Why Is My Gaming Laptop Lagging

Ever wondered why your gaming laptop lags? Pushing the limits of a gaming laptop often comes at the cost of its performance. Poor frame rates and FPS drops can be particularly frustrating, but there are a few simple steps that can help improve the game experience.

To diagnose the cause of lagging, an understanding of the components of a gaming laptop is essential. It should include an NVIDIA or AMD GPU, a processor (CPU), memory (RAM), and a system storage drive. All these components contributes to the overall performance of your laptop.

Gaming requires good performance from the CPU, RAM, and GPU. A modern CPU must be powerful enough to handle multitasking and calculating a plethora of data quickly. A generous amount of RAM is also necessary so the laptop does not have to access the drive for loading new data repeatedly. Furthermore, the GPU produces the graphics that you see on your display.

Network and drive performance also affect the gaming experience. A slow network connection can often be the culprit when it comes to lag during online gaming. An SSD should also be taken into consideration. An SSD can boot up your system quickly and reduce loading times in-game.

Further, a low-end gaming laptop might struggle to run many games, particularly high-end games with fancy graphics. In high-end titles, games with the highest settings may not run at a playable frame rate even on powerful GPUs. Therefore, you need to have a gaming laptop with decent components in the first place.

Lastly, changing the components of a laptop can be expensive. The good news is that you can tackle this issue in a cost-effective manner. For instance, updating the system can help to extend its lifespan. With an effective balance among the components of a system, frame rate drops could become a thing of the past.

Updating System Drivers

The best way to reduce lag is by updating the drivers of your graphics card. Ensuring the game is using the right graphics processor is important. Doing this regularly can boost performance and ensure that you are always getting the most out of your gaming laptop.

It is advisable to check the manufacturer’s website for updates. Testing out the different settings can improve your gaming experience. For instance, selecting a higher resolution requires more graphics power, so turning this down may help gaming performance.

Moreover, overclocking can be very useful for gaming laptops. It may provide a short-term performance boost but be aware that it will affect the laptop’s thermals. This means that the laptop becomes much hotter, and fans need to work harder so the laptop will require regular cleaning down the line.

Updating other components of a laptop such as the RAM and the CPU, can also improve gaming performance. Overclocking can help as well. Of course, it comes with risks, if you are unsure, it is best to consult with a tech savvy person or read more about it.

New games with higher performance requirements can be difficult to run on ageing hardware. Purchasing more RAM or upgrading the GPU can help with this and squeeze the best performance out of the laptop.

Correcting Ventilation Issue

Ventilation problems can also impede gaming performance. Therefore, it is essential to keep the laptop clean and dust-free. This also means that any filters or vents should be regularly cleaned. The heat produced from constantly gaming can also compress the components, which can cause them to overheat.

Additionally, purchasing a cooling pad and enabling the fan boost setting can help to keep the system cool. Cooling pads come in all shapes and sizes, from ultra-thin ones to large models with detachable fans.

Moreover, a laptop’s battery can also cause lagging. If a laptop is plugged in but the battery does not have enough charge, the laptop may have difficulty sourcing the power it needs, resulting in lagging. Also, if you’re using an older laptop, the battery may have lost its ability to charge, leaving you with poor gaming performance. Thus, it is essential to replace the battery if this occurs.

Finally, cleaning and defragmenting the system drive can help improve gaming performance. Over time, data and files become scattered throughout the drive, so cleaning it regularly can help you reclaim the lost performance.


A laptop with a slow storage drive can cause lagging. Having inadequate storage capacity for your games can also cause them to run slow. It is worth investing in a fast storage drive such as a M.2 NVMe to improve gaming performance. This type of drive is much faster than traditional SATA drives, allowing games to load faster and reducing stutter when playing.

Upgrading the boot drive can also improve gaming performance. Windows and programs benefit from having an SSD, as these run quicker than their HDD counterparts. Also, the data is retrieved from the drive faster, resulting in quicker boot times and less lag.

For more demanding gamers, opting for a laptop with dual storage drives can improve gaming performance significantly. This means that the operating system files and programs can be run from the SSD, while game files can be run from the larger and faster HDD. This way, gamers get the best of both worlds – fast loading times and storage capacity.

On the other hand, hard drive fragmentation increases the time it takes for the drive to access files, resulting in longer loading times. Finally, Installing games directly onