The Central Processing Unit, or CPU, is undeniably the heart of the computer. Knowing how to improve CPU performance is thus useful no matter what problems you might be having with your computer, and to avert problems that are building up in the pipeline.
While all manufacturers claim their product is the best, even the best specific-purpose products need to be tailored to your needs. Even the best CPU for gaming, for example, might not be perfect straight out of the box.
In this article, you’ll learn the most important tricks and the best practices not only to improve CPU performance but to maintain it and make sure you get the best out of your purchase. The CPU is the best place to target, since to improve your CPU performance means to boost your system overall, but also since the fixes can be easy and quick.
Unclutter to Improve CPU Performance
How and why does a CPU get bogged down, slow, and unable to process lots of data as quickly as you want it?
The problem is applications and processes that jam up the CPU. Some of these might even come pre-installed, meaning the game might seem rigged from the start – but don’t worry, you’re in control.
What do we mean? Well, one of the main culprits for a slow CPU are programs that are installed but never used. Having these onboard for each ride, meaning each time you boot up and use your computer, means that memory, disk space, and processing power is used up for these. PC manufacturers often pack their computers with bloatware; trial versions or limited editions of such software, hoping to incentivize the user to purchase the full version or upgrade.
This is especially true of utility programs that boot at start-up automatically, aiming to provide protection by cleaning up viruses or disk space, but in many cases, you don’t use them consciously or even know they’re there and running.
Uninstalling these programs might help your PC run faster, and its nonetheless good form to only keep what you need if you’re that strapped for resources. You can also stop programs from running automatically at startup with a free Microsoft tool known as AutoRuns for Windows, which will show you everything that runs automatically when you start Windows, as well as let you stop any program from doing so by simply unchecking the box next to its name.
Further, knowing how to lower CPU usage is vital for these reasons specified.
Improve CPU Performance by Overclocking
Knowing how to overclock CPUs is a skill not reserved for the technically-minded of the world. Overclocking simply means to push your system beyond the limits – since manufacturers tend to tone down their out-of-the-box clock speeds with conservatives estimates so the system doesn’t heat up – and get the most processing speed that your system is latently capable of.
Namely, overclocking involves your processor going almost limitless, and the ability to ensure stability particularly when it comes to computer temperature.
Overclocking your system to improve CPU performance might seem quite complicated, but by searching and following specific guides suited for your manufacturer, the right apps and tools make it easy.
There are two important things to consider: ideal cooling methods, such as efficient CPU coolers, and the possibility that you might need to upgrade certain components to overclock safely and successfully. It might seem pointless if you have to buy new parts anyway, but you’re still getting more in less time and at much less cost.
Following guides for your CPU and components is important because even two CPUs with the same model number from the same manufacturer can be different, and thus can vary in results and speeds, usually owing to the other components installed.
Improve CPU Performance: Windows 10 Guide
While Windows 10 brings newer features and the ability to make your hardware more efficient, it is also vulnerable to compatibility issues, failing hardware, malware, and various bugs.
The first thing to do to improve CPU performance on Windows 10 is to make sure you keep your system regularly updated.
These updates can be system updates, driver updates, and updating your operating system to the latest “version” of Windows 10, the latest build.
In a lot of cases, if you’re suddenly noticing performance problems, an update might be needed.
To check for updates, open Settings (by typing it in the Search box) or right-clicking the Start menu.
- In Settings, click on Update & Security, and then on Windows Update.
- Click on Check for Updates.
- If the option is there, click on Download and install now below the Check for Updates button under the heading that says Optional updates available.
- Restart your computer to install the updates!
For updating Windows to the latest versions, follow these same steps up until you click Check for Updates, and then:
- If the option is there, click Download and install now under the Feature Update heading.
- Click Restart Now and let your computer do its thing, making sure not to turn it off during the process.
To update drivers, while there are many third-party applications available, it’s also an in-built feature with Windows 10.
- Search for Device Manager and open the app.
- For the device causing problems, expand the list by clicking the plus sign next to it.
- Right-click the device you want to be updated (such as your model of Display under the Display tab) and select Update Driver. This can be done automatically online, where Windows will then search for the most appropriate and latest drivers for the device.
Ultimately, however, third-party applications seem to work best for most.
Finally, here’s a nifty trick to improve CPU performance by ensuring your CPU gets the cooling it needs. In this, we’ll alter the PC’s Cooling Policy settings as well as the Minimum Processor State settings to let the CPU cooling fans run quicker to let the processor run faster – without this, Windows 10 automatically lets the CPU slow down if temperatures are high to protect the system.
- Head on over to the Control Panel from Start or by Search.
- Click Power Options, then navigate to Change Plan Settings, and then Advanced Power Settings.
- Expand the list for Processor Power Management, and then the one for Minimum Processor State. Here, change the “Plugged in” settings to 100.
- Expand the list for System Cooling Policy. Here, change the settings to Active.
And voila! Enjoy increased CPU performance while making sure that your PC stays safe from any damage!