You there! Yes, you! Do you wish your computer could run shiny games like Aion, Divine Souls, and Age of Conan? You and your calculator are in luck, because I have just the thing to cure your ailments. But be warned, because you could really mess up your computer if done incorrectly!
(Make sure you update every driver and required software regularly; more often than not was an older revision of software the culprit of lag and crashes)
Alright, now that you're excited (I know you are), I have some applications that ought to be downloaded. None of these have any viruses on them, and I will explain why you need them in a little bit. All of these programs are independent of each other, so if you feel uncomfortable running one then just skip the step (but skip it entirely).
www.iobit.com/gamebooster.html - Gamebooster
www.piriform.com/ccleaner - CCleaner
www.avast.com/free-antivirus-download - Avast anti-virus
www.google.com/chrome - Chrome web browser
Before you automatically assume your rig can't run a game, go to www.systemrequirementslab.com/cyri and check the list for your game. The site will automatically check your specs, and tell you what you failed right down to the numbers.
If you are sure that you can't run the game, then it's time to continue.
FIRST: CCleaner, the greatest clean up crew you will every download. After you download something, browse a site, or even run an application, temporary files will show up in some hidden folders (called temp, very original). Though most programs make sure to remove those files after they close, some just leave them there. Also, when you uninstall things, registry files (the things that let your computer know about a program on your computer) tend to stay when they shouldn't. CCleaner fixes both problems within 3 minutes (max) of an analysis.
When you open CCleaner, there will be four buttons on the left. For the sake of simplicity, let's ignore the last two. The first button at the top is the Cleaner, which allows you to clean up temporary files as well as data saved from your internet browser. There are two tabs, one which shows internet browsers, and another which shows software from your system. Be warned that when you run the cleaner, you will remove anything that has a checkmark next to it on both tabs.
Verify that everything checked is what you want deleted. You don't have to worry about mistakes, because the worst case scenario is you losing your internet history. When you think you're fine, just hit run cleaner and wait 2 minutes. In the right side, you will see exactly how much space was freed on your hard drive.
Why is this important? Having more space on your hard drive definitely speeds up system processes (less things to sift through during scans) and gives you more room for those large games.
Google Chrome is undoubtedly the fastest and lightest browser ever made, although it has some problems with sites that don't support it. I won't say much about this (considering mostly everyone on the internet already knows about it), but if you download it you'll realize it speaks for itself.
Why is this important? Flash games run very smoothly on chrome, although they'd probably run smoothly on other browsers anyway. But if you want to listen to pandora while grinding on your favorite mmo without the penalties of lag, chrome is the perfect choice.
GameBooster, probably the most important program I will introduce in this article. It uses a mode called Gaming Mode, which halts any unhelpful processes happening behind the scenes, which will free RAM and put more effort from the processor into your game. If that wasn't cool enough, it also defragments games and selected executables, which takes a lot less time than your average drive wide defragment. (Defragmenting basically rearranges data so when it is read by the computer, it will be faster because of the organization)
How is it used? Well, to switch to gaming mode, you just press the big blue button in the middle of the window. To defragment games, merely go to the "Game Defrag" tab, choose from the list or find the executable yourself ( click the blue "Or click here to select directory"), analyze and defragment. Simple, no?
Why is it important? You can free up memory, focus your processor on the game, and make the game run faster permanently.
Avast anti-Virus, A free and light-weight antivirus for your gaming needs.
Avast is very attractive to gamers because it isn't as annoying as other anti-viruses, and it doesn't use much memory to maintain. It also has a gaming mode, which stops it from scanning everything that does something on your computer, but also leaves it vulnerable.
Why is it Important? I chose this antivirus mainly because it's not processor intensive *coughNortoncough*, and that it gets the job done. Since installing it, I have yet to get a virus.
Are you still experiencing problems with games? If you aren't worried about the safety of your computer, and you are savvy in the ways of hardware, feel free to continue. If you don't know enough about what goes on in a computer, DO NOT MODIFY YOUR COMPUTER. If you make a mistake, you would probably destroy your rig.
OverClocking (OC) involves going into the firmware and telling your processor to increase it's frequency, allowing games to run considerably more smoothly. As a result though, your processor will heat up more and potentially burn, and will most likely have a shorter life. If you're planning on doing this, I suggest using liquid cooling rather than a fan simply because liquid cooling can manage the intense heat of an overclocked processor.
Most people overclock .2 or .3 GHz, just to be safe. If you overclock your processor to something much larger than it's original speed then expect your computer to explode shortly thereafter.
I really can't do this topic justice, since I haven't tried it myself. If you want to know more about it, go over to www.overclockers.com/ .
Replacing/ Adding Parts to your Computer
This method is a lot cheaper than buying a whole computer. Parts are available online, and if you want to know which one is dragging you back just use www.systemrequirementslab.com/cyri and select some recent game. Here are some common additions that people add to their computer:
RAM: Comes in 1, 2, 4, and rarely 8 GB. By adding more of this, you can increase the number of programs you can run at one time, and speed up games (up to a point, so don't expect perfection by increasing your RAM to outrageous proportions). Most of the time, RAM is limited by the OS and the motherboard, so look at your computer's specs for more information.
Video Cards: Most of the time, a video card is the reason why a game can't run properly. Two common types of video cards are integrated and SLI ready. Integrated cards are usually pre-installed in your computer and sometimes shares memory which makes it slow. SLI ready cards are independent of the memory of the computer, are not usually pre-installed, and can be installed with other SLI ready video cards. Video cards have their own cooling system ( a fan, as seen in the picture) and are placed in a PCI or AGP port in the motherboard.
Hard disk drive (HDD) : This is where your data is stored, like pictures and movies you've saved. Upgrading it allows for more space, and sometimes a faster rate of reading/writing (Allows programs to grab data quicker). These are the rectangular boxes found connected to your motherboard via Wires. Don't confuse this with a DVD drive, which most likely won't have a board ( the green thing) visible.
The Processor(s): These tiny things are extremely powerful, and can heat up to ridiculous temperatures. You'll most likely find these with heat sinks (metal sticks that poke out to transfer heat into the air), or a liquid cooling chamber. Processors come in a ton of different varieties, and there can be several processors on a single chip. It's important to know what kind of processor your computer can utilize as well, lest you get a 64 bit hex core processor with an unsuitable operating system or motherboard.
Please post any comments if you found this helpful or not, and I am open to new suggestions :)