How to Get the Maximum Potential Out of your Old Graphics Card?
This decade has seen rapid advances and graphics-intensive developments in the gaming field. Games are now more demanding than ever and require powerful hardware to meet a heavy game’s needs. Here our concern is established with one of the crucial components of a computer, the graphics card, which helps enjoy games and play gaming titles gracefully. A graphics card is defined in terms of frame rate, which is the capacity to display and run a game smoothly on your screen. Poor frame rate is an unhealthy fuel to your gameplays, and you are always annoyed with the slow and lagging display.
Developers have put some effort into creating know-how of gaming requirements so that users know the best setup and specifications to support a game. Therefore, many modern games now have a recommended graphics card prerequisite and do not settle for fewer frames. Prolonged gaming and graphics-intensive tasks such as video rendering and 3D video editing limit the ability of a graphics card to perform well. Over time, this reduced capability of a video card to give its best encourages gamers and other users to buy a new card. But is it affordable for everyone to buy a new graphics card?
Not really! We find it unfortunate to tell you that graphics cards are no more easily and financially accessible devices for all and sundry. Many factors are responsible for this price hike from the COVID pandemic. The year 2020 has made the technical markets face a lot of shuffling in prices and shortages in the supply of many devices like semiconductors, PCs, consoles, and many others. But now, where the world is recovering from the trauma of covid and markets are becoming more stable, graphics cards are still in the same phase, featuring 1.5 to 1.75 times the price gamers used to pay.
But wait, this is not the end of the debate for this ever-demanding feature. How can we justify buying such an expensive video card when people are also trying to recover from the adverse impacts of the pandemic on an individual’s economic stability? Seems a bit off, right? What else can we do if we are passionate gamers and can not survive without a sound graphics card? If this question is reverberating in your mind, and you are trying to find some better ways to tackle this issue, this guide is meant for you. So please stick to the given solution and read till the end; we have some tips for you.
How Helpful Could This Guide Be:
Instead of buying a new video card, we recommend you tweak your system, which will squeeze a little more capacity out of your video card. Before discussing these guidelines, we want you to know some essential points related to the efficiency and suitability of these tips with your setup and gaming requirements. Let us explore whether these tweaks make general improvements helpful for all games or are meaningful to just a specified setup.
These tweaks will undoubtedly not do wonders, but you will get a noticeable boost in your gameplay. This boost is a collective effort of all the changes you make in the hardware. If you apply these tips individually, you might not feel satisfied as some information can boost gameplay while not showing appreciable improvement for the others. So be mindful and try different ways which, as an aggregate, can be meaningful to your gameplay.
Do not expect an unimaginable enhancement in your hardware performance. Your GPU will not start reacting like a high-end device such as RTX 3080 and Radeon 6800 XT, which are beastly in their performance and costly. All you benefit from is the improved frame rate and might be display quality as well.
All games are different, so these tips might benefit one game more and the other not so much. Here your knowledge of the graphics requirements of a game plays a significant role. After making these tweaks, if a game still faces chugging, it needs massive changes in a graphics card or a new one.
Some Precautionary Tweaks You Must Try:
Before trying our pro tips to get the maximum potential out of an old video or graphics card, have a glance at the below-mentioned precautionary tweaks. We call them precautionary because some of you might not be aware of them.
The desktop mode matters a lot; find out whether you are using full-screen mode or window / borderless mode because window mode is not as efficient in performance as the full-screen mode. You do not even realize that your GPU is drawing more from the desktop than it may be. It may not work for all games, but we recommend you try it if you are concerned with better performance.
Trying lower resolution pixels can help improve frame rates. Higher the resolution, massive the number of pixels your GPU and memory have to process, creating a lot of work stress. Try to ease it out by cutting the output resolution. With every increase in resolution quality, your system has to handle more pixels per frame. Let us give you an idea of how many pixels a GPU needs to process when enhancing the resolution quality.
With 4k resolution, a video card deals with 2.25 times more pixels than 1440p, which in turn carries 1.7x more pixels than 1080p. 1080p leads 720p with 2.25x more pixels. These abruptly changing values are e-changer when lowered to increase the frame rate per second.
