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A new version of Windows always comes with some anxious questions: will my old games and software work with the new OS? Especially for games that stood the test of time, like Age of Empires II. Especially now that Windows 10 is a free upgrade, it’s ever so tempting and the question is ever so burning.
The answer is quite simple, yes, Age of Empires II HD is compatible with Windows 10, but it does not stop there.
Windows 8 has always been a bit of a controversial Operating System, but it also affected Age of Empires II HD. Windows 8 has a really nasty font-related memory leak, and when we changed the code to patch the leak in 4.0, we really hurt performance for a lot of players. However, Windows 10 handles fonts far better with a superior caching mechanism. What this practically means for your computer, I cannot tell, but I can share my personal experiences.
- Patch 4.2 on Windows 8: 30 fps
- Patch 4.2 on Windows 10: 100 fps
These were measured on a laptop with the following specs:
Intel Core i7-4702MQ Quad-core 2.20 GHz
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760M
16GB DDR3 L Memory
120GB SSD + 1TB HDD
If you’re not on Windows 8 and would still want some performance gains, you still have patch 4.3 to look forward to, where we managed to decouple the game’s rendering from the rest of the logic, boosting framerates up yet another notch, up to 160 here. But some of our test desktops managed to crank out 240 fps.
So should you upgrade? We cannot judge for you, but we would recommend it, especially if you’re on Windows 8. Windows 7 users will not have the gains mentioned above, but everyone will enjoy the performance boost from patch 4.3 regardless. Coming soon™.