Question: Q: Optimize Mac for Gaming with Bootcamp? Hi, I have a Mid 2012 MacBook Pro with Windows 7 installed using Bootcamp. Because I'm a student my parents aren't exactly thrilled with the idea of getting me a Gaming PC, but since I'm not a hardcore gamer I think I can make do with what I have. How would I be able to optimize my gaming. PC Gamer's guide to gaming on a Mac. By PCGamer 2015-03-18T21. That’s why I’ve put together this guide to gaming on the Mac, covering everything from the best Mac hardware for gaming, to.
If you are an enthusiastic gamer you probably know that Windows 10 is an excellent OS for gamers because it assimilates many useful features and programs. But just like previous versions of Windows, Windows 10 does require a bit of tweaking so that you can enjoy the best gaming experience Windows 10 has to offer!
In this article, we will take a look at various tweaks about how to optimize Windows 10 for gaming to enhance the performance. With these simple tweaks, you will have a system that is ready to take on even the most graphically intense games available, assuming you have the required hardware.
Most of these tweaks will require a restart to take effect. We do not recommend applying all the tweaks at once and then restarting. Try out the following Windows 10 optimization guide for gaming.
- Nov 09, 2018 Overall, upgrading RAM, optimizing RAM usage and keeping your Mac clean are probably the three most effective things you can do to prepare your Mac for a life of gaming. Get a tool like CleanGeeker, upgrade your RAM and keep resource-hungry processes closed during your gaming sessions. That's your best bet.
- Optimizing disk space on your Mac can go a long way in speeding up your system, getting you more free space etc. Here's something you should know about how to optimize your Mac's disk.
- Now I have done a ton of research into my machine but it's hard to get clear responses because I'm working with a custom computer. First off it's a Mac Pro, 4 1, with a Xeon x5679 CPU, which I have been told, is a server CPU, and therefore not ideal for gaming, but I look and often it isn't being used more than 30% for most games.
How to Optimize Windows 10 for Gaming
Table of Contents
#1. Delete Old Files
Remove all the unnecessary files viz. movies, pictures, word documents on your computer. If such files are not in use anymore, do away with them. In case you need these in future, take backup on an external drive or maybe a USB flash drive. Not only will your machine speed up but will also get ready for a good gaming session. Remember, the more space you have, the more room you have for games.
#2. Remove Old Applications
Now scrutinize the apps that you have installed. Go to Control Panel < Programs < Uninstall a program. Scan the list and clean up any old applications that you no longer need. Uninstallation of certain apps will require a reboot to completely remove everything.
Once the unused apps in the Control Panel have been uninstalled, go through your Universal Apps. Go to the Start Menu. Take a look at the Universal Apps in the main Start Area and also scan through the full list of your apps. Here you will find all the news apps, etc. that have come with your Windows 10 system or the ones that you have downloaded. Remove the ones that are not required anymore by right-clicking on them and selecting Uninstall. Once you have finished removing all the unused apps/files, reboot your system.
#3. Update Windows
You should make sure that your computer is completely up to date. Go to Start < Settings < Update & Security. Select the Check for updates button and then run anything that shows up. This will probably make you reboot once it is done. If not, go ahead and reboot it anyway as a precautionary step.
#4. Fine-tune Windows 10 Visual Effects
The graphical user interface of Windows 10 is highly impressive. It is smooth on your eyes and good to look at. Its effects make using Windows 10 an awesome experience. However, these effects come at a cost of performance. Windows has to make extra use of the resources to display all these effects that really are not essential for a decent quality performing machine.
So, if you are more concerned with power for gaming, you should turn off these effects. Go to Start > Settings. Type Performance in the search box. Then select Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows. In the box that pops up, uncheck any effects you do not want to use.
#5. Disable Automatic Update and Restart
Although Windows 10 is great at updating itself, for best performance, you do not want it downloading and installing updates at just about any time. If you have Windows 10 Pro, you can change these settings on your computer. However, Windows 10 Home does not let you do that.
Go to Start > Settings > Update and Security. Remember that when you turn this feature off, you will be responsible for running updates on your system. If you cannot change it, then try adjusting the active hours by clicking on Change active hours. This will set aside a time for updates and help stop those accidental interferences while you are gaming.
#6. Run Virus and Malware Scans
Malware, spyware, and viruses are infamous for running in the background and slowing down your system. If you go on the Internet, there is a probability that you picked up some adware tracking along the way. Running a virus and malware scan on your computer will not only clean up that junk so it does not run in the background, but it will also remove anything that could be damaging to you or your computer.
