Budget limitations can sometimes be a barrier for most gamers when investing in a gaming rig.
🖥️ Supercomputers can be ridiculously expensive. 💸
No matter how great it is, a gaming PC under $500 won’t be able to run the latest titles on highest settings. However, it’s still possible to tweak your ordinary gaming PC and experience better in-game performance as a result of your optimization. Moreover, the best part – you don’t have to be a tech enthusiast to pull this off.
Before you start thinking of optimizing your gaming PC, ensure that your PC meets or exceeds the minimum system requirements of your favorite game titles. Most game publishers have already listed out both the minimum and recommended system requirements needed to run their games.
Optimizing Your PC
When done correctly, optimizing your PC can turn it into a finely tuned workhorse, handling resource-intensive game titles with ease. However, optimizing your PC won’t make your old 15-year-old PC run the latest game title with high-end graphics smoothly.
Here are six essential tips that can get your gaming PC in shape for the next high-end game title:
Update Your Graphics Drivers
First up, your graphics card drivers. Doing this is crucial, as outdated graphics drivers might cause you inconvenience such as literally not being able to run the game or constant crashes.
Most gaming PCs come with an NVIDIA or AMD GPU, which tend to be the best graphics cards for gaming on the market. Updating your graphics card drivers consistently means you get the latest features, bug fixes, support for most recent games, and performance updates that the manufacturers roll out monthly.
These updates potentially make the entire gaming experience smoother. Also, set your graphics settings from limited RGB to full – you’ll be in for a pleasant surprise.
Defragment Your Hard Drive
Over time, your hard disk becomes fragmented with use. Sections of files are spread out all over the disk drive, leading to a severe hit in performance.
The performance drop happens because the hard disk will need to gather all the scattered sections before it can read the game file properly, thereby slowing game load time. Of course, if you get some of the best HDDs for gaming, you won’t encounter these problems that often, if at all.
The larger the file, the longer it takes to gather its fragmented parts – and most games take up several GBs. To ensure that your game files can be read continuously, you should consider defragmenting your hard disk.
To defragment, visit the Start Menu >> All Programs >> Accessories >> System Tools >> Disk Defragmenter.
Defragmenting your hard drive improves its read rate by organizing all the stored files properly. It also enhances loading speed.
Upgrade to An SSD
The speedier read and write rates of an SSD means you get significant performance advantages when you upgrade your hard drive to an SSD.
Although a solid-state drive won’t affect your in-game performance, it is flash memory structure means faster load times for large files and games boot faster. The cost of acquiring one has also gone down considerably over the past few years, increasing its appeal amongst gamers.
Upgrading and choosing the best SSD for gaming you can get guarantees you an immediate boost in the game boot and load times. Pro Tip: if looking for an SSD, first research the differences between SATA and NVMe storage types.
Shutdown Unnecessary Processes During PC Startup
When you start your PC, a host of applications and third-party services launch and run automatically in the background.
These applications and third-party services tend to slow down your game’s load time, as they take up a portion of the memory your game needs during startup. It also gets worse as the PC ages.
To improve load times and reduce the performance of your PC, you will need to prevent specific programs and processes from launching every time you restart your PC.
To achieve “clean startup,” hold down the “Windows” key on your keyboard and press “R” >>> type in “msconfig” >>> click “OK” >>> Click the “Services” tab >>> check “Hide all Microsoft services” >>> click “Disable all”.
Reboot your system once done.
“Clean startup” prevents services installed by third-party programs from launching and running in the background during PC startup.
Alternatively, if there are background programs that you’ll need to keep, you can manually disable the services you don’t need from the “Services” tab. Always remember to reboot once done.
Optimize Your NVIDIA/AMD Software Suites
Both Nvidia and AMD provide bespoke software suites for optimizing your graphics cards’ settings. Taking advantage of these applications can up in-game performance significantly. Furthermore, you might be encountering the issue of your GPU fans not spinning, which hurts your in-game performance.
The Nvidia GeForce Experience and AMD Gaming Evolved software suites can be a competitive advantage to any gamer if utilized correctly.
How to Optimize Nvidia GeForce Experience for Gaming
The Nvidia GeForce experience application automatically configures your game’s graphics settings for you.
Not sure what texture filtering level to set in Fortnite? The GeForce application uses the detailed information gathered at the Nvidia cloud data center to find the best balance of performance and image quality for your PC.
It achieves this by testing thousands of PC hardware configurations using data gathered from various gamers and PC users.
It then automatically configures bespoke graphics settings according to your PC’s GPU, CPU, and display.
How to Optimize AMD Software for Gaming
Depending on which GPU you are using, AMD’s Gaming Evolved (Radeon Settings) might be what you’re looking for. Again, there isn’t much work to do here.
AMD also automates this process for you, just like Nvidia.
Aside from using AMD’s software as showcased in the video above, you can film and subsequently share your gaming videos on social media or save them directly to your PC.
Gaming on a poorly optimized Windows PC can be a hellish experience. Thus, optimizing your gaming PC ensures your games don’t suffer from slow load times, lag, stuttering graphics, crashing and other performance-related issues.
Still, you might want to upgrade to at least a $600 gaming PC if you want to be able to run modern video games.
These six tips mentioned here are necessary steps to getting your machine working at peak condition, ensuring your games load and run noticeably faster.