almost none) of today’s applications and games support the new API just yet. Nonetheless, we're going to take a look at the gaming side of things here in this feature, analyzing the performance variances between Windows 10 and Windows 8.1 as a gaming OS.

Test System:

Our test system of choice is forged from an intel Core i7-5960X Haswell-E octa-core CPU (4.5Ghz), Corsair H100 AIO water cooler, 16GB of Corsair Vengeance DDR4 2666Mhz, a 1300W CoolerMaster PSU, an Nvidia GTX Titan X GPU and a Corsair Neutron XT 240GB SSD.

Please note, at the time of publication, our tech writer, Shawn only had access to a couple of higher-end NVIDIA graphics cards. As a result, all testing was done on an NVIDIA graphics platform and its associated drivers. We hope to revisit general performance in some of these titles and compare with AMD graphics as well.

HotHardware's Test System
Intel Core i7 Powered
Hardware Used:
Intel Core i7-5960X
(OC'd 4.5GHz, Eight-Core)
ASUS Sabertooth X99 TUF


16GB Corsair DDR4-2400

Relevant Software: 
Windows 10 Pro x64
Windows 8.1 Pro x64
DirectX Redist
NVIDIA GeForce Drivers v353.62

Benchmarks Used:
Unigine Heaven v4
3DMark "Fire Strike"
3DMark API Overhead Test
Tomb Raider
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Metro: Last Light Redux
Grand Theft Auto V 

When each Windows installation was complete (Windows 8.1/10), we fully updated the OS, and installed the drivers necessary for our components. We installed all of our benchmarking software, performed a disk clean-up, cleared any prefetch and temp data, and then ran our tests.

It's onward then, with the testing and analysis...

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