As an avid PC gamer with over 10 years of experience building gaming PCs, I want to share some of my best tips for optimizing Windows 10 for maximum gaming performance. A properly optimized OS can help eliminate lag, boost FPS, and provide an overall much smoother gaming experience.
Table of Contents
Enable Windows 10 Game Mode
Windows 10 has a built-in “Game Mode” that is specifically designed to prioritize system resources towards games when enabled. To turn Game Mode on:
- Open the Start Menu
- Click on the Settings cog icon
- Go to Gaming > Game Mode
- Toggle “Use Game Mode” to On
Game Mode stops background processes and unnecessary Windows services from taking up CPU and GPU resources so that more power can be allocated to the game. For most games, it provides a nice little performance boost.
Use the High Performance Power Plan
Make sure your Windows 10 machine is set to the “High Performance” power plan for maximum performance. The default “Balanced” plan will throttle your CPU and GPU speeds in order to conserve energy.
To change the power plan:
- Go to Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Power Options
- Click “High Performance”
With the high performance plan, your CPU and GPU will run at max speeds at all times for optimal gaming fps.
Update Graphics Drivers
Keeping your GPU drivers fully updated is key to getting the best gaming performance in Windows 10. Newer drivers contain optimization tweaks specifically for gaming.
For NVIDIA GPUs, use the GeForce Experience app to automatically check for driver updates. For AMD GPUs, use the Radeon Software app.
Disable Xbox Game Bar and DVR
The Xbox Game Bar and DVR features in Windows 10 can negatively impact gaming performance. It’s recommended to completely disable them:
- Open the Start Menu
- Search for “Game DVR”
- Open the Game DVR settings
- Toggle “Record game clips, screenshots…” to Off
This prevents Windows 10 from using system resources on background recording while gaming. Disable the Xbox Game Bar in the same way if you don’t use it.
Set Visual Effects to Best Performance
Visual effects like animations use GPU resources which could negatively impact game fps. For best gaming performance:
- Search for “Adjust appearance and performance”
- Open those settings
- Go to the “Visual Effects” tab
- Click “Adjust for best performance”
This will disable all unnecessary visual effects in Windows 10 so that the GPU power can be utilized fully for gaming.
Overclock Your GPU
If you really want to eke out every last bit of gaming performance, consider overclocking your GPU. Overclocking increases the clock speeds and memory speeds of GPUs beyond stock specs. Apps like MSI Afterburner make GPU overclocking very easy. Just slowly increase the speeds while testing for stability to find the maximum speeds your GPU can handle. Overclocking can provide FPS boosts of 5-15% in games when done properly.
Tweak In-Game Settings
Don’t forget to also tweak in-game graphics settings for maximum performance. Lower or disable settings like anti-aliasing, ambient occlusion, motion blur. Lower shadow quality, texture quality, draw distance, etc. Resolution and rendering scale also have a huge impact on FPS. There are lots of guides online showing optimal game settings for performance.
Upgrade to an SSD
As a final tip, upgrading from a hard drive to a solid state drive (SSD) will dramatically improve Windows 10 system responsiveness and game loading times. SSDs have much faster read/write speeds compared to traditional hard drives. Replacing an old hard drive with an SSD will make Windows 10 and games feel much snappier.
Following these Windows 10 tweaks and upgrades will allow your gaming PC to perform at its absolute best. Let me know if you have any other tips for optimizing Windows 10 gaming performance! I’m always looking to further boost my FPS.