Windows 10 Home vs Pro for Gaming, What are the Differences?
If you buy a pre-built PC or a laptop, chances are it will have the Windows 10 Home installed. You might know that there are other versions of Windows, including Windows 10 Pro, Education, and Enterprise.
Of course, not many people will need Windows Enterprise or Windows Education for their personal computers. But you might be wondering if it’s worth getting the Windows 10 Pro.
In this article, I will talk about the differences between Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro and which one is better for gaming.
Actually, there aren’t many differences between Windows 10 Pro and Home, but the differences might be significant for some users.
Windows 11 beta version is released! Check out what new features Windows 11 has for gamers.
Windows 10 Home vs. Windows 10 Pro
First thing I would say that Windows 10 Home has 99% of the features that any normal person would need, especially if they’re not a professional. You can almost do everything with the Windows 10 Home.
It’s not like the previous versions where they had Windows Home Premium, Vista, and the Ultimate version with extra features. There are not many additional missing features in Windows 10 Home that you would really need unless you were a professional.
Windows 10 Home costs around $130, and Windows 10 Pro costs around $180.
The only real limit for Windows 10 home is the amount of RAM you can use, which is 128 gigabytes. It is less than what you get on the Pro version. But it’s way more than probably anyone would ever need.
I don’t even know any professional users who use 128 gigs of RAM. So, that’s not even a real limitation. And from a gaming point of view, 16 gigs of RAM is recommended to play recent titles, and 32 gigs of RAM is more than enough.
Also Read: How Much RAM Do You Need?
On the other hand, Windows 10 Pro users can have two TB of RAM. I don’t know if anybody would ever need that much RAM. In fact, I don’t think any motherboard would fit that much RAM.
Windows 10 Home lacks BitLocker, and this is the only main feature I would consider that a normal person would use. For those who don’t know, BitLocker allows you to encrypt your entire hard drive, which is a good feature to have on a laptop.
Your laptop will require a password before you even boot it up. So, even if someone takes out the hard drive, they still can’t access your data. However, many portable devices have this feature enabled.
Hyper-V function allows support for running virtual computers on Windows. You can actually do this with third-party software like VMware or VirtualBox, but with this, you can do it right through Windows.
Hyper-V lets you run multiple instances of Windows or any other operating system and have it isolated from the regular operating system. It can be used for testing, developing, or even security where you want to test some software you’re not sure if it’s safe to install.
All versions of Windows support Remote Desktop in the sense that you can control other devices with it. However, only the Pro and above versions can be controlled through a remote desktop.
This means you can use a Windows home PC to control your Windows work PC. However, there are third-party tools for this too. So, it’s not a big deal.
Maybe if you are in a company, native support is what you want rather than third-party software.
Now, this is some feature not only gamers, but everyone would love to have. Those update notifications are annoying as hell. And each time you turn off/on your PC, it is stuck on updating. This can be pretty annoying for anybody.
The Windows 10 Pro version allows you to delay updates for up to a month. However, Windows 10 home only will enable you to pause updates for seven days. Whereas, with Windows 10 Enterprise, you can delay updates for an indefinite time.
Updates are good, especially for security purposes, and I would never suggest anyone disable them. You can set up the updates at a specific time when the PC/laptop is not in use.
This is a good feature for professionals with critical work worried that the updates might cause problems. This can happen when the major updates roll out twice or thrice a year. SO, it might be worth delaying the updates until the important work is done.
Assigned access allows you to restrict the computer or a single user from using anything except one app. So, this could be a good example of a kiosk or something in a mall, and you only want one app running on it. You don’t want people to access the start menu or something else.
It can be a sign-in PC at your work, and you don’t want people to be running other programs on it. Maybe you have a little brother who wants to play a game on your PC, and you wouldn’t want him messing around with the PC. Just assign him a single game without any worries.
The following features (only windows 10 Pro have) are best for a business environment, and probably no average person would need them.
Domain join means that you can use the Windows 10 Pro to connect to a domain. It allows your computer to be controlled like an admin and absorb all those policies and connect with the other computers in the network.
If you’re not doing this for work, it is not very useful unless you set it up for your home or something.
Windows 10 Pro has a group policy editor, allowing admins to mass control configurations on many different computers in a network. It also can control local policy.
