Hello fellow gamers! Do you want to increase your FPS?
Let's look at a few tweaks that we can do to improve the performance of our gaming machine and our gaming experience.
I believe that this guide will prove useful for most of us. Some of you might already know about these settings, some of you may not, so bear with me, even if it's a longer post, it's worth it.
Let’s begin with some hardware related topics:
1. If you are gaming on a laptop, make sure to use an OEM charger. Additionally, use one that is rated for your machine and keep it plugged in the wall socket while gaming! Why? If your laptop reaches 300W at peak power but you are using a 230W charger, the laptop will cut performance due to battery saving protocols since the battery is draining faster than it gets charged. In this case, use an OEM 300W charger or one rated for your machine.
2. When connecting to displays, either using HDMI or DP cables, make sure the cable is rated for the resolution and refresh rate supported by your display. If you are using a low-quality cable that is not rated for what your GPU or display is outputting, you will get stuttering, lower refresh rates and lower maximum resolution options. Also, don’t use long cables since the signal will degrade over long distances (usually over 3meters for DP and 5meters for HDMI).
3. In online games, if you can choose between a wired and a wireless connection, always choose the wired option. You will get better download/upload speeds, but most importantly the lowest possible latency/ping. If you really need to game using Wi-Fi, make sure you are close to the router, without any furniture or walls in between.
4. Be careful where you place your desktop and don’t obstruct the intake/exhaust vents. The same goes with laptops. Also regularly clean the dust from fans, heatsinks and chassis. Dust build-up increases temperature and lowers performance.
Now, let’s look at software tweaks:
1. From BIOS or Lenovo Vantage, switch the thermal mode to Performance Mode. This setting doesn’t allow the GPU and CPU to go under their maximum clock speed and sets the fans to uninterrupted max speed. If you intend to game, this is the setting for you. This setting increases battery usage in laptops, so make sure you are plugged in.
2. Another setting that you can do from BIOS is to switch from the integrated graphics card to the discrete graphics card. In this way the integrated graphics card will be disabled clearing up some CPU and RAM usage. This setting increases power usage as well.
3. This one is simple: update Windows! The operating system needs to be up to date to get the best compatibility with our latest games.
4. Keep your drivers up to date! Use Lenovo Vantage to regularly check for driver updates and install them.
5. Windows has a few settings that can improve performance when gaming. From the power management settings, select High Performance. This negates all power saving protocols that can hinder performance.
6. Windows defragments your HDDs by default, so make sure that setting is enabled from the Optimize Drives program. Never defragment SSD drives though. Also, as a good practice, always install your operating system on SSDs. Do that for high requirement games as well since it hugely decreases load times.
7. Enable Game Mode in Windows. This prioritizes running apps against all other running apps. So, if you are running a game, all the machines’ resources support it.
8.If you are not streaming or recording your gameplay, you can turn off the Windows capture program. Or, if you are using a 3rd party app to capture your gameplay, disable all the rest capturing methods. Just make sure to choose the capturing methods that uses the least resources.
9. If you have an NVIDIA GPU, you can install GeForce Experience to customize individual game settings. This program also allows you to capture gameplay, but if you are not interested in that, you can turn the In-Game overlay off. Whisper mode which decreases fan speed can be disabled from here as well since we want our machine to run as cool as possible. Another option, but only for laptops, which can be found here is called Battery Boost. Turn this off as well since we want maximum power over battery efficiency. Only use this setting when gaming. When using the laptop for productivity switch it back so it doesn’t drain the battery.
10. What if your game doesn’t support a specific setting? Or you want more control over the graphics settings? Well, you can tweak them from the NVIDIA Control Panel. Right click your desktop and select it from the pop-up. This is a powerful tool which deserves its own post and thread. Would you like to learn more about this one?
Let me know if you were using any of these settings and how they affect your gaming experience.
I will create a new post for the NVIDIA Control Panel if you are interested. Let me know in the comments!