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How to Improve Gaming Performance on your Laptop

Everyone wants to get the best experience from gaming, no matter what device they’re on. But while desktops can have their parts upgraded as often as necessary, this isn’t an option for laptops. So what can be done to improve gaming laptop performance? We’ve found 13 handy tips to help you get the best performance from your laptop.

Check what needs improving

The first thing you should do when looking to improve your gaming laptop’s performance is to use an in-game FPS counter. This will tell you how many frames per second you’re playing at, and if you’re already at your monitor’s maximum FPS, there’s no reason to put more stress on your hardware with things like overclocking just to improve the FPS. This means that you can instead focus on ways to improve the speed of your games and machine, increasing performance that way.

Dust is your enemy

Dust and dirt are your laptop’s mortal enemies, so keeping it as clean and dust-free as possible is vital to improving its performance. Opening up the case to clean inside may void your warranty, so if you’re not comfortable doing that, there are other places to keep clean instead: the vents, keyboard, and screen. Your laptop’s vents are important for airflow, which is vital for keeping the internal components cool. Keeping the keyboard and screen clean and free of food will help keep the keyboard functioning, which is vital for effective gameplay, and ensure that you can see what’s happening.

A key way of both improving your laptop’s performance and keeping it dust-free is to only use it on a clean, smooth, flat surface like your desk. This helps to maximize the airflow getting to the internal components, and ensures there’s as little dust going into the laptop as possible. Despite the name, if you use your gaming laptop on your lap, bed, a blanket or a pillow, it will become more clogged and won’t be able to get enough air as the vents are often on the underside of the laptop. This will cause it to overheat, limiting its performance and lifespan.

Upgrade what you can

The only things you can upgrade in a gaming laptop are the memory (RAM), storage, and the battery. Each can have a massive impact on its performance, so if you can afford to, they’re definitely worth it. Upgrading both the amount of RAM you have and your storage to a solid-state drive (SSD) or M.2 drive both increase the speed at which your games load and respond to your commands. A better battery will also improve your performance, although you may not be able to play for a large amount of time before it needs charging due to the intensity of high-performance games.

If you want another way to improve your gaming performance, consider using an external keyboard and mouse. Generally, you’ll find that a laptop’s trackpad doesn’t give you the same level of precision with movements that a mouse on a mousepad gives you. You may also find that an external keyboard that lets you sit further back from the screen improves your performance, even if it makes your desk feel cluttered.

Keep graphics card drivers up to date

Keeping your graphics card driver and other peripheral drivers up to date will give you the best gaming performance on your laptop as the drivers are regularly updated to ensure the hardware gives the best performance across any games you might be playing. To make this easier for you, you can set these drivers to automatically update so you don’t have to check them, ensuring you always get the best gaming performance you can.

DirectX

DirectX is a Windows program that you should keep updated to ensure optimal gaming performance. It facilitates the graphics in video games by allowing the game and graphics card to communicate. This means developers can spend more time on making their games look more realistic because DirectX allows communication between the game and graphics card, so developer’s don’t need to spend time finetuning their creations for individual pieces of hardware. An update to DirectX can have a big impact on your frame rate and how your game looks, so it’s vital to keep it updated.

Overclocking

Overclocking is when you push your graphics card past its official limits to get better performance from it. It does improve gaming performance on your laptop. Although it places more stress on all your hardware, not just your graphics card, so the whole machine gets hotter. Laptops do come with cooling to counter this, but if overclocking starts causing your laptop to overheat, then the gaming performance will be compromised.

Adjust power settings

Because laptops are often portable, there are often options to adjust their power settings to choose the best power settings if you want a long battery life or performance. Most gaming laptops won’t give you the best performance unless they’re plugged in so there’s no point in using the power saving settings. Instead, go into the advanced settings and select the ‘best performance’ option. This will improve the gaming performance on your laptop and will improve its performance across non-gaming tasks as well.

Windows 10 Game Mode

Enabling Windows Game Mode will improve your gaming performance by minimizing background apps and prioritizing games. To enable it, you should go to settings and it will be called ‘Xbox game bar’. Then while you’re gaming, all you need to do is press the Windows key and G at the same time and tell Windows that the program you’re running is a game.

Close background apps

Closing irrelevant background apps using task manager lets your laptop direct more resources to your game. This improves gaming performance because more resources being dedicated to your machine means that your game will run more smoothly. It’s important to remember that when closing background apps, you shouldn’t close things like your graphics card management app.

Check your internet speed

If you do a lot of online gaming, a key way to improve performance is to increase your internet speed. Slow internet will cause lag and may cause you to be kicked from games, so it’s vital that your connection can handle the games you’re playing. There are a couple of ways to improve your internet connection: you can either upgrade to a faster internet provider, or you can use an ethernet connection. The ethernet cable plugs into your laptop, giving you a faster connection than you have over wi-fi.

Manage updates manually

Although you want your graphics cards drivers to update automatically, to improve your gaming performance, some updates should be managed manually, like Windows updates and Steam updates. Windows updates can be the bane of our existence, but there are a few key ways to manage them to improve gaming performance on your laptop. One of these is to install them as soon as possible because leaving them will ensure they download in the background, slowing down your laptop and causing your gaming performance to drop.

Ensuring that Steam isn’t downloading updates to games while you’re gaming avoids the updates using up your bandwidth and causing trouble for online games, and means that your laptop’s resources aren’t being split between the game you’re playing and your downloads. This means that with more resources dedicated to your game, your laptop’s gaming performance will improve and your gaming experience will be better.

Tweak your graphics settings

Tweaking your graphics cards settings, both in its controller and for individual games will help to improve gaming performance on your laptop. This is because you can ensure that specific graphics settings are at the right level for that game. Lowering texture and shader settings will mean your graphics card isn’t using as much power on those, improving your experience as your game will run more smoothly. If your focus is on FPS, you can also lower the screen resolution from 1080 to 900 or even 720. You may lose a small amount of the fine detail as a sacrifice because there will be fewer pixels, but your game will be much smoother and more lifelike.

Remove unused programs

Optimize your disk by removing any unnecessary files, programs or bloatware. These can slow down your whole PC so regularly checking what files you don’t need and removing them completely will improve performance when it comes to everything you do on your laptop, not just gaming. When it comes to it, however, your laptop will be quicker to load your games, so you can spend more time gaming and less time waiting for the game to load.

Summary

Improving gaming performance on your laptop can be as simple as making sure the right updates are installed at the right time, or tweaking the graphics settings for individual games. You may also find that you have to upgrade certain parts of your laptop to improve your gaming performance, or using extra peripherals. You may find you don’t need to do all of these things to improve your gaming performance, but even a little improvement can go a long way and give you the best gaming experience possible.

Author Bio: Rachel Gowland works at digital marketing agency, Tillison Consulting. She’s a passionate gamer and avid reader who loves to travel, using her knowledge of foreign languages to connect with people around the world.

Originally posted 2021-08-09 05:36:20. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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