Many PC users become frustrated at the way their computer responds when they play video games. The video and sound may stutter, lag, and freeze, taking much of the fun out of the gaming experience.

Fortunately, there are a number of easy ways to solve these problems. Here are some of the most common solutions to speed up your computer while playing video games:

Change the graphics settings

Depending on the hardware in your computer, some games will automatically scale the graphics settings to the highest possible quality. If your computer can’t handle this extra load, it will cause your games to slow down significantly. However, some graphics settings are not very noticeable, and turning these features off can reduce your frame rate without any obvious reduction in quality.

For example, while most people can notice the difference between turning anti-aliasing on and off, will you really be able to notice the difference between 16x AA and 8x AA? Maybe not. Turn this setting off and watch your performance skyrocket.

Another common tweak in the graphics settings is to turn off Vsync. Designed to reduce ‘tearing’ on both the top and bottom of your screen, Vsync can significantly affect your PC’s gaming performance. Many users agree that turning it off has no obvious negative effects. For that reason, it may be the single easiest way to increase your PC’s graphical power.

Make sure your PC isn’t overheating

An overheated PC is a slow PC. Eliminate this problem by adding cooling mechanisms to your computer case. For example, add after-market fans above the CPU, or special video card heat-sinks.

However, sometimes overheating can be fixed without spending any money at all. You may simply need to open up the case and clean out the dust. Specifically, clean the dust around every exterior fan, as well as the heat-sinks directly atop your video card and CPU. An aerosol duster can usually be found for under $10, and it can significantly speed up this cleaning process.

Download the latest driver updates

Sometimes, video card manufacturers will release drivers for their products which tweak the card’s performance in certain video games. Usually, this is only done for popular games. However, since the update is catered specifically to both your video card and your game, an improvement in frame-rates and game speed is virtually guaranteed. Check your manufacturer’s website for more info.

Search game forums for similar problems

If your problem is more serious, then you may want to check various forums for other people who have been complaining about the same problem. It’s rare to encounter a unique problem on your PC, especially for a popular video game. Use this to your advantage by doing some quick research. At the very least, you’ll find other common ways to speed up performance in the game. In fact, there may be entire communities dedicated to this. In addition, you could find user-developed mods and applications which optimize the video game for a certain video card, CPU, or motherboard.

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