How To Boost Your Older Graphics Cards Performance
- By Joel Hruska on September 15, 2021 at 12:11 pm
This is the kind of topic we prefer not to revisit. But unfortunately, GPU prices have been terrible , leaving a lot of folks high and dry when it comes to sourcing a new GPU. While the coronavirus is responsible for driving up prices early last year, the back half of 2020 kicked off a semiconductor shortage across a range of markets, including consoles, PCs, and the automotive industry.
Ampere launched a year ago now, and the situation has only improved modestly. The cryptocurrency boom of late 2020 and early 2021 drove MSRPs to 250-300 percent of normal levels. Prices have come down since then, but cards are still running 1.5x to 1.75x more expensive than theyre supposed to be. That makes it difficult to justify buying new hardware, so if youre stuck trying to eke out acceptable frame rates on old equipment, this guide is for you.
Before we kick off, a few caveats are in order. First, the tweaks well explore, even taken in aggregate, will certainly help but are unlikely to work miracles. Performance tuning can improve frame rates and turn a game thats chugging in places into one that runs noticeably and meaningfully better, but theres no way to turn an R9 290X or GeForce GTX 980 into a Radeon 6800 XT or RTX 3080. Second, because every game is different, some of these tips may be more or less effective depending on the title.
How To Optimize Windows For Pc Gaming
It’s hard to know which PC settings tweaks will improve your gaming experience and which ones are a waste of time. Here are a few adjustments that’ll ensure you get the most out of your machine.
So you’re fired up to play the best PC games of the year, and you want to eke every bit of performance out of your rig as possible. We understandafter all, PCs are multipurpose machines, which means yours might not be optimized for gaming out of the box. But with so much snake oil out there, it’s hard to know what’ll actually improve your experience, and what’ll just waste your time. Here are a few tweaks that’ll ensure you get the most out of your machine.
Clear Discord Cache Or Data
It might not fix everything, but clearing the cache and data is an essential step one must take when troubleshooting any application. Here is how to do that for Discord:
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Use Readyboost To Speed Up Disk Caching
Windows 10 regularly stores cached data on your hard disk, and then when it needs the data, fetches it from there. The time it takes to fetch cached data depends on the speed of your hard disk. If you have a traditional hard disk instead of an SSD, theres a trick that can help speed up your cache: use Windows ReadyBoost feature. It tells Windows to cache data to a USB flash drive, which is faster than a hard disk. Fetching data from that speedier cache should speed up Windows.
First, plug a USB flash drive into one of your PCs USB ports. The flash drive needs to support at least USB 2.0, and preferably USB 3 or faster. The faster your flash drive, the more of a speed boost you should see. Also, look for a flash drive that is at least double the size of your PCs RAM for maximum performance.
After you plug in in the drive, open File Explorer and click This PC. Look for the flash drive. It may have an odd name, like UDISK 28X, or something even less-obvious. Right-click it, choose Properties and click the ReadyBoost tab.
Turn on ReadyBoost from this screen to speed up your PC.
Youll come to a screen that asks whether you want to use the flash drive as a cache and recommends a cache size. Leave the cache size as is or change it if you like. Then select Dedicate this device to ReadyBoost and click Apply and then click OK.
Shut Off Windows Tips And Tricks
As you use your Windows 10 PC, Windows keeps an eye on what youre doing and offers tips about things you might want to do with the operating system. In my experience, Ive rarely if ever found these tips helpful. I also dont like the privacy implications of Windows constantly taking a virtual look over my shoulder.
Windows watching what youre doing and offering advice can also make your PC run more sluggishly. So if you want to speed things up, tell Windows to stop giving you advice. To do so, click the Start button, select the Settings icon and then go to System > Notifications & actions. Scroll down to the Notifications section and uncheck the box marked Get tips, tricks, and suggestions as you use Windows.
Turning off Windows’ suggestions for you should help things run more smoothly .
Thatll do the trick.
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Pc Booster #: Use Alternative Programs
Older PCs often have a problem with modern resources and graphics-intensive software.