#7. Disk Cleanup
If you have been using Windows 10 for a while, it is likely that there are a lot of temporary files and other installation files on your hard drive. You can easily remove these old files that are not required by running Disk Cleanup on your system.
To run Disk Cleanup, press the Windows Key + R. In the dialog box that opens, type in cleanmgr and press Enter. Once the dialog pops up, scan through and check any section that you want to clean from your system. This can include log files, temporary files, etcetera. Once you are done, click on the Clean up system files button. This will take you to a new section that will let you clean old versions of Windows and even update files that are left post installation.
#8. Disk Optimization
Now that you have gotten rid of all the old files and apps from your system and you have cleaned up any temporary files and installation files, it is time to optimize your disk. Although Windows 10 will do this for you on a set schedule, it is recommended that you do it yourself as you have applied various tweaks. This will defragment your hard drive so it can run faster and file locating will also speed up.
To optimize your disk, go to Start > Settings. In the search box, type in “Defrag” and the option to access the application will be displayed. A list of the hard drives attached to your computer will then be displayed. In this article, we will focus on the C Drive as that is the drive that powers Windows and most probably has the games installed. Highlight the C Drive and then click on the Optimize button. Then make sure the C drive is still selected and press Optimize again. This will initiate the process.The time taken will depend on how fragmented the drive is.
#9. Nagle’s Gaming Algorithm
Optimize Mac For Gaming
Nagle’s Algorithm bundles data packets together at the cost of a smoother Internet connection. In most cases, it makes the connection more stable and the speed bump is not noticeable if you are just net surfing. However, you may experience latency issues if you are playing a game. To disable it, you will have to change the Registry. You must take note that editing the registry can harm your computer and even wreck the Windows installation if you are not cautious.
- Go to Start > type regedit > Regedit.
- Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesTcpipParametersInterface.
- Under Interface, you will find numbers and letters that correspond to your IP Address.
- Match your IP Address with the numbers listed under DhcpIPAddress.
- If you do not know your IP Address, open a Command Prompt and type ipconfig. It will tell you the IPv4 address.
- Right click on that folder and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value. Create two DWORD values.
- Name the first TcpAckFrequency and the other TCPNoDelay.
- Double click each one and mark their parameter value to 1.
- If you have any problems with your network after these modifications, repeat these steps and set the value to 0 to disable them.
- Reboot your machine once you have finished.
#10. Update Your Drivers
If your drivers are not updated, you should not expect smooth gaming sessions, especially if you play the latest and best games available. This especially applies to your video card drivers. Windows 10 will update some of the drivers itself, but you must be on the lookout for the latest drivers.
We will focus on the video card drivers. You will have to visit your manufacturer’s website to get the latest ones. There are two main video card manufacturers out there – Radeon by AMD and NVIDIA. First, identify the type of card you have by clicking Start > Typing Device Manager. Once there, you can see the type of your video card. Now, visit the website for your manufacturer. Let the site search and identify your card and download the drivers for you. Install them and then reboot your machine.
#11. DirectX 12
Most likely, you will already have this version if you have been running Windows 10. Check the version and if you do not have it, run Windows updates and install it on your system. Currently, there is no standalone installer for the software, you have to get it via Windows Update. To check the version of your software, go to Start > Run > dxdiag > DirectX Version. If you have 11 or an older version, upgrade immediately to take advantage of the new features available in DirectX 12.
Conclusion – How to Optimize Windows 10 for Gaming
So these were some tweaks for Windows 10 performance improvement that helps you be at the top of your gaming experience. We suggest you try them to improve your overall gaming performance. If there are any other tweaks that we might have missed out that you think should be a part of this guide, comment below and let us know.
PC gaming isn't always as simple as console gaming. Instead of plug & play, it's more plug & pray that your games run smoothly or even run at all. If there’s anything that’s not optimized about your PC, your games' speed will suffer: they’ll stutter and won't look as beautiful as they could.
This article shows you how to optimize your PC and make it faster for gaming, boost FPS, and increase your GPUs performance in general. We’ll also show you how to tweak the blockbuster releases of 2017 and 2018, plus some evergreens like GTA V, Destiny (2) and Dark Souls, with great tips, downloads and our own AVG PC TuneUp product, which helps boost performance and increase FPS!
