Windows 10 Home vs Pro For Gaming

If you’re building your gaming PC, you’re going to need an operating system that can handle what you plan to throw at it. You have two options: Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro.

Let’s look at the features of Windows 10 and then dive into how Pro differs so you can make the best decision for your build.

Similarities between Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro

Before we take a look at the difference between Home and Pro editions, let’s look at what features Windows 10 brings to both.

  • XBox Gaming App: Windows 10 finally brings together the ability to integrate directly with your Xbox system. The Xbox Gaming App gives you the same interface you have on your console. You can purchase more games through the online store, or play the ones you already have, along with watching clips and chatting with your gamer friends. And of course, don’t forget about streaming multiplayer games!
  • Cross-Platform Play: There’s no competitive advantage any more with console players using a game controller thanks to the cross-platform play. You can use your keyboard and mouse and be just as responsive. Plus, the amount of games that have cross-platform functionality is increasing all the time, so you’ll always have more options.
  • DirectX12: Upgraded graphics card to DX12, and enjoy ultra-realistic visuals, faster frame rates, and advanced features like ray tracing and variable rate shading! What your games come to life before your eyes!
  • Streaming: If you’re looking to play a game that doesn’t support cross-platform play yet, you can still use your desktop to play by streaming the game directly from your console to your computer. You’re still able to use your game controller, but you won’t need a separate monitor for your console or need to rearrange networking.
  • Screenshots & Recording: If you don’t already have a preferred dedicated app, Windows 10 allows you to get screenshots and record your play so you can refer back to them, or post them on YouTube.

Differences Between Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro

Now that we’ve covered the key base features that both Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro have, let’s go over the differences.

Windows 10 Pro is geared towards power users, and there is nothing that Windows 10 Home can do that Pro can’t. So, your decision between the two is figuring out if the “base version” of Home is enough for your needs.

To help you make this decision, let’s look at the key upgrades that Pro offers.

  • Remote Desktop: Windows 10 Home allows you to start a remote desktop session, but won’t let you control your computer. If you need to manage your desktop remotely, you’ll need to upgrade to Pro where it’s built-in. Otherwise, there are third-party apps that you can download.
  • Bitlocker: Microsoft’s answer to Apple’s Filevault is Bitlocker. It provides full disk encryption to prevent hackers from accessing your data. In fact, in the most recent version of Bitlocker, you can also encrypt files individually, rather than having to encrypt all or none. If security is a concern for you, and if you’re planning on engaging in live gaming, Bitlocker can protect your data securely from someone trying to gain access to your files remotely.
  • Secure Boot & Device Guard: If you’re going to get into online gaming, security should be one of your biggest concerns. Windows 10 Pro comes with Secure Boot and Device Guard that are native apps that keep your devices protected from malware and other malicious software. This is a valuable added security layer to protect your data and your devices.
  • Windows Sandbox: If you plan on using your machine to develop software, or even just want to download a file to check to see if it’s suspicious, Pro comes with a built-in sandbox program. No need to download another application to check that out.
  • Hyper-V: Need to run virtual machines? No problem! Pro’s Hyper-V is a hypervisor used to run virtual machines on your CPU. This is an excellent bonus if you’re looking for a way to run VMs, and can make or break whether or not you go with Home or Pro. You should know that though Hyper-V comes with your Pro license, you do need to download and install it separately.
  • Memory: With Windows 10 Home, you get a maximum of 128 GB RAM. But if you plan on running a lot of programs or virtual machines at the same time, you might benefit from Pro’s 2 TB RAM.

Both Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro come with a lot of significant upgrades and features that can benefit you when you’re building your gaming computer, and for most folks, Home is sufficient.

If you’re strictly using your computer for gaming, Home is good enough, but you’ll probably find the added security features of Pro to give you peace of mind.

Also, if you’re planning on using your machine for additional things like running virtual machines or playing in sandboxes, you’ll want the Pro version, just for the upgraded memory alone.

Whichever version you go with, you’ll enjoy your gaming experience with Windows 10.

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