If you own a gaming laptop, it is capable of great things- but did you know that you can still push the envelope further, extend its performance way beyond its usual capabilities?
All you need to do is a few simple tweaks and you’re done. While it’s true that gaming laptops don’t have a lot of upgrade options compared to desktop computers (especially when it comes to hardware), there are still a lot of things you can do to it to ensure that it can play the latest games as efficiently and effortlessly as possible. Here are a few:
Keep Device Drivers Updated
For most people, updates are pesky distractions. But for gamers with gaming machines, they are the lifeblood that allows them to play modern games at optimal conditions. Those with integrated Intel graphics usually need not worry with driver updates since they usually come bundled with Windows OS updates. But those that rely on third-party graphics providers like Nvidia and AMD might need to take a more hands-on approach. Ensure that the GPU management software that you’re using (Nvidia Geforce Experience for Nvidia graphics cards, and AMD Radeon Settings for AMD cards) is set to constantly check for updates. From thereon you can decide whether to allow the software to automatically install the updates for you or not.
if your gaming laptop is running Windows 10, you can run DxDiag (search for “dxdiag” on the search bar near the Start menu) for a quick overview of the BIOS, DirectX version, as well as the audio and graphics driver updates that are currently installed on your system.
Overclock Your Graphics Card (If Your Laptop Has One)
Overclocking sounds scary in theory. For those not in the know, overclocking is the practice of forcing your graphics card to perform at speeds that are higher than their official manufacturer-imposed speed grade. The tradeoff here is that you would have to deal with higher temperatures and increased power consumption. This is the reason why overclocking would immediately void the manufacturer warranty if your GPU is still under one.
However, overclocking isn’t really that scary and complicated as other people would make out to be. If you handle the process with care, you’ll be able to get better performance and a significant FPS (frames-per-second) increase in your games. You just need to ensure that:
- a) Your GPU is not locked by the manufacturer (ie. it is designed to be overclocked). You can check this in the BIOS.
- b) You have a capable overclocking tool like EVGA precision or MSI Afterburner.
- c) Your GPU is old enough to not be covered by its warranty anymore.
Aside from the two mentioned above, you would also have to account for the extra heat generated by your GPU. Too much heat can be detrimental to your laptop, so you would need to have it placed in a cool, well-ventilated area if you’re going to overclock it. You can also invest in a laptop cooling pad, which provides extra cooling for machine. These devices can be found cheap on most online PC parts stores and sites like eBay and Amazon.
Ensure That Your Laptop Is Clean
And we’re not just talking about it being clean from malware, viruses, file bloat, and unnecessary programs. But also, it being clean in the physical sense. If your laptop’s cooling fans are choked with dust, they won’t be able to do their job properly, and thus internal ventilation would be at the minimum.
Regularly clean your laptop’s internals, if you can. Dust and dirt will make it run slower. Or you could take it to a PC service center and have technicians clean it for you, if you can’t. Also make sure that the processor has fresh thermal paste applied on it.
Turn On Game Mode
Chances are, you’re running Windows 10 on your gaming laptop right now. This OS comes with a great feature called Game Mode that automatically optimizes your laptop for gaming use. This makes your laptop run on high performance, and it also closes unnecessary programs and non-gaming processes that might be running in the background.
Despite what most people would say, laptops can provide great gaming experiences if you know how to optimize its performance. Hopefully, the steps mentioned above will help your laptop run your favorite games faster, and for longer. If you do need to browse for another gaming laptop, you can check out some here: https://www.razer.com/gaming-laptops