After the holiday season rush of unboxing a new gaming PC, it's time to dive in and get that new system working perfectly. Drivers may need updating, or getting your personal preferences dialed in may require some tinkering, so here are some top tips for getting a new gaming desktop running perfectly (and note that many of these tips apply to gaming laptops or non-gaming PCs as well).
It's a basic step, but occasionally overlooked. If your PC doesn't power on, check the power connections first. Ensure your power cable is securely plugged into both the PC and the outlet. If you're using a power strip, verify that it's turned on and functioning. It's also worth checking if the PSU (Power Supply Unit) switch at the back of your PC is set to the 'on' position.
Keeping your GPU drivers updated is crucial, especially with a new PC just out of the box. To update, identify your GPU (either NVIDIA, AMD, or Intel) and visit the manufacturer's website to download the latest drivers. Alternatively, NVIDIA and AMD offer software utilities like GeForce Experience that automatically keep your drivers up to date.
This is a common misstep for new desktop PC gamers. Always connect your monitor to the HDMI or DisplayPort ports on the actual GPU, not the motherboard. The ports on your GPU are typically located below the motherboard's I/O ports at the back of your PC. That way, you're getting the output after it runs through the graphics card.
Competitive PC games, from Fortnite to League of Legends, benefit from being played at higher refresh rates -- meaning the number of times per second the screen image can be refreshed. To take full advantage of this, ensure your screen's refresh rate is set correctly. Right-click on the desktop, select 'Display settings', then 'Advanced display settings'. Here, you can adjust the refresh rate. In general, you want to choose the highest rate your monitor supports, whether it's 144Hz, 240Hz, or another setting.
Games are getting larger, sometimes over 100GB, and redownloading those can be a pain, especially if your home internet isn't especially fast. Fortunately, Steam allows you to cross-install from your old PC to a new one, as long as both are on the same network.
Detailed directions on what Steam calls Local Network Game Transfers are available here, but basically you need the Game File Transfer settings on both devices set to allow a transfer via LAN. Once you do, a game could be transferred at 100MB/sec or better, depending on your network.
GPU Drivers are suuuper important!
I also have gotten into the habit of going to the motherboard's website and updating chipset and network drivers as well.
Also don't forget that some preset overclocks in the bios can cause instability, which can cause instability and cause difficulties troubleshooting.
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