So, your gaming PC probably runs on a Windows operating system and hopefully by now you have updated to Windows 10 from the Windows 8 or Windows 7 predecessors. Like most technology, each new addition should be an improvement in reliability, speed, and overall performance. Many of the tips you will encounter to speed up performance will cause you to gain speed while sacrificing other awesome features, but we will try to keep those sorts of suggestions to a minimum. While Windows 10 is slightly faster than the previous versions of the operating systems we have some tips that will help you speed up and maximize your gaming performance.
We will discuss ways to speed up the Windows 10 operating system and we will tell you how to do so step by step. Finally, we will tell you about modifications that go beyond Windows 10 to add speed and smoothness to your gaming experience and walk you through how you go about making these additions. While not all these modifications will be free of charge they are plenty worth it especially if you are gaming on an older piece of equipment. By the time we are done discussing all these tips your Windows 10 gaming PC will be operating at its prime, delivering you the most maxed out gaming experience.
Speeding Up Windows 10 From the Inside
Declutter Your Apps and Features
Just like that new cellphone that comes with apps you will never use (sorry if you use Stocks), your gaming PC that runs with a Windows 10 operating system will have a bunch of junk apps and programs you will never use. These extraneous apps will eat up space and weigh down your software. Help your gaming PC slim down and work faster by using the Windows Fresh Start tool but due so carefully, this tool will eliminate Microsoft Office and anti-virus software you have installed too. If you have any programs you want to keep without having to do a reinstall later, you will have to uninstall programs one by one. Fresh Start can improve performance, startup, shutdown and it is easy to use:
- Open the Windows Start Menu by clicking on the Windows icon in the bottom left corner of your screen.
- Right above the power on/off button within the start menu click on the gear icon open the Windows Settings.
- At the bottom of the Windows Settings menu click on the last category to open the Update and Security section.
- Under the Update and Security section click on the Windows Defender section with the shield icon from the list on the left.
- On the Windows Defender menu click on the first button from the top to Open Windows Defender Security Center.
- Once the Windows Defender Security Center is open click on the Device Performance and Health section represented by a heart with an EKG line passing through it.
- Under the second heading on this section you will find the Fresh Start header, below this header click the Additional Info link.
- Once the additional info section is open you can read Microsoft’s description of the Fresh Start feature and click the Get Started button when you are ready to begin.
After carrying out the Fresh Start feature your apps and programs on the PC will be more compact allowing your gaming PC to speed up a variety of processes since there is no longer extra junk weighing it down.
A fantastic app that comes built-in to your PC that is the opposite of the junk we just discussed is the Disk Cleanup app. This app has been present on Windows for many generations but is underrated in our opinion because it does a great job at eliminating temporary files, installer files, offline webpages, and other junk that can make your system run slower the fuller your PC gets. Using Disk Cleanup is super simple to use and really only has a few succinct steps:
- Don’t sort through the Windows start menu, instead utilize the Search Bar to the right of the windows icon and type “Disk Cleanup” into the search bar.
- Click on Disk Cleanup under the Best Match section of the search menu to open the app.
- When the Disk Cleanup: Drive Selection box pops up select the drive you want to cleanup for this purpose you will want to use the drop-down menu to select the WINDOWS (C:) drive and hit OK.
- The Disk Cleanup will organize files for you to delete and gives you their descriptions and let you view it before you Check the Box and click OK to delete.
- You will have an action box that asks is you are sure you want to delete before changes are made, click the Delete Files button to begin.
This app is extraordinarily useful to clear up disk space you didn’t realize you were wasting, this will help keep gaming speedy and smooth eliminating the lag that comes with a disk that is on its way to being full.
Turn Off Automatic Updates
We are used to using Steam for our PC gaming needs but not being able to turn off the automatic background updates is a pesky memory hog. If you are not interested in using a game why sacrifice the memory on your PC to update it? You wouldn’t want to do that so bypass it with a few steps that are easy enough for people unfamiliar with Steam to carry out:
Disable Downloads During Gameplay:
- Open your Steam program and go to Steam Client to gain access to the update options for your gaming experience.
- Open the Settings menu and select the Downloads section to open your download options.
- Uncheck the box that reads “allow downloads during gameplay” to prevent any updates from slowing down your gameplay.
Disable Updates for Unused Games:
- Open your Steam program and right click on one game at a time in your Library.
- Select the Properties section from the right click menu to modify the Automatic Updates section.
- Under the Automatic Updates section modify the drop-down menu and scroll down to select Only Update This Game When I Launch it.