Ensure your CPU and GPU are clean and dust-free. This is not a significant reason to hinder a system’s performance, but these intensive task performer modules produce massive heat, accumulate dust, and slow down performance. Give them some rest to dissipate heat and work in a moderate environment.
Our Guide to an Adventurous Gameplay Without Buying a New Video Card:
Let Us Explore Ways to Squeeze Some More Power and Durability out of Your Old Graphics Card
To fulfill the ever-green need to increase the frame rate and, ultimately, a computer’s performance, it is best to try some ways which increase the strength of your old graphics card. The basic technique these tweaks employ is the enhancement of frame rate. A high frame rate will deal with more pixels, data, and images in a second, making things quick and super-fast. Remember that a keen desire for a massive frame rate may force you to sacrifice the quality of your images and overall display.
Whenever you try a solution, check out how its positive or negative impacts gaming performance and display quality. A solution is best suitable to your game and system if you feel a quick boost in your gameplays without damaging picture quality. Here are given some of the general tweaks you can try to find out which one is best for your hardware requirements.
Tweak Your Video Card Drivers:
Keeping drivers updated is one of the easiest ways to squeeze more frame rate and performance for your games. After prolonged use, even the strongest graphics card like NVIDIA and AMD squeeze out some improvement in performance and gaming display quality if you keep the drivers up-to-date. These cards are so advanced that they implement scaling options and an opportunity for users to upgrade them. Both the cards have image sharpening options as well, like Radeon Image Sharpening possessed by AMD. These tools enhance the picture quality by relying on post-processing filters and do not require high resolution to work.
They tend to deliver a picture quality close to 1080 pixels, decreasing the burden on the video card to transfer massive data per frame. However, AMD and NVIDIA differ in their ability to sharpen the images, and their impacts also vary from game to game. So do not expect the same results from both the video cards. Moreover, the performance boost obtained through tweaking your graphics drivers would not be of extraordinary value; only a few percent improvements are noticeable, which is still appreciable in sharpening the images and screen display.
Overclocking the Graphics Card:
You might not want to beat around the bush and look for the most effective method to gain maximum performance from your old video card module. Then try overclocking your graphics card and gain additional frames per second. If you do not cross safe voltage limits and stay on board, this method is entirely secure to perform. You would be amazed to know the results of pushing an AMD graphics card through overclocking. Try this tweak, and you get more than a 20% gain in frame rate, freaking, right?
Still, let us make clear that this ground-gaining achievement depends upon the graphics card type. Manufacturers develop these cards based on specific logic, which makes them suitable for different tasks like the one we are discussing, gaming. So how aggressively are these modules dealt with before coming into the market, and how much powerful performance do they deliver in the initial stages of working? These are all matters of interest and deciding factors for squeezing power when they get old. So as a general conclusion, we might say, 5-10 % is a reasonable amount one can squeeze out of a card.
We recommend you save a lot of your time and prefer to make changes to in-game settings first. This way, you will get the best presets, leading to optimized gaming. GPUs come in different families, and gaming features affect each type differently. Games make the graphics card pay heavy penalties for performing high duties and supporting complex gaming features for a long time. The best way to avoid this performance lag over time is to switch your gaming settings to lower resolution. Optimal game settings and less resolution bring you accelerated frame rates and a more responsive game experience. Minor tweaks in-game settings accelerate frame rate up to 5-10 percent.
That is a reasonable amount to get from an aging graphics card. Choose presets as your first and rough target for tweaking the settings and upscale gradually. There is nothing wrong with selecting low presets if your gameplay runs at an acceptable speed and shows poor performance on medium presets. Similarly, do not hesitate to choose medium settings if you do not notice any sharp differences in textures in a title. Sometimes gamers think that if we add expensive features to our game, it can do wonders in our gameplay. But they deliver a minor contribution so that you can stick to tweaking built-in gaming visual improvements instead of high-end features.
