Windows 10 October 2020 Update Performance Analysis (20H2 vs. 20H1)

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Windows 10 October 2020 Update Performance Analysis (20H2 vs. 20H1) – 12 games benchmarked using a Gigabyte AORUS RTX 3080 MASTER

[Updated 12/22/2020 19:43 PM PT]

The Windows 10 October 2020 Update (version 20H2, build 19042) started to become publicly available last week, and this performance analysis will showcase gaming using the Gigabyte AORUS RTX 3080 MASTER. We will compare the performance of 12 PC games on the latest Windows 10 October 2020 update versus the May update (version 20H1, build 19041) using GeForce Game Ready 456.71 driver.


Our testing platform is a recent install of Windows 10 64-bit Pro Edition, an i9-9900K with stock clocks, a Gigabyte Z390 AORUS PRO motherboard, and 32GB of Kingston DDR4 3333MHz. The games tested, settings, hardware, and GeForce drivers are identical except for the Windows 10 builds we compare.

Before offering the performance data and charts of each different analysis scenario, it’s important to describe both the hardware and software configuration used in our testing as well as the analysis methodology.

Benching Methodology

Test Configuration – Hardware

  • Intel Core i9-9900K (Hyper-Threading/Turbo boost on; stock settings)
  • Gigabyte Z390 AORUS PRO motherboard (Intel Z390 chipset, v.F9 BIOS)
  • Kingston HyperX Predator 32GB DDR4 (2×16GB, dual-channel at 3333 MHz CL16)
  • Gigabyte AORUS GeForce RTX 3080 MASTER 10GB; v.F2 VBIOS, stock clocks
  • Samsung 500GB SSD 960 EVO NVMe M.2
  • Seagate 2TB Desktop SSHD SATA 3.1
  • Seagate 2TB FireCuda SATA 3.1
  • Corsair RM750x, 750W 80PLUS Gold power supply unit
  • ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q 27? IPS 2560 x 1440 165Hz 4ms G-Sync Monitor (G-Sync Off, Fixed Refresh Rate On)

Test Configuration – Software

  • NVIDIA GeForce 456.71 drivers; High Quality & prefer maximum performance (on a per-game profile-basis); fixed refresh rate (globally).
  • V-Sync application controlled in the control panel, V-Sync Off in-game.
  • AA and AF as noted in games; all in-game settings are specified.
  • Windows 10 64-bit Pro edition, v20H2 (build 19042.576), and v20H1 (build 19041.576); Game Mode, Game DVR & Game Bar features Off.
  • Gigabyte software tools not installed.
  • Latest DirectX
  • All 12 games are patched to their latest versions at the time of publication.
  • 3DMark’s suite and UNIGINE Superposition benchmark, the latest version
  • Basemark GPU benchmark, v1.1
  • CapFrameX (CX), the latest version
  • RivaTuner Statistics Server (RTSS), latest version
  • Display Driver Uninstaller (DDU), latest version; always uninstall old driver using DDU in safe mode, clean & restart.
  • ISLC (Purge Standby List) before each benchmark.

GeForce Driver Suite-related

  • Standard drivers are used.
  • The display driver is installed.
  • The latest version of PhysX is installed.

Hybrid & Non-Synthetic Tests-related

  • Single run per test.

Game Benchmarks-related

  • The corresponding built-in benchmark sequence is used.

Frametimes Capture & Analysis tool-related

  • CapFrameX is used for capturing and analyzing the relevant performance numbers obtained from each recorded built-in benchmark sequence.
  • Consecutive runs until detecting 3 valid runs (no outliers) that can be aggregated by CapFrameX using the following method:
    • “Aggregate excluding outliers”
      • Outlier metric: Third, P0.2 (0.2% FPS percentile).
      • Outlier percentage: 3% (the % the FPS of an entry can differ from the median of all entries before counting as an outlier).
  • To compare and value the results and aggregated records in terms of percentages of Gain / Loss, the following thresholds are set to consider a certain % value as significant (not within the margin of error) for our benchmarking purposes:
    • Score/FPS Avg > 3% when valuing hybrid & non-synthetic benchmarks;
    • FPS Avg > 3% when valuing raw performance;
    • P1/P0.2 > 3% when valuing frame time consistency; custom formula

{[(LowPercentileFPS_2 / AvgFPS_2) / (LowPercentileFPS_1 / AvgFPS_1)] – 1} x 100

Benchmark Suite: 12 PC Games, 3 Hybrid & 3 Non-Synthetic Tests

Hybrid Tests (3DMark)

