Game lovers know the real struggle behind playing games on a computer. It is not as simple as ‘plug in and play’, but it is more of a ‘plugin and pray’ for the video to run properly. But there are certain ways you can boost the performance of your PC or laptop by upgrading the graphics card.
If you find any of the symptoms familiar to your PC, then this is the right time to get an upgrade
What is A Graphics Card?
If CPU is the brain, then you can consider a graphics card as the heart of a computer. It pumps pixels in the computer for obtaining smooth images. It does so by transferring data to the monitor in a better form to understand.
There are ideally two basic types of graphics chips viz integrated and discrete. Integrated is the one that comes by default with your system, attached to the motherboard. Whereas, discrete graphics is installed as an additional component on the motherboard. This is where you have a chance of upgradation, especially when you are into video editing or gaming world.
Why Should One Upgrade the Graphics Driver?
‘Upgrade’ the term itself is self-explanatory. You need to upgrade the drivers simply because it is better than the previous one. With time, new software, videos, as well as games, do come with high quality and heavy dimensions. So if you don’t upgrade your graphics card, then these features won’t play to its utmost quality. Some of the reasons that you may find interesting are –
Better Gaming: If you want a good experience next time you play your favorite game, then you need to upgrade your graphics driver. In addition, if you go on to purchase a new game, then an older version of the graphics card isn’t what will support the game. So yet another reason, why you should upgrade the graphics chip.
Better Video Performance: Another reason for an upgrade is smooth functioning of video editing software. A better graphics card will help you in performing the same task within short possible time. The more creative and detailed you want to get in your videos, the more you need an upgrade sooner.
Good Computing Experience: Upgradation of this card will smoothen your computing experience by integrating some new features and fixing bugs. So it is important that you upgrade the graphics drivers and get the things fixed from the earlier version.
How to Identify the Current Driver You Are Using?
This is an easy task to do and can be done in multiple ways. You can also identify the computer’s graphics hardware by built-in and third-party system information. However, the easiest way to find this out is by clicking Start button, then searching for ‘System Information’ by typing in the search box and hitting enter.
When the ‘System Information’ window gets displayed on your screen, then you will be able to find ‘Display’ by scrolling down on the left side of the window. Select ‘Display’, which will give you some information on the right. Find the ‘graphics card model’ in the section of ‘Adapter Description’ or ‘Adapter Type’ entries.
If your computer is showing both NVIDIA and Intel hardware, then most likely your PC or laptop is switching between the two intelligently. For the better life, it will switch to Intel, and for better graphics, it will switch to NVIDIA. Intel is the integrated graphics driver, so for improving the performance of your system, you need to upgrade NVIDIA drivers.
How To Look For Latest Updates?
This is a tricky part of the whole upgrading scenario. For certain types of graphics drivers integrated into the system (also called as notebook GPUs in case of laptops), you might have to get an update from your laptop manufacturer, as you may not be able to get it form the graphics adapter manufacturer. More to this, your laptop manufacturer might not release updates very frequently. But apart from these few cases, others can find the upgraded graphics driver directly from the graphics hardware manufacturer’s website.
While looking for the upgrade, you need to select the exact model of your PC’s graphics card, the one which was displaced in the ‘System Information’ window. For all the three major manufacturer’s, you can simply enter the details, and get your drivers directly from the website. There is also an option of letting the website scan your computer for automatically suggesting you the drivers you need for an upgrade. But you need to be aware, as sometimes it might ask you to install a utility for performing the scan.
If you are using an NVIDIA adapter, then you also have another one more option a utility that runs in the background of your computer. You have a choice for this utility to automatically download and install or tell you when it is ready.
Go for the BETA drivers
If you are setting out to improve the overall performance of your graphics card, you need to check out a few options that could mean all the difference.
One of the best things to do is going for the driver that is marked as “BETA”. Although these are not the finished drivers, they usually perform every bit as good. And the best part, they can deliver better performance. You can always check out different types on the market. From the Nvidia GeForce to ATI Radeon and Intel HD Graphics, it is all about what brand your computer can run on.
If you are running your gaming rig on a desktop, here’s a little secret for you, try the NVIDIAs Pascal GPU. This generation might be all you need to boost your graphics power way over the ceiling. For butter smooth 4K gaming and bring 60 frames per seconds to reality, you can count on this option
Overclocking Tools For Graphics Card
Upgrading is the best way to find the boost in your system and find the smooth overwhelming experience. However, if you feel that hardware upgrades are costing to high for you to afford and you only need an edge instead of the entire update, then overlocking the hardware is what you need. Overlocking tools are normally free, and so budget won’t be a problem here.
Overlocking a graphics card means to run it above its memory frequencies and stock GPU. This will lead to a higher power use and heat output. Therefore, before overclocking your driver, you need to consider few important things related to the graphics card i.e. cooling, general system stability and power requirements.
Many hardware manufacturers and independent developers offer few overclocking tools for a graphics card. AMD has a tool that goes directly into the Catalyst driver suite that you will find in performance tab of the Catalyst software from the control panel. EVGA too offers a tool called as Precision, Sapphire has Trixx, MSI has its Afterburner utility, and Gigabyte has OC Guru utility, among many others. All the mentioned tools are available for free, and many do work on a number of graphics cards and not just from the same manufacturer.
Once you install an overclocking tool, it will scan your computer to check you are using a compatible graphics card. Once both the things are compatible, you are good to go.
Take your graphics card performance a notch higher
Now that you have everything you need to blow your graphics card performance to new proportions, it is time to go for it. Advisably, you need to weigh your options beforehand so you can decide on the best option to go for. This means the one that best works for your graphics card as well as for the whole system to boost the performance double fold or more. Whether it is an upgrade or overclocking, it’s all a matter of decision. Gaming doesn’t come better, and faster!