Intel’s latest range of Alder Lake processors launched earlier this month to many accolades. We touted the Intel Core i5 12600k (opens in new tab) as one the best CPUs for gaming in all of 2021, and the i9 12900K (opens in new tab)is a hungry, yet impressive chip as well. Intel’s success with Alder Lake has even lead to discounts on competing cards (opens in new tab) like the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X (opens in new tab).
Unfortunately, these chips do also have their downsides, and one of the big ones is a compatibility issue with DRM. The hybrid architecture used in Alder Lake can trigger some DRM to flag as two different systems running the game, as opposed to a single chip. A whole bunch of older games were affected, but also some relatively newer titles like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (opens in new tab).
The issue is largely with Denuvo DRM, and while the company had released a fix even before the Alder Lake launch, it is ultimately up to the developers to implement it in their games.
Black Friday 2021 deals: (opens in new tab) the place to go for the all the best early Black Friday bargains.
So, it’s good to see companies like Gigabyte (via Tom’s Hardware (opens in new tab)) also working around the problem. Those extra e-cores can thankfully be disabled going into most motherboards BIOS, which is good to know but isn’t exactly user friendly for many.
Owners of Gigabyte Z690 motherboards running the latest firmware can now simply download a DRM fix tool from Gigabytes website. This is a nice low profile little app that should be plug and play, and lets you park and unpark the e-cores from your regular desktop.
This should help convince the DRM that it's just one CPU doing all that work. Since all of the games featured in this list (opens in new tab) predate Alder Lake architecture, it's unlikely you're going to be missing too much by using this tool.