Intel has added twelve new games to its performance-enhancing Application Optimization (APO) utility. This is the first time Intel has added more game support since the utility first debuted with compatibility with Metro Exodus and Rainbow Six Siege.  The game list is still quite small, but it’s a sign that Intel is finally paying more attention to APO. Hopefully, this trend will continue and Intel will add more games.

The twelve new titles consist of, F1 22, Guardians of the Galaxy, Strange Brigade, World War Z, Dirt 5, World of Warcraft, Final Fantasy XIV, Red Dead Redemption 2, World of Tanks, Dreams Three Kingdoms 2, Serious Sam 4, and Watch Dogs Legion. That brings APOs game list up to 14, including Metro Exodus and Rainbow Six Siege which were added at launch.

APO is a performance-enhancing software utility that improves the gaming performance of Intel’s hybrid CPUs. At launch, Intel officially stated that APO can improve performance by up to 16%, but a third party tester found that Intel’s numbers were very conservative, discovering that APO can boost performance by up to 31% in Rainbow Six Siege specifically.

APO’s capabilities are impressive, but it is game-dependent, as is the case with most performance-enhancing software. Our CPU reviewer Paul Alcorn found that APO provides these enhancements by adjusting thread affinities manually to boost performance on the fly. APO ensures that a game’s processing threads aren’t spread out on too many cores and only run on a specific number of cores Intel has deemed optimal for each specific game.

There’s also a good chance APO makes sure that each supported game is not running on the E-cores which would explain its high-performance margins. Intel’s Thread Director should technically do this already, but we’ve seen online reports that games can still run partially on the E-cores on 12th, 13th, or 14th Gen CPUs due to improper thread management. 

For now, APO only supports Intel’s latest 14th Core i7 and Core i9 Gen Raptor Lake Refresh desktop and select mobile CPUs (14700HX, 14900HX). However, the application does include an advanced mode that unlocks functionality with 12th and 13th Gen CPUs and the rest of Intel’s 14th-Gen hybrid lineup, as well as unsupported games.

We hope that Intel will keep adding more games to APO on a continuous basis. If Intel hopes to expand APO’s adoption rate, it needs to keep expanding game support to feature more titles. Intel’s game support happens to land on the same day as its Core i9-14900KS debut.

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