How to increase FPS on your PC or laptop to improve gaming performance:
But optimizing your PC is just part of the equation: games themselves have ton of hidden potential that can drastically improve the way they look and feel. For that reason, over the next few months we’ll look at the biggest games and discuss how to maximize their potential. Which games you ask? So far, this is on the list:
- The Evil Within2
- Dying Light
- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
- Assassins Creed: Origins
- Wolfenstein 2
Anyway, before we dive into each game, let’s have a look at the top things you need to do in order to get your PC or laptop in shape for the latest blockbuster releases:
1. Upgrade your Graphics Drivers for an immediate FPS boost
Your graphics card is the centerpiece of your gaming experience (more on that below), but it can’t unfold its true performance without the proper software installed on your PC or laptop. Going from the driver that came either with your PC or with your graphics card to the latest version can make a large performance difference. Just look at nVidias latest graphics drivers, for example:
*GeForce GTX SLI scaling improvements graph
- Nvidia GeForce owners: Go to http://www.geforce.com/drivers. Next, select your graphics card and your Windows version from the list and hit the “Start Search” button. My tip: Always go for the driver marked as “BETA”. This isn’t quite a finished driver, but they all run as stable and good as the final release these days and will likely give you even more performance!
- ATI Radeon owners: ATI fans go to http://sites.amd.com/us/game/downloads/Pages/downloads.aspx and select the appropriate device. This will give you access to the latest official driver which you can download and install. To get the beta driver with more performance improvements or features, head over to http://support.amd.com/en-us/kb-articles/Pages/latest-catalyst-windows-beta.aspx.
- For Intel HD Graphics owners: Mostly found on ultrabooks or tablets, the Intel graphics chipsets are the weakest of the bunch. I wouldn’t recommend doing any sort of gaming on the older integrated Intel HD chipsets (such as the HD 3000 or earlier) – unless you’re heavily into slideshows instead of smooth gameplay – but their latest graphics chipsets are powerful enough to play even recent titles, albeit not at the highest possible resolution or with all the bells and whistles turned on.To get updated drivers go to the Graphics driver page of the Intel Download Center.
Wait, how do I even know what graphics card I own?
Not a problem: To find out the maker and exact serial number, all you need to do is follow these steps. First, go to “Control Panel” and head to “Hardware and Sound”. From here, click on “Device Manager”:
This will bring up a list of all the built-in devices of your system. Head over to where it says “Display adapters”:
In these cases, you’ll see an Alienware X51 gaming rig with two graphic chips (the nVidia is usually always the faster one) and a laptop with a GeForce GT 650M. At any rate, make sure you’re using the latest drivers!
2. Supercharge your Graphics Card: A slight overclock doesn’t hurt!
Your gaming performance is mostly dependent on the power of your graphics chip – even more so than on how much memory you have or how fast your processor is! The bottleneck and the reason for stuttering gameplay is in almost all cases the graphics chip. To improve performance, you may want to look at running the graphics card beyond the factory speed setting – or in other words: overclocking! Now, 5-10 years ago, I wouldn’t have recommended overclocking as it posed a significant threat to your hardware, but nowadays most systems turn themselves off automatically before they take any damage. Besides, I only recommend a slight overclock by about 10-15%.
On my desktop gaming PC, an Alienware Area 51 R2, I pushed the two GeForce Titan Xp (2017) (SLI) roughly 15-20% above their factory clock.
On my main laptop, a MacBook Pro 2016 with a Radeon 460 Pro running Windows 10, I always push the GPU from by plus 100 MHz on the chip and memory by 300 MHz. .
Bear in mind that overclocking increases the stress on and temperature of all of your hardware, not just the CPU or GPU, so it should be done with extreme care. In both cases, I ended up with a system that’s 5° Celsius hotter than before, but still well within the limits.
How To Optimize Mac For Gaming
To overclock the GPU, I recommend to read our article on How to Overclock Your GPU for More Gaming and Multimedia Performance.
Using 3DMark 11 I measured that overclocking my system as described above yielded a 10% performance boost:
Best Mac Gaming Computer
3. Boost your FPS with AVG PC TuneUp’s “Uninstaller” and “Program Deactivator”
Windows® keeps getting slower and slower with each program you install on your PC or laptop – and that has a direct effect on all of your games! The reason for this is that a lot of programs run some sort of background activity, even when they’re not being used. AVG makes it easy to uninstall programs that you don’t use and even reduce the impact of ones that you need.
Uninstall those old programs you don’t need!
(don’t worry, the 15-day trial works fine).
Once you’ve installed the suite, go to the “Optimize”category and click on “Uninstall Programs” first. Now what sets us apart from the built-in Windows uninstaller is a filtering feature that allows you to look for programs you haven’t used in ages. Click on “Filter list” and go to “Rarely used programs” and “Programs not used for a long time”.
Found a program you don’t need? Click the “Uninstall” button.
