Gigabyte releases a DRM fix tool for Alder Lake processors

Gigabyte Z690 motherboard and box
(Image credit: Gigabyte)
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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.

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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.

Hope Corrigan
Hardware Writer

Hope’s been writing about games for about a decade, starting out way back when on the Australian Nintendo fan site Vooks.net. Since then, she’s talked far too much about games and tech for publications such as Techlife, Byteside, IGN, and GameSpot. Of course there’s also here at PC Gamer, where she gets to indulge her inner hardware nerd with news and reviews. You can usually find Hope fawning over some art, tech, or likely a wonderful combination of them both and where relevant she’ll share them with you here. When she’s not writing about the amazing creations of others, she’s working on what she hopes will one day be her own. You can find her fictional chill out ambient far future sci-fi radio show/album/listening experience podcast (opens in new tab) right here.

No, she’s not kidding.