How-To Guide: Getting the Most Out of Your Gaming Rig

PC gaming is different than the typical plug-n-play of consoles. While an Xbox or PlayStation may need an update every now and then, if only one component of a PC is malfunctioning or not optimized, it can render the game nonfunctional. That’s why it’s important that you understand how to optimize your gaming rig for peak performance; by having this knowhow, you’ll also have a great foundation for understanding how to repair your computer if it malfunctions.

This guide is going to show you how to optimize your gaming rig for maximum performance. It may come as a surprise to you that it’s not too complicated. In an oversimplification: you don’t need to be a computer expert to know how to upgrade your machine, and at the very least, keep it healthy.

Add More RAM

RAM is an acronym for random access memory, which is a piece of hardware that extracts and replaces the files in your hard drive—in this specific case your videogame. By upgrading your RAM, you ensure that your computer can pull from its memory bank at the highest speeds. This will improve gameplay latency and overall efficiency.

Give Your Hard Drive some TLC

The hard drive—although you probably know this—is what stores the files and programs on your computer. If it’s at capacity, unhealthy, or malfunctioning, then your game may not load properly or frequently error. Every drive should have its own intelligent self-diagnostic software that can, at the very least, identify issues that are occurring. A cursory glance at how much storage you’re using can also indicate whether it may be time to cleanup your backend or upgrade your drive. Remember, videogames and movies are massive files that take up tons of space.

Overclocking Is the Name of the Game

Overclocking is essentially the art of pushing your hardware to its limits. Dependent on your buildout, your computer may be capable of overclocking its CPU and GPU. Knowing how to overclock your CPU (central processing unit) can turn an old piece of hardware and run it at speeds comparable to a top-of-the-line unit. This does indeed take a bit of knowhow and doesn’t come without risks. The mentality, usually, is: ‘It’s already due for an upgrade, what’s the worst that can happen?’ You can overclock nearly everything. PC gamers most commonly do so with their CPUs and graphics cards.

Use Graphics Card Managers

Despite what type of graphics card you’re running, there is software that helps you manage this vital piece of hardware. This software allows you to update your drivers, patch bugs, and perform diagnostics. Without it, you could be in the dark—potentially neglecting a simple update that would optimize your game’s visuals tenfold.

Background Noise Sucks

It doesn’t just suck in a metaphorical sense, it literally sucks up your processing speed. Background programs are applications that run without your knowledge, drawing from the entire computer’s performance. On a Windows machine you can utilize the ‘task manager’ to identify what programs are running in the background. There’s also software that executes in-depth, thorough sweeps and can delete processes which aren’t necessary. The less energy your computer has to expend elsewhere, the more it can harness its power on the game you’re running.

Update Your Computer

Operating system updates exist for a reason; to patch bugs and optimize performance. At times—especially with new games—certain issues arise because of holes in the operating system code. An update can rectify this issue by healing said issues. While it may annoy you to wait for an update to install, it’s a necessary measure you must take for peak performance. If these updates weren’t vitally important, computers would not come with a default ‘auto-update’ setting right out-of-the-box.

Optimizing Your Computer

The trick to optimizing your gaming rig for peak performance isn’t about replacing hardware for the next-best-thing, it’s knowing how these components communicate, and how to boost their performance via the use of software. Of course, there are always going to be times where you simply need to buy a new graphics card or hard drive but more often than not, getting the most out of your gaming rig comes down to research and functions you can execute yourself. Follow these tips, and you’ll enjoy better video streaming and gaming in a flash.

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