It’s a good time to be a gamer indeed. With the PC gaming industry passing $25 billion mark and blockbuster AAA games falling on us like ripe fruit, it is much harder to decide what not to play than to find a good game you will stick with for a while. Still, there is one factor that limits our options, every PC gamer knows all too well and that is our PC configuration.
And while desktop users can always spare some money and upgrade their PC, laptop owners are left scratching the head over the usability of their investments once they pass their prime. Fortunately, there are numerous ways even for them to squeeze some juice out of their laptops and here are some of them.
Graphics card is a very important part of every gaming experience and you would be surprised to know how simple thing as updating your drivers makes a huge difference in performance. Most of the people never bother to change the driver they got with PC or the graphics card for the latest version. If they did, they would be greeted with a 6% to 64% performance boost. You can achieve this even with some cool games that are today considered “older” such as Tomb Raider (reboot) and Skyrim.
Supercharge Graphics Card
While we are not supporters of irresponsible behavior that can lead to hardware damage, today’s systems are capable of shutting themselves off before something dangerous happens, so overclocking it a bit, making bottleneck produced by your graphics card even a little bit wider is recommended. And by a bit, we mean no more than 10-15%, 20% if you are really desperate. This way the overall temperature of your hardware shouldn’t be raised by more than 5° Celsius which is still acceptable.
Many computers are configured to sacrifice their performance in order to save some power and laptops are certainly amongst them. Assuming that you will not doing too much heavy gaming far from the power source for too long, you should most definitely right this wrong. Depending of what version of Windows you have, choose your way into Control Panel, then search for Hardware and Sound and finally Power Options. There you should choose the High-Performance option to get the most out of your configuration.
Uninstall any Unwanted Program
Just think how many unnecessary things your laptop is dragging all the time. Most crippling of them are various programs you installed a long time ago and forgot about them completely. They are even more harmful if they are startup programs that always run in the background and waste your valuable resources. You can easily terminate them from the window that will appear after typing “msconfig” in the Start menu, or from the Task Manager if you are using Windows 8. After getting rid of all this baggage, even cheap gaming laptops will run much faster.
Choose the Right Game
If you tried every option and you still can’t play current hot thing, don’t despair, there are a dozen games that will offer you next-gen graphics and experience on less than stellar hardware. So instead of searching for prettiest choose best-optimized games, such as Devil May Cry (if you can get over Dante’s new look), Call of Juarez: Gunslinger, Metro: Last Light, GRID: Autosport, Sniper Elite 3 and excellent Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor that performs incredibly well even on dual-core CPUs and gives you enough graphics options to tweak in order to make some compromises. If you want to get your stealth fixed, try Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeros whose FOX engine performs really great.
Dealing with aging and slower laptops is never easy, especially if you are hungry for games. Still, there is no need to ditch your old machines yet. There are compromises to be made and performance to be squeezed. If the graphics suffer a bit don’t despair. Every true gamer will tell you that in the end, gameplay matters the most and with this mindset, you can have nothing but fun.