Gigabyte's Tool Fixes Alder Lake and DRM Issues On The Fly

Intel 12th Generation Alder Lake Processor
Intel 12th Generation Alder Lake Processor (Image credit: Intel)

Gigabyte has released the Gigabyte DRM Fix Tool that allows Gigabyte Z690 motherboard owners to easily and quickly park or unpark the E-cores (Gracemont) inside Alder Lake processors.

It was widely known even before Alder Lake's announcement that the 12th Generation Core processors weren't going to play nice with old games which use DRM. In a nutshell, Alder Lake's hybrid microarchitecture fools DRM solutions, such as Denuvo into thinking that two different systems are simultaneously running the same game with the same key.

Obviously, a simple update from the game developer's behalf is sufficient to fix the compatibility issues with Alder Lake. To be realistic, it's unlikely that developers will go through the hassle of updating all their titles for Alder Lake, especially those that are a couple years old.

Luckily, motherboard vendors have implemented an option to disable the Gracemont cores in Alder Lake. The problem is that the option resides inside the motherboard's BIOS, which could be an overwhelming place for less experience users. It's even a nuisance for veteran users since you have to manually restart the system, enable the option and restart again. It's a process that you have to do endure every time you want to play an old game with a DRM that doesn't like Alder Lake.

The Gigabyte DRM Fix Tool, which weights less than one megabyte and doesn't require installation, facilitates the task to park and unpark the E-cores. The bad news is that the software is exclusive to Gigabyte Z690 motherboards. The only requirement is that the motherboard must be running the latest firmware. You can find the DRM Fix Tool on Gigabyte's website.

Gigabyte Z690 Motherboards

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Z690 Aorus Elite AX DDR4F6a
Z690 Aero DF5a
Z690 Aero GF4b
Z690 Aero G DDR4F6a
Z690 Aorus EliteF4a
Z690 Aorus Elite AXF5a
Z690 Aorus Elite DDR4F5a
Z690 Aorus MasterF6b
Z690 Aorus ProF6a
Z690 Aorus Pro DDR4F6a
Z690 Aorus TachyonF3a
Z690 Aorus UltraF5a
Z690 Aorus XtremeF5a
Z690 Aorus Xtreme WaterForceF4a
Z690 Gaming XF5a
Z690 Gaming X DDR4F6a
Z690I Aorus UltraF4a
Z690I Aorus Ultra DDR4F5a
Z690M Aorus Elite AX DDR4F5a
Z690M Aorus Elite DDR4F5a
Z690M DS3H DDR4F2a
Z690 UDF5a
Z690 UD ACF5a
Z690 UD AXF5a
Z690 UD AX DDR4F5a
Z690 UD DDR4F5a
Zhiye Liu
RAM Reviewer and News Editor

Zhiye Liu is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Although he loves everything that’s hardware, he has a soft spot for CPUs, GPUs, and RAM.

  • kal326
    Ahhhh good old DRM protecting little impacting many. I wonder how long until a “right to continued use” will get any traction like right to repair. Granted a different case to right to repair as usually with software you usually don’t own anything other than a license to use it versus a tangible good.
    As more and more things become useless or difficult to continue using there should he DMCA or applicable local exemptions to fix/remove broken DRM from abandoned software that devs no longer have interest, financial or otherwise, or ability to update.