If you decided to follow the same path as me, you went ahead and upgraded to Windows 8 the first week it dropped. So far, I’ve had mixed feelings about the OS. I upgraded my dedicated gaming desktop from Windows 7 Home Premium to Windows 8 Pro and it’s been quite an adjustment. Weeks later, I’m finally getting everything settled in.
Naturally, there are going to be some issues along the way. A glaring inconvenience that I’ve noticed is that you’re going to have to reinstall a lot of drivers. On top of that, you’re going to have to go through a rigorous updating procedure to make sure that all of your most-used applications are up to speed and current with Windows 8. Most of my troubles have come from incompatibilities with my hundred-something games I’ve got downloaded. In this post, let me spare you the heartache.
Get Windows In Shape
If you’re a serious gamer and you’re trying to save every resource possible so that you can put them towards performance in gaming, you may want to trim some excess fat off of the Windows 8 visual effects.
Update Your Video Card Drivers
This is probably the most important step. Conveniently enough, I’ve authored an entire article outlining how to do this. Go check it out.
If you run into issues updating, my recommendation would be that you uninstall your current video card drivers then reinstall the latest version available for Windows 8. Many people suggest this as the most ideal course of action when upgrading drivers in the first place, but as it can be a problematic procedure for novice users, I only recommend this step if you encounter issues during a standard update.
If you’re like most gamers, you have Steam. Steam makes it pretty convenient to check for new video card drivers. You can go down this route if you choose.
Test a Few Games’ Visuals
Run a few games that you’ve downloaded. If you’re upgrading from Windows 7, does anything seem different? Is the game looks different visually, check that any updated video card software hasn’t rolled over your settings with defaults. This is an issue I’ve seen reported all across the web.
Use Xfire And/Or Raptr?
If you do, pay attention. This is a major issue that I’ve experienced personally on my 64-bit version of Windows 8 Pro.
If you’re noticing that some of your games tend to freeze or even close abnormally within seconds after launching them, Xfire or Raptr may not be hooking into the process properly.
If you’re using Raptr, you want to go to the In-game tab in the preferences and uncheck Enable in-game chat and web browsing. Alternatively, you may want to just stop using Raptr altogether until they update to a more compatible version. Raptr was my problem. I was unable to run several games on Steam because Raptr couldn’t hook to the process properly.
Xfire users can enable or disable the in-game UI at the screen shown in the above screenshot.
Be Careful With Boosters
You’re probably familiar with software like GBoost and GameGain. Be careful with these while Windows 8 is still considered to be new. Many aren’t updated to support the OS.
I have tried IObit’s Game Booster 3 software and it seems to be working perfectly fine with Windows 8. If you really feel like you need to make use of one of these softwares, try it out.
Fix That Latency
If you’re one of the many people who see it necessary to use Leatrix Latency Fix or TCPOptimizer to tinker with your MTU and ACKs, check over those values to see if they’ve been changed at all.
If you have no idea what this step is talking about, don’t worry. You probably won’t need it. This wiki article explains it all rather well.
Let me know what steps you guys took to ready your Windows 8 machine for gaming in the comments! Leave me any questions you may have and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.