Defragmentation of Hard Disk:
You may think small changes are not enough to make room for some extra performance. But they extend performance wonderfully by upscaling the frame rate to a small percentage. Simply defragmenting all the hard disks and drives on your system can save up to 15 % space for each driver. It would help if you defragmented them once a week, and the room created is enough for you to enjoy excellent gaming. The consequences are less loading time for your games and a noticeable build-up in frame rate, which drives the system smoothly and speedily. You can even use different programs for this purpose.
They not only help remove bloats but also clear unwanted programs installed on your system. We are unaware of the activities of these programs, and they are busy consuming our system’s resources. Due to these unnecessary programs, the system is under stress as it performs other essential tasks, including supporting a game’s heavy features. Do not simply ignore this solution by thinking it is not that much worthy as some different ways can. But even a minor contribution can make your laptop or computer faster than before. Upgrade your windows if you are older versions, as it can also be an excellent way to upscale performance.
Overclocking your central processing unit is one of the most accessible and beneficial methods of accelerating a graphics card’s performance. You may wonder how some changes in a processor result in a performance boost. Investing in your processor can bring a 5-10 % extra boom in performance. All you need is a suitable and efficient processor cooler that enhances and maintains an excellent airflow to your processor. It also helps overclock the processor, which improves frame rate. But one mandatory requirement is that other hardware components must also support CPU overclocking like the motherboard. Otherwise, it may not be feasible to overclock the CPU.
So make sure the processor cooler you buy is compatible with the motherboard already part of your setup. Go to the manufacturer’s website, check the cooler’s features, and match the motherboard. Their compatibility is a sign they are a perfect pair to support CPU upgrading. Overclocking is now the need of the hour, and all the modern and old CPU processors support features that help perform overclocking. If you love to go some extra miles, we recommend you overclock RAM as well, as it will push the FPS value to a higher position bringing more performance to your setup.
Enable DLSS or FSR:
You may have an NVIDIA or AMD graphics card, but you are unaware of the new feature these modules can support. NVIDIA graphics cards boast a new technology that is DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) which helps increase frame rates. But remember, you can enjoy this feature if only you are an RTX GPU user; otherwise, this tip is not for your setup. On the other hand, the AMD graphics card owns FidelityFX Super Resolution. You would not see these technologies supported by all games, only a handful of games enable this feature. But if you get any of these, you must turn it on to optimize the titles.
But the question pops up: how does a computer show a significant boost and brilliant titles when FSR and DLSS are enabled? It is interesting to know the working principle of these technologies as they use artificial intelligence to sharpen image quality. First, they process optimal pixels in a frame as they allow your games to render at a lower resolution. Then to enhance the final image quality, AMD uses spatial sharpening, and NVIDIA uses AI-powered upscaling network. Only selected titles in a game support FSR and DLSS upscale the frame rate; titles display function speed.
Improve Airflow Passage:
It is time to take care of your computer if you have not paid attention to it for years. Open the hardware and clean all components, CPU, GPU, RAM, motherboard, and fans. You can use compressed air to blow the dust away or a brush to clean the surfaces. If you do not clean it from time to time, dust compiles up in the nooks and corners of your hardware and blocks the fans and air passageways. Thus airflow is restricted, which badly affects your hardware’s performance. Especially the functioning capacity of the central processing unit and the video card is affected, which are both responsible for primary and critical functions of a system.
In a clean and tidy setup, you will have a smooth airflow leading to better temperature controls. The system will show less throttling and a fantastic ability to overclock the machine. Be your computer’s master, try and test different changes and notice which one is best suitable for your system. If you see its temperature is not under control even after cleaning properly, buy 1-2 fans and add them to the motherboard. They will improve air passage and keep the system at lower temperatures. You can record the results of improvements in the system by noting temperatures before and after adding the cooling fans.
Turn On Dynamic Resolution Scaling:
Dynamic Resolution Scaling is an option available in your games menu; hence, it can not benefit all the games. To get more frames per second, gamers and live streamers are more attracted to this newly introduced feature. This technology shows more potential to optimize frame rates and performance even if your hardware is sub-optimal. This feature checks the number of onscreen elements and adjusts the resolution at which they should be rendered. The primary purpose is to ease the workload of a graphics card so that the frame rate is kept above a steady level assuring optimal gaming performance.
