5 things you should never do with your gaming laptop

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You assuredly acclimatized on the best gaming laptop, but how do you booty affliction of it? There’s the accepted aliment of installing Windows updates and afterlight your GPU drivers, but there are some analytical mistakes you should abstain to accumulate your gaming laptop active smoothly.

I’ve advised dozens of gaming laptops and acclimated them for years, and I’ve abstruse that some basal bactericide accomplish can accumulate your gaming laptop assuming at its best. Here are the things you should pay absorption to.

Let it get dirty

Cleaning a laptop fan with air blower.Thana Prasongsin / Getty Images

Treat your gaming laptop like royalty. It seems obvious, right? You don’t appetite your big-ticket allotment of tech accepting dirty, and you absolutely don’t appetite it accepting caked in dust. But some dog beard here, a little dust there, and you aback accept a laptop that isn’t active as calmly as it did out of the box. That’s not to acknowledgment a quick bite spilling some crumbs on your keyboard.

It’s not aloof for looks. Keeping your gaming laptop apple-pie is an capital aliment footfall that can prolong the activity of your machine. A accepted cilia throughout these tips is able thermal management, which is still a analytical aspect of a high-performance gaming laptop in 2023. If you let dust accrue on the fans, they won’t air-conditioned as effectively, and your apparatus won’t addition to their best speed.

Just how important are those thermal constraints? I haven’t dirtied an big-ticket gaming laptop, but I accept a acceptable analogy of aloof how big of a aberration thermals can make. If you analyze the achievement of the Alienware x14 R2 to the Asus ROG Strix G17, the Asus laptop is about about 20% faster in amateur admitting the actuality that both machines accommodate an RTX 4060 GPU. The Strix is able to aloof advance abundant added cooling due to actuality a abundant beyond laptop.

Performance for four gaming laptops in Cyberpunk 2077.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

I don’t anticipate you’ll see a 20% bead artlessly from dust, but there are absolutely actual achievement drops you can acquaintance in a gaming laptop if you don’t accumulate it clean. Cooling ability is massive in gaming laptops, so cull out your aeroembolism air and accomplish abiding to accumulate your apparatus tidy.

Leave it in achievement mode

Forza Horizon 5 active on the Alienware x14 R2.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

You don’t consistently charge to run your gaming laptop at abounding tilt, and in best cases, you shouldn’t. Most gaming laptops appear with a drop of achievement modes that you can toggle between, and you should absence to the accomplished achievement approach back arena best games. Still, the added modes are there for a reason, and you should accomplish acceptable use of them.

The accomplished achievement approach on your gaming laptop will crank the ability to the GPU and CPU, as able-bodied as access your fan speed. That’s absolutely what you appetite back arena a ambitious bold like Cyberpunk 2077, but it’s not a acceptable abstraction back you’re not blame your laptop to its limits.

You’re not activity to accident your laptop by active it in its accomplished achievement approach constantly, but you will pay in array activity and noise. In cases area you’re aloof browsing the internet or accomplishing added failing tasks, you can bang bottomward to the counterbalanced or alike bashful approach to extend your array activity and accumulate your laptop from accepting too loud.

It can be activated in gaming situations, too. I was afresh arena through Sea of Stars on the Razer Blade 14, which is a 2D turn-based RPG with pixel art. Not alike accidentally ambitious for a Blade 14 packing an RTX 4070, but the admirers were still active at abounding angle in the accomplished achievement mode. I was able to bang bottomward to the counterbalanced mode, cut the fan babble about entirely, and run the bold after a additional anticipation about performance. Not every bold calls for your laptop to run as fast as it can, and it’s important to admit those situations and bandy to a added adapted ability mode.

Use both of your GPUs

Diagram assuming how Nvidia Optimus works.Nvidia

Your gaming laptop comes with two GPUs. One is the detached GPU that you use for games, and the added is the chip GPU that’s complete into your processor. The chip GPU isn’t actual powerful, but it’s a acceptable advantage to accept to save array activity back you’re not arena games.

Both AMD and Nvidia accept solutions that accommodate both — for Nvidia, it’s Optimus, and for AMD it’s Hybrid graphics. The abstraction is to use both of the GPUs for best achievement and array life, but it rarely plays out that way in practice. In best situations, you’ll be sacrificing some gaming performance, alike if you’re acquainted into a bank and aren’t anxious with array life.

The band-aid is to manually about-face to alone your detached GPU back arena games, which you can do in the Nvidia Control Panel or Radeon Software. There are some amateur area you won’t see a massive uptick in performance, but others could appearance assets of 10% or added with the chip GPU removed as a bottleneck.

This is acceptable beneath of an affair with added avant-garde laptops. Nvidia’s Advanced Optimus can about-face to the detached GPU automatically, for example, carrying on the affiance of the best achievement and best array life. In addition, MUX switches are acceptable added accepted on gaming laptops, which bypass the chip cartoon absolutely (though at the amount of array life). In both of these cases, however, accomplish abiding your laptop supports these features. If it doesn’t, you’ll charge to manually bandy amid the adopted GPUs.

Forget your charger

The charger acquainted into the Lenovo Legion 9i.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Gaming laptops don’t usually accept the best array life, but you’ll appetite to accumulate your charger accessible regardless. Playing amateur on array ability is a bad idea, not alone for lower achievement but additionally for the constancy of your gaming laptop.

Even if you’re arena amateur in the accomplished achievement mode, best gaming laptops can’t draw the ability they crave alone off the array in ambitious gaming situations. If you’re arena amateur on your laptop after the charger attached, you’re abrogation a lot of achievement on the table. That’s not to acknowledgment the issues with array activity you’ll run up against.

It’s adamantine on your battery, too. Although years ago it wasn’t a acceptable abstraction to leave laptops acquainted in indefinitely, it’s not as abundant of a affair today. Most laptops stop charging back the array alcove abounding capacity, giving ability anon to the apparatus after cycling the battery. If anything, absolution your array absolutely cesspool and absolutely recharging it will do added accident over time.

Note this alone applies if your laptop is in use. If you’re abrogation your gaming laptop abandoned for an continued aeon of time, cesspool the array to about bisected accommodation afore shutting off the machine, and don’t leave it acquainted in during that time.

Overclock your components

Cyberpunk 2077 on the Lenovo Legion Pro 5.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

There’s annihilation endlessly you from overclocking the GPU in your gaming laptop, and alike some avant-garde Intel CPUs acquiesce for overclocking. It’s aloof not a abundant abstraction in best situations. As you can apparently guess, that all comes bottomward to thermals.

A lot of gaming laptops can hit thermal banned alike at banal settings — there’s a acumen accoutrement like ThrottleStop abide and are still adapted to this day — so blame your apparatus any added will not alone accommodate no account in your performance, it could abate the constancy of your components. That’s abnormally accurate if your apparatus are aloof almost authoritative it by thermally at banal settings.

There’s some dash here, however. Although it’s about not a acceptable abstraction to overclock apparatus in your laptop, it’s not consistently out of the question. Massive laptops like the MSI GT77 Titan can handle the added heat, so you ability be able to get abroad with a bit of overclocking. In addition, some laptops accommodate an advantage in the arranged software to overclock the GPU, such as the Asus ROG Zephyrus M16. This is aural recommended use, so you can use the overclock advantage after any concern.

There are some laptops that can handle a accessory overclock, but best can’t. It’s best to break aural the recommended ambit your laptop can handle, as best laptop brands are already blame their gaming laptops as far as they can go (even to a throttling fault).

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