Is FPS the best game

PC Games: How to Increase the Frame Rate

Birgit Götz, Jim Martin

Do you want your PC games to run faster and smoother without having to spend a dime? Try using our tips to increase the frame rates before installing a new graphics card.

EnlargeScene from Divinity: Original Sin 2

In contrast to a game console, where developers optimize their games for specific hardware, PCs come in all variants. Some rely on a graphics chip that is integrated into the main CPU, while others have super-fast PCI-Express graphics cards. But regardless of your configuration, it is possible to get a higher frame rate (fps, frames per second) from your PC.

If you've just bought the latest shooter, MMO, or racer and found it just isn't playable, you may need to upgrade your components or invest in better hardware. The first option is a new graphics card, but you can also increase the frame rate with a faster processor or more RAM.

But before you get your wallet, try the following first:

Get the latest drivers for your graphics card

But before you get your wallet, try the following first:
Get the latest drivers for your graphics card.

Outdated drivers don't perform as well, but a surprising number of people don't think about updating their drivers. This is now quite easy because in many cases this is indicated by a pop-up message.

First, find out which graphics card you have and also check which version of Windows is running on your PC. Enter in the search box at the bottom left Device manager and then click in the following listing Graphics cards .

To find out the Windows version, right-click in the same window computer , and you can see if you have 32 or 64 bit Windows. Or go over Settings> System> Info . Here you can also see which version of Windows is installed.

To update the graphics card driver, click on the name of your graphics card - it will be either Intel, Nvidia or AMD and click Update Driver. Do not visit the card manufacturer's website such as Asus, MSI, Gigabyte, or Sapphire to update the driver. And be sure to choose the right card model and operating system.

After downloading, install the drivers and restart your PC if necessary. Depending on the game, you can achieve up to 30 percent more performance with just one driver update.

Also, check to see if there is an update for the game itself. If you bought it through Steam, it should update automatically. Otherwise, check the game client you installed it with or the developer's website.

Finally, make sure that Windows itself is completely up to date. If you have not disabled the feature, updates should be installed automatically. If it doesn't, look for Windows Update in the Start menu (or the Start screen if you're still using Windows 8).

Optimize the game settings

Driver updates will only get you so far. The greatest rate of increase in the frames per second results from the optimization and compromises in the graphics settings.

Ideally, you want to run your game at the standard resolution of your monitor. For most PCs and laptops, that's 1920x1080, if not higher. To find out the resolution of your monitor, right click on the desktop in Windows 7, 8 or 10 and click Graphics properties .

Lowering the resolution should give you more frames per second, but don't adjust the resolution here. Instead, load the game you chose and look for the graphics settings. Here you can change the resolution and many other settings.

Anti-aliasing is a setting to look out for. AA smoothes out jagged lines, but causes a heavy decrease in performance. Usually there is a slider for the setting, but it can also be just a number, e.g. 2x, 4x, 8x etc.

First, try disabling AA completely and see how your game goes. When things run smoothly enough, you can turn AA back on at the lowest setting and gradually increase it until you get the best balance between quality and performance.

The same applies to most of the other graphics settings, including the character spacing and especially the shadows. Lighting effects, including shadows, tend to be real performance killers. So if you can live with basic effects, that's how you can decide whether a game is playable or not.

So you have to try - unless your graphics card drivers can tweak each game's settings to work well with the hardware available. For example, the Nvidia card in our test PC has drivers that can do just that.

Check and compare performance

If your game has an fps indicator (you'll need to enable this somewhere in the options or install a third-party utility like Fraps) then you can see how fast the game is running. It should average at least 30 frames per second, although many gamers aim for 60 fps or even more when equipped with a 144 Hz monitor.

The fps will vary depending on what is happening on the screen. When there is a lot of action, the value can drop significantly. Therefore, pay attention to graphical settings at which the game runs acceptable in this case.

Overclock your hardware

This is not something we recommend for everyone, but if you know what you are doing and you know it could damage your graphics card, CPU, and RAM, then overclock. That should get you a few extra frames per second.

Start with the graphics card. You may find an option to overclock the GPU in the driver itself (launch the interface from the appropriate icon in the Windows notification area). Alternatively, you can also look for third-party software.

Overclocking the CPU and RAM is easier as you should find the settings in your PC's bios. Just reboot, hit delete (or whatever key takes you into the bios) and look for the performance settings.

Use optimization software

Many programs run in the background in Windows and consume resources such as memory and CPU time. You can use PC optimization tools to make sure there are no unnecessary processes running that could affect game performance. You can also delete temporary files and defragment your hard drive (but this should not be done on an SSD).

Windows includes some tweaking tools, but you can also try Razer Cortex, which is compatible with Windows 7, 8, and 10.

If you're using Windows 10, make sure to install the Creators Update, which was released back in April 2017. This includes a game mode function that prioritizes your computer's resources for the respective game and delegates background tasks to specific CPU cores in order to increase overall performance.

This post was first published by the English colleagues on techadvisor.co.uk

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