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improve laptop gaming performanceGaming laptops have always been behind desktops What's The Real Difference Between A Gaming Laptop And Desktop? What's The Real Difference Between A Gaming Laptop And Desktop? The fact that laptops are slower than desktops is common knowledge, but how much slower is hard to quantify, and gamers find themselves weighing the reduction in performance against the price tag and the portability. Read More when it comes to raw performance, but they remain popular because of their portability. Not everyone likes being tied down to a desk when they want to game, and if you like to take your computer over to play multiplayer with some friends, a gaming laptop is the way to go.

You can’t easily upgrade gaming laptops, however, so if you want to improve your laptop gaming performance you’ll usually have to rely on software enhancements. This limits what you can do, but there are some tools and some tips that can improve gaming performance on a laptop.

Install The Latest Drivers

improve laptop gaming performance

The drivers that are shipped with most hardware are rather static. There may be some minor upgrades from time to time, but by and large installing a new driver for, say, your Ethernet controller isn’t going to drastically change laptop gaming performance.

Video card drivers, however, are an exception. Nvidia and ATI, the major video card manufacturers, are in a constant battle for performance dominance. This means not only releasing new cards, but also releasing driver updates that improve the performance of cards already on the market. If you pay close attention to video card reviews you’ll often see that identical video cards end up performing better over time. That’s the driver improvements at work.


If you’re on a laptop, ensuring that you have the latest drivers installed is the easiest way to obtain maximum performance. If you’ve never updated your drivers since the day you first bought your laptop, installing the newest version may increase your performance 5 Solid Tweaks to Optimize Your Computer For Gaming 5 Solid Tweaks to Optimize Your Computer For Gaming If your computer doesn't handle games like it used to, it might just need some quick maintenance. Here are five ways any PC gamer can improve their machine's performance. Read More by as much as 20%.

Overclock The GPU

improve laptop gaming

Laptops are more limited than desktops when it comes to overclocking. CPU overclocking is rarely possible, since it’s usually not enabled in the BIOS. However, some models of laptop do allow for GPU overclocking How To Overclock An ATI Video Card With ATI Overdrive How To Overclock An ATI Video Card With ATI Overdrive Read More .

Both Nvidia and ATI now have utilities built into their software suites that allow for GPU overclocking. There are essentially just two settings that you need to worry about – core clock and memory clock. The core clock is the speed of the actual processing cores on the GPU, while the memory clock is the speed of the memory used to buffer video data. Each has its own individual tolerance for overclocking, so you’ll need to experiment to find the maximum stable setting. Remember to take baby steps – don’t jump in and try to overclock by 20% from the start. Instead, up the settings by no more than 5% at a time.

You might also be able to change the speed of the system fan, if one has been dedicated to the GPU. If you’re given control of this setting, feel free to up the fan speed. This will of course cause more noise, but the extra cooling can make a higher overclock possible.

Check Your Power Settings

improve laptop gaming

Laptops, unlike desktops, are meant to be used away from a power source frequently. This means that management of power is a big deal. On a desktop, you can set Windows power management to high performance and call it a day, but laptops often switch back and forth between different power management presets.

Sometimes, a laptop will switch into a power management setting meant to conserve power and doesn’t switch back when it should have. Or you may simply have changed the power management settings yourself and then neglected to change them back later. In any case, it’s important to make sure that your laptop is using its high performance power profile when you are playing games.

In addition to this, some newer laptops have what is known as switchable graphics. This means the discrete laptop GPU The Top Performing Laptop Video Cards For Gaming & HD Video [Technology Explained] The Top Performing Laptop Video Cards For Gaming & HD Video [Technology Explained] Read More is supposed to turn on automatically when needed and then turn off again when it’s not. If you’re experiencing unusually poor performance in a game, check your GPU settings and make sure the switchable graphics are turning on as they should.

Turn Down Texture & Shader Details

improve laptop gaming

Gaming laptops are sometimes limited by the volume and quality of their video memory. The memory available to a video card is important because it acts as the highway between your GPU and your display. If it’s out of room, a traffic jam forms, and your frame-rates start to dip.

The easiest way to make a game run better is to simply turn down the resolution. But before you do that, I recommend checking the game’s texture and shader and/or shadow settings 7 Common Video Game Graphics Settings Explained 7 Common Video Game Graphics Settings Explained Don't know what those settings on your video games are all about? Let us explain what they mean and how they affect your games! Read More . High-resolution textures, if a game makes them available, often eat up video RAM. Complex shaders or shadows can also have the same result. While all of the graphical effects applied to a game have some impact on performance, these are the settings most likely to improve laptop gaming performance if video memory is your laptop’s bottleneck.

Shut Down Background Applications

improve laptop gaming performance

As a last-ditch effort to improve your gaming performance you can try shutting down system tray applications. Ideally, you shouldn’t have too many such applications running in the first place. But as time goes on and various programs are installed, patched and un-installed, you may find yourself with a sizable collection of utilities in your system tray. Since laptops are less powerful than desktops, a laptop gaming PC is more likely to be impacted by these programs.

You can shut background programs down manually, or you can use a program like Game Booster 2 Improve Your Video Game Performance With GameBooster 2 Improve Your Video Game Performance With GameBooster 2 Read More , which offers a 1-click “gaming mode” button that turns off programs and services that could drag your frame-rates into the trenches.


Hopefully, these tips will provide you with some boost to gaming performance. As you’ve likely noticed, however, these tips mostly relate to system maintenance and software tweaks. Unfortunately, since replacing the CPU or GPU on a laptop is rarely an option, these are the tips you’ll have to rely on. If you still can’t play a new game after following the above recommendations it’s likely time to buy a new gaming laptop.

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  1. Mohammad
    August 10, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    Helpful. Didn't notice the power options before.

  2. Parampreet Singh
    June 28, 2017 at 10:52 am

    It really helped me thanks

  3. Amr Hassanein
    September 22, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    1. I lag so hard and my network is VERY BAD.
    2. When downloading, It takes very long to download and most of the time it doesn't download
    3. When playing,reading,etc, A Notification comes saying "Activate Windows" Which is very annoying.

    Please reply fast because I got lots more
    Amr Hassanein

    • Parampreet Singh
      June 28, 2017 at 10:54 am

      Take the backup of all your files and recover your windows
      If it is windows 10

  4. Cheapgaming Gaminglaptop
    March 22, 2011 at 11:29 am

    Good tips, thanks.
    If you guys looking for a tight bud gaming laptop $500-$1000 recommended you visit : there are many low priced gaming laptop

  5. Hotrao
    March 20, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    I add my personal one: take care of you hdd by defragging frequently

  6. mikia
    March 17, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    sell and buy a desktop

  7. Walid
    March 17, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    Thanks, it's really works