Turn off programs you need! But what about all those other programs you use on a regular basis that are still reducing your day-to-day performance? Well, with our AVG Program Deactivator, you can turn them off safely. Just go to “Turn off programs” and browse through the list of all applications that affect your PCs performance.
By flipping the switch to “Disabled”, our little helper turns off all background activity of your programs when you don’t need them and turns it back on when you actually do. In short: with no heavy background tasks, your PC will run almost as good as new and your games will run faster.
4. Upgrade your Graphics Card [Desktop only]
Once I treated myself to a 4K projector a year ago, I noticed how my old gaming PC really couldn’t keep up: While Witcher 3 ran “ok” in Full HD, my two GeForce 970 (in SLI mode) really struggled with 4K which is essentially 4x the resolution: We’re talking 4096x2160 pixels versus 1920x1080.
Only recently and with NVIDIAs Pascal GPU generation did we get the graphical power to really render 4K games at a butter smooth 60 frames per seconds. Note that only the highend GPUs 1080 TI or the Titan Xp are really made for these kind of requirements…
* Tests were performance on a 2016 Alienware Area 51 Gaming PC: Core i7 4.5 GHz, 16 GB RAM, 2x 970 SLI and 2x Titan Xp SLI
As you can see, upgrading from the older GeForce 970 to the two beasts that are the Titan Xps brought an increase of about 4x. That’s probably still the most effective way to boost performance.
5. Upgrade to an SSD
SSDs are much faster than mechanical hard disks and while this most certainly doesn’t boost your game’s frame rate, it will definitely reduce load time in game.
My recommendation is to go at least with an SSD with more than 250 GB as most games these days take up between 8-20 Gigabytes. My Steam folder, for example, clocks in at a massive 60 Gigabyte and all I bought was Age of Empires III, Evil Within 2, Grand Theft Auto V, and the new Tomb Raider. Add to that Windows (another 30 GB), your personal data and some applications. You’re approaching the 256 GB quickly.
I tried the Samsung 960 Evo which offers a fantastic value (250 GB for 126$). However, I went for the 480 GB SanDisk 480 GB Extreme which boosts an incredible 540 MB/s of sequential read and 460 MB/s of sequential write, for my Alienware gaming rig which – before – featured a stock 7200rpm drive. The performance difference is mindboggling:
As you can see it has slashed my load times, meaning I spent more time playing and less time waiting!
6. Disable SuperFetch and Prefetch
Both SuperFetch and Prefetch are Windows features that are supposed to boost Windows and applications startup times. For games, however, I noticed that loading times and background activity actually increases when these features are enabled. That’s why I recommend turning them both off if you’re an avid gamer. Here’s how:
To do this, go to “Control Panel”, “System and Security”, “Administrative Tools”, and “Services”. Scroll down until you see the “SuperFetch” entry, double-click on it, and choose “Disabled”from the list.
Hit “OK” and close all windows. Next, open up the registry; click on the Start orb and type in “regedit”. Hit Enter, and go to “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlSession ManagerMemory ManagementPrefetchParameters”. Double-click on “EnablePrefetcher” and enter “0” (default value is “3”) to disable the Prefetcher.
Note: Please follow the above instructions precisely as deleting or changing the wrong values in the registry may cause problems with your PC.
7. Defrag or TRIM your disk
As data is written or deleted from your hard disk, files become fragmented and will physically spread out all over the disk drive. This will lead to a significant performance hit, especially with games, as the hard disk will first need to collect all of these portions in order to be able to fully process the entire file. As both your games and their files usually take up several GBs, it is vital that all of these files can be read in a continuous manner.
- To defrag the disk, fire up the Start menu, and go to “All Programs”, “Accessories”, “System Tools” and “Disk Defragmenter”.
- Select your Windows disk, and hit “Defragment disk”. Note, if you have an SSD, you should not defrag. Instead, use the TRIM command to optimize them.
- In Windows 8, Microsoft integrated the TRIM command into the Disk Defragmenter—so, simply hit “Optimize”. Windows 7 doesn’t offer this, so be sure the TRIM command gets executed regularly. To see if TRIM is enabled, open up a command prompt by clicking on the Start orb and typing “cmd” into the search bar. Right-click on the first result (“cmd”), and click “Run as administrator”. Next, type in the command “Fsutil behavior query disabledeletenotify”, and hit Enter. If this returns the result “= 0″, you’re good to go! Otherwise, TRIM isn’t supported and needs to be enabled. Try entering the command “fsutil behavior set DisableDeleteNotify 0″. If that doesn’t help, a firmware upgrade might be necessary to enable TRIM.
