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A gaming laptop is a great investment if you love PC games and want a computer that can keep up with them. One thing you need to know is that gaming laptops get slow with time. Find out why this happens and what you can do to fix the problem along with how to maintain your laptop to make it last longer.
Why Do Gaming Laptops Get Slow? 3 Reasons
You expect a new gaming laptop to run at lightning-fast speeds and without any delays. While many start out fast, they later slow down because you fill up the hard drive and have a lot of temporary files. Make sure you find out more about why gaming laptops get slow before you look at how to speed up yours.
1. Hardware Issues
There’s a good chance you have a hardware issue with your PC. Even if you buy a new model, there’s no guarantee that it will offer the high speeds you need. The most common problem is that the hard drive isn’t big enough for gaming, especially if you’re an avid gamer.
An SSD runs much faster than the standard hard drive found in most laptops. You can also have a slow laptop because you use too many different types of hardware with it. Every time you add a new piece of hardware, you need to install a driver to run it. Those drives take up a lot of valuable space.
2. Software Problems
Gaming laptops can only perform a certain number of tasks at the same time. Trying to do too many different tasks can slow down your PC. This includes running multiple apps at the same time that you play a game or leaving several tabs or windows open in your web browser.
Some of the other software problems that can slow down your gaming laptop include:
- Viruses and other malware you pick up when you download games and visit gaming websites.
- You turned on the power saving mode and didn’t know it.
- The game you picked isn’t compatible with your OS.
- You have too many extensions running.
- The laptop has several anti-virus programs that compete with each other.
- Your operating system(OS) needs an update.
- One or more of the apps on your laptop use a lot of the available resources.
- The laptop is old.
- You try to use your laptop on battery power too much.
3. Slow Internet
You also want to check your internet speed. Don’t spend a lot of time fixing your PC to make it run faster until you check your internet connection. If the internet speed is too low, you will likely notice the game buffering when you start a new level. It can also take a lot of time for the game to even load.
How Do I Fix a Slow Gaming Laptop?
Looking at the causes of a slow gaming laptop is an easy way to see why it takes longer to play your favorite games. Take a look at some of the best ways to fix a slow gaming laptop after you discover the source of the problem.
1. Scan Your Laptop
While there are a lot of mixed comments about whether you need anti-virus software on a gaming computer, any computer that you use online and connect to the internet should run this software. Without anti-virus software, you leave your laptop exposed to many hazards online.
There are both premium programs as well as free apps that work equally well. Look for one that has a scan feature and set up weekly scans. Scanning your computer helps the software find any viruses or malware.
2. Upgrade Your Internet
Before you call your ISP and upgrade your internet, do a speed test. It works within seconds and tests how quickly your laptop can upload and download content. You need a minimum speed of around 100 Mbps. This lets you upload data when you play games to make sure your actions happen quickly, but it also lets you download data to get expansion packs and new games faster.
Always compare the speed on your contract to the speed you actually get. If the speed test shows a much lower speed, let your ISP need. You might have a problem with the line leading to your home.
3. Pick a Different Mode
Many gaming laptops come with a low-power mode. When you’re not using the computer, it can enter this mode to reduce the amount of energy it needs. While this can make your battery last longer, it can also cause performance issues.
The laptop may enter this mode in the middle of a game or right before you load a game.
- Open your Control Panel
- Click on Hardware and Sound
- select the Power Options.
- Set the power to either High Performance or Balanced Power.
4. Change Your Apps and Programs
If you have a slow gaming laptop because you run too many programs and apps at the same time, go ahead and close them. Pressing the CTRL, Delete, and ALT will bring up your Task Manager. Look for any apps that are open and running, especially any that you thought you closed.
You may find that you game those apps permission to run in the background. Pay special attention to the apps that use more of your laptop’s resources. You can also use the Task Manager to disable apps and stop them from opening when you turn on your computer. It’s easy to delete apps and programs you don’t need, too.
5. Update Your PC
Have you ever turned on your laptop and got an alert that it was time to update your OS or a driver? Many laptops allow you to reject the update or put it off until later. We’ve all had times when we skipped updates because we needed to use our laptops or wanted to play a new game.
Updates optimize your PC though and help you get more out of it. Old and outdated drivers can slow down your gaming laptop and make it hard for you to use some apps or hardware. Check for any available updates and install them.
6. Keep Your Laptop Cool
Another reason for slow performance is that your gaming laptop overheats. Overheating is a serious problem because your PC will not always shut itself down to prevent damage. It may let you keep playing but reduce your speed to a crawl.
Always keep your laptop on a hard and flat surface that provides proper airflow. You also want to keep the inside of the case clean, which you can do with canned air. Try using other methods to keep the laptop cool such as using it with a cooling mat when it runs too hot.
7. Add a New Graphics Card
An easy way to update your gaming laptop to make it run faster is the addition of a new graphics card. Do you notice that some of your games appear blurry or that you have a hard time following the action? These are signs of a bad or old graphics card.
Most of the lower-end laptops come with a cheap graphics card that is fine for some games. With Halo and some of the other popular franchises, you need a better graphics card. The right card can also make streaming a lot better because you can watch 4K movies and shows.
8. Get More Memory
If you have a slow gaming laptop caused by limited memory, add more memory. Look for RAM made by the same company that made your laptop. Many brands add exclusive features that will keep other brands’ products from working on their PCs.
