Do you want to upgrade your laptop for gaming? That’s great! The world of PC gaming can be a lot of fun, and it’s possible to get good performance out of a laptop if you know how to upgrade it properly. In this guide, we will walk you through the process step-by-step. We’ll start with the basics, like choosing the right components, and then move on to more advanced topics like overclocking and BIOS tweaking. By the time you finish reading this guide, you’ll be ready to take your laptop gaming experience to the next level!
Boost Your Gaming Performance
Before you upgrade the laptop’s hardware, there are a few things you can do right now to improve gaming performance.
Upgrade graphics drivers
The first and most important thing is to make sure that you are using the latest drivers for your graphics card. You can usually find these on the manufacturer’s website. If you’re not sure which driver to download, you can use a tool like Driver Easy to scan your system and automatically download the correct driver.
Optimize Power Settings
You can also try changing your power settings to “High Performance.” This will disable power-saving features that can interfere with gaming performance.
To do this on Windows:
- Go to Start > Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Power Options
- Select “High Performance” from the list of options
If you don’t see the “High Performance” option, it’s likely because your computer is running on battery power. In this case, you’ll need to connect your laptop to a power outlet before you can change the settings.
Activate Game Mode in Windows 10
Game Mode is a new feature in Windows designed to improve gaming performance. When Game Mode is activated, Windows will prioritize resources to games, ensuring they have enough power to run smoothly.
To turn on Game Mode:
- Go to Settings > Gaming > Game Mode
- Toggle “Game Mode” to “On”
Check Your Network Speed for Online Gaming
One of the most important factors in online gaming is your network speed. To check your network speed:
- Go to Speedtest.net
- Click “Go”
The results of the test will show you your download and upload speeds. You’ll want a download speed of at least 3 Mbps and an upload speed of 1 Mbps for gaming. If your results are lower than that, you may want to upgrade your internet package.
Defrag the Hard Drive
When you defrag your hard drive, it rearranges how the files are stored so that they can be accessed more quickly. As a result, defragging can improve gaming performance by reducing loading times.
- Go to Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter
- Click “Defragment”
Make sure DirectX is up to date
DirectX is software that helps games run smoothly on your computer. Many times, game developers will design their games to require the latest version of DirectX. That means if you don’t have the latest version, you might not be able to play the game smoothly. To upgrade to the latest version, press the Windows key and type “check for updates.” Next, select “Check for updates” from the list of results. Then, follow the steps on the screen to check for and install updates to the latest version of DirectX.
Adjust Shadows and Texture Settings
Shadows and textures can take up a lot of resources, so turning them down can give you better performance. In games, go to the graphics settings menu and look for an option that says “shadows” or “texture quality.” Turn it down from Ultra to High or Medium. This will make a big difference in how well your game runs.
Overclock the Graphics Card
Overclocking is when you increase the speed of your computer’s components beyond what they’re rated for. It can be a great way to get more performance out of your system, but it can also lead to instability if not done correctly.
To overclock your graphics card, you’ll need to download some software. MSI Afterburner is a popular choice. Once you have it installed, open the program and find the “Core Clock” slider. Slowly increase the clock speed until you start to see artifacts in games or your system becomes unstable. Then back it off a bit until it’s stable.
Excess dust can cause performance issues and, in worst cases, cause the system to overheat and shut down. Cleaning it out is simple: just open up your case and use a can of compressed air to blow all the dust out. Do this every few months to keep things running smoothly. It’s also a great way to keep your gaming laptop healthy.
Why Is Upgrading a Gaming Laptop’s Components Hard?
The biggest issue with upgrading your laptop for better gaming performance is compatibility. Laptops are not as modular as desktop computers, so it can be hard to find parts that fit your system. Additionally, laptop manufacturers often use proprietary components, making it challenging to find compatible replacements.
Some laptops can’t be upgraded at all. If the components are soldered to the motherboard, there’s no way to replace them.
If you decide to upgrade the graphics card, it will almost always also mean you’ll have to upgrade the processor as well. The two components share resources, and bottlenecks can occur if one component is significantly faster than the other.
Before upgrading your laptop, it’s important to do your research and make sure that the parts you want to buy are compatible with your system.
Upgrading the Laptop’s Hardware
One of the easiest upgrades to improve gaming performance is adding more RAM. Most games require at least 8 gigabytes of RAM to run smoothly. If your laptop only has two or four gigs of RAM, upgrading to eight or sixteen gigs can make a big difference. Check out this guide to learn more aboutout how RAM can affect a gaming.
Before upgrading the RAM, make sure to check what type of RAM your laptop uses. DDR3, DDR4 SDRAM, and SO-DIMM are the three most common types. Once you have found a compatible stick of RAM, the process of installing it is relatively simple. Just make sure to consult your laptop’s manual before taking it apart.
Adding a Solid State Drive
Another way to upgrade your laptop for gaming is to replace the standard hard drive with a solid-state drive (SSD). This will make loading times much shorter, which can be beneficial if you’re playing games that require a lot of loading, like open-world games. SSDs are also more reliable than hard drives, so there’s less chance of your game data being corrupted.
To replace your hard drive with an SSD, you’ll need to purchase an SSD that is compatible with your laptop. Make sure to get the correct size and interface type (SATA or NVMe). You will also need a screwdriver to open up your laptop so that you can access the hard drive. Once you have all of the necessary tools and components, follow these steps:
- Remove the screws that are holding the hard drive in place.
- Carefully remove the hard drive from its housing.
- Insert the SSD into the housing.
- Secure the SSD with screws.
- Close up your laptop and boot it up!
Upgrading the CPU / GPU
Upgrading the graphics card or the hard drive in a gaming laptop is, in most cases, not possible. The reason is that these components are usually soldered onto the motherboard, and it can often be hard to find a compatible replacement that will fit into the same space.
With this guide, you should now know how to upgrade a laptop for gaming. While it may not be possible to upgrade every component, by following these steps, you can give your laptop the best chance at being able to run the latest games. If you’re looking for a new laptop that can run the latest games, check out our guide on the best notebooks for under 1500 dollars.