8. Tweaking the NVIDIA Control Panel
All NVIDIA drivers come with their own control panels that let you tweak the most essential 3D settings. While you can set many of the following options in-game, some are not available or directly controlled by the driver. This is why it’s always a good idea to go through the list of all options and tweak them to best balance performance and visual quality.
To get to the NVIDIA Control Panel, right-click on your desktop, select “NVIDIA Control Panel” and head over to the “Manage 3D Settings” category on the left. These are the some of the lesser known but still important settings to tweak:
- Maximum Pre-Rendered Frames: This controls the number of frames that the processor prepares before transferring them to the graphics card. Increasing this value results in smoother game play, but you may notice a lag when using the mouse and keyboard. To eliminate the lag, try the “1″ setting.
- Threaded Optimization: This option should always be “On”, as it allows the support of multi-threaded optimization for modern multi-core processors.
- VSync: It synchronizes the frames that your graphics card renders with the refresh rate of your monitor. If you disable it, you might find that games run more smoothly; however, you will notice that some parts of the screen might not be rendered correctly and appear to lag. Disable it only if your monitor has a higher frame rate than your gameplay.
9. Tweaking the AMD/ATI Control Center
The AMD/ATI Control Center is another fantastic way to squeeze out more performance and increase the visual quality of your games. To fire it up, right-click on your desktop, select “Radeon Settings” and head over to the “Gaming Settings”.
From here you can set individual graphic settings for games you have installed. But we recommend going with the Global Settings as our recommendations usually apply to all games...
These are the most important settings:
Anisotropic Filtering Mode: The higher this setting is set, the sharper distant textures will appear. However, this will also increase the processing load on your graphics card. If your GPU is powerful enough, enable it and see if there is a noticeable visual difference. Use this only if your game doesn’t support it.
Anti-aliasing mode and method: Anti-aliasing reduces the “jaggies” around edges, which has a severe impact on performance. If you’re seeing shimmering or jaggies, try the “Override” method and select an anti-aliasing level from 2 to 8.
Morphological Filtering (MLAA): AMD introduced its own form of “anti aliasing” to help remove jaggies around the edges in games, which *might* work better and faster than the methods mentioned above or the games built-in methods. It’s a case by case thing: We recommend turning off the in-game AA and the settings above and try it out! If it works, keep it.
Texture Filtering Quality: According to AMD this changes the quality of textures. However, even when looking up real close we couldn’t notice a difference between High and Performance, yet many of the tested games ran 1-5 fps faster in the latter. We recommend going with Performance here - you will likely not notice a difference.
Surface Format Optimization: Used by older games to decrease graphical fidelity in order to gain a few FPS. Todays games aren’t affected and even on older games (such as Age of Empires III that I tried), I couldn’t make out a performance improvement. Turn it off.
Wait for Vertical Refresh: Vertical Sync (or Vsync) synchronizes the frames that your graphic card renders with the refresh rate of your monitor. If you disable Vsync, you might find that games run more smoothly, however, in most cases, you will notice that some parts of the screen might not be rendered correctly and appear to lag. Disable Vsync only if your monitor has a higher framerate (for example 60hz) than your gameplay (for example 40 FPS).
Make sure that you’ll select Maximum Performance and disable all the power saving and battery extending options.
Last but not least, we’re turning our attention to you AMD Radeon users: Open up your Radeon settings (right-click on your desktop), go to Global Settings and switch off Power Efficiency.
10. Bonus: Improve gaming performance on your laptop
Laptops are inherently slower than their desktop counterparts and especially older machines are almost incapable of running newer 3D games. If none of our tips above worked, there are a few things you can do: If you own a laptop with a Intel HD graphics chipset, you can turn off all the power saving options to make SURE that even the slower graphics boost as much performance as possible.
Check the results: Enable in-game FPS counter
By now you’ve spent a lot of clicks and time improving your games performance. It’s time to check how much you’ve actually achieved. Some games have a built-in counter and, for example, the gaming platform Steam offers this as well (Use ALT+TAB to enable it using the overlay). However, our favorite tool is MSI Afterburner, which also installs RivaTuner. Here’s how it works:
Now that we’ve explored 10 critical tweaks to improve gaming performance, what kind of an effect can you expect? Well, it depends on the hardware you’re using. If you’re running on an older laptop or PC that wasn’t meant for gaming at all, our tips can very well mean the difference between stuttering and smooth gameplay. But even on faster PCs or laptops and gaming rigs, things will feel faster and loading times will decrease when you’re playing games, especially when you follow all our AVG TuneUp tips and manual tweaks.