  • Fire Strike Ultra
  • Time Spy Extreme
  • Port Royal

Non-Synthetic Tests

  • Basemark GPU
  • UNIGINE Superposition
  • Neon Noir (Benchmark)

DX11 Games

  • Borderlands 3 (DX11)
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
  • Far Cry 5
  • Ghost Recon Breakpoint (DX11)
  • Neon Noir (Loop Mode)

DX12 Games

  • Borderlands 3 (DX12)
  • Horizon Zero Dawn
  • Metro: Exodus (DX12)
  • Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 (DX12)
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider (DX12)

Vulkan Games

  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint (VK)
  • Strange Brigade (VK)
  • Wolfenstein Youngblood
  • Quake 2 RTX

[Updated 12/22/2020 19:43 PM PT]

NVIDIA Control Panel settings

Here are the global NVIDIA Control Panel settings:

Nvidia Control Panel – Global 3D Settings.

Both ‘High-Quality’ value for texture filtering-quality setting and ‘Prefer maximum performance’ for power management mode are set on a per-game or program profile-basis via Manage 3D Settings > Program settings tab.

The Performance Summary Charts

Below are the summary charts of 12 games and 3 hybrid and 3 non-synthetic benchmarks used to compare the performance changes for the AORUS RTX 3080 MASTER from the Windows 10 May 2020 (20H1) version to the latest October 2020 (20H2) version. We list the graphics settings on the charts, and we run the built-in game benchmarks sequence at 2560×1440, except for Borderlands 3 at 150% resolution scaling. You can open each chart in a separate window or tab for the best viewing.

Results give average framerates and higher is better. The low FPS percentiles (P1 and P0.2) are displayed below the corresponding averages. We use CapFrameX to record frametimes over time and to visualize and convert them into their corresponding average FPS and P1 and P0.2 FPS percentiles values. There are also columns showing percentages of gain/loss in both raw performance (average FPS) and, when applicable, in frame times consistency or stability between the different driver versions. To calculate the gains or losses in stability we applied our custom formula:

{[(LowPercentileFPS_2 / AvgFPS_2) / (LowPercentileFPS_1 / AvgFPS_1)] – 1} x 100

We mark significant performance changes (higher than 3%) in bold and use green or red font for the significant gains or losses respectively.

Windows 10 October 2020
Hybrid Benchmarks
Windows 10 October 2020
Non-Synthetic Benchmarks
Windows 10 October 2020
DirectX 11 Games – Built-in Benchmarks
Windows 10 October 2020
DirectX 12 Games – Built-in Benchmarks
Windows 10 October 2020
Vulkan Games – Built-in Benchmarks
Windows 10 October 2020
DirectX Raytracing Games – Built-in Benchmarks
Windows 10 October 2020
Vulkan Raytracing Games – Built-in Benchmarks

[Updated 12/22/2020 19:43 PM PT]

Notes on Windows 10 October 2020 (20H2) version performance

We found no notable differences between gaming performance on the latest Windows 10 October 2020 (20H2) version compared with last May’s (20H1) version. Overall, the results are well within what is considered our 3% margin of error, or “benchmarking noise”. The only exception in this group of tests is a significant improvement in frametimes stability (0.2% percentile FPS) that affects Ghost Recon Breakpoint benches.

Let’s head to our conclusion.


Please be aware that the following results, notes, and the corresponding Windows 10 version recommendation are valid for similar Ampere gaming rigs using GeForce Game Ready 456.71 driver. Its representativeness, applicability, and usefulness on different GPU architectures, testing benches, and GPU drivers may vary.


Based on our previous results and findings, we recommend upgrading to the latest Windows 10 October 2020 update (20H2), since its raw performance and smoothness or frametimes consistency level is approximately on par with the prior Windows 10 version (20H1).

From a qualitative point of view, there are important reasons that also make it advisable to upgrade to Windows 10 version 20H2 from an older build. These reasons include its higher stability, security fixes, and certain new OS features. Finally, we found the latest Windows 10 build to be stable and relatively bug-free which is in contrast to what we experienced after the last May 2020 (20H1) update.

Let’s Play!


Rodrigo González (aka “RodroG”) is an enthusiast gamer and tech reviewer interested especially in shooter games, open-world role-playing games, and software and hardware benchmarking. He is the author of the NVIDIA WHQL Driver Performance Benchmarks Series and founder and moderator of the r/allbenchmarks community on Reddit.

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