Youtube/Twitch Video Stuttering While Gaming Caused By Windows 10 “Game Mode”

As I mentioned in my last blog post I just recently built a new PC. It is a pretty powerful PC (9900k, 2080TI, 32GB RAM) but I noticed I had a weird issue when playing games.

When attempting to watch a Youtube video or a Twitch stream while gaming the video would stutter. Also when attempting to stream “The Division 2” Streamlabs OBS would only get ~15FPS (while the game was running at ~110FPS).

If I clicked out of the game so that it lost focus everything start running fine until the game had focus again.

After some digging I found out this was caused by Windows 10 “Game Mode”.

Disabling “Game Mode”

  1. Press the Start button, then select Settings.
  2. Choose Gaming > Game Mode.
  3. Turn Game Mode On or Off.

What does “Game Mode” do?

Microsoft lists here that Game Mode does two things:

  • Prevents Windows Update from performing driver installations and sending restart notifications.
  • Helps achieve a more stable frame rate depending on the specific game and system.

I am unsure what it exactly means by the 2nd bullet point, but I am guessing it just causes the game to run at a higher processes priority then then everything else on your system.

When I switched this off I saw no change in performance for my game, and everything started running smooth outside of it.

What else could it be?

When searching around this issue a common thing that would come up is that if you have multiple displays running at different refresh rates this could cause an issue. This was not the case for me since both of my monitors are 144hz, but could be the case for you if your monitors have different refresh rates.

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