Gaming is fun, but it can be expensive. You can get a regular laptop for a few hundred dollars, but gaming laptops can run into the thousands. That’s because games require a lot of processing, graphics, and storage power, so the extra performance comes at a higher cost. Fortunately, you don’t have to buy a brand new gaming machine; you can turn your regular laptop into a gaming machine using upgrades.
Upgrading your machine is arguably part of the fun of being a gamer. The intricacies of the features and balancing them out is always a hot topic among gamers. Upgrading your laptop also enables you to enter the gaming world at a lower cost and risk level.
Additionally, upgrading your laptop lets you get involved in building a gaming machine from scratch, which will give you better feature insights when you decide to buy a brand new one. Here are a few ways to make your laptop gaming compatible.
Upgrade the Hardware
Random-access memory (RAM) is essential for any gaming machine; upgrading it will improve game performance. Your computer will rely more on RAM than your hard drive because it is faster and designed to store temporary data. You will need to research the type of games you will be interested in.
That way, you will know how much RAM you need to run them. If you have too little RAM, your games will be slow, if they run at all, or you will have too much RAM, which will be a waste. As a rule of thumb, 4GB RAM can run older games, while the newer ones will require 8GB or more.
Not all RAMs can fit into all motherboards. You need to be aware of the DDR designation and clock speeds. DDR4 is the current standard. The clock speed determines the cycles the RAM can perform per second. DDR4 Ram has a clock speed of 2133MHz or 2400MHz.
Most old laptops use Hard Disk Drive (HDD). You will need to switch to a Solid State Drive (SSD) to turn it into a gaming machine. An SSD will decrease the game booting time by half, and you will see a difference in the game loading time. If your laptop gives you the option, you may use both HDD and SSD, but if it doesn’t, then you should choose SSD.
Most laptops won’t allow you to upgrade the graphics card or processor. The reason is that the manufacturers will solder them on the motherboard. But you can add an external unit and connect it to the USB port of your system.
Update Your DirectX
Windows has a program called DirectX which provides extra support in gaming. DirectX enables your games to work directly with your video and audio hardware. The games will access multimedia accelerator features built-in to your hardware more efficiently, improving your overall multimedia experience.
When you decide to turn your computer into a gaming machine, you must ensure that DirectX is the latest version. To update your DirectX, you use the main menu search bar to look up “Dxdiag” and check the version history. If you want to update your DirectX, you can do so manually from the Microsoft Support page or update your Operating System.
Optimize Your Power Settings
When you use your laptop to watch videos, surf the internet, or type up documents, you don’t demand a lot of processing power. You likely lowered your power settings to conserve battery. You’ll have to change that; you need high performance for gaming.
Most games are CPU-intensive programs, and using power plans like “Balanced” or “Power saver” could lead to negative performance issues. To optimize your power settings for gaming, you’ll need to change your power settings to high-performance, advanced power settings.
Defragment Your Laptop
Through regular use, your computer will accumulate plenty of junk files and cache that decrease the performance of your laptop while gaming. Junk files are one of the reasons you will be asking yourself questions like, why is my computer so slow?
You will need to defragment your laptop to use it for gaming without it lagging. You can install antivirus software to identify junk files and clean them up. You can also use the Windows disk defragmenter program.
A Multipurpose Upgrade
Gaming doesn’t have to be expensive; you can enter the world with a few upgrades to your old laptop. You also don’t have to get all the high-end gear; start with the games you like and upgrade according to their needs. If you get a system that is the right fit for your needs, you can save yourself some money.