Your high-end gaming laptop can never match the performance of a comparable gaming desktop. However, this does not preclude you from playing the most recent games. Rather, it increases the burden on you to guarantee that your laptop is gaming-ready.
You may update the hardware on desktop PCs. Upgrade choices for laptop users are restricted. So, how can you boost laptop performance? How can you make your gaming laptop faster?
Here are 12 tips for optimizing your Windows laptop gaming setup.
1. Keep Your Laptop Clean and Dust-Free to Improve Gaming Performance
Do you want to know how to enhance gaming performance on your laptop but lack technical knowledge? Simply clean it.
Only a proactive approach to physical maintenance will result in increased laptop performance. Dust and filth are performance’s worst enemies. This debris will impede ventilation, causing the computer to overheat.
When the temperature rises, the CPU, GPU, and most other components slow down. This does not make for a good gaming machine.
The easiest method to handle this is to clear the dust. This is obviously not simple. Your laptop is almost definitely sealed, and opening it will very surely void the warranty. The approach is to use some extremely particular cleaning methods.
But it’s not only the vents on your laptop that must be kept free. If you use the keyboard often (which is a need for PC gaming), make sure there is no dust, food, or other materials that might create sticky keys.
You also don’t want a smudged screen for optimal gaming performance.
Related: How to Clean Your Laptop
2. How to Upgrade Your Laptop for Increased Gaming Performance
Installing new hardware is the most effective approach to increase the performance of your laptop for gaming. But what can be improved?
Laptops are notoriously unupgradable. You may update three different components.
- RAM: increasing the quantity and speed of memory may have a significant effect.
- Storage: upgrading to a solid-state drive (SSD) or fast M.2 storage will significantly increase game performance.
- Battery: With the full settings enabled, batteries are unable to keep games running for any length of time.
Furthermore, for a low-cost update, why not increase your own game performance with an external gaming keyboard and mouse?
3. How to Optimize Your Laptop for Gaming With Updated Drivers
Do you want to know how to make games run faster on a laptop? It all comes down to the drivers.
Computers running Windows, macOS, and Linux are virtually all built on the same hardware and have the same architecture. This implies that, regardless of the operating system, it is critical to maintain device drivers up to date.
Fortunately, this is typically a simple procedure. It usually happens automatically after routine OS upgrades.
When it comes to graphic drivers, though, you may need a more hands-on approach. While Intel graphics, which are mainly inadequate for heavy gaming, will benefit from upgraded drivers through a Windows update, your third-party graphics supplier will not.
Instead, make sure that the GPU management software (such as Nvidia GeForce Experience or AMD Gaming Evolved) is configured to update automatically. Keep your controller and audio drivers up to date as well.
Read More: How to Update Graphics Drivers in Windows 10
4. Optimize Your Laptop for Gaming By Updating DirectX
DirectX is a set of software tools that help with visuals in video games. It is essential for gaming on Windows. DirectX has gone through many revisions throughout the years.
DirectX 12 Ultimate, which was released in 2020, is the most recent version that comes pre-installed on your Windows laptop. It offers a library that is shared by Windows and Xbox Series X|S platforms.
To check your current DirectX version:
- Press WIN + R to open the Run dialog
- Enter dxdiag
- Wait for the DirectX Diagnostic Tool (DXDiag) to load
- On the System tab look for the DirectX Version at the bottom of the list
To update DirectX:
- Go to Start > Settings (or WIN + I)
- Click Update & Security > Windows Update
- Click Check for updates
In addition to keeping your visual drivers up to date, make sure your audio drivers are gaming-ready. The Sound tab in DxDiag allows you to examine the condition of your audio drivers. It is also worth noting that input device drivers are summarized here.
5. Overclock the Laptop Graphics Card for Optimized Gaming
Do you want to learn how to increase the graphics on your laptop? Overclocking is the best method.
Overclocking, although perilous for the novice, may force more performance from the graphics card. Tools for both AMD and Nvidia GPUs are available, so you should have no issue finding anything appropriate.
The primary issues are electricity and heat. Overclocking consumes more power, so you’ll need to modify your computer’s power settings accordingly (see below).However, overclocking raises the temperature of the GPU.
This is usually handled by the laptop’s built-in cooling system. As mentioned in #1, you should clean the heatsinks and fans on a regular basis. If you don’t, your laptop will shut down automatically as a safety measure if it becomes too hot.
Looking for an overclocking tool for your GPU? The most popular at present is MSI Afterburner, which is suitable for Nvidia and AMD graphics cards.
You can enjoy good results with overclocking, but it is something you must do with care. Our guide to overclocking your GPU safely should help here.
6. Adjust Your Computer’s Power Settings
Few devices can enjoy improved operation without effective power management. When it comes to laptops—-devices intended for use away from a permanent power source—-power management is important.
Windows gives you some detailed power management options, but for strong gaming experience, connect your laptop to a power outlet.
Once this is done, look at your computer’s power settings. In Windows:
- Click Start > Settings (or WIN + I)
- Go to System > Power and sleep > Additional power settings
- Select High performance
- Click Change plan settings > Change advanced power settings
- Confirm the power settings are set to the optimum levels
Note that with some gaming laptops (such as the Dell G5 15 series) battery settings are automatically managed. Whatever your system, avoid less-than-optimum power settings when squeezing gaming performance from your laptop.
