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How to optimise your gaming PC for better FPS performance


A high frame rate is highly important for PC gaming to ensure a smooth performance, especially for competitive games where extra frames can provide a significant advantage. 

One of the simplest ways to increase the frame rate performance is to purchase a more powerful graphics card, although this can be an expensive endeavour, and so isn’t a realistic option for many people. 

We’ve created this guide to help you improve your FPS performance for free, with some simple optimisations helping to maximise the power of your PC. Check out all of the steps below to find out how to boost your performance. 

And if you’ve tried all of the above and still can’t push up the frame rate to your desired level, then check out our Best Graphics Card, Best CPU and Best Gaming Laptop guides to consider a hardware upgrade. 

What you’ll need

The short version

  1. Upgrade your graphics drivers
  2. Reduce the resolution 
  3. Activate DLSS or FSR
  4. Deactivate features such as ray tracing, Vsync and Anti-aliasing
  5. Ensure Game Mode is activated on Windows
  6. Configure your laptop’s power settings
  1. Step
    1

    Upgrade your graphics drivers

    The most important thing to do in order to optimise gaming performance is to update your graphics drivers. The likes of AMD and Nvidia are constantly releasing new firmware to keep its graphics cards optimised, so it’s important to keep your system updated. 

    If you own an Nvidia card, then make sure to download GeForce Experience, which will automatically download new updates for you. If you own an AMD graphics card, then download AMD Software: Adrenalin Edition instead. 
    Nvidia GeForce Experience

  2. Step
    2

    Reduce the resolution

    If your main priority is boosting frame rates, and you don’t mind if that means sacrificing visual quality, then reducing the resolution is a great way to boost performance. 

    Reducing the resolution will reduce the workload on your graphics card, allowing you to achieve a higher performance. This is why most eSport professionals will typically opt for a 1080p or 1440p resolution instead of 4K. 
    Lower resolution

  3. Step
    3

    Activate DLSS or FSR

    If you’re lucky enough to own an Nvidia RTX graphics card, then you’ll have access to its DLSS technology. This uses AI to boost the FPS performance of a game, and has been highly effective in the most recent range of GeForce graphics cards. The big caveat here is that not every game supports DLSS, and so is mostly reserved to newer titles. 

    If you don’t own an RTX card, then you should have access to AMD’s FSR technology instead. This isn’t quite as advanced as DLSS, but is still effective at boosting frame rate thanks to upscaling solutions, although can cause unwelcome artefacts to the game’s visuals. But if boosting frame rate is your priority, FSR is still a useful tool. 

    You can activate DLSS or FSR through a game’s settings menu. It’s worth using an FPS counter (available through Steam) to see what kind of effect they have on performance. 
    DLSS setting

  4. Step
    4

    Deactivate features such as ray tracing, Vsync and Anti-aliasing

    Graphics cards now make use of dozens of features to help video games look as realistic as possible. They’re excellent options for improving visuals, but they can often be a detriment to the FPS performance. Fortunately, you’ll be able to deactivate each feature through a game’s graphics settings menu. 

    Ray tracing is the big one to look for. This is a cutting-edge technology that improves the lighting, shadow and reflection effects in modern games, but it’s extremely taxing on the GPU, so deactivating it should see your performance improve. Some games will have it turned on by default, so it’s worth having a look. 
    Vsync is also a great feature for preventing screen tearing, but will restrict your FPS performance somewhat. Anti-aliasing will often by on by default too, as it helps to smooth out ugly jagged edges for in-game objects. Turning off both of these features should help to improve your PC’s performance. 

    It’s also worth checking whether you can reduce the draw distance in a game. This determines how much of a 3D environment will be rendered at one given time, with a high draw distance allowing you to view in-game environments and objects from a greater distance. Reducing this will of course ease the pressure on your GPU and increase performance. 
    Ray tracing deactivate

  5. Step
    5

    Ensure Game Mode is activated on Windows

    Game Mode is a highly useful tool built into Windows which will automatically disable background tasks on your PC while you’re playing a game. This will dedicate all of your PC’s resources to your game to ensure the fastest performance possible. 

    Game Mode is generally enabled by default, but it’s still worth double checking as it’s an easy fix. Simply search Game Mode in the Windows search bar, and slide the toggle to On. 
    Windows Game Mode

  6. Step
    6

    Configure your laptop’s power settings

    This step is specifically for gamers using a laptop or a handheld device, as it involves boosting performance to the detriment of your device’s battery life. On a Windows device, you can do this by going to Settings > System > Power & Battery > Power Mode, and then selecting Best Performance. 

    Certified gaming laptops will sometimes even have a Turbo mode which not only maximises performance, but also increases power to the fans to keep your system as cool as possible during such workloads. You will of course get an even better performance by making sure your portable is plugged into a power source.
    Power modes laptop

Troubleshooting

Which PC parts increase FPS?

The graphics card (or GPU) is the biggest influencer on FPS performance, so it should be at the top of your list of parts to upgrade. That said, upgrading your CPU and RAM can also have a positive effect on performance.

Is 60 FPS good for gaming?

A 60fps performance is perfectly fast enough for the vast majority of gamers. This is the performance you can expect from a PS5 or Xbox Series X. That said, those who want a competitive edge in the likes of first-person shooters will see the benefit of increasing the performance beyond 100fps.

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