Games are one the most resource-demanding software, so it’s vital to learn how to maximize the performance of your computer with several optimization tools.
Nowadays, and ever since computers were made available to the general public, the PC has always been a very important platform for gaming. Hundreds of computer games exist, most of them for Windows, and just like the hardware they are in a constant state of improvement and innovation, which often means PC games have better graphics and superior visuals than its console counterparts. This constant evolution means PC games demand more powerful hardware every year and feature increasingly detailed graphics, more filters and better textures. Naturally, with each of these improvements, upgrading your graphics card over time becomes a necessity.
Luckily, not everything is about hardware, there are many ways to improve our computer’s performance without upgrading or replacing hardware, like freeing hard disk space, redirecting every resource to the game at hand, keeping the graphics drivers up to date and optimizing the operative system in general to play games.
You can do all of this manually, but it can easily get tedious, especially if you want to leave the PC in the previous state. Fortunately, some utilities exist to help us make the process faster and simpler, to get the best possible performance in our PC easily.
In this tutorial, we’ll see various ways of improving our computer for games, by using different software.
Updating graphical drivers and GeForce Experience.
Before optimizing our operative system to get the best performance from every component in our PC, take a good and careful look to one OF –if not THE- most important components for gaming: the graphics cards. Several generations of graphics cards exist, and within each generation, several graphics cards with varying performances can be found, from the simplest to the most powerful ones, like models with double GPU. No matter what kind or brand of graphics card we have, keeping it updated with the latest drivers is vital to get the best performance. Basically, there are three main manufacturers of graphics cards: Intel, AMD and NVIDIA, and there are different drivers for each one of them.
Intel’s graphics cards are integrated with the CPU, AMD’s are integrated in their APUs and they also have dedicated graphics cards, and Nvidia has dedicated graphics cards. Here we have the links to the latest version of each driver; before installing any new driver, it’s recommended to uninstall the previous version first.
NVIDIA has a special tool for downloading the latest drivers, which also optimizes the configurations of each game to always get the best possible performance, some values change depending on the game and the hardware we have. The data of our computers are analyzed in one of Nvidia’s servers to know the maximum possible combinations a computer can have. That software is called GeForce Experience, and it will search the games installed in our computer to properly adjust their configurations based on our CPU, RAM, GPU, screen resolution and the game itself, to get the highest possible FPS (frames per second), usually higher than 40. Also, a notification will pop up when the newest driver for our graphics card is available, and we can download and install it from the program itself.
Optimizing our computer with Razer Game Booster.
Game Booster is a program developed by iobit, adapter and distributed for free by Razer, a manufacturer of gaming accessories. Its main function is scanning the PC to look for games, and then trim the processes’ working set to optimize our computer and use every resource we can for the game we’re playing. When we’re done with the game, the program will automatically deactivate all of its optimization functions, so Windows can keep running normally.
Also, the user can create and configure several different profiles for each game, to select which processes will be deactivated and which will be kept running while we play. The Razer Game Booster can be used with any kind of program we want, too, not only games.
Also, it monitors and displays the CPU, GPU and HDD temperatures, and besides its automatic optimization tools for games, features 3 tools to optimize your computer in general. The “Tweaks” options can modify the registry to make the operative system run smoother and faster, and can also eliminate some restrictions like the maximum number of downloads, prevent the slow down when the system is turned off, and some other options.
Another interesting feature is its defragmenting tool, which detects if we have an SSD or a HDD and then defragmenting it (this is not necessary for SSD), and it will only function in the discs we have games installed in.
It also features a free driver detection system which also downloads the latest versions automatically, a FPS display, and screen recording software to record videos and take screenshots of our games.
Razer Game Booster Download: http://www.razerzone.com/gamebooster
Optimizing the computer with Game Fire.
GameFire is a program similar to Razer Game Booster, although it has some more advanced options, with some configurations known for their aggressiveness towards the computer processes it deactivates.
Likewise, it has a defragmenting tool, but limited to re-organize every file in the disk and the sectors the games are installed in, to get a much faster performance not only in games but also in every program in general.
Also, a menu with shortcuts to many Windows tools related to the performance of games is included, like visual effects and screen configuration, energy, peripherals and overall performance, and you can also start and stop processes manually.
The Game Mode, then, applies every configuration we previously set like system optimizations, memory cache, start-up, Internet or independent tools. In the Game Profile menu, we can create different profiles according to the game at hand, by activating or deactivating processes as we see fit. Once the game is running, a display will show every tweak we activated, so we can know what the Game Fire is exactly doing. In this instance, the shift between game and normal modes is manual, but not the Game Mode activation, which starts with Game Fire automatically.
Some final advice.
The programs and tools we’ve reviewed in this tutorial help our games run and perform faster without extensive knowledge or making modifications to the hardware of our computer, however, beyond any program and tool, it all really comes down to common sense. It is always recommended to have a clean system with every driver up to date, and running a defragmenting tool once in a while if we have a HDD, as well as regularly scanning the computer for virus, and try to close as many programs as possible when we’re gaming. These simple steps don’t need any external tool, and they will always help our games run better and maximize its performance. Always remember that even if you have a multi-core processor, game are still very demanding software.
An important aspect to always keep an eye on is the temperature. CPUs and GPUs have protections systems that slow them down when the temperatures get too high, a few degrees before the system shuts down by itself automatically to prevent damage, generally. If you don’t keep your components clean or the flow of air is insufficient, the performance of your games can be compromised, or even worse, your components can be damaged. It’s important to always keep the computer in a ventilated location, free from dust and dirt (this is especially important with laptops), especially if your graphics card is over clocked and/or you play for long periods of time.
As you can see, computers are more delicate tan other gaming devices, such as consoles, but they make up for this with a lot more of customization options and a greater graphic quality in multiplatform games, not to mention their many exclusives.