We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
2,862 Tutorials

How to optimise your graphics card for gaming

Use AMD or nVidia control panel to boost performance

Tweaking the graphics settings on your graphics card can do a lot to improve play during gaming. We've put together some guidelines for obtaining good image quality, as well as for finding the right blend of quality and performance, when tweaking the settings.

Game bugs

Sometimes you may encounter obscure bugs in a game that cause graphics issues. Given the large array of hardware, PC game developers can't always test for all possible combinations.

For example, I've seen SSAO (screen space ambient occlusion) allowed as a setting on graphics hardware that can't possibly support it.

The result may be image corruption, a game crash, or, if you're lucky, nothing happening aside from the feature not working.

Driver residue

The general rule of thumb is always to uninstall your existing driver before installing a new one.

If you don't, it's possible for traces of the old driver to remain on the system; it may be a stray DLL, or a registry entry that conflicts with a new driver entry.

If you've been installing new drivers over older versions, you'll likely encounter game crashes and severe image-quality problems.

One solution is to download Driver Cleaner. Though it used to be free, Driver Cleaner is now a $10 (£6.67) download - but it's worth it.

You're in control

You may care about frame rate above all else, or be the kind of person to tweak every available setting for the best possible image quality.

Either way, don't forget to check both the in-game graphics settings and your graphics card's control panel.
Just a few tweaks can result in a much more immersive and satisfying experience.

  1. Use your AMD or nVidia graphics card control panel to improve performance when gaming
  2. Increase resolution before anti-aliasing
  3. How to use the in-game controls
  4. nVidia control panels
  5. AMD graphics control panel
  6. Troubleshooting
  7. Game bugs

See also: Group test: what's the best graphics card?

IDG UK Sites

The best iPhone 6 alternatives: Price and specs compared with the best smartphones

IDG UK Sites

The top 10 Apple products ranked by pixel density: Which Apple devices have the sharpest screens?

IDG UK Sites

SBTRKT's Look Away webcam-based interactive music video won't keep your gaze

IDG UK Sites

Retina MacBook Air release date rumours and specs: Gold 12in Retina MacBook Air almost 1cm thinner...