When it comes to gaming, everyone prefers a smooth and seamless experience. Laptops have become a very popular way to access our favourite games as they are much more portable than desktop PCs and can offer some seriously impressive performance depending on the laptop’s spec. While a laptop will never give you the same performance as a similarly priced desktop setup, there are plenty of things you can do to make sure you are getting the most bang for your buck when gaming.
One thing that laptop gamers will notice is that their upgrade options are usually less extensive than those available for PCs, and so it becomes much more important to make sure your laptop is optimised for gaming use. Here is our best advice for making sure your laptop performs to its maximum potential.
Clean your laptop
One of the simplest and most fundamental things you can do to improve a laptop’s performance is to maintain it in good, clean condition. Dust and dirt can quickly build up inside your hardware, and this can have the effect of slowing your laptop’s performance when gaming. The main issue is that trapped dust affects airflow to your laptop, clogging the cooling system and making the machine work harder and putting it at risk of overheating.
When heat builds inside a laptop it causes strain on the GPU, which causes its processes to slow down, giving you a laggy and disappointing gaming experience. The first thing you need to do is remove all that dust and dirt. This can be tricky as many laptops are sealed units, giving you limited access to the interior components. While it may be possible to open your laptop, bear in mind that doing so may void your machine’s warranty.
As well as clearing dust and debris from your fans, you should also pay attention to any grime in your keyboard. A clean keyboard is more responsive than a dirty one, as dirt can cause the keys to stick and detract from your gaming experience. This is especially important if you eat while using your laptop, as grease and food particles can transfer from your hands and cause a build up around the keys. These cleaning tips are important whether you are using a gaming laptop or a gaming PC and general machine hygiene is a good habit to get into.
Upgrade what you can
While most laptops can’t be upgraded extensively, there are still many upgrade options you can choose which will improve your gaming experience. For example, you can usually upgrade the following as a minimum:
- Increasing the amount of RAM your laptop has gives your machine more memory and speed which can have a big impact on your gaming
- Switching to a modern SSD storage system can make your laptop run more smoothly
- Choosing high capacity batteries makes your laptop an even more powerful portable gaming machine
- Optional hardware such as an external keyboard and mouse can make your gaming experiences even better
Close unnecessary apps
Apps which run in the background can eat up your laptop’s performance power. By properly closing down unnecessary apps you can make sure your laptop is primed for gaming, and this can even increase your FPS. You may need to open your control panel and manually close certain apps, but the increased performance will be worth it.
Check your network connection and speed
A good internet connection and high speeds are integral to a good online gaming experience, so be sure to check yours frequently, especially if you have noticed a decrease in performance. Most laptops are limited by their hardware, drivers, and configuration, but you can ensure you are getting the most out of your system by troubleshooting your internet connection. Most gamers will benefit from using a wired ethernet connection to play online, as this is more reliable than using wi-fi.
Switch off system auto updates
While auto updates might seem like a good idea, they can play havoc with your gaming performance by starting at inconvenient moments. Windows laptops will update in the background, and this causes lag and connection disruptions, so you should always aim to schedule updates for a convenient time rather than letting your laptop sabotage your gaming time.