You can either install the memory yourself or take it to a shop and let a pro do it. Another option is external memory like a hard drive. Many of these hard drives now have 2 to 8 TB of storage or more and come with durable cases to protect the delicate parts inside.
9. Look at Your Browser
While your web browser helps you surf the web, it can make your PC run slower. This often happens when you open too many tabs or windows and leave them open. Even if you don’t view those tabs, they take up some valuable space and use your laptop’s resources.
Always close any tabs or windows that you no longer need. You should also take check your browser for extensions you downloaded. Open the Settings and go to Extensions or Add-Ons. Delete any extensions that slow down your laptop along with those you never or rarely use.
How Do You Take Care of a Gaming Laptop?
Keeping your gaming laptop healthy can extend its life and ensure that it is compatible with all of your favorite games. Whether you owned gaming models in the past or you just bought your first one, you can learn some simple ways to maintain and take care of the laptop.
1. Avoid High and Low Temperatures
You should stick to using your gaming laptop in temperatures that range from 50 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Using it in higher or lower temperatures comes with a host of possible problems. If the temperature is too low, condensation can form inside the case that causes some of the components to short out.
When the temperature is too high, you have an increased risk of your laptop overheating. Not only do you want to watch the temperature when you use the laptop, but you also want to keep it stored within this temperature range.
2. Clean the Laptop
A good rule of thumb is that your gaming laptop needs cleaned once every six months. Use a microfiber cloth to wipe down the top of the keyboard and all of your vents. You can also use an antistatic cloth. Using canned air helps you reach areas inside of the case without removing it first.
Use a quick spray of the air inside each vent to knock any debris loose. This can improve airflow and reduce your overheating risks. Don’t forget to use electric wipes to remove spots from the case and screen, too.
3. Watch the Battery
One of the nice things about gaming laptops is that they are portable. Many come with a battery that lasts for three to four hours or longer. Whether you game or do anything else with it, watch for the alert that tells you the battery needs charging.
Plug it in as soon as possible, even if this means pausing your game or exiting it. When you let the battery completely drain before you charge it, you shorten its life.
4. Download and Install Anti-Virus Software
Anti-virus software is a must-have for online gamers. Would you head outside in the middle of a blizzard without wearing a coat? Every time you use your gaming laptop without this software, you leave it susceptible to many threats.
Anti-virus software scans all the emails you receive to let you know if they are safe to open and checks links before you click on them. It can also alert you about potentially dangerous websites such as those that offer low prices on popular games and others that provide free tips for gamers.
5. Keep it Safe on the Go
Keeping your laptop safe while on the go is easy because there is a range of bags and cases that fit big and small models. Look for one with some added padding that keeps the PC safe during drops.
You might prefer one with a strap you can adjust to better fit your body or a bag that has extra pockets for your games and hardware.
6. Use External Hardware
The chances are good that you had a laptop in the past that lost one or more keys. Every time you play a game, you use the same motions and keys. That repetition can wear down the keys and cause them to come off faster, even if you invest in a high-end laptop.
An external keyboard is much stronger and can stand up to those repetitive keystrokes. Using an external mouse is also a good option. Make sure you look for ergonomic models that reduce some of the discomfort you usually feel when gaming.
Every time you eat or drink around your gaming laptop, you risk damaging it. Crumbs can lodge in the keys and get under the keys where they drop inside the case. Liquids can cause quite a bit of damage and ruin the whole hard drive.
If you’re a smoker, keep your cigarettes away when you use the laptop. Smoking allows nicotine and tobacco to get inside the vents. The substances cling to the fans and can damage other components.
8. Make Use of the Cloud
As much as you love gaming, you probably don’t like how quickly you use up the free space on your hard drive. You can easily use up half of your hard drive or more just from a few games and their add-ons. The cloud gives you an easy way to free up space and still get quick access to all of your files.
Once you set up cloud storage, start moving some of your files to the cloud and then delete them from your PC. If you don’t want to deal with the cloud, use an external hard drive or a thumb drive to store some of your files.
Does Gaming on a Laptop Slow it Down?
While you might think that a gaming laptop allows you to play all the games you want, it can slow down the more you use it. The biggest problem is that your games and expansions take up a lot of space. Consider Minecraft, which is one of the more popular games that are suitable for all ages.
The game itself doesn’t take up much room and works with most systems. When you start adding expansion packs to do more things in the game, don’t be surprised if your computer slows down. All of the options and other things that you download take away some of your available space.
Another problem is that many games today come with automatic updates. As long as you have an internet connection, the game will automatically download and install those updates, even if you have other apps open or the game is closed.
Keep in mind that the lack of hard drive space can lead to hardware failures, too. Once a piece of hardware fails, it can do a lot of damage to your computer.
How Long Should a Gaming Laptop Last?
No matter how much money you spend on a gaming laptop, you want to get as much use out of it as possible. In general, gaming laptops last for 4 to 10 years. It depends on how well you maintain them and how often you use them.
Higher-end models usually last longer and help you keep up with the needs of newer games. You might get as much as a decade of use out of one. When you buy a cheaper model, it should last at least four years and up to six years.
No matter what anyone tells you, gaming laptops get slow. This is often due to a lack of resource space or because you didn’t update your OS and drivers. Knowing how to take care of your gaming laptop and make it run faster are key to protecting your investment.