It goes without saying that PC gaming is a tad bit more complex compared to console gaming. There are numerous tweaks you can perform on a PC to boost your overall gaming experience.
Unfortunately, not all tweaks are safe for your PC.
Below, you’ll learn the top seven easy tips for enhancing your PC gaming experience without damaging your computer. Note that a top-notch gaming laptop will require little to no tweaking. The tips outlined below are irrespective of your PC’s configurations.
Keep Your PC Dust-Free
The first thing you need to do is ensure that your PC is always clean and dust-free if you are into improving your gaming experience. Dust and dirt are some of the biggest culprits of below-par gameplay performance. The debris tend to reduce your PC’s airflow, leading to the computer getting heated up and resulting in slow performance of PC components – including the GPU.
Check Recommended System Requirements
Optimizing your PC for gaming is a daunting task, especially if you’re not familiar with the computer’s internal hardware, operating system and overall configuration. Most game developers have minimum and recommended system requirements that outline the type of hardware you would require for a game to run at acceptable levels.
Unfortunately, there’s no way of getting around these requirements, and a PC optimizing guide won’t show you how to make your older PC that doesn’t meet minimum requirements run newer games. For example, you cannot make your 10-year-old PC run the latest new release with high-end graphics.
The steps below outline a few basic tips and recommendations for PC optimization so you get the most out of the hardware and have your games run smoothly again. These tips are useful for PCs that meet minimum requirements and those with the latest hardware.
Know Your Hardware
Once you’ve established that your PC meets or exceeds published minimum system requirements, the next step is knowing your PC hardware. If you’ve built your PC or selected hardware to be installed, you have a good idea of what exactly your PC is running on. However, if you bought an off-the-shelf gaming PC, you might not have an exact idea of the hardware configuration.
Fortunately, you can make use of relatively small Windows and Mac applications that will help you collect information on the graphics card, CPU, RAM, HDD and more installed. You can use the information gathered to compare against the game’s published system requirements. While analyzing your computer hardware, it’s also a good idea to look at top picks for gaming routers to improve your online gaming experience.
Update or Upgrade Your Graphics Drivers
The graphics card is the holy grail of your PC gaming experience. Without the necessary software installed, even the best graphics card on the market would never live up to its full potential. You can find the information on your graphics card through the Device Manager panel then the Display Adaptors tab.
Once you have an idea of what graphics card you are working with, you can update its settings via the NVIDIA or AMD control panel. Plus, you can visit the manufacturer’s website for driver updates. In fact, updating your card’s drivers can boost PC performance by a massive 60%!
Remove Unnecessary Startup and Shutdown Processes
The longer you’ve had your PC, the more applications you have likely installed. Most of these applications have tasks and processes running in the background, even with the program closed. With time, such background tasks tend to take up considerable amounts of your system resources without your knowledge.
A few general tips to follow while gaming include closing open applications like your web browser prior to starting a game. It’s also a good idea to start gaming once you have done a fresh reboot of your computer.
A reboot resets your system to the startup configuration while closing down any lingering tasks that might run in the background even after closing programs. If this does not improve gaming, you’ll want to move onto speeding up your Mac or Windows machine.
Defrag the Hard Drive
Your computer’s hard disk drive could be another potential aspect causing the PC to run slow with time due to capacity and disk fragmentation. Once your free hard disk storage space is around 5 to 10%, your system will begin to slow down.
Virtual memory is a temporary space on the HDD that’s allocated to the operating system as extra RAM for your CPU. While this memory is slower than RAM, it’s a requirement when running memory intensive applications.
Regularly cleaning up involves removing temporary Internet files, system files and programs that you no longer use to free up some space quickly without purchasing extra hard drives or cloud storage space. Disk fragmentation tends to occur with general use of a PC. This includes surfing the web, saving documents and installing/uninstalling applications.
Defragging your hard disk will help reorganize the internal data and move it closer together for increased read times. In most cases, the Windows disk defragmenter tool is all you need, but you can use third-party applications too. To access the default defragmenter tool, click start menu, type “defrag” in search bar, and you can either analyze or start defragging.
If everything else fails, the best way to improve your gaming PC’s performance is by upgrading its hardware. Apart from the motherboard and CPU, most other pieces can be swapped and upgraded to something faster. Some upgrades you should consider include the hard drive, graphics card and RAM.
Upgrading to a Solid State Drive (SSD) will see you achieve an immediate boost in both load and startup times. Upgrading your graphics card will help in how the PC renders graphics animation for smooth movements, higher resolution and high frame rate. Installing new DIMMS will help get rid of stuttering during gameplay.
Gaming on a PC offers you a certain charm that console gaming can never beat. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to go on a spending spree if you’re looking to improve your PC’s gaming performance.