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Gaming is one of the most demanding tasks that you can ask your computer to perform. The graphics that are rendered to create the game world place a major load on your video card and the AI and physics calculations that take place will stress your processor. While almost any modern computer can easily handle day-to-day productivity applications, a rather beefy system is needed to play the most beautiful games at high detail settings.
You can always increase video game performance with new hardware, but you can also improve performance by fine-tuning what you already have. That is the goal of Game Booster 2, an application that can change your computer’s settings so that games run faster and more smoothly.
Game Booster 2 also offers some convenience features that make it easier for the average user to keep their computer up to date. Let’s take a closer look to see how this software can help your gaming rig.
The drivers that you have installed on your computer partially determine how well it will perform. A video card that has never had its drivers updated (and is more than a year old) is likely to be running ten to twenty percent slower than it otherwise could. New features and bug fixes are often introduced in driver updates as well.
Even so, most people don’t both to update their computer’s drivers. The reason for this is simple – updating drivers is usually a pain in the butt. Video card drivers are the easiest, both ATI and Nvidia have intuitive websites and relatively painless installers. Other drivers, such as the drivers for your sound card and network adapter, are not as simple. Figuring out where to download new drivers from can be its own adventure.
Game Booster 2 simplifies this in its Game Drivers section by creating a list of drivers on your system. The current version of the driver is listed, as is the driver’s release date. If your drivers are out of date you can click on the “Go to download page” button to quickly download whatever driver you need. This basic feature is one of Game Booster 2’s most useful and can save you a lot of time.
Boosting Game Performance
As the name implies, one of the main goals of Game Booster 2 is an increase in your game performance. It aims to accomplish this with a feature called Gaming Mode.
This feature tries to improve gaming by disabling background programs that could reduce your computer’s overall performance. In this sense it isn’t just a Gaming Mode but also a general go-fast mode. You can replicate this feature manually by entering Windows Task Manager and going hog-wild closing things, but you’ll waste a lot of time.
The Gaming Mode feature is also better because it turns all of the background programs you disabled back on automatically when you turn the feature off.
There are other performance boosters available as well. The Game Defrag feature will scan game folders for file fragmentation and can defrag as required, which may improve loading times. The System Tweaks section includes a number of registry changes that can improve overall system performance. These tweaks can improve load times, enhance network performance and more.
As with Gaming Mode, these tweaks aren’t necessarily just useful for gamers – some of them, such as a tweak that increase the number of download sessions you can have active with Internet Explorer, can be useful for everyone.
Results & Conclusion
All of this sounds great, but what are the results?
To find out I used the built-in benchmarks from Just Cause 2 and Far Cry 2 both before and after using the features of Game Booster 2. I found that my increase in performance was about five percent. That’s not earth-shattering, but it is something. When lumped on top of the performance benefit of upgrading your drivers you may be able to increase your performance by up to twenty five percent.
The benefit you gain from Game Booster 2 will depend on how long its been since you’ve last tried to improve your gaming performance. Game Booster 2 may not help if you keep on top of driver updates and already tweak your system manually. If you’ve never updated your drivers and your computer has been swarmed by background programs, however, Game Booster 2 will be a huge help.
Overall, Game Booster 2 is a nice program not just because it can help increase video game performance but also because it makes gaming easier. The program reduces the time you’ll spend finding and downloading drivers, hunting and shutting down background processors, and turning them all back on when you’re done.
Oh, and if you have the original Game Booster installed, I highly recommend upgrading. Many of the features discussed here aren’t present in the first version.