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Windows 11 Home vs. Pro for Gaming: Is One Better Than the Other?

Windows 11 Home vs. Pro for Gaming: Is One Better Than the Other?

The operating system is important whether you’re building a gaming rig or upgrading the OS on an existing PC. Windows 11 Home vs. Pro for gaming is a choice every gamer will have to make if you intend to run the latest version of the Windows operating system. 

While there are some key differences between these versions of Windows, does it matter if you’re gaming? That’s a question we aim to answer in this comparison while helping you decide which version of Windows operating system is the best choice for your PC. 

Windows 11 Home vs. Pro for Gaming: Side-by-Side Comparison

FeaturesWindows 11 HomeWindows 11 Pro
Microsoft DefenderYesYes
Windows SecurityYesYes
Parental ControlsYesYes
BitLocker EncryptionNoYes
FirewallYesYes
Windows SandboxNoYes
Kiosk ModeNoYes
Performance Limits1 CPU with 64 cores
128 GB of RAM
2 CPUs with 128 cores
2TB of RAM
Price$139$199
Exclusive Features for Businesses and Professionals
Microsoft Windows 11 Pro (USB)
$206.84
  • Includes BitLocker Drive Encryption
  • Hyper-V technology allows virtual machines from their PC
  • Features Kiosk Mode, Assigned Access, and Mobile Device Management
  • Supports PCs with dual processors,128 cores, and 2TB RAM
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/07/2024 05:46 pm GMT

Windows 11 Home vs. Pro for Gaming: What’s the Difference?

When you attach the “Pro” tag to a product, two things are certain. The Pro version of any product will cost more than the regular version, and it will have more bells and whistles. With a smartphone, that may be a larger display or a higher trim package on a vehicle. That’s not the case with software.

The difference between Windows 11 Home vs. Windows 11 Pro lies in the features. While Windows 11 Pro does have more features, you may be surprised by how similar this software is beneath the hood. That includes the system requirements. Both versions of this require 4GB of RAM and at least a dual-core 1GHz processor.

If your gaming PC meets that criteria and you have 64GB of storage or more, you can run Windows 11 Home or Pro. Overall, you’ll find the same general features on both versions of this operating system from Microsoft, from the appearance to the apps. To understand the differences with the operating system, you’ll want to start by looking into security.

Security

Windows 11 Home and the Pro version of Microsoft’s operating system have features to keep you safe online. Firewalls and network protection are standard with both versions of this operating system, along with device encryption. Those are common features with any OS, and both have improved from Windows 10

The latter may not be important for casual gamers, but anyone should take advantage of malware and virus protection. It’s especially true for gamers, whether you’re browsing for online cheat codes or frequent gaming discords and forums.

You can also use Windows Hello to log in to your PC with a PIN, fingerprint, or facial recognition with Windows Home and Pro. Windows Security and Secure Boot are standard with both versions, but you’ll only get drive encryption with the Pro version of this OS.

facial recognition
Facial recognition works with Windows 11 Home and 11 Pro.

Windows 11 Pro comes with BitLocker Drive Encryption. While you’ll need TPM 2.0 for TPM-based protection, it will lock your PC down as required. It can keep your data safe if someone steals your computer, making it a popular option for Windows laptops. This article from Microsoft explains the feature in detail, but it’s not the only perk of Windows 11 Pro.

Is BitLocker protection worth it for a gamer? That depends on what’s on your PC and if you travel with it. If you game on the go or are a professional with a keyboard, it’s something to keep in mind. There are a variety of reasons we would consider this a useful feature, but it largely comes down to your needs. 

Features

Have you dreamed of running programs or games like Minecraft in sandbox mode on your Windows-based PC? If so, you’ll love Windows 11 Pro. It supports sandbox and remote desktop capabilities without the need for extra software or third-party applications.

Hyper-V is also supported with Windows 11 Pro, although you can enable it on Windows 11 Home. Assigned Access, Group Policies, Windows Auto Pilot, and Kiosk Mode are included on Windows 11 Pro as well. 

These are all features designated for businesses, and most would not be useful to gamers unless you like to tinker. The ability to run another operating system on your PC is handy, however. With that in mind, you can accomplish virtualization and mimic other features through various popular third-party applications. 