7. How to Increase Laptop Performance for Gaming: Windows Game Mode
This is a tip that anyone can use. Windows 10 and later is equipped with an Xbox app which includes features such as screen recording, streaming, and Game Mode. Optimizing your laptop for gaming can be as simple as activating the Game Bar and Game Mode.
- Click Start > Settings (or WIN+I)
- Click Gaming > Xbox Game Bar
- Switch to On IMAGE
- Select Game Mode in the left-hand pane
- Switch to On
- Close to finish
You may now access the Xbox panel by pressing WIN + G at any time. Check the Yes, this is a game box box if asked.
Windows will execute games with the best settings when Game Mode is activated. Windows may stop or pause certain background operations to do this.
8. Close Background Apps for Increased Laptop FPS
For many of these ideas, we’re presuming you’re using Windows 10 or 11. If not, you may make a manual adjustment to your laptop before starting a game. Before you start a game, make sure all other programs are closed.
After that, have a look at the System Tray. This section of the Windows taskbar displays programs that are currently operating in the background. Close each icon by right-clicking it, unless it is necessary for your playing experience. Keep your graphics card control software, for example, open.
9. Online Gamers: Check Your Network Speed
Your laptop’s gaming performance is mostly affected by its hardware, drivers, and how it is setup. However, if you play online games, you must also consider your internet connection speed.
Lag is the most common source of problems while playing online games, whether it is caused by poor internet connectivity or a sluggish connection between the laptop and wireless network. In most situations, owing to Windows Update or whatever system updates your operating system has obtained, your wireless network card will have the most up-to-date drivers.
If there is no improvement after installing updates, attempt connecting to the router through wired Ethernet. You should also look at if a gaming router can improve gaming performance.
Read More: The Best Gaming Routers
Are you using a gaming laptop? If your PC has a Killer network device, you may install the Intel Killer Control Center to maximize online gaming.
10. How to Make Your Laptop Faster for Gaming With Automatic Updates
Automatic updates might be quite inconvenient. For example, Windows Update may download updates in the background before reminding you to install them on a regular basis. Not only may an uninstalled update have an effect on speed, but so can reminders.
Because you cannot permanently deactivate Windows Updates, you have the following options:
- Keep your computer offline.
- Install updates as soon as prompted.
- You may now stop updates for 35 days starting with the May 2019 update (version 1903).
Because you’re unlikely to be able to entirely disengage from the internet when using a gaming laptop, applying those updates as soon as possible is the best option.
11. How to Make Games Run Better on a Laptop by Updating Steam
Updates are also sent through digital distribution platforms such as Steam. A second game may potentially download updates in the background while you’re currently playing anything.
To avoid this:
- Open Steam
- Head to Steam > Settings
- Clear the Allow downloads during gameplay check box in the Downloads tab.
- Click OK to confirm
You can also manage update rules for individual games.
- Right-click the game in your Steam library and choose Properties.
- Select Properties > Updates
- Configure your desired settings for Automatic updates and Background downloads.
You have three options for Automatic updates: Always keep this game updated, Only update this game when I start it, and High Priority.
You have three options for Background download: Pause background downloads while I play, Allow background downloads at all times, Never allow background downloads
Additional strategies for controlling Steam downloads may further enhance your laptop gaming performance.
12. Tweak Texture Settings to Optimize Your Laptop Graphics Card
If you’ve exhausted all other options and still want to know how to make your laptop quicker for gaming, have a look at your graphics card driver settings. This is especially true if you need to run a certain game.
You’ll discover master controls for texture and shader details in the graphics card driver settings, which will influence how your games appear.
The RAM available to your laptop’s GPU restricts your choices, so choose a setup that prioritizes performance above appearances. High-resolution textures, in short, will use RAM, affecting frame rate. Individual games may also have their own texture and shader settings.
Do you want to know how to improve gaming performance on older or low-spec laptops? Simply reduce the textures and frame speeds.
It might take some time to discover the best visual settings for games. However, after you’ve established that performance-quality trade-off, you’ll find that it was well worth the work.
Related: Signs It’s Time to Upgrade Your Graphics Card
Now You Know How to Improve Laptop Performance for Gaming
Who knew you could do so much to boost gaming performance on a laptop computer? While the majority of the recommendations are specific to Windows laptops, some may be applied to identical settings on macOS and Linux.
Let’s have a look at the best methods to make your laptop quicker for gaming:
- Regularly clean your laptop.
- Upgrade laptop hardware
- You need update your drivers (especially for the GPU).
- Install the most recent DirectX version.
- Overclock the GPU.
- Optimize the power settings.
- Activate Windows Game Mode.
- Close background apps.
- For online gaming, check the network speed.
- Manage automatic game and operating system upgrades.
- Update and configure Steam
- Change the texture and shader parameters.
Upgrading your hardware on a desktop computer may have a significant influence on gaming; but, as a laptop user, you are constrained. Most laptop computers do not allow you to update the graphics card or CPU. That is why these ten techniques for enhancing gaming performance are so important.
If this isn’t enough, you can find more in our dedicated Windows gaming performance tips page. If that isn’t enough, consider streaming games from a cloud-based gaming server.
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