So, it means that the group policy editor allows you to change many features that normally you wouldn’t be able to do even if you’re not in a work network. This can be a nice feature for a power user who likes to customize hidden features no one cares about.
IE Enterprise Mode
I bet most of you have not used IE (Internet Explorer) in years, especially with edge coming out in Windows 10. The Pro version has Internet Explorer Enterprise mode, a compatibility mode for older corporate networks that still use web apps relying on Internet Explorer 7 or 8.
Some of them just refused to update, and a new version of Windows doesn’t support that crap anymore. So, they had to implement this enterprise mode to run those old junky apps.
Windows Store for Business
Finally, you have a “Windows Store for business” in the Pro version. It allows you to buy many different app licenses. For example, If you have ten business computers, you can buy an app and then distribute it easily to all those computers through this feature.
It is a bit different than the personal app store, which can only be used on a single computer.
Windows 10 Pro for workstations
Recently, Microsoft has announced an upgraded version of Windows 10 Pro called “Windows 10 Pro for workstations”. This would allow users to use super high-end hardware.
For example, if you want to run a motherboard with more than one CPU, this will support up to 4 CPUs and up to six terabytes of RAM. Now again, I don’t know who would need that, but the ability is there.
The other difference is that the Workstation version will support ReFS or resilient file system, which is different than the NTFS. Probably it’s a superior file system that might replace NTFS at some point.
It has been a little controversial because this feature was available in Windows 10 Pro, and they removed it to add it to this more expensive new operating system.
There is not much information available about this newer Workstation version. So, I will update the article when more information is out to the public. However, I don’t think there will be any major feature that appeals to gamers.
Gaming Features in Windows 10
Below are some of the gaming features exclusively made for gamers in Windows 10 Home & Pro.
1- Game Mode
This feature is enabled by default. But you can still check it by typing “game mode settings” in the windows search bar.
This is what Microsoft says about Game Mode “it helps achieve a more stable frame rate depending on the specific game and system.”
It can boost the performance of certain games by detecting them and prioritizing them. Game Mode allocates more resources to the game rather than the background application. However, there are reports of disabling it and getting better performance in some games.
Game mode will also disable any automatic updates or notifications while you are gaming.
2- Xbox Console Companion
It doesn’t matter if you are gaming on a console or PC; Microsoft wants you to use their platform. Xbox console companion brings the console-level gaming experience to your PC without any hassle. It allows you to play Xbox exclusive games on your PC.
This free app lets you purchase Xbox games right from the PC. However, it lacks the huge game library to attract PC gamers away from other platforms like steam. Microsoft is trying to compete with Console Companies on the hardware side and with valve and steam on the software side.
This app is only available in the newer versions of Windows 10 Home and Pro. If you are running an older version, it’s time to upgrade.
3- Xbox Game Bar
It is a floating toolbar with lots of functionalities. You can access it by pressing the Windows + G button or the start button on your Xbox controller.
Using the Xbox Game Bar, you can chat with friends, exchange messages, stream games and link your accounts to social networks. You can also record your gameplay, check system performance and add widgets to your screen.
The best thing about this app is that you even have a meme creation function. The newer UI is very much customizable and user-friendly.
4- Hardware-Accelerated GPU Scheduling
Hardware-Accelerated GPU Scheduling feature was introduced in May 2020 update and required Windows 10 2004, a supported GPU with the latest GPU drivers. You can enable it in the display setting under the graphics settings. Enabling it will require you to restart the PC.
What this feature will do is instead of sending one command at a time, the CPU will send commands in batches hence increasing the overall performance. Enabling it will require you to restart the PC. For a detailed guide about this feature, you can watch the video below.
Under the Hardware-Accelerated GPU Scheduling, there is an option for laptops (Graphics Performance Preference) to add desktop apps. You can choose the apps to run on better performance or better battery. Whenever you run that specific app, it will run on the specified settings.
It is good when you have the laptop on battery-saving mode, and you unknowingly start the game. So, this feature will automatically run the game on high performance.
If you want to optimize your Windows 10 for better gaming performance, then check out the video below.
Those are the only big differences between Windows Home and Windows Pro. I don’t need those features, so I am happy with the Home version installed on my laptop. But if you really need those features like delay updates, BitLocker, or assigned access, Windows Pro can be a good option.
Other than that, there is no difference in the game performance or something like that. You can have the Windows 10 Home version and spend the extra money on some good games.