In this all-in-one guide, I’ll unfold all the aspects there are to extract every bit of performance your PC has to offer and thus unlock it’s true potential without spending a dime on extra hardware. Be it for gaming or multimedia entertainment or a performance hungry software suite, get ready to unlock the true potential of your PC.
For your convenience, everything is categorized into two categories : Software (including Windows)Tweaks and Hardware tweaks( no physical modification, just the software part of it).
You can go in any order but make sure you’ve gone through all the tweaks.
So, let’s get to it. Shall we?
SOFTWARE TWEAKS (WINDOWS) :
Configure advanced system settings: Control panel> System and Security>System. Now click on Advanced system settings in the left pane.
- Use/Increase virtual RAM : If your PC is low in terms of physical memory (RAM), then you can use a part of your HDD as if it were a RAM. To enable/configure pagefile, go to Performance settings and click on Advanced tab. Here under Virtual Memory section, click change. Now, you can manually set the virtual RAM size or you let Windows decide itself. I recommend you go for the latter option as shown below :
- Disable unnecessary animations : You can completely disable all animations or optionally disable some so that Windows won’t look ugly. Here are my settings; a balance between performance & looks –
- Disable unnecessary services : Services are the programs that run in background. Most of them are useful and some are crucial. But some are worthless. Here is good guide on configuring services to increase performance. Although it was written for Windows 7, it applies to higher versions too(Windows 8,8.1,10)
- Uninstall junk : There may be a lot of useless softwares installed on your PC with or without your knowledge. Go through your installed programs list(Control Panel>Programs>Programs and Features)and uninstall the ones you don’t use. Additionally, you can remove some Windows features that you don’t need (like Internet Explorer or Windows Media player) by clicking on Turn Windows features on or off in the left plane.
- Disable Anti-virus while gaming : This one is self explanatory.
- Update Drivers : This is very important. Keep ALL the device drivers up to date, especially graphics drivers. You can update drivers either through Windows Update or manually by downloading from manufacturers website. To get driver updates through Windows update, go to Advanced System settings (as explained in Software Tweaks section) and under Hardware tab, click on Device Installation Settings. In the next window, select Yes and Save Changes . Now, when you update Windows, drivers will also be updated automatically. You can also go to the support section of your PC manufacturer and download the available drivers(Links are provided at the bottom of the page). Another option is to download drivers for individual PC component from respective manufacturers. For example, if you have AMD’s graphics card on system, you can go to their websites support section and download the latest graphics drivers. When you download drivers from any of the given methods other than Windows update, be sure that know all the details of the device whose driver you’re downloading like model, architecture (32 or 64 bit) etc. Unsupported drivers can cause random problems. Therefore, I always recommend updating through Windows update which ensures that proper, authentic drivers are installed every time.
- Defragment HDD : Your PC’s HDD is fragmented over the time, which simply means files are fragmented and stored. This increases file access time and reduces HDD performance. This bad for Hard Disks health and adversely affects gaming as some games need to access thousands of files within short time. Windows comes with built in tool to defragment disks which can be accessed by right clicking any disk, Properties> Tools> Defragment. It does a decent job. If you want a more powerful tool, try Defraggler. ⚠ Defragmentation is not necessary if you have a SSD ⚠
- ⚠ Configure graphics ⚠ : If your PC has a graphics card, irrespective of whether it’s discrete or integrated, you can configure its settings to get the best display experience. Every major graphics card manufacturer like AMD, NVIDIA, Intel provides software tools to configure the graphics properties. It will be installed automatically through updates. If it isn’t there, you can always get it from manufacturer’s support section(links are given at the bottom of the page). As an example, I’ll show the configuration for Intel HD Graphics to get the best visual experience. You can similarly configure the graphics properties through graphic control panel for your graphic card. This tweak is recommended only if you’re having issues with gaming or playing videos on your PC. Otherwise, let it be.
- Unlock things in BIOS : Some manufacturers restrict certain features esp. in laptops, to prolong battery life. But when your PC is under-performing, that doesn’t seem justifiable anymore. To see if your PC has any hidden tricks in its arms, enter and explore all the settings in BIOS esp. Advanced settings. The BIOS settings will vary from one PC to another and you should be very cautious while mingling with the advanced settings. Whenever you want to change something in BIOS, do a quick research on it and know what you’re doing. To enter BIOS, you’ll have to press any one of the function keys or ESC.(depends on your PC) while booting up PC before the Windows logo appears. For example, my laptop had features like Intel HT technology, Virtualization Technology, Turbo boost on DC in BIOS, which when enabled, had a huge impact on laptop’s performance (in a good way).. Yes, some of these settings may adversely affect the battery life if you’re a laptop user. But,none of that will be significant when compared to the performance gain your PC gets.
- ⚠ Over clock CPU /GPU⚠ : This is a very advanced tweak which increases the CPU’s clock rate over its default value, which effectively increases CPU’s speed. If anything goes wrong, your PC can get into serious trouble. So, proceed only if you’re desperate get maximum performance at the cost of increased power consumption. There’s no specific procedure as it totally depends on the CPU model. A Google search on ‘How to over clock <CPU Manufacturer> <Model> ‘ will reward you with all the info you need to know about over clocking your CPU. You should also know the answer to basic question first: Can your CPU be over clocked?. If the answer is Yes, then go through any related forums where people share their problems and difficulties they faced in over-clocking and also solutions for them. Once you know all the details, see if any software is available for over clocking (that supports your CPU model) and proceed. If everything goes well, you’ll see a tremendous improvement in PC’s performance (esp. in gaming). You can also similarly, over clock the graphics card(external, not integrated) to take your gaming experience to next level.
- ALL MANUFACTURERS’ SUPPORT WEBSITE
- NVIDIA Support
- AMD Support section
- Intel Downloads section
- How to over clock a CPU
- How to over clock a GPU(Graphic card)
Thast’s it guys. Hope this helped you in one or the other way. If you liked it, share it!
If you have any questions or suggestions, comment box right below.