Photoshop, for example, can slow down older laptops to a crawl. For this specific example, a less intensive program such as GIMPan open-source alternative to Photoshoprequires a fraction of the disk space and power while maintaining an adequate sophistication level.
Similarly, if you have a low-powered machine, you may want to try using a lightweight web-browser, such as Opera Lite and Firefox Lite.
Make a list of the programs you use most, and then do a bit of research. You might find that theres a much faster alternative.
Why The Default Setting Isnt Maximum Performance
There are a few good reasons why manufacturers dont set a laptop by default to give you the best performance all the time. Laptops are very limited in the amount of power they can provide, as well as the heat they can handle. Those limitations must then be balanced by what the customer wants. Some want less fan noise, while some want the body to stay very cool.
Most vendors split the difference and pick a default setting that balances performance with cool running temperatures. That means there usually is some performance potential you could tap through the settings.
Gigabytes utility lets you prioritize CPU performance or GPU performance separately.
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Use Onedrive Files On
Some users may not want to stop OneDrive from syncing doing so defeats its purpose of making sure you have the latest files on whatever device you use. And it would also mean you wont be able to use OneDrive as a way to safely back up files.
But theres a way to get the best of both worlds: You can keep syncing to an absolute minimum and only do it when absolutely necessary. Youll speed up performance, and still get the best of what OneDrive has to offer.
To do this, you use Windows OneDrive Files on-Demand feature. With it, you can choose to keep only certain files on your PC, but still have access to all your other OneDrive files in the cloud. When you want to use one of those online files, you open it directly from the cloud. With fewer files on your PC sync, you should see a performance boost.
Right-click the OneDrive icon on the right side of the Taskbar and select Settings, then click the Settings tab on the dialog box that appears. Check the box next to Files On-Demand. Now click the OneDrive icon and select Open Folder. OneDrive appears in a File Explorer window. Right-click a folder whose files you want stored only in the cloud, but not on your PC, then select Free up space. Files from that folder will be removed from your disk, but still kept in OneDrive in the cloud.
Use this dialog box to turn on OneDrive Files on-Demand
Note that OneDrive Files on-Demand is available only on Windows Version 1709 and higher.
Clean Up Hard Drive Space
Whether it is a traditional Disk Hard Drive or Solid-State Drive , it’s never wise to use a device with the hard drive almost full because it will affect performance.
If the device has relatively new hardware and you notice apps, managing files, and other tasks are struggling to complete, it is likely because the drive is running out of space. Typically, this becomes more evident after 70 percent of the total capacity has been used.
One way to prevent the storage from impacting performance is to use Storage Sense to delete temporary and unnecessary files to reclaim space.
To free up space with Storage Sense on Windows 10, use these steps:
Under the “Local Disk” section, click the Temporary files option.
Check the files you want to delete to reclaim space and improve system performance.
Quick tip: When selecting the temporary files, remember that checking the option will delete everything inside the “Downloads” folder. If you want to keep these files, do not check this option. Also, you can select to delete the “Previous Windows Installation” item . However, once you delete these files, you won’t be able to roll back to a previous version if you are having issues.
Click the Remove files button.
Once you complete the steps, if Storage Sense could reclaim enough space, the device’s performance should be noticeably improved.
If you could not reclaim enough space, use this guide to find more ways to optimize the storage.
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Adjust Your Restart Settings
When your computer restarts automatically because of a system or program update, by default Windows 10 tries to reopen everything that was open on the desktop before the shutdown. Its a nice feature, but it can also impact performance, and turning it off is easy.
Open the Settings app in the lower left of the Start Menu. Inside the Settings app, select Accounts > Sign-In Options. Then under Privacy turn off the slider labeled Use My Sign-In Info To Automatically Finish Setting Up My Device And Reopen My Apps After An Update Or Restart.
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Tip : Switch To Ssd For Games
Change your main windows drive with an SSD. This will ensure your system boots faster and gets the performance boost you need for gaming. This is especially useful for laptops.
When you install games on an SSD Drive they run much faster since the read and write times are very high for SSD.
Nowadays SSDs have become very cheap so you can always get a good deal on amazon and other related sites.
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Enable Trim On Your Ssd
TRIM is the garbage collector of your solid-state drive and is a good alternative to a hard-disk drive defrag. Here’s how to enable TRIM:
Click Run as administrator.
Type fsutil behavior query DisableDeleteNotify and hit Enter on your keyboard. If the result is DisableDeleteNotify = 0 you already have TRIM enabled. If the result is DisableDeleteNotify = 1, you don’t have TRIM enabled. Proceed to the next step.
Some SSD brands, such as Samsung, work with special software that will also help get the best performance out of your SSD. Samsung Magician and Western Digital SSD Dashboard are two such options that will help you get the best performance out of your SSD with little effort on your part. Check your SSD manufacturer’s website to see if they have special software that will help in this regard.
Turn Off Visual Effects
Windows allows you to select the settings you want to use for the performance and appearance of your computer. By changing some settings about visual effects, you can make Windows 11 faster.
Step 1: Type advanced to the search box and click View advanced system settings.
Step 2: Click Settings from the Performance section.
Step 3: Choose Adjust for best performance and then check the boxes of Show thumbnails instead of icons and Smooth edges of screen fonts.
Step 4: Click Apply and then OK. This can reduce some visual effects but your Windows 11 computer can run faster without any lag.
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Use The Windows Performance Management Tool
The first stop on our battery-life betterment tour is the Windows performance management tool. In Windows 10, it’s a slider accessed from the battery icon in the task bar. In Windows 11, you’ll find it in Settings > System > Power & Battery > Power Mode. It aims to group all of the settings that affect battery life into a few easy-to-understand categories.
The company that made your PC determines exactly which settings the battery slider controls. But in general, keep these guidelines in mind:
The Best Performance mode is for people willing to trade off battery runtime to gain speed and responsiveness. In this mode, Windows won’t stop apps running in the background from consuming a lot of power.
The Better Performance mode limits resources for background apps, but it otherwise prioritizes power over efficiency.
The Better Battery mode delivers longer battery life than the default settings on previous versions of Windows.
The Battery Saver mode, a slider choice that will appear only when your PC is unplugged, reduces the display brightness by 30%, prevents Windows Update downloads, stops the Mail app from syncing, and suspends most background apps.
How To Optimize Windows 10 For Gaming And Best Performance
Very recently, I was reading numerous guides on how you can improve your FPS in major games. In those guides, I noticed that the game themselves do not have a lot of things to work with. Instead, Windows 10 has dozens of problems and requires tons of optimization to increase its performance.
In this guide, Ill breakdown nearly every feature in Windows 10, and we will optimize its settings for our purpose, which is gaming and performance. All settings are quite safe, as they are done within Windows 10 itself. Moreover, we are going to avoid third-party Softwares, for security purposes.
Make sure you are following all the steps correctly and not messing around with irrelevant settings.
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Manually Customizing Your Settings
Make Sure You Have The Latest Updates For Windows And Device Drivers
One of the best ways to get the most out of your PC is to make sure you have the latest version of Windows 10 installed. When you check for updates, your PC will also search for the latest device drivers, which can also help improve your PCs performance.
To check for updates
Do one of the following:
If the status says “You’re up to date,” go to the next tip.
If the status says “Updates are available,” select Install now.
Select the updates you want to install, then select Install.
Restart your PC and see if it seems to run better.
For more info about updates, including how you can have them installed automatically, see the Windows Update FAQ.
For Windows Update troubleshooting info, see Update Windows 10 and Troubleshoot problems updating Windows 10.
If your PC still runs slowly, continue to the next tip.
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Upgrade Your Hdd To An Ssd
How to make your computer faster for gaming? Get a faster drive. Swapping out your aging hard drive for a crisp new SSD will slash loading times and make your computer much faster overall.
When choosing a new SSD, bear in mind that many modern games require a minimum of 50 GB. Add on 30 GB or so for Windows itself, and also think about all the other files you store on your computer. We suggest choosing an SSD of at least 500 GB.
We installed a 480 GB SanDisk Extreme in our test computer, and the new SSD massively decreased loading times when compared to our stock HDD.
Upgrading to an SSD can result in much shorter loading times.