When it comes to PC gaming, a better FPS and better user experience are important – even the best titles will suffer if their beautifully rendered virtual worlds slow down. But no matter what your Windows PC gaming setup is, you’ll find plenty of tweaks that can ensure a smooth, frustration-free ride, and maybe that bit of extra responsiveness you need to be successful.
1. Update your graphics drivers
You won’t want to fight, hit the race track, or launch into space without having the latest Nvidia or AMD graphics drivers installed on your GPU. It’s one of the most important pre-game checks you can do, and it’s that simple.
You might already have an Nvidia or AMD automatic update tool on your system, and you can check it by looking for it in the taskbar. If not, you can download utilities from Nvidia and AMD that will scan your system hardware and get the correct drivers from the web. You can also search for these drivers manually on the Nvidia or AMD websites.
If you are not sure which graphics card you have installed, search for “device manager” in the taskbar and run the program that appears as the best match. Open the Screenshot taken list to see your GPU – you can even right click on the entry and choose Update the driver from here if you prefer.
Drivers manage communications between your graphics hardware and software on your system (including installed games). The more recent and up-to-date your pilots, the faster and smoother communication will be. This also applies to software updates at the operating system level – be sure to check if you have any pending updates through Update and security in Windows settings.
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2. Check the game options
Each game has its own set of configuration options, and it’s worth the time to familiarize yourself with, as tempting as it may be to jump into the action as quickly as possible. These settings can make a significant difference, and it’s worth losing a few pixels in total if that means those that remain on the screen move more easily.
Obviously, we can’t give you instructions for every game, but these settings shouldn’t be too hard to find – they’re often available on a game’s startup screen. On Grand Theft Auto V for PC, for example, choose Settings, so Graphic and Advanced graphics to configure screen resolution, maximum refresh rate, shadow quality, and how far the game renders the landscape (which will affect how fast or slow the game is).
3. Check the pre-installed software
If you’ve purchased a prebuilt gaming PC or laptop from a recognized gaming brand, such as Razer, Alienware, Gigabyte, and more, it may come with one or two utilities to optimize your gaming experience. We can’t tell you about all the software options for every brand of games, but if you browse through the programs installed in the Start menu, you should be able to spot the obvious candidates.
To give an example, Gigabyte gaming laptops come with the Aorus Control Center, which provides information about the current GPU, CPU, and memory load. It also allows you to increase the speed of the processor and graphics card, in exchange for higher power consumption and louder fan whirring, if you want to get extra performance from your system.
If you can’t find such a utility but think there should be one, it’s always worth checking with the manufacturer directly (which usually means reading the relevant support forums on the web). You may need to manually download the utility if it was not installed when the computer was assembled (or if you inadvertently deleted the application without knowing what it is).
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4. Find your own optimization software
You don’t have to settle for the optimization software that came with your PC (if there is one), as there are plenty of alternatives available. Razer Cortex is free and one of the best, and you don’t need a Razer machine to use it. It will intelligently allocate system resources to your games when they need them, limit non-gaming applications, and in general, squeeze as high a frame rate as possible from your hardware setup.
Game Fire is another option that offers a similar range of tweaks and optimizations, shutting down unnecessary background processes, making sure your platform is using RAM efficiently, and watching out for potential slowdowns. your Internet connection. It’ll set you back $ 18, but there’s a free version with basic features included so you can decide if you like it first (and see if it actually makes a difference).
5. Free up disk space
Games handle huge amounts of data as you navigate the virtual worlds they create, so the more free disk space you can give them the better. If storage space is limited on your system, you may have noticed before that games start to struggle and slow down as a result.
Making sure that there is plenty of free space on your hard drive is an annoying but effective way to maximize your chances of having a smooth gaming session. Get rid of games, apps and files you no longer use and enjoy the benefits: you can transfer files to the cloud if you need to and uninstall programs from the cloud. applications Windows settings section.
6. Overclock your computer
Overclocking – pushing your system’s components beyond manufacturer-approved limits – was once the exclusive domain of gaming enthusiasts, but now just about anyone can try it. Software applications are easier to use than ever, although we recommend that you read the topic first just to get you started. It’s also important to note that overclocking is done at your own risk (you will almost certainly void your hardware warranties).
Overclocked components mean faster gameplay, but you’ll need a CPU and / or GPU designed for overclocking. Many are now, but it’s worth checking your system specs. If you’ve purchased a prebuilt gaming rig that’s designed to be overclocked, you might find that it comes with a utility for this task.
It’s not an exact science, but you basically increase the speed of your CPU and / or GPU until you notice bugs and crashes, then lower it to a safe level. Apps like Intel Extreme Tuning Utility, AMD Ryzen Master, MSI Afterburner, and Asus GPU Tweak are a good place to start to see what’s possible on your system.
7. Rely on the power of the plug-in
In an effort to maximize battery life, Windows tends to reduce performance settings when you’re away from a power outlet, so you should always play while plugged in if possible. (This only applies to gaming on a laptop, of course.)
To check this and other battery and power configuration options and override them if necessary, open the Windows Settings dialog box, and then choose System> Power and standby> Additional power settings> Change plan settings> Change advanced power settings. You will finally come to a dialog where you can adjust the way the system processor and graphics run on battery power.
8. Stop background processes
When you’re busy gaming, you’ll want to run in the background as little as possible, sucking up valuable CPU, GPU, and RAM resources, as well as internet bandwidth. Close non-essential and non-gaming programs from the taskbar by right-clicking on it and choosing Close the window in the menu that appears (if you have files open and unsaved, you should see a prompt asking if you want to save them).
Many Windows programs like to run in the background in case you need to. You will usually see them in the notification area or in the system tray in the lower right corner of the screen. To check what is running in the background, right-click on an empty area of the taskbar and choose Task Manager, so Process (if you don’t see the Process tab, click More details).
Close any item in the list that you are not actually using by selecting it and choosing Final task. If you’re not sure what a specific process is, run a quick web search. Some of these may be needed for your games and Windows itself. A little trial and error may be needed here.
9. Disable notifications
Getting an email notification halfway through a particularly grueling flag level capture might not make a huge difference in performance, but it sure won’t help your focus. It can also mean the difference between winning and losing for you or your team.
Manage notifications from System and Notifications and actions Windows settings section, or choose System, so Focus assist to set particular times of the day when notifications are not active. You can also turn off notifications through the Xbox Game Bar app built into Windows – tap Win + G to raise it.