Performance

While you don’t need a beefy PC to run Windows 11 Home or Pro, hardware has a major impact on games and performance. Both versions of Microsoft’s operating system can handle a wide range of components, but the Windows Pro is designed for beastly machines.

You can get by with 4GB to 8GB of RAM for many games, but if you’re a gamer, you know 16GB is the real minimum for a smooth experience. Windows 11 Pro and the Home edition can handle that, although Windows 11 Home is capped at 128GB, while Pro can support up to 2TB. That’s far more than most of us need, but it’s something to keep in mind nonetheless. 

A man is assembling components to build a computer. He is putting the CPU on the socket motherboard.
Windows 11 Pro lets you use multiple processors.

The same is true for processor support with the operating system. Windows 11 Pro allows you to use more than one CPU in your desktop PC. It also lets you exceed 64 cores on a machine. Pro can support two CPUs with 128 cores. Again, unless you’re a gamer heavily into 3D modeling or other intensive programs, these features probably won’t be that enticing. 

Pricing

When you buy a new PC, you get a free copy of Windows — in most cases. If you are building a gaming rig, you’ll need to acquire a new operating system for your PC. While there are third-party alternatives that provide this software at a discount, Windows 11 is far from free.

The regular version of Windows 11 Home is priced at $139, whether you opt for a digital download or a copy on a USB. In comparison, Windows 11 Pro is $199.99 with the same delivery options. 

That’s a considerable price difference but something common with the Windows operating system. Both versions will receive timely updates from Microsoft throughout their lifespan.

All You Need for Your New PC Build
Microsoft System Builder Windows 11 Home
$124.99
  • Genuine, Microsoft-branded Windows software
  • Intuitive UI, DVD format
  • Robust, next-gen security built-in
  • Personalize your experience and automate workflows
  • Works seamlessly with Windows Office apps
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/07/2024 06:07 pm GMT

Windows 11 Home vs. Pro for Gaming: 5 Must-Know Facts

  • You’ll find the same general features on both Windows 11 Home and Windows 11 Pro.
  • The Home version supports one CPU with 64 cores while the Pro version supports up to two CPUs with 128 cores.
  • Windows 11 Home caps RAM at 128GB, but Pro goes up to 2TB of RAM.
  • Windows Security and Secure Boot are standard with both versions, but drive encryption is Pro only.
  • Windows 11 Home is cheaper at $139 vs. $199 for Pro.

Windows 11 Home vs. Pro for Gaming: Which One is Better?

Is Windows 11 Home better than Windows 11 Pro for gaming? The answer is simple for most folks, whether you’re a casual gamer or have a high-end rig. For most people, including the average user, Windows Home has everything you could ask for. 

It’s a solid upgrade over the previous version, and while it’s not as cheap as a copy of Linux, it’s well worth the price. Do you use your PC for business purposes and gaming? That’s not uncommon with desktop PCs or laptops that run Windows. Most people won’t take advantage of the ability to boost the RAM, but the security features could be very useful.

  1. Microsoft System Builder Windows 11 Home
    $124.99
    • Genuine, Microsoft-branded Windows software
    • Intuitive UI, DVD format
    • Robust, next-gen security built-in
    • Personalize your experience and automate workflows
    • Works seamlessly with Windows Office apps
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    02/07/2024 06:07 pm GMT
  2. Microsoft Windows 11 Pro (USB)
    $206.84
    • Includes BitLocker Drive Encryption
    • Hyper-V technology allows virtual machines from their PC
    • Features Kiosk Mode, Assigned Access, and Mobile Device Management
    • Supports PCs with dual processors,128 cores, and 2TB RAM
    Buy Now

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    02/07/2024 05:46 pm GMT

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Windows 11 SE?

Windows 11 SE is a lightweight version of Microsoft’s operating system designed for low-end machines. 

How long is Windows 10 good for?

You could use the operating system for decades, although it will only receive official support through October 13, 2025.

Is Windows 11 a better operating system than Windows 10?

Windows 11 is a better choice for most people due to a number of new features and improvements.

Can you return a copy of Windows 11 to Microsoft?

Windows and other software from Microsoft cannot be returned if the activation code has been used.

Will there be a Windows 12?

We fully expect Microsoft to release Windows 12 and more versions of their operating system.

What is the difference between Windows Pro and Pro for Workstations?

Windows 11 Pro for Workstations has the same features as Windows Pro but with the addition of a Resilient File System or ReFS.

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