July 17, 2024

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Essential Gaming Laptop Maintenance for Optimal Performance

7 min read

Gaming laptops typically have powerful GPUs and CPUs that deliver excellent graphics and a smooth gaming experience. However, while the latest tech will give you the best results, gaming laptop maintenance is essential if your machine is to continue performing optimally well into the future. Otherwise, your machine’s performance might suffer, and you might even cause permanent damage.

How do I know my machine needs maintenance?

One way to tell your machine needs maintenance is that it starts struggling to open apps and suffers from reduced all-around performance. You may also notice the casing feels hot to the touch, which is one of the key indicators you need to clean your machine.

If you’re wondering how to improve your gaming laptop’s performance, there’s a good chance some TLC will help. This can mean updating your machine with new hardware, including software-based solutions and even physical cleaning.

If you’re wondering how to clean a gaming laptop, this article is here to guide you.

Physical cleaning

As time goes by, your machine will acquire dust and dirt that will settle on surfaces, including components inside your machine. If you let the dust build up too much, it can start to affect the performance of the components and potentially cause permanent damage. For example, the build-up can cause overheating and increase the chances of a circuit shorting.

If your machine is struggling, check its air intake for fluff and dirt and remove as much as possible. You can try opening the machine for a more thorough clean, but bear in mind that you risk damaging components, and your warranty will likely be void. It may be best to take your laptop to a professional if you’re not confident about opening it yourself.

Keyboards are also prone to acquiring dirt between the keys, but mechanical keyboards have easy-to-remove keys, making them easier to keep clean. A clean display is also a good idea; you will find a wide range of convenient screen-cleaning products.

Gaming hardware optimisation

essential gaming laptop maintenance tips

essential gaming laptop maintenance tips

Keeping your software optimised will often boost your laptop’s performance for gaming. For example, the OMEN Gaming Hub offers easy-to-use tools that automatically optimise your machine for the best results. The hub includes tools that will disable unnecessary services running on your machine when you open a game, reducing the resources it was using. These resources are then redirected towards running your game, providing a smooth experience.

You should also keep your drivers updated as often as possible. Drivers are a type of software that helps components work with each other, and new driver updates can enhance how well they perform.

The GPU and CPU driver versions are especially important for a modern gaming machine, so keep up to date. You can usually find drivers to download for free on the manufacturer’s website, along with some handy tools that can help you keep up to date automatically.

Prevent overheating

Overheating is among the biggest causes of a poorly performing computer. If your machine gets too hot, it will start slowing down and might stop working altogether. In many cases, just holding your hand against the case will tell you that your machine is overheating, while some software tools will also tell you the temperature of your laptop’s components.

Fans are often located on a laptop’s underside, making it easy to block them. For example, many people will use their laptops while sitting in bed, and leaving your machine running on top of bedding will likely result in overheating.

To avoid this, use your machine on a cool, flat surface that allows air to freely pass below your machine and into the fan. You can also use tools like cooling pads, which maintain a gap between your fan intake and the nearest surface. Some cooling pads will have fans of their own for even more cooling power.

Regular system checks and data backups

Regular system checks will help ensure everything is running as it should and prevent problems from arising. Such system checks will also help you clean up your disk, freeing up much-needed space. Not only will this give you more storage, but it can also help your machine work more efficiently.

Various platforms will also let you clear errors in your registry and perform other in-depth gaming laptop maintenance tasks at the touch of a button. Don’t forget to also have anti-malware software installed on your machine to protect you from viruses, while making regular backups will help keep your data safe.

Battery care for a longer lifespan

A healthy battery is among the most essential of all laptop components. Unfortunately, batteries are known to lose effectiveness over time, eventually making a replacement necessary. Here are a few tips on how to extend your laptop’s battery life:

Don’t keep your machine plugged in

Many laptop users will plug in their machines to help maintain the charge level. However, doing this can weaken the battery, meaning it’s not as good an idea as it might sound.

Turn your laptop off

It is not uncommon for a laptop to be left working 24/7, sometimes working through the night as you sleep. Leaving your gaming laptop on in this way can damage your battery, so it’s best to give it a rest at a prolonged least once a day.

Unplug unnecessary devices

You should ideally unplug any devices you are not currently using. For example, if you have a stand-alone mic plugged in, it is going to be a drain on your battery regardless of whether you’re using it.

Turn off unneeded apps

Each app you have open on your computer requires processing power, and the more processing power you use, the greater the drain on your battery. As such, closing apps you don’t need will help your battery last longer.

Use the charger provided

A laptop will often come with a battery charger, and it’s best to use the charger provided. Using a third-party adaptor may result in poor charging and may even damage your battery. Not using the charger provided might also make your warranty void.

Use power-saving software

Most modern laptops come with built-in software that will help you reduce your power usage. Such options are usually found within your operating system’s (OS) settings/preferences menu and offer features like screen dimming and hibernation modes.

Necessary upgrades

essential gaming laptop maintenance tips 3

essential gaming laptop maintenance tips 3

As hardware becomes more advanced, so does the software using it, meaning your machine will begin to struggle eventually. In such a case, you might need to upgrade your machine, and here’s a look at some of the most popular upgrade types.

RAM upgrades

Random access memory (RAM) is one of the first upgrades most people will look for. This is because RAM is among the most affordable components and gives a significant speed boost.

SSD cards

If your gaming laptop still uses hard disk drives (HDD), it might be time to switch to solid-state drives (SSD). SSD cards let computers read data far quicker than HDD, giving your machine a noticeable performance boost.

CPU upgrades

Your central power unit (CPU) orchestrates your machine’s activities and processes data. As technology develops, even today’s latest CPU technology will eventually become obsolete.

GPU upgrades

A graphics processing unit will help bring high-quality images to your screen, making it important for gamers and those in creative fields. As games and other software become more advanced, more powerful GPUs are needed to keep up.

Power and cooling upgrades

Bear in mind that any upgrades might require more power and cooling. As such, it’s best to be sure about what you need before you get started to ensure the best result.

While you can upgrade a laptop with new components, it’s often best left to the professionals. Not only is there a chance of making a costly error, but the experts will also know which components complement each other. Bear in mind that opening your machine may also void any warranties, making another good reason to leave it to a pro.

Summary

Gaming laptops require regular maintenance to keep them performing well. Gaming laptop maintenance involves physically cleaning your machine, ensuring drivers are up to date and upgrading your components as needed. In most cases, such maintenance is easy and requires no specialist knowledge.

Prevention is always the best cure, and maintaining your machine will prevent issues from occurring. Instead of waiting for signs like a hot case, you should create a maintenance schedule so your machine is always clean and optimised.

Before you open any computer, you should always unplug it from the main power supply. Ideally, you should also use tools like a grounding mat to release any charge remaining in your machine. Remember also that opening a machine can invalidate the warranty, and it can be easy to accidentally break something. As such, it’s often best to perform regular cleans yourself while leaving deeper cleans to the professionals.

About the Author

Jamie is an experienced writer with more than 20 years of writing under his belt. His main niche is online marketing topics but enjoys writing on pretty much any subject under the sun. In his spare time, Jamie enjoys gaming, virtual reality workouts, and relaxing with friends and family.

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