Gigabyte’s DRM Fix Tool is Here To Fix Intel Alder Lake Performance

Those damn E-cores!

Intel‘s Alder Lake lineup of processors have retaken the performance crown from AMD ever since they launched earlier this month. Alder Lake has proved to be a worthy investment for Intel and has genuine benefits over the traditional CPU architecture. The fact that Alder Lake’s hybrid architecture based on the big.LITTLE design is so effectively scalable is even more impressive. All the leaks and reports have pointed to the upcoming Alder Lake mobile processors being an absolute beast. So, yeah, it’s looking good for Intel these days.

The Problem(s)

That being said, Alder Lake didn’t launch without its problems. I’m sure all of us are aware about the thermal issues by now and how Alder Lake is not the most efficient chip around despite having dedicated efficiency cores for that specific purpose. But, there has been another, comparatively smaller issue with Alder Lake that has gone under the radar. I’m talking about the DRM issues with Gracement efficiency cores inside each Alder Lake CPU.

Inside each Alder Lake CPU, there are 2 different types of cores, Golden Cove and Gracement. The Golden Cove cores are the performance cores and are used in tasks where faster clock speeds are imperative, like gaming. The Gracement cores are efficiency cores that are leveraged when tasks that benefit from parallel processing are being executed, such as in rendering where more cores often equate to better performance. This combination of two distinguished types of cores is possible because of a special hybrid architecture developed by Intel which uses both of these cores to offer the best balance of performance wherever possible.

The thing about being so fast is, you can only live in darkness

Unfortunately, this technology is so new that certain games do not react well to it. As such, in some games running on Alder Lake CPUs, the E-cores (Gracement efficiency cores) would be recognized as a completely different system. Because of this, the game’s DRM would kick in and cause all sorts of weird problems that would ruin your gaming experience. Because gaming is a single-core intensive task where clock speeds matter more, the P-cores (Golden Cove performance cores) would be in use and E-cores would only be active for background tasks but still they would be recognized by the game’s DRM as an entirely separate system running side-by-side.

Mortal Kombat 11 was one of the games affected by the DRM issue | Polygon

After this issue was brought to light, Intel released the list of games affected by this issue last month, essentially warning users that they may experience DRM issues in certain games on Windows 11 and Windows 10. Intel also promised that the games would be patched sometimes in mid-November and that its actively working with its partners to resolve the problem as soon as possible. Intel also gave some workarounds to circumvent/fix this issue but nothing legitimate.

GIGABYTE DRM Fix Tool

Well, it’s not exactly mid-November but, GIGABYTE has just released an update on the matter in the form of a press release, and offered a real solution as opposed to the janky ghetto methods by Intel. The company has released the DRM Fix Tool for Intel Z690 motherboards (600-series platform) that aims to fix the DRM-related issues on Alder Lake once and for all. This tool is a Windows-based utility, meaning it’s just a simple .exe file that you can download from GIGABYTE’s website and you’re good to go.

What the DRM Fix Tool does is very straightforward. It simply disables the E-cores while you’re gaming, or, I should say it actually gives you that choice. With the tool, you can easily switch off and/or on the E-cores inside your Alder Lake CPU at will. You don’t need to restart your PC or do something beforehand to make sure everything goes right. You can switch the E-cores on and off on the fly to avoid the DRM issues in certain games.

GIGABYTE does make it clear, though, that before you install the DRM Fix Tool, you need to be on the latest BIOS update for your motherboard. You can check out the full list of GIGABYTE’s Z690 motherboards here and download the latest BIOS revision accordingly for your motherboard effectively. This also makes GIGABYTE the first manufacturer to release a proper utility to combat this issue as no other manufacturer has done so, so far.

List of all GIGABYTE Z690 motherboards and their latest BIOS version | GIGABYTE
Huzaifa Haroon
Born and raised around computers, Huzaifa is an avid gamer and a Windows enthusiast. When he's not solving the mysteries of technology, you can find him writing about operating systems, striving to inform the curious.