Changing your Steam settings to eliminate unnecessary background updates and foregoing updates to games you do not use will maximize your PC’s performance focused towards the game you are playing and not towards background processes. Steam’s default features take away from your gaming performance especially when updates are being ran in the background while you are playing so making these simple modifications allows a much smoother and speedier gaming experience.
Additions to Speed Up Gaming Performance Beyond Windows 10
Update the RAM
If your Windows 10 performance settings and your Steam settings have been maximized but you still are not getting the boot time, lag free, butter smooth gaming performance you desire you can spend a little bit of cash to get a lot of performance improvements. Most of the time you can rule out your PC’s RAM if it has at least 8GB of storage for your games. RAM typically will not be an issue because of its long lifetime and minimal effects on gaming performance until it is completely used up. If your RAM is full or having errors, it is worth the money and you can install it yourself with a few simple steps:
- Unplug the computer tower if your current RAM is located inside and open your tower using a screwdriver if necessary.
- Open the latches and remove your current RAM if necessary then carefully insert the new RAM and firmly press it until it clicks into place.
- Ensure the latches hold the new RAM into place and everything is properly fitted with in your tower.
- Ensure everything in your tower allows for proper air circulation and close up your computer tower and plug everything back in.
- Start up your PC, if it isn’t working properly turn off the PC and push your RAM in more forcefully.
- Finally open up the My Computer icon to review the properties that should now reflect your new RAM that is installed.
While 8GB of RAM is typically included with most of your gaming PCs if you have less than that or have used a good chunk of the memory upgrading it is a worthwhile investment that will increase the longevity and speed of your computer if you’ve been gaming on a RAM that’s seen better days. This addition may also improve your overclocking capacity speeding up your PC’s performance greatly.
Update the Drivers
Graphics Cards govern your PC’s gaming performance when it comes to avoiding tearing, stuttering, lag and updating an old graphics card will speed up the gaming performance greatly. We prefer Nvidia graphics cards because they don’t require as frequent driver updates like AMD graphics cards do. You won’t always need a costly graphics card update but you should ensure that your drivers are up to date to keep your gaming performance the best it can be. Checking your driver for updates is simple and can be done through the manufacturer’s website or through the computer with a few simple steps:
- Using the Search Bar on your task bar search for “Desktop,” and right click on it when it pops up to open the display settings menu.
- Under Display Settings click on the link for Advanced Display settings then view your Display adaptor properties to see the type of graphics card you have installed.
- On the Adaptor Type window click the button labelled Properties located below the graphics card type.
- Under the properties section select the Driver option and go to update driver.
Keeping your drivers up to date to help your GPU perform to its fullest extent is a sure-fire way to speed up your gaming. Having smooth graphics that are free from motion artifacts are essential to a quality gaming experience and keeping your drivers updated will give your PC the speed it needs to run even the most GPU intensive games with ease.
SSD for Startup
The solid-state drive is the most underrated optimization you can make to Windows 10 resulting in speedier start-up times and faster loading for even the most demanding applications you run on your gaming PC. When you’re using a lot of storage replacing the internal hard drive with an SSD can give you the speed boost that these storage monster applications require to run without long weight times. The little work to install your SSD is well worth the benefits you will receive:
- Unplug your gaming rig and ensure the SSD is the proper size for your system before the installation.
- Remove the existing hard drive and consult your manual for additional details if you are having difficulty.
- Remover the mounting clamps from your drive and attach it to the new SSD.
- Insert the new drive into your device and carefully attach the screws, plug the system back in and power up.
When you power the PC back up you will notice superior improvements to the start time of your operating system, applications, and of course games. Even with aging gaming rigs the improvements that come from installing a solid-state drive is undeniable and doesn’t get the credit it deserves in the gaming world often. If you are gaming on a laptop instead of using a gaming monitor, then you must make this modification to get the best performance and it’ll change your life.
We have discussed the ways to make your Windows 10 monitor run exponentially faster to maximize time spent gaming and overall experience. The Fresh Start program to remove heavy apps and programs will declutter your computer leaving more room for memory intensive games. The disk cleanup feature can free up space in places you didn’t know you were wasting it and decrease boot times. Steam’s automatic updates while you are gaming can sacrifice your performance and you may experience lag while playing costly games.
Optimizing your Windows 10 system by updating drivers for your GPU and installing external updates like new RAM or an SSD are not always cost free but they are well worth the monetary investment if setting modifications like we discussed aren’t enough. We hope that you can effectively speed up your Windows 10 for gaming by utilizing a few of a favorite techniques we discussed.