We recommend you go to the gaming settings and check if the DRS option is available. If yes, turn this fantastic feature on. It will help you see a detailed scenario in the game. For example, your GPU needs less work if you are playing moderate games with fewer elements on the screen at a time. But while playing a fierce action game, where many elements display the characters on screen, the GPU faces the challenging task of handling all the stuff smoothly. Here this feature will adjust the rendering resolution to maintain a smooth flow.
You can sufficiently upgrade random Access Memory by adding a solid-state drive to your system. These drives are readily available and can be incorporated into the motherboard for enjoying quick access to the massive volume of data. This addition is not associated with the improvement in frame rate; anyhow, it increases accessible memory space in your system, and ultimately, games drive data more quickly than before. So you do not have to wait longer for your games to load and play. Note that we are not recommending an extraordinary memory storage drive for your hardware, as 8 GB is enough for almost all games.
The idea of inserting a solid-state drive is helpful only if you have a 4GB memory setup. We suggest you necessarily upscale this RAM unit as it will create an obvious benefit here. In another case, if you want a powerfully performing machine to make huge differences and looking for some ways, you can also go beyond 8 GB. But 8 GB is the most suitable value, and almost all gamers are satisfied with this memory space. If you are not a professional or live game streamer, we will not recommend you to exceed this suitable value.
Enable FreeSync / G-Sync:
The well-known and influential graphics cards AMD and NVIDIA have brought excellent technologies, FreeSync and G-Sync, which synchronize your monitor’s refresh rate with a GPU’s frame rate. Their correspondence gives a super-smooth display and fast gaming performance. However, this idea of turning the FreeSyn and G-Sync on seems obsolete as the gaming setups which support these features most probably have new graphics cards. But it can work for you if your graphics card is not so powerful, but the monitor is capable enough to support FreeSync and G-Sync. So do not quit this solution and test it to know whether it suits your setup and what improvements it brings in frame transfer rate.
Explore Game Boost Software:
Last but not least. If you have tried other solutions, give this tweak a try; it might work wonders for you. Free software is readily available, and they claim to upgrade the performance of a game. That is what they claim, but your experience may vary if you try one. It can be less noticeable or can create a forceful impact on gaming features and titles. Buy any software and test it on your system, whether it plays a significant role in your frame rate improvement.
Gamers’ love for the graphics cards is unmeasurable, as these modules sharpen the gaming visuals and speed up the game work. But one should not expect a graphics card supporting heavy and graphics-intensive features to perform with the same capacity after years as it has in the initial phases. As some gaming specifications drain its ability to give the best output to a great extent. Therefore, we need to buy a new video card or tweak some hardware drivers, software, or game settings to squeeze some more capacity for performing up to the mark.
But unfortunately, the surging prices of graphics cards do not let us touch them. Right now, suggestions tell us that the prices are not going down by any means, even for second-hand graphics cards. The start of this year, 2022, has shown some relief in prices, but still, this moderation is insufficient, and gamers are looking for a further downshift in cost. But if you try the tweaks we have enlisted in this guide, your older graphics card can generate more capacity for performing brilliantly. These boosts will speed up your gameplays and save time, money, and hassle of buying a new video card.
But do not be in a hurry to expect miraculous results from these guidelines, as results and performance boosts vary from device to device and game to game. Some tips work well for a game but are not a suitable solution for the other more aggressive games. So flexibility comes at every step you follow and should also be given considerable importance. Dozens of features contribute to your gameplay simultaneously; making changes in one might not be as effective as upgrading the other.
Other Guides When Building a PC
- PC Building
- The best motherboards for Ryzen 9 5900X
- The best motherboards for Ryzen 5 5600X
- The best motherboards for Ryzen 7 5800X
- The best motherboards for Ryzen 7 5800X and RTX 3080
- The best motherboards for i7 12700K
- The best motherboards for Ryzen 9 5900X and RTX 3080
- The best motherboards for Ryzen 5 5600X and RTX 3070
- The best motherboards for Ryzen 7 3700X and 2070 Super
- The best motherboards for Ryzen 9 5950X and RTX 3090
- What is a Motherboard?
- How to choose a motherboard?
- CPU Cooler