Hacking your Laptop for Peak Gaming Performance

July 15, 2009


Gaming is a big hit amongst the most technically-savvy generation, with free and PC-only games becoming quite robust, and commercial games packing outstanding graphics, as well as a plot lines and game play. If you're a gamer, or looking into joining the realm of gamers, but can't afford a high-end gaming laptop, then this article is for you.

Below are a few tips on milking the best game performance from your laptop, no matter its make or model. Be sure to do your research based on your own laptop and its limits, however, before attempting any alterations.

Faster Hard Drive

Slow, clunky hard drives are the bane of most computer users existence. For a generation where speed is everything--microwaves, high-speed Internet--waiting for a 5400 rpm to get spinnin' is like a slow tumble down a long hill. If your machine doesn't have a 7200rpm hard drive, replacing your current HDD with a faster one will make a noticeable increase in performance, ranging from faster boot speed to faster game start times.

When choosing a new hard drive, opt for the largest one you can afford, as games begin taking up a great amount of space once a plethora of maps are downloaded and added to the repertoire, as well as system updates, media, and non-gaming applications.

Finally, opt for the drive with a larger amount of cache. If you see two drives, and one is 120GB with 16MB cache, and the other is 200GB with 8MB, a wise person would choose the smaller drive with the larger cache.

More RAM

RAM does not solely decide the speed of a computer--many, many things working together do--but it is still a viable mechanism in the world of speed, and will make switching between apps and tasks snappier, which will give the entire system what feels like a considerable performance boost.

All laptops have a set limit of how much RAM they can utilize. Many modern laptops have a limit of 4GB of random access memory, but higher-end laptops and most gaming laptops have a higher-capacity, some up to 16GB, though that is the current maximum.

The Asus G60 gaming laptop can take 4GB DDR3 RAM, which is faster than the standard DDR2, and all of it should be utilized for optimum system performance. If you do upgrade the RAM, be sure to get DDR3 instead of the slower DDR2.

Cooling Pad

As your system heats up, its performance goes down. A gaming laptop will have a powerful processor, and that power, when fully utilized, will cook your laptop if you have it sit there. Leaving the laptop sit on a flat surface, such as a desk or laptop, isn't enough to keep it running optimally. The solution to keep the processor cool is to use a cooling pad that goes beneath the laptop. These can be purchased from any electronics store, but if you're the DIY (or just plain cheap) type can make one out of spare computer fans and other accessories; instructions can be found via a quick Google search.


This is a dangerous thing to do, not something you should perform if you're uncertain, want to guarantee your laptop's health, and/or become flustered following technical directions. With that said, each processor varies a bit in frequency, with some being capable of higher frequencies than others. If you hit the luck jackpot and end up with, for example, a 1.6GHz processor that is capable of 2.0GHZ, then by overclocking it, you'll get more power for a lower price.

The downside to this is that the heat sink may not be able to handle the addition power you're pushing through it, and the effect is that it will get to hot a fry, for lack of a better word. If this happens, most warranties will not cover the damage, and the price of a new processor will be quite hefty.

If you do want to overclock your processor, check out THIS guide.

System Optimization Software

Regularly using system optimization software will keep your system running the way the hardware intends for it to, not the way all the clutter and sludge allows it. If you're frequently online, often installing programs and uninstall programs, and more, then we can all but guarantee that your entire system is spattered with randomly placed files that are slowing things down.

By regularly running--or better yet, scheduling to run at midnight or so--virus/malware/spyware scanners, registry cleaners, hardware defragments, and more, your install will stay cleaner for a longer period than it would otherwise. Just like a car requires regular preventive maintenance, so does your computer.

[via laptoplogic]


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