You lastly picked the very best gaming laptop, however how do you take care of it? There’s the routine upkeep of setting up Windows updates and updating your GPU drivers, but there are some important mistakes you must avoid to keep your gaming laptop running efficiently.
I’ve evaluated dozens of video gaming laptops and utilized them for years, and I’ve learned that some standard preventative steps can keep your gaming laptop performing at its finest. Here are the important things you ought to pay attention to.
Let it get filthy
Treat your gaming laptop like royalty. It appears apparent, best? You don’t want your expensive piece of tech getting unclean, and you certainly do not want it getting caked in dust. But some dog hair here, a little dust there, and you all of a sudden have a laptop computer that isn’t running as smoothly as it did out of the box. That’s not to mention a fast snack spilling some crumbs on your keyboard.
It’s not just for appearances. Keeping your gaming laptop clean is a vital maintenance action that can extend the life of your machine. A common thread throughout these suggestions is proper thermal management, which is still a crucial element of a high-performance gaming laptop in 2023. If you let dust collect on the fans, they won’t cool as effectively, and your components won’t improve to their maximum speed.
Just how crucial are those thermal constraints? I haven’t soiled a pricey gaming laptop, but I have an excellent illustration of simply how huge of a difference thermals can make. If you compare the performance of the Alienware x14 R2 to the Asus ROG Strix G17, the Asus laptop computer is somewhere around 20% much faster in games regardless of the truth that both makers consist of an RTX 4060 GPU. The Strix is able to just push a lot more cooling due to being a much larger laptop computer.
I do not think you’ll see a 20% drop simply from dust, but there are definitely tangible efficiency drops you can experience in a gaming laptop if you do not keep it clean. Cooling efficiency is enormous in video gaming laptops, so take out your compressed air and make certain to keep your machine tidy.
Leave it in efficiency mode
You don’t constantly require to run your gaming laptop at complete tilt, and in many cases, you should not. A lot of gaming laptops include a handful of performance modes that you can toggle between, and you should default to the highest efficiency mode when playing most games. Still, the other modes are there for a reason, and you need to make great usage of them.
The greatest performance mode on your gaming laptop will crank the power to the GPU and CPU, along with increase your fan speed. That’s precisely what you want when playing a requiring video game like Cyberpunk 2077, however it’s not a great idea when you’re not pushing your laptop computer to its limitations.
You’re not going to harm your laptop by running it in its highest efficiency mode constantly, however you will pay in battery life and noise. In cases where you’re just browsing the web or doing other light-weight tasks, you can bump down to the well balanced or perhaps silent mode to extend your battery life and keep your laptop from getting too loud.
It can be applied in gaming scenarios, too. I was just recently playing through Sea of Stars on the Razer Blade 14, which is a 2D turn-based RPG with pixel art. Not even from another location requiring for a Blade 14 packing an RTX 4070, however the fans were still running at complete tilt in the greatest performance mode. I had the ability to bump down to the balanced mode, cut the fan noise almost entirely, and run the game without a doubt about efficiency. Not every game requires your laptop computer to run as fast as it can, and it’s important to acknowledge those situations and swap to a better power mode.
Use both of your GPUs
Your gaming laptop comes with two GPUs. One is the discrete GPU that you utilize for games, and the other is the integrated GPU that’s constructed into your processor. The incorporated GPU isn’t really powerful, however it’s an excellent choice to need to save battery life when you’re not playing video games.
Both AMD and Nvidia have services that integrate both– for Nvidia, it’s Optimus, and for AMD it’s Hybrid graphics. The concept is to utilize both of the GPUs for optimum efficiency and battery life, but it hardly ever plays out that method in practice. In most circumstances, you’ll be sacrificing some gaming performance, even if you’re plugged into a wall and aren’t concerned with battery life.
The service is to by hand change to only your discrete GPU when playing games, which you can do in the Nvidia Control Panel or Radeon Software. There are some games where you will not see a huge uptick in efficiency, however others might show gains of 10% or more with the integrated GPU got rid of as a traffic jam.
This is ending up being less of a concern with more modern-day laptops. Nvidia’s Advanced Optimus can change to the discrete GPU instantly, for instance, delivering on the pledge of the very best performance and finest battery life. In addition, MUX switches are ending up being more typical on gaming laptops, which bypass the integrated graphics entirely (however at the cost of battery life). In both of these cases, however, make certain your laptop computer supports these features. If it does not, you’ll require to manually switch between the preferred GPUs.
Forget your charger
Video gaming laptops don’t normally have the finest battery life, but you’ll desire to keep your battery charger useful regardless. Playing video games on battery power is a bad concept, not only for lower performance however also for the durability of your gaming laptop.
Even if you’re playing video games in the greatest efficiency mode, most video gaming laptops can’t draw the power they need entirely off the battery in requiring gaming situations. If you’re playing games on your laptop computer without the charger attached, you’re leaving a lot of performance on the table. That’s not to point out the issues with battery life you’ll run up against.
It’s tough on your battery, too. Although years ago it wasn’t an excellent concept to leave laptops plugged in indefinitely, it’s not as much of a concern today. A lot of laptops stop charging when the battery reaches complete capability, enabling straight to the machine without cycling the battery. If anything, letting your battery entirely drain and fully charging it will do more damage gradually.
Note this only applies if your laptop computer remains in use. If you’re leaving your gaming laptop alone for an extended amount of time, drain pipes the battery to about half capability before turning off the maker, and do not leave it plugged in throughout that time.
Overclock your components
There’s absolutely nothing stopping you from overclocking the GPU in your gaming laptop, and even some modern Intel CPUs enable for overclocking. It’s simply not a great idea in the majority of situations. As you can most likely guess, that all boils down to thermals.
A great deal of gaming laptops can strike thermal limitations even at stock settings– there’s a reason tools like ThrottleStop exist and are still updated to this day– so pressing your elements any further will not only offer no benefit in your efficiency, it could lower the longevity of your elements. That’s specifically true if your components are just barely making it by thermally at stock settings.
There’s some nuance here, however. Although it’s normally not an excellent idea to overclock elements in your laptop computer, it’s not constantly out of the question. Massive laptops like the MSI GT77 Titan can deal with the additional heat, so you may be able to get away with a little bit of overclocking. In addition, some laptops consist of an option in the bundled software application to overclock the GPU, such as the Asus ROG Zephyrus M16. This is within recommended use, so you can utilize the overclock choice with no issue.
There are some laptops that can handle a minor overclock, however a lot of can’t. It’s finest to remain within the suggested parameters your laptop can deal with, as a lot of laptop brand names are currently pressing their gaming laptops as far as they can go (even to a throttling fault).