Having the best and newest equipment in your gaming PC is the easiest step to improving the performance of your system when playing the newest system-intensive games. However, many gamers forget that optimizing the operating system and applications that run on the same rig can provide just as much of a performance boost. Here are five quick tweaks to improve the performance of your gaming PC.
1. Optimize Your Operating System
For this tweak, you will need to prune away or turn off all of the obsolete and redundant applications that run on your system. First, uninstall all programs from your system that you never use and that are not essential. Many store-bought gaming rigs come installed with trial-version software that most users will never use and each of these can be removed. Next, adjust the programs that inhabit your system tray. Many of these applications are found in your start-up folder or are designed to run quietly through the boot up procedure. Use "msconfig" to find the annoying applications and remove the option to start with Windows. In the case of applications that are used regularly when not gaming, just manually disable or turn them off from the system tray when it is time to game.
2. Update Your Drivers
This tweak is almost self-explanatory. All good gaming systems use excellent video cards and these pieces of hardware have their drivers updated on a regular basis. Many of the upgrades are specifically for new games that attempt to use the most cutting-edge features. These driver upgrades also increase system performance and render quality for existing games and systems. Go to the company site of your particular video card, search for the most current driver, and follow their instructions for installation. Make sure to choose a clean installation if the option is available to you during install.
3. Clear Space On Your Hard Drive
Most people use their gaming PC for more than just playing the latest and greatest games. A gaming PC can become quite the repository for memes, downloads, media, and general trash. As your disk drive performance suffers as it becomes full. This is not to say that 500GB of a 1TB drive will cause a new game to suffer performance issues, but if you have less than 10% free on your drive there can be issues. To clear up space, start removing old media and files to a back-up or secondary drive. Try to make sure that the drive you store your games on is as clutter free as possible. Next, run the Windows application "Disk Cleanup." The application will allow you to remove old Windows update files and temporary files that hide in plain sight within a system.
4. Defrag Your Hard Disk Drive
Now that you have removed all the unwanted files from your computer, defragment your drive. Defragmentation will take the files stored on your Hard Disk Drive and reorganize them into neater blocks. Not all files, when installed on a drive, will be written onto the drive in the same place. This can lead to increased read and write times for your disk drive as it searches for information. After the defrag has been run on a fragmented drive, the applications that can be moved will be reorganized and hopefully increase the drives performance.
5. Gaming Your Security
These days everyone has to be safe when using web-connected systems. This is doubly true for online gamers. Unfortunately, a good antivirus program will diminish system performance while playing the latest games. Luckily, there are options available besides turning off your security (which we do not recommend). Many new antivirus programs now come with a gaming mode. This mode allows for increased performance while playing games without sacrificing security online. Make sure that a gaming mode is available on your antivirus or download a new program that offers it.