Windows 10 Home vs Pro for Gaming: What’s the Difference?

With the esteemed Windows 7 going off life support as of 2020, it, therefore, comes as no surprise that a myriad of users is looking to migrate to Windows 10. Just like its predecessors, the 10 edition is available in different versions. But, there are only two editions that should concern home users; Home and Pro.

To many, the finer differences between the two are not readily apparent. Therefore, whether you’re a casual user, PC gamer, or power user, we’ll delve into the differences between the Pro and Home versions, to permit an informed decision.

Compatibility: 32-bit or 64-bit Machines?

Before we dive into the Pro and Home designation, the first thing to factor in is the CPU architecture. The 64-bit and 32-bit versions of Windows 10 are readily available. So, the one you opt for is solely based on your CPU. Keep in mind, a Home version for a 32-bit system isn’t compatible with a 64-bit machine, and vice versa. Moreover, the 32-bit version 10 exists for older CPUs, whereas the 64-bit option is the default version designed for modern hardware.

Windows 10 Versions

Unbeknownst to most of us, there are less than twelve Windows 10 counterparts, though we’re only familiar with the two or three found in retail stores. Some of the more obscure counterparts include Enterprise, which is an upgraded version of Pro, which has some special features that are only beneficial to IT firms.

There are two versions built with educational institutions in mind and are strikingly similar to the Enterprise edition but have fewer features. For mere mortals, the ones we can purchase in a retail store are the 10 Pro, Home, and Pro for Workstations. The latter is built for use with top of the range hardware and is suited to high-end computers that have up to 6 TB of RAM and four processors.

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Windows 10 Home vs Pro

Before we explore how both versions match up in the gaming world, we’ll start by looking into how they differ at a basic level for normal PC users. For starters, all the fundamental features and layout are nearly identical. Therefore, you’ll find Microsoft Edge, virtual desktops, and Cortana on both.

However, regarding specifications, the Pro has the edge over the Home version, which is the highest RAM it can handle. Home Edition has a maximum RAM of 128GB, which is no match for the Pro that can accommodate up to 2 TB of data at a go.

Other Perks of the Pro Edition

It’s targeted at PC ‘power users’ or SMEs. Furthermore, the Pro edition comes with a free service known as ‘Windows Update for Business.’ It entails multi-layered protection and security for the applications, computer, identity, and regular updates to provide unmatched security.

Furthermore, the 10 Pro has extra security apps known as Device Guard coupled with Secure Boot to curb malicious code hijacking a user’s PC. It also includes business-oriented features such as remote desktop (RDP) for accessing your computer from other locations via an android mobile device. And, there’s an assigned access feature that grants employees or co-workers access to certain apps on your computer.

Windows 10 and Gaming

Now you know a couple of Windows 10 features that are suited to gaming. So, let’s discuss how beneficial these features are and if others can enhance your PC gaming experience.

For starters, let it be it known that in its predecessors, Microsoft hasn’t done a decent job of integrating gaming systems. Nonetheless, they made an effort by introducing a feature called ‘Games for Windows’ which, unfortunately, got off to a rocky start. Instead of making the Operating System more gaming-friendly, Microsoft chose to shift its focus to Xbox, which is unarguably their best-selling console.

Luckily, all that has changed with Windows 10, which Microsoft has meshed well with Xbox. So, gamers can use the Xbox app on their computers to stream games or delight in significantly enhanced graphics. This is due to Windows 10 fully welcoming DirectX 12 with open arms, which boosts the visual enjoyment of games.

Windows 10 Gaming Features

Below are the main gaming features that users can expect from this Microsoft variation.

1. Xbox Gaming App

Users can connect their computers to the same interface that the X-Box console uses to stream videos, communicate with other gamers in real-time, and purchase games. Most importantly, they can delight in multiuser game streaming.

2. Cross-Platform Gaming

Users can compete with other players with no competitive disadvantage. So, gameplay using a computer mouse or keyboard has equal responsiveness as those using game controllers. And, the good news is, there’s a spike in the number of cross-platform games.

3. Streaming Games

As fate would have it, your TV is fully-booked, leaving you with no screen to play your favorite game. When this happens, fret not because the 10 edition is your holy grail. It’ll allow you to stream a barrage of games from your X-Box console to your PC. Given that the console still controls the game, there’s no loss in action or speed, and you get to use the controller as normal.

4. Recording and Screenshots

For some of us, relying on third-party software to take snap screenshots and record is the norm. If you fall into this category, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that you can capture as many screenshots of your gaming sessions as you wish. Moreover, you can record a game as you play it.


For a multitude of users, choosing Windows 10 Home vs Pro for gaming boils down to the pricing. Typically, you can expect to pay roughly $130 to $139 for Windows 10 Home if you order from Amazon or buy it directly from the Microsoft website. Nonetheless, you have free rein to buy a hard copy that’s usually cheaper than the digital version.

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If you opt for the Pro edition, you’ll have to shell out extra bucks. Buying it from Microsoft directly will cost you approximately $200, whereas ordering from Amazon will cost roughly $189. But again, hard copies are usually cheaper, so you can catch it at a discount and save a few bucks.

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Lastly, if you wish to upgrade from the Home to the Pro edition, you can order a license from the Microsoft website for $100.

The Verdict

When it comes down to Windows 10 Home vs Pro for gaming, there’s no objectively right or wrong choice. This is because it depends on your intended use of the Operating System.

If you’re a no-frills or casual gamer who has no interest in premium features, then the cheaper Home edition is right up your alley. You’ll save a solid amount of cash and won’t find anything missing from your gaming experience. Contrarily, if you’re a ‘power user’ or computer enthusiast, then the Pro version is well worth the extra bucks.

You don’t have to be an IT guru or business owner to value the Pro’s more sophisticated features. Furthermore, it’ll continue accruing more intriguing features over time, thus ushering in enhanced flexibility.

Verdict: Home edition will suffice for most gamers, so don’t feel the need to come out of pocket for the Pro version if its extra features are of no use to you.