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Technology

Optimize Your PC for Gaming

February 21, 2022

Want the best gaming experience on your PC? Follow these tips.

 

PC gaming holds lots of appeal, including compelling graphics and a wide variety of game choices. But PCs are multipurpose machines — many aren't specifically configured for gaming. Fortunately you can level up your experience even if you don't have a souped-up gaming computer.
 
Depending on your PC and Wifi set up, your home may not be able to handle someone being on a video call for work or using the Internet for research, while others try to play games or stream TV shows and movies.
 
There's a lot you can do to optimize both your PC and Internet service for gaming. Here's a tip sheet for gamers and their families alike.
 
Check Your FPS
 
FPS, or frames per second, is the rate at which your monitor displays images. Video usually runs at about 24 FPS, but for gaming, you want at least 60 FPS. When your FPS is too low, the image can appear jagged or jumpy — not ideal for smooth gameplay.
 
How can you check your rate? Check the video settings menu on one of your games and select “Display FPS," or if that doesn't work, try using Fraps. If the numbers aren't up to par, don't worry — there are several ways to boost your FPS.
 
Lower Your Resolution
 
When you have higher resolution, it increases the number of pixels in the image, which means there's more information for your graphics card to process. This can significantly reduce your FPS.
 
You can usually adjust your resolution in the video settings of the game you're playing. Ideally, you want the games to run at the same resolution as your screen, but if you're still experiencing issues, try lowering it even more.
 
Reducing your resolution from 1080p to 900p decreases the number of pixels by about 30 percent. Lowering it to 720p decreases the number by about 50 percent, which can make a huge difference.
 
Update Your Graphics Card Drivers
 
Graphics card manufacturers are constantly updating their drivers, so make sure you download and install the latest drivers for your card. Some graphics cards allow you to change the performance settings. Try going to the control panel and increasing your power mode to maximum.
 
This will ensure that your graphics card isn't trying to save electricity by reducing processing power, but will function at its maximum capacity.
 
Turn Down Special Effects
 
It may sound counterintuitive, but it's accurate — turning down special effects is a pretty reliable way to boost your FPS. Each game will offer different options, but try looking under “post-processing" and “special effects."
 
You can turn down visual effects like shadows, textures and lighting. It may reduce the image quality slightly, but the additional boost to your FPS will provide a much smoother gaming experience.
 
Clean House
 
Who's guilty of leaving 25 tabs open on their computer? Raises hand slowly... Unfortunately, when there are a lot of programs running on a PC, it wastes your computer's memory.
 
Aim to close all programs whenever they're not in use. You can also uninstall programs you no longer need, and delete large files that are taking up space. All of this will help your PC dedicate more of its energy to the game you're playing.
 
Upgrade Your Wifi
 
A slow Wifi connection can cause games to lag, especially if you're playing multiplayer games online. It can also cause interference with other Internet users in your household.
 
When you're a busy family who's working, gaming and streaming on one system, a fast Wi-Fi signal is of paramount importance. Cox Gigablast was literally made for this — at 1,000 megabytes per second, your family can video chat, stream a movie, play video games and download content all at the same time with no interruption.
 
Join the Elite
 
If you're really looking to improve your gaming performance, try Cox Elite Gamer. It automatically finds a faster path to PC game servers, reducing lag time by up to 32 percent when compared to standard Internet. It even provides you with a dashboard that allows you to view your connection quality, so you'll have more information, and ultimately more control.
 
Optimizing your PC for gaming isn't just for the gamer, it's for the whole family. Not only will your gameplay get a boost, but your entire household can stream, download and video chat in perfect harmony.

 

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