Games in general and modern games in particular are very demanding when it comes to running smoothly on a computer. That’s why computer game fans often find themselves investing serious budgets in the computers they use. However, not all of us can afford to spend thousands of dollars on a hardware configuration that’s performance enough to support our craving for games. Fortunately the software market makes available various methods that you can use in order to speed up and make suitable for gaming even a computer that’s not that performance and doesn’t cost a fortune. If you are interested in these methods that promise to make your computer faster for gaming, you should stick around and consider completing one by one all the useful steps that I’ve listed below.
The first thing that you need to do is perform a thorough software clean-up. Usually when you buy a computer from a certain brand you get stuck with all sorts of assistants designed to provide easy access to certain Windows features. Considering that you are a serious gamer, I don’t think you need such assistants that won’t ever do anything else for you than clutter your computer and eat up valuable resources. For some they seem attractive due to the ease of use they provide. In addition to removing these assistants, you should also track down all the software tools that you don’t use anymore because their trial period has expired or you just don’t need their services anymore. If you keep unnecessary software installed on your computer, you will never be able to direct a large percentage of its resources to one single application at a time.
So, if you are convinced of the necessity of software cleanup you should initiate the process by making sure you keep in place your drivers, the wireless assistant and the assistants for the video card and the audio card, because those may prove extremely useful. Then, if you are a Windows XP user, you should click Start and then enter Control Panel in order to locate the Add/Remove Programs section. By browsing that section you will be able to target one by one all the software tools that you are interested in uninstalling. If you are a Windows Vista or Windows 7 user you will have to click the Windows icon and then enter Control Panel in order to get to the Programs and Features section that allows you to uninstall easily the software that you no longer need.
You should then take care of startup programs. By startup programs I mean the programs that launch their activity the moment you load Windows on your computer. Because of these programs that run in the background your computer needs more seconds to boot and can be slowed down during use. An example of a computer application that loads during Windows startup and usually cripples computer performance is Windows Live that should definitely be removed from the list of startup programs of any computer that you want to optimize for gaming purposes. In order to achieve your goal you will first of all have to empty the Windows Startup folder. The action won’t uninstall the applications targeted: will just prevent them from loading during Windows startup. Under all Windows versions you will have to got to Start/Windows icon, visit All Programs and open the Startup folder. You should then just delete the shortcuts of the programs that shouldn’t be allowed to launch and work in the background. Additionally, you will have to make sure that no other programs that don’t have a shortcut in the Startup folder are set to launch during Windows loading. To do that, you will have to press the Windows icon of your keyboard and the “R” key simultaneously and type in the box displayed “msconfig”. You will then have to visit the Startup tab and uncheck all the boxes of the software tools that you want to prevent from loading during Windows startup.
The next step of your journey to a computer fast enough for gaming is the removal of viruses and malware. A computer that suffers from multiple or serious virus infections will always deliver low performance. That’s why you should make sure that an antivirus is active at all times on your computer. For daily usage you should go for a tool that doesn’t have a large memory footprint, because otherwise you risk slowing down your computer. In addition to the antivirus for daily usage you should also periodically install and run tools like Spybot: Search & Destroy that are designed to detect even the most hidden virus infections. Such tools are usually downloadable for free, so you won’t even have to spend any money.
Another major step is related to the video card that’s vital for any game. It’s the hardware component that makes possible the magic you are addicted to. That’s why you need to make sure the compatible and up-to-date video card drivers are installed. Usually, installing the latest drivers results in an impressive performance boost that you will definitely be grateful for, especially if your interest is mostly in modern games with demanding graphics. The wrong video card driver can even be dangerous for your system, so this aspect should be taken into consideration even by those who don’t use their computer for gaming. In order to get the right drivers, you can conduct Google searches yourself and track down the latest releases of your video card’s manufacturer. The simpler alternative is to use specialized software that takes care automatically of the update of drivers. Such software can detect if your drivers are corrupted or if they need to be updated. After you let tools like Driver Robot or Driver Smith to download the files necessary for the driver updating process, all it’s left to do is follow on-screen instructions in order to complete the installation process.
Then there are the issues related to overflow of files and messy dispersion on the hard drive. As you use the PC, files tend to slowly accumulate and the operating system disperses them on the hard drive. An organized hard drive is a storage unit which will allow the operating system to find and extract data a lot faster. Cleaning and performing a system defragmentation will result in both: an increase in performance and in hard drive health status. This will make sure your system is running at optimal speed.
But before doing that, you need to clean the hard drive and rid yourself of the unnecessary files clogging your hard drive. To do that you need to head to the Windows Start button, head to system Tools and pick the Disk Cleanup Utility. You will see a new window with the files that can be deleted. Pick the ones destined for deletion such as Temporary Files, Internet Temporary Files, hibernation files and so on. Then simply click on Ok to delete all those annoying files. Better yet, if you want to be really thorough head to Google and search for a downloadable link for CCleaner. This is an free cleaner that does a pretty neat job cleaning up your registry and your computer. Launch the registry cleaning tool and the file cleaning tool and you’ll see a noticeable improvement in speed.
Once the cleaning step is completed then you can get to the defragmentation part. Click on the Windows Start button head back to System Tools and this time click on Disk Defragmenter. Firstly scan the partitions and see which one is in need of defragmentation. Here you can also set the defragmenter to run whenever you want it, whether you want the PC to do it on a daily / weekly / monthly basis or manual. For the avid gamer, it would be wise to completely deactivate the defragmentation scheduler since you don’t it to pop up in the middle of your World of Warcraft raid. But still, don’t forget to manually defragment from time to time. Always keep in mind that, no matter how strong and fast a computer is, if it’s not cleaned it will slow down with time. Always.
Windows animations and interface also tend to have a significant impact on the system. This is especially available for Windows 7 or Vista because of the integrated Windows Aero interface. You can head to your settings and disable those unnecessary visual effects which tend to eat up some of your memory. This can mean a great deal, especially if the computer is not among the strongest (we’re talking about PCs that are at least 3-4 years old). You can also disable the system protection which is basically represented by the automatic system backup. You should be careful with this option though. Make sure you know the basics about computer troubleshooting before disabling the system backup because, if something were to happen you’d have no restore point to head to in order to get your system back on track so make sure you know what you’re doing.
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