How to optimize the PC for gaming
Custom Windows installation
To optimize your PC for gaming and streaming, you first need to have a solid Windows installation. You see, Windows isn’t exactly perfect because it comes with a lot of unnecessary components and bloatware that just slows down your machine.
To remedy this situation, you can create a custom bootable ISO image yourself, which takes a long time, or you can use a predefined custom Windows ISO image. We use the pre-built custom Windows ISOs with all the bloat ripped off and the experience has been absolutely stellar.
There are a few options online, but the ones we prefer are the Tech Yes Custom ISO for Windows and the Ghost Specter version of Windows. Personally, we have used the Ghost Specter version (more versions and versions of Windows 10) of the custom ISO on many installations and versions of Windows without any issues.
These ISOs make the installation extremely light, running only the processes necessary for your PC. For Ghost Specter ISOs, you can even choose to run the Superlite versions (currently used on this PC) to have even more unnecessary features like Defender cut from your install.
So if you are wondering how to optimize your PC for gaming, here is your first step: Get a good custom install of Windows that will work with you to win pictures, not against you!
Correct driver installation
If you’re still wondering how to optimize your PC for Windows 10 gaming, it’s time to move on to the next important aspect of better performance. It is VERY important to install the correct drivers and install them correctly.
First, make sure you have all the drivers you need by Google searching for your motherboard name. On the official page you will find the necessary drivers for your PC, so you just need to download them.
Even though some drivers don’t require you to restart your PC, we still recommend that you do so after each installation to make sure everything works as expected.
Besides the drivers from the official motherboard website, we recommend that you download the chipset drivers for your motherboard from the official Intel / AMD websites, as these drivers tend to be more up to date.
Once done, the last bit is to properly install your graphics card driver. To do this correctly, you need to make sure to uninstall the current driver using DDU.
This utility completely removes all traces of your current display driver ensuring that your new installation will go smoothly.
We also recommend that whenever you install a display driver to always use a clean install by erasing your old settings.
If you have an Nvidia GPU, we also recommend using the Bat file described in this video or using NVCleanstall. This will allow you to ONLY install the GPU driver you need without any telemetry or bloat.
With that out of the way, all you have to do is configure your GPU driver settings correctly and with that, in addition to the custom Windows installation, you should already have a solid gaming experience.
Overclock your PC
Once you’ve installed a new custom operating system and installed the drivers in it, the next big step in answering the “how do I optimize my PC for gaming” question is to start overclocking your components.
While the term may sound worrisome at first, there is no real risk to your parts as they are all made to just shut down if you messed up something.
The overclocking of the processor is done in the BIOS or with utilities such as AMD Ryzen Master or Intel Extreme Tuning Utility. We recommend that you go the BIOS route because software usually complicates the variables you need to manage.
If you are completely new to PC gaming and are afraid to utter the word BIOS, these utilities will allow you to get good FPS gains without much hassle.
GPU overclocking happens in your Windows and requires utilities like MSI Afterburner or EVGA Precision X1. We recommend using MSI Afterburner as it is universally applicable while EVGA software is for NVIDIA Turing graphics cards.
This video visually explains why OC-ing your GPU is a good idea and also contains some tips and tricks.
After getting a somewhat stable OC, don’t forget to validate your results using stress tests for your CPU and GPU to make sure your values are 100% stable.
If you’re having trouble overclocking your GPU, don’t worry, as you’ll likely get a blue screen and restart Windows. From there, you can just tune your OC GPU a bit.
If you are having trouble with your OC CPU and you can’t even boot, don’t panic as you can reset the CMOS (reset your BIOS settings) which will get you back up and running.
Again even if you fail or get blue / black screens all is well since overclocking has come a long way in terms of safety!
Final adjustments to optimize your PC
The last things we like to do to fully optimize any PC for gaming are as follows.
First of all, we like to turn off HPET and all the other synthetic timers on Windows for a nice boost in stable FPS. It also allows us to use software like Smart Watchlist Cleaner which can reduce Windows Timer resolutions to 0.5ms optimal.
This is done for cleaner, more vivid inputs into games and an overall better PC.
Next, you need to make sure that Game Mode is turned on in your PC settings (Game – Game Mode – On) while everything else on this tab is turned off.
In the main PC settings, we also like to turn off all pesky notifications and go through the privacy and personalization settings to completely tune the PC to our liking.
Another cool tweak that we like to use is the installation of Classic Shell. This app brings back the Windows 7 Start menu experience that we all have come to love and appreciate.
This is a pure preference tweak that just helps us navigate our PC more easily, but just in case you are also tired of Windows 10’s convoluted start menu, this is a great solution!
A little tweak we like to do is go to System – About – Advanced System Settings and from there click on the Settings button in the Advanced tab. Here we turn off all animation settings from there except smooth edges on fonts and thumbnails which is useful.
Finally, you need to go to your task manager and disable all the unnecessary startup tasks that are bogging down your computer.
With it, your PC is fully optimized and ready for intense gaming and streaming!
There are many tips and tricks articles out there, but we think we’ve done a good job giving you some ideas of what you need to do to boost your PC’s performance.
All of the above tips have been researched and quantified and proven to deliver results in PC performance and also validated by us on a daily basis.
Don’t be afraid to start experimenting with the things we’ve talked about because performance won’t just show up at your doorstep without some hard work on your part.
That’s all there is to it, so polish it up!