While you may be saving up for that new Nvidia RTX 3080 graphics card, there are a few things in your operating system that you can tune-up for faster performance.
Windows 10 has a lot of advantages for PC gamers. However, it isn’t perfect upon the first install. Like many operating systems, you have to tweak some of the settings to give you the best performance. Even if you have a powerful $2000 gaming laptop, there are still some tweaks to get your machine running perfectly for any game. For example, did you know that Windows 10 has a “Game Mode” that you can turn on to deliver the best playing experience?
1. How to Turn on Game Mode in Windows
This may seem like a no-brainer unless you didn’t know this mode existed. Later releases of Windows 10 included a special gaming mode to optimize your machine for games. You can squeeze a bit more speed and performance from your machine depending on the game you’re playing. Windows tries to be intuitive about what you’ll need for each game.
To turn on Game Mode, press this combo Windows key + l and then type in ‘game mode’. You should see “Control Game Mode” pop up. Click on this to see the game mode settings. Switching to on activates gaming mode. Windows updates and other applications will be suspended, and other resources will be distributed to guarantee the best FPS while in-game.
2. Make Latency Issues Disappear
Have you ever disabled Nagle’s algorithm? This is a process that bundles up your data packets to ensure that you have a consistent internet connection. Unfortunately, it can also slow down your connection and cause latency problems.
To disable, you simply need to go to Start and then type in Regedit.
Once the address bar pops up, copy and paste the following:
On the left-hand side, you should see a list of folders with different filenames that look like Windows activation keys. You’ll need to select the one that matches your IP address and match it with the DhcpIPAddress in one of these.
To get your IP address, you can enter the following Windows key + X, which opens up Windows PowerShell. Now enter ipconfig to get started.
You should then look for IPv4 address under the current connection to identify which one is your IP address.
Right-click on the corresponding folder to your IP address and then select New, DWORD (32-Bit) Value. Here you will create two DWORD strings including:
Once you have created these two values, you can double-click both to change their parameters to 1. This activates both of the parameters, which disables Nagle’s algorithm. You can always set the parameter values to 0 if you believe you’ve made a mistake, and they will be disabled.
3. Set Your Appearance in Windows
Your graphical user interface (GUI) may hold back your computer’s processing power, especially if you have it set to the wrong configuration. For example, high-DPI scaling is a common issue.
By default, your PC will always try to adjust your settings to impress. However, what if you would prefer to keep your latency down and remove stress on your graphics card? Then this trick might work best for your PC.
Press Windows key + l and type in performance, then a new dialog will pop up. You should make sure that under the “Select settings…” that you select Adjust for best performance. Then click OK when finished. You also need to click on “Advanced” and scroll down to ensure that “Adjust the best performance of” has “Programs” selected.
4. Disable Automatic Windows Updates and Restart
Have you ever been in the middle of a game when things start to slow, or you get a black screen suddenly before your system restarts? This is probably because you have automatic updates enabled for your PC. These updates mean that your computer can restart without any warning.
While you can’t disable automatic restart, you can delay it so that it doesn’t ruin your game.
To start, press Windows key + l and then click “Update and security” followed by “Windows Update.” Under advanced options, click on “Update Options.”
You can disable the “Automatically downloaded updates” here, but you should make sure that you still check back to install your software updates. You should also select “We’ll show a reminder when we’re going to restart” just so that you can disable it if you are in the middle of a game.
There’s also a screen where you can set the active hours for Windows updates. This means that your computer can’t update unless it’s 5:00 AM or whatever time you set.
5. Is Steam Automatically Updated Games?
It looks like your old CSGO is updating again. Even though you haven’t played it in four years, it’s still updated while you’re in the midst of playing a brand new FPS. Does this happen a lot? You should disable automatic updates on Steam if so.
You can do this by opening Steam’s settings and clicking “Downloads.” In this area, you can uncheck “allow downloads during gameplay.” This will pause all updates until you are out of the game. You can also set your auto-update schedule and throttling in this area.
Wrapping Up: Is Your PC Ready for Gaming in 2020?
Some other tips to ensure that your gaming system is running in the best shape include:
- Tweak visual effects in Window’s settings for peak performance
- Install an SSD if you don’t already have one
- Use maximum power settings
- Check your mouse DPI and acceleration settings
- Update your driverS
- Check that DirectX 12 is installed
Other Tips for Gaming PC Performance
Once your Windows 10 is set up for the best gaming experience, you should kick problems with lag into the nether, but if you still have issues, you may want to upgrade other parts of your PC. There are several budget graphics card options that will instantly enhance your gaming experience.
If you are thinking of getting a gaming laptop or desktop, each has some advantages depending on your budget. Laptops offer more portability and decent performance, but a gaming desktop offers more customization options and greater performance overall.
In addition, many gamers can instantly get a performance boost by adding a powerful SSD to their setup. These offer lightning-fast loading times and increased durability over hard drives from long-term stress.
Lastly, new technology like cloud gaming will likely change the way that computers handle performance issues in the next five years, but you’ll need to check your internet connection. Verizon Fios and other fiber networks offer the fastest speeds currently.