Are you finding that your computer is not playing as well as it used to? Don’t worry, because we are here to help you optimize your PC for gaming.
Software and hardware both play a major role in the performance of your system. So you can take a few steps to optimize your PC to play games for free or for less than the cost of a new computer.
Follow these gaming PC setup tips to ensure your computer is running to its full potential.
Caring for Your Machine
The biggest problem most people have with their rigs is not a lack of money, but time. As time goes by, all PCs get slower. Whether it’s due to bloatware, hardware issues, or dated components, the game eventually stops running as usual.
In order to keep your computer in peak working condition no matter what setup you have to perform regular maintenance on your PC. See our list of the most important Windows maintenance tasks for guidance.
If you have an SSD (like most nowadays), you don’t have to worry about defragmenting your drive. However, you should know how to manage your Windows 10 startup folder to prevent unnecessary programs from running in the background while you are playing games.
It is also important that you keep your Windows drivers up to date, especially your graphics drivers. Installing the latest updates from Nvidia or AMD can often result in better visual performance.
Optimize Windows 10 for Gaming
Windows 10 includes many gamer-friendly features that you should know how to take advantage of. Game Mode, for example, optimizes your computer for gaming with a single switch. However, you should also be aware of the settings that can interfere with your game.
Check out our full guide detailing how to optimize Windows 10 for gaming. It shows you how to prevent Windows Update from interrupting the big loop and other tricks to help Windows 10 perform better.
Even if you’re only using your PC for gaming, it’s still important to make sure the underlying operating system is running properly. While the above won’t magically turn your PC into a soup-packed gaming machine, it does take the steps it takes to get your machine running at peak condition.
Make Sure You Have The Right Hardware
If you’re a casual PC user, you may not have the urge to fix what isn’t broken. However, for avid PC gamers, part of the fun is modifying your PC to suit your wants as well as your needs. Hardware is very important when it comes to setting up your gaming computer.
PC hardware updates come in many forms; some are simple and some are more complex.
Upgrade to SSD
This goes without saying in the fan community, but if you’re a new PC gamer, you may not be aware of this. Storage disks are of two main types: hard disk drives (HDD) and solid-state drives (SSD). HDDs offer more storage space at a lower cost. However, they are much slower than SSDs.
If you don’t already have one, the best upgrade you can make to your PC is to add an SSD. This will speed up the entire system from boot to shutdown. You will also find that the game loads faster.
Not sure what to get? Check out the Samsung 860 EVO; it’s an affordable option from a line of reliable SSDs.
Install More RAM
Next, you should check to see if you are making use of your motherboard’s RAM capacity. This is another simple and relatively inexpensive way to increase your PC’s gaming performance. RAM allows you to run more processes at the same time. If you don’t have enough, more intensive games may stutter or even refuse to run at all.
In contrast to SSDs, we cannot provide specific recommendations here. This is because not all motherboards support the same amount or type of RAM. You should check your motherboard specifications in the manual or online before you decide what RAM to get.
However, there are some general RAM upgrade tips to keep in mind. The current minimum for gaming is 8GB of RAM, which should handle most games. If you want to future-proof your build, skipping 16GB is a good idea. 32GB or more is only needed for hardcore players.
To take advantage of the dual-channel memory slots in most modern computers, it is preferable to have two sticks rather than one. So if you want to upgrade to 16GB RAM, you will have to buy two 8GB sticks instead of one 16GB stick. The same idea applies if your motherboard has four RAM slots.
Review Your Graphics Card
In most cases, your graphics card determines what games you can play and the graphics settings where you can enjoy them.
If you play games with integrated graphics, you should see an upgrade to a dedicated graphics card soon. The integrated graphics are very limited for gaming, so you’ll be experiencing a brick wall before long.
Have a graphics card, but not sure if it’s worth it? We’ve previously seen how to find out what games your PC will run. This service also lets you compare your hardware with other users, so you can see how powerful your system is.
Modern overclocking is simple, secure, and fast. While this is not a safe way to increase PC performance (even we had issues with overclocking software), you can potentially increase the performance of any computer component one generation or above. That’s a serious improvement for a few mouse clicks.
Keep in mind that not everyone will accept fantastic overclock figures. Rarely, however, will you end your overclocking journey empty-handed. Other than that, it costs nothing to try.
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