Gaming laptops have been growing in popularity for years now, and consumers are spending valuable time, energy, and money to acquire a laptop that best suits their needs. To give them the products they deserve, laptop manufacturers take designing the perfect portable gaming machine very seriously. A lot of research, budget, and time goes into creating a gaming laptop that balances power, portability, and aesthetics.
But work to make sure you got the best gaming laptop because the perfect gaming experience neither begins nor ends when you part with your hard-earned cash. It is essential that you do all you can to maximize its performance to get the most out of your machine.
And to best achieve that, there are several things you should never do with your gaming laptop. By avoiding these five huge “don’ts” and “never do’s,” you’ll be well on your way. to have a gaming laptop that reaches its full potential.
1. Never settle for the default settings
As soon as you buy your gaming laptop and plug it in, immediately change your performance and battery settings. While this seems like a modest tweak at best, leaving your default settings is a great way to hamper your gaming machine’s performance, as they’re often meant to limit its power to save battery life.
In Windows 11, you can adjust most of these settings through the Power and battery options. Make sure the mode is set to Performance and all sleep options are set to Never. Also go to Display settings and increase that refresh rate – you’ll thank me when these PC games run flawlessly on your screen.
Also, check if your graphics drivers are properly updated. It’s easy to assume they’ll be up to date on startup, but you’ll definitely need to install at least one new update to improve performance. If you have an Nvidia GPU, download the GeForce experience tool, and configure the update that way. If you’re using an AMD GPU instead, download the Radeon software from the Drivers + Download Center.
2. Do not enable this Windows security feature
Ever since Windows 11 was first released in 2021, there were already complaints about VBS (Virtualization Based Security) interfering with gameplay quality. But at least you can easily disable the feature and not worry about slowing down your PC games. However, a recent discovery from our sister site Tom’s gear found that after a recent OS update, the setting will revert back even if you previously disabled it. This means you might have experienced average frame rate and performance drops of around 5%, with variations of up to 10% depending on the game.
Although these may seem small, these performance drops occur even with a Nvidia RTX 4090currently one of best graphics cards on the market. And if you’re buying a gaming laptop with such a powerful graphics card, chances are you don’t want to see a drop in frame rate or performance.
If you need to extinguish VBS (opens in a new tab), it’s surprisingly easy to do. First, find Core insulation and click on it, then toggle the Memory integrity disable the option and restart your computer when prompted. To make sure it’s disabled, go to system information, and check if “virtualization-based security” is set to ‘not activated.’
Thanks to Microsoft’s clumsy handling of the feature, you might have to repeat this process every time you update your PC. But I’ll be sure to go over exactly what went wrong with this Windows 11 update in much more detail in a future story.
3. Never remove it from AC power
Rule number one for any gaming laptop is that unless you are physically transporting it to another location, do not remove it from AC power. Gaming laptops are designed to game with access to unlimited power; even if you max out the settings and enable performance mode, having your rig on battery will not only drain the mediocre battery most likely in a few hours, but it will also negatively affect performance as the laptop is too busy trying to keep itself alive to make sure the frame rate is always above 100.
It seems counter-intuitive, but gaming laptops aren’t portable enough to allow battery-powered gaming at all times. They are portable to avoid being chained to the desk on which they were initially installed. The idea is that you can transport it to another location, like a friend’s house or an office, and then reinstall it with minimal effort. So always keep this laptop plugged into an outlet.
To help you, see the Change advanced power settings In Control Panel, and make sure the following options are set to Never for plugged in: Turn off the hard drive after, Turn off display afterAnd sleep after. This prevents your laptop from going into sleep mode if you leave it idle for too long, which would otherwise interrupt your session.
4. Never block the ventilation holes
A solid ventilation system is just as important to performance as the best GPU. If you have an older machine or one with poor thermals, you’ll find that overall performance will start to suffer because your laptop has no reliable way to remove all that extra heat building up in its components. It is therefore absolutely essential that you research and examine your potential gaming laptop to see how many and where its vents are.
Location is key, as you want a laptop that can drain heat from places that won’t easily get clogged. Good places include the sides and back of your laptop, as these need to be light enough to constantly dissipate this heat. The bottom is another common location for vents because this area tends to accumulate the most heat. However, if you block any of these areas, the fans will have to work harder, which diverts power from the gaming performance. This means that placing objects near the side or rear vents is prohibited, and not Do not rest your laptop on a blanket or cloth as this blocks the bottom vents.
5. Don’t assume overclocking will deliver the best performance
The general concept of overclocking a gaming PC or laptop is that by essentially pushing your GPU (or other components) to their limit, you can squeeze higher levels of performance out of it, which which should result in better and smoother gameplay.
However, there are many factors involved in overclocking, including the method you choose, how the GPU and CPU work together, and more. And this generation currently seems to be running into some interesting bottleneck issues, mostly because the RTX 4000 series GPUs are hampering the performance of the 13th Gen Core processors.
That said, sometimes the best option is not to overclock your gaming laptop, especially if it’s running an RTX 4090. First, because it’s just not necessary. If you’ve followed all the tips in this list, your laptop should already be playing at its best. And second, there seem to be cases of even mild overclocking that negatively affects performance. For example, the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i will experience a massive frame rate drop if you touch a single Lenovo software option that falls below performance.
Of course, experiment with your gaming rig and see what works best for you. But don’t be afraid to leave these options alone if you notice a decrease in performance.