* This blog post is a summary of this video.

Ultimate Windows CPU Performance Guide: Gaming & Optimization

Author: PanjnoTime: 2024-01-04 05:45:02

Table of Contents

Disable Unnecessary Startup Apps to Improve CPU Performance

The first step is to disable any unnecessary startup applications in Task Manager. These programs automatically run when you boot your PC, using valuable CPU resources even when you aren't actively using them. To disable startup apps, open Task Manager, go to the Startup tab, and disable any programs you know you don't need starting automatically.

With less programs running passively in the background, you'll free up CPU performance for the tasks and applications you actively use, like gaming or content creation software.

Enable Windows Game Mode for Better Gaming CPU Usage

Another quick setting to enable is Windows Game Mode. This feature optimizes your Windows OS to prioritize CPU and GPU resources for gaming when enabled. To turn on Game Mode, open your Windows Settings app, go to Gaming, and under Xbox Game Mode, toggle the 'Use Game Mode' switch to On.

With Game Mode enabled, Windows will allocate more of your CPU power to the game itself, reducing background operating system processes during gameplay sessions. This streamlines CPU utilization for smoother, higher performing gaming.

Stop Browsers Running in Background to Free Up CPU Cycles

Web browsers like Chrome, Edge, and Firefox can secretly drain CPU performance by continuing background processes even after you close the browser. To prevent this, open your browser settings, go to Advanced, and disable the 'Continue running background apps when Google Chrome is closed' option.

With background apps disabled, any browser extensions, tabs, and associated processes will fully close when you quit the browser, rather than continuing to run and consume CPU cycles in the background. This can improve performance in games and other applications.

Use Intelligent Standby List Cleaner for Lower Latency

The Intelligent Standby List Cleaner (ISLC) is a free utility that can help clear out excess cached data from RAM and reduce CPU latency in games. Download ISLC using the link in the video description, and set it up to automatically clear cached RAM data every few minutes.

By keeping your RAM optimized in this way, ISLC reduces the CPU latency associated with swapping data back and forth from standby memory. The result is snappier response times and higher, more consistent framerates in games.

Apply Windows Registry Fix for CPU/GPU Priority

You can eke out some extra gaming performance through a Registry tweak that raises process priority for games. Open the Registry Editor and navigate to Computer\System Profile\System Responsiveness. Set the value to 1, then go to Computer\Tasks\Games and configure the GPU Priority to 8 and Priority to 6 under tasks.

This will instruct Windows to devote higher CPU and GPU priority and more resources to any game or 3D application launched on your system. The result is measured improvements to framerate stability and smoothness while gaming.

BIOS Optimizations for Maximizing CPU Performance

For advanced users, entering the BIOS to apply targeted optimizations can unlock even more CPU performance. There are a few key settings to focus on for gaming and workload performance.

Enable XMP/DOCP Memory Profile

First enable your memory kit's XMP or DOCP profile to run your RAM at its rated speed. Faster memory with tightened timings reduces CPU latency and improves gaming fps. If you have high speed RAM installed but leave it at default JEDEC speeds, you're leaving free performance on the table. Enabling the correct XMP/DOCP profile in BIOS mitigates this.

Disable C-States for Stability

You can also disable CPU power saving C-States for stability at the cost of higher idle power draw. This prevents CPU downclocking and keeps speeds high at all timeseliminating fluctuations.

Overclock CPU for Performance Gains

And for the bold, complementary CPU overclocking can greatly improve multi-threaded and gaming workloads. Even modest overclocks of a few hundred MHz can provide palpable fps gains.


Q: How can I improve CPU performance on Windows?
A: Options like disabling startup apps, enabling Game Mode, using ISLC, editing the registry, overclocking the CPU, and cleaning the thermal paste can all help improve Windows CPU performance, especially for gaming.

Q: What is the most important thing for CPU performance?
A: Keeping your CPU cool with fresh thermal paste and a dust-free heatsink/fan is critical for maintaining high CPU speeds and preventing thermal throttling which drastically reduces performance.

Q: Does RAM affect CPU performance?
A: Yes, having enough high-speed RAM installed in the proper configuration is vital for your CPU to perform at its best when gaming or running other demanding applications.

Q: Can I damage my CPU by overclocking?
A: It's possible to damage a CPU from excessive voltages while overclocking if you don't know what you're doing. It's best to research safe voltages and temperatures for your specific CPU before attempting to overclock.

Q: Will disabling C-states in BIOS reduce performance?
A: Disabling C-states may slightly reduce efficiency and increase power draw, but can help stabilize overclocks. Performance in CPU-bound games and applications will likely increase from disabling C-states if you have adequate cooling.

Q: What does XMP do for CPU performance?
A: Enabling XMP sets your RAM to run at its rated speed. Faster RAM greatly improves performance in CPU-bound games, applications, and workflows by allowing faster data transfer to and from the CPU.

Q: How can I check my CPU temperature?
A: You can monitor your CPU temperature in real-time with system monitoring software like Core Temp, HWMonitor, MSI Afterburner, etc. High temperatures may indicate cooling issues limiting performance.

Q: Why is my CPU running slower than expected?
A: Thermal throttling from overheating, background bloatware using resources, incorrect BIOS settings, not enough RAM, or even malware can all cause a CPU to underperform. Checking all these potential issues can help troubleshoot the cause.

Q: Will more CPU cores help gaming performance?
A: Generally yes, since modern games utilize multiple CPU cores. However, single-threaded performance is still important, so core count isn't everything. A 6-core CPU with high clocks often outperforms a 12-core CPU for gaming.

Q: How can I monitor my CPU usage?
A: Task Manager and third party tools like Resource Monitor, Process Explorer, HWInfo, MSI Afterburner etc. allow you to view CPU usage per core, overall usage percentage, clock speeds, temps and other vital data to see how your CPU is performing.