New Graphics Card Too Expensive? 10 Ways to Squeeze More Performance From Your GPU. How to get a better graphics card for windows 10

Equipped with the advanced graphics performance of the Turing architecture, the GTX 1660 Ti competes with the performance of the GTX 1070. Moreover, it can also upgrade your PC with ease. It ensures ultra-fast operation of popular games and faster use of new titles.

New Graphics Card Too Expensive? 10 Ways to Squeeze More Performance From Your GPU

Good luck getting a current generation graphics card at a fair price these days. These simple tricks can help you increase FPS and keep your old card spinning a little longer.

If you’re one of the millions of people who have tried – and failed – to buy a new graphics card this year, you probably already know this tale of technological woe. Since the semiconductor supply cap continues through the first half of 2021 with no signs of slowing down, many buyers simply don’t have a good way to get a new GPU at a reasonable cost. (After all, who wants to resort to borrowing a bot?)

Supply-side semiconductor shortages, an increase in cryptocurrency value, and an overall surge in electronics demand during the COVID-19 pandemic led GPU prices to soar far north of proposed list prices – if specific models can be found at all. So if you’re not satisfied with supporting the scalping economy (and its absurd prices) until some normality returns, you need to know: What tricks and techniques can you use to squeeze the most out of a card you already have?

Let’s check out some of the most common options for gamers waiting for an elusive dose of common sense to heal the GPU market. This may take a while.

Tweak Your In-Game Settings

First, the obvious stuff. If you are having trouble running your favorite games at your preferred frame rate, the first step you should take is either to lower the quality of your game’s graphics settings or lower the overall resolution to increase overall frames per second (fps) speed.

Overall, the most taxing elements of the GPU rendering in the game are anti-aliasing quality and texture quality. These two settings can usually be increased or decreased through a series of “levels”. But whether or not you have that option and what form it will take depends on the game.

For example, in the popular AAA title Red Dead Redemption 2, you’ll see four anti-aliasing options: TAA (Temporary Smoothing), FXAA (Quick Approximation), MSAA (Multiple Sampling), and None. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the performance impact of each setting will vary depending on the GPU that you use to power your game.

In this situation, the best way to see how to get more performance from your current GPU would be to benchmark in-game at each anti-aliasing level, along with any other setting changes you want to make, and compare the results systematically. You’ll only want to change one variable at a time. However, only selected games have built-in benchmarks; for RDR 2, it is in the graphics settings menu. (See how we test graphics cards.) Be sure to note down both your performance data (measured in fps) and observe the visual quality to see if it is in a place you are happy to call “good enough for now.”

If the title you’re trying to fine-tune doesn’t have an in-game benchmark, you can use a tool like FRAPS to help you record FPS and make the appropriate changes. (Use the link for how to use FRAPS, but remember that you have to use the same pass or methodology for each test, otherwise frame rate comparisons won’t make sense.)

All in all, this give and take applies to every setting in your game, whether it’s the amount of anti-aliasing, texture quality, shadow level or something else. There is no work around the basic laws of GPU scaling here: the more settings you reduce to gain in framerate, the worse the game will look. The more of them appear, the harder the GPU works and the more heat is emitted. Thermodynamics is pain!

However, in recent years, things have started to change with several innovative approaches to this age-old problem. Take DRS for example.

Clean your laptop’s fans and vents. As dust builds up, the laptop cannot evacuate hot air as efficiently. Regularly clean your laptop physically and organize the air vents to keep it cool. If you’re feeling brave (and you don’t mind voiding the manufacturer’s warranty), you can open your laptop and clean its fans directly.

The Whys of a Video Card Upgrade

However, if you’ve ever upgraded your graphics card, you know there is no point in focusing on just part of the process. This is what leads to an improvement that is more irritable. In fact, it all starts with a much earlier question: Do I need a new graphics card? This question can be difficult to answer, and it depends more on the software than on the hardware.

Think about why you think you need an improvement. Suppose you experience frequent pixels or skip frames when playing on Netflix in full screen, causing jittery viewing. Both symptoms can sound like slow video and / or graphics processing faults, and since these tasks are usually handled by the graphics processing unit (GPU) then the GPU must be the culprit, right?

Evil. It is more likely that the cause of the error is a lack of Internet and / or local network bandwidth and the system is not receiving video data fast enough to generate optimally detailed full frame rate playback. Modern GPUs, even those built into CPUs (known as Integrated GPUs or IGPs), have more than enough graphics power to handle Netflix and its similar streams.

How could you test it? Download content to your system and play it from your system’s internal storage instead of streaming. If the problem goes away, you know it’s a network bandwidth issue and not a GPU issue.

Other common bottlenecks include the CPU, system memory (RAM), and possibly storage, especially if that memory is nearly full or is a plate-based hard drive. The trick is to make sure your GPU is the main concern.

How to Know Your GPU Is the Problem

First, you may want to test your GPU to determine exactly how slow (or not!) It really is.

Gamers are the people who find it easiest to feel the slow GPU. Because most 3D games are so GPU dependent, the resolution you want to play as well as the graphic detail settings (usually along a continuum of low, medium, high, and extreme) are a key part of the gameplay. To learn more about these graphics features and how graphics cards handle them differently, see our list of the best graphics cards.

However, aside from something “sensing” in a given game, your quantitative measure will be frame rates or proprietary results generated by benchmarking software. Before you jump into testing, however, take a look at more basic things, starting with the specs of the games you actually play.

A quick check of the publisher’s system requirements for a given game should provide the minimum (and possibly recommended) graphics guidelines. For example, the current bestseller Dragon Age: Inquisition is a light game; notes minimum graphics requirements of 512MB of graphics memory on an AMD Radeon HD 4870 or Nvidia GeForce 8800 or better, but recommends 2GB on an AMD Radeon HD 7870 or Radeon R9 270 or Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 or better. These are all old video cards, and any modern video card should crush this game.

But take a newer AAA title like the newest Call of Duty, and you can see a modern card (maybe even a modern card higher than the card you have) as the minimum or recommended card to use. There, the compromises will be more vague. Playing at lower resolution or lower detail settings can improve the experience, but where do you draw the border? How do you compare the performance of what you can buy with what you already have? This is where an objective comparative analysis comes in.

The motherboard PCI Express slot holding the card in place probably has a plastic locking mechanism on the front (opposite to the end of the monitor ports).

Driver Tweaks

Once upon a time (late 90s) AMD and Nvidia often lost drivers that improved gaming performance by 10-20 percent, even in older titles. Those times are mostly gone, provided you don’t install an update the day a new game launches. But there are still a few ways to tweak the driver panel settings to squeeze a little more performance.

Nvidia and AMD have implemented scaling options that can be used to improve overall quality on newer cards. AMD has Radeon Image Sharpening, and Nvidia has its own Image Sharpening option, shown below.

The purpose of enabling features such as Image Sharpening is that you can then set a lower native resolution and rely on a post-processing filter to improve the image quality. The goal is to deliver something closer to 1080p without sacrificing rendering at that resolution. How well this feature works will vary from game to game for both AMD and Nvidia.

Texture filtering

On Nvidia cards (AMD has a similar option in its own driver settings), you can also set the texture filtering quality to “High Performance”, as opposed to the default “Quality” option, force Ambient Occlusion to be turned on or off (if applicable), and the anisotropic texture can be filtered out. Check the visual effect of these options before you assume you’ll like the end result; the effect of disabling anisotropic filtering is likely higher than the recovered performance is worth.

Improving the image quality in the driver won’t get you tremendous performance, but it should improve the situation by a few percent. It is also worth checking that you have not used the global settings for one title and then you have not forgotten to change them to another.

Enable DLSS / FSR

While Nvidia’s DLSS and AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution are fairly new and only supported in a few games, try enabling any of the features if it’s available in the title you want to optimize. Both DLSS and FSR render the game at a lower resolution and then use spatial sharpening (AMD) or an artificial intelligence-based scaling network (Nvidia) to improve the final image quality. This can improve performance at a given target resolution, although this typically has at least a minor effect on image quality.

By using 3DMark TimeSpy for benchmarking, I found that overclocking my system as described above resulted in a 10% performance increase, from 17,018 points before overclocking to 18,591 later.

Overclocking

Nvidia

One way to improve GPU performance is to overclock it. This is done by adjusting the frequency and voltage of the GPU core and its memory to squeeze out extra speed. Unless you are used to overclocking components, use caution and read wide and deep before you begin. Incorrect settings can potentially damage the chip. Moreover, inadequate cooling will overclock and crash the overclocked GPU.

As with processors, you can overclock the GPU using desktop software. One solution is MSI’s Afterburner feature which scans the GPU and finds the highest, most stable overclocking settings. Another is EVGA’s Precision X1, which supports GeForce RTX graphics cards, and GTX support is “coming soon.’

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