Is your gaming laptop lagging or struggling to keep up?
We all know how it feels. You’re fully enjoying that brand new game you waited months for – then the frame rate stutters, interrupting the gameplay or cutscene, pulling you out of the immersion.
Or worse… the game starts lagging in an online match and you end up losing (letting your team down!) because your laptop can’t keep up.
Before you throw your laptop out the window for a brand new one, there are ways to make your laptop faster for gaming – and not all of them involve getting your wallet out.
Try these useful tips to speed up your gaming laptop!
Optimize Game Graphics
Have you tried tinkering with your game’s graphics settings?
If you haven’t, this could be your main problem.
Graphics settings can be customized for almost all the latest PC and online games. Thankfully, it’s as simple as heading to the game settings.
Depending on the game, there will be a number of options for changing the game graphics. And for a slow gaming laptop, you’ll want to reduce some of these settings, which can be anything from anti-aliasing and shadow quality to textures and field of view.
Of course, this will come at the cost of the game’s graphical quality, but it’s about finding the right balance. Play around with the graphic settings and see what works for you.
Gaming Laptop RAM
RAM (Random Access Memory) plays a big part in how fast your gaming laptop runs. Think of it as how much your laptop can juggle – the more tasks and processes it can juggle, the better it will be at handling CPU intensive games.
Insufficient RAM is one of the main causes for a slow gaming laptop. In this case, the more RAM you have the better your laptop will perform. And for ideal RAM for gaming, you are looking for at least 16GB RAM.
Upgrading gaming laptop RAM isn’t cost-free, but it is one solution that guarantees a noticeable improvement in gameplay and your laptop performance overall.
SSD for Gaming
Does your gaming laptop have an SSD or HDD? If boot up times are slow, chances are your laptop has the latter.
Your hard drive, whether it’s a solid-state drive or standard hard drive disk, is like a set of drawers or a filing cabinet for your data. And the difference between the two is that a SSD will search for your data a whole lot faster.
If you like to install your games before you play them, an SSD is going to be the better option. With an SSD, you will notice a faster booting time when you start your games up, as well as faster menu loading times in general.
We’re all guilty of this. In our excitement to dive into a gaming session, we often forget to close other programs beforehand – and this can slow down gameplay without us knowing.
It might be an internet browser with multiple tabs open, a photo editing application or music streaming service. Whatever it is for you, leaving things running in the background can hinder your gaming experience because you’re making your laptop multitask.
So, be mindful before you launch into a game. Check which programs you have open and close them if you don’t need to have them running. Just don’t forget to save any work!
Clean Your Laptop
Do you clean your gaming laptop?
If it’s been a while since you last cleaned it (or if you haven’t cleaned it at all), postpone your next gaming session for a cleaning session.
Laptop fans, in particular, keep your hardware cool so that it can work optimally without overheating. The problem is that fans and vents attract dust more than we think, which will hinder the overall performance of your gaming laptop.
Make sure your laptop can breathe! Grab a cleaning cloth or earbud and clean your laptop vents so that they aren’t clogged with dust. You can also blow into the holes or use a can of compressed air (the recommended option) to make sure your laptop hardware is properly ventilated.
You might have the best RAM, graphics card and processor out there, but if they are not up to date, your gameplay could be suffering.
It’s easy to forget to update hardware drivers. But, thankfully, it doesn’t take much effort or much time.
If you haven’t turned on automatic updates for drivers, you can do this through Windows Updates.
You can also update your drivers manually. To do this, head to Device Manager in your settings to see all your hardware. From there, hit update to make sure you have the latest drivers installed.
Upgrade Internet Speed
If you are playing an online game, it goes without saying that you are going to need an internet connection that’s fast and stable.
Lagging gameplay, slow loading times and unresponsiveness in menus can all be attributed to slow internet. So it’s another thing that is worth considering if your gaming laptop isn’t performing up to speed.
In general, a good download internet speed is at least 25 megabits per second. You also want to consider your ping, which indicates how fast data is transmitted over your internet connection. The lower your internet ping the better. And for gaming, optimal ping would be as low as 20 milliseconds.
Check your download speed, upload speed and ping by using any online internet speed test checker.
You can also improve your internet speed by moving your router or laptop, getting a WiFi extender or opting for a wired connection.
All in all, making your laptop faster for gaming is not that complicated and doesn’t always require you to upgrade your hardware and spend money.
Sometimes, all it takes is a good clean or adjusting the game settings – things that are often overlooked.
Before your next gaming session, make sure to try the above tips. Your laptop, and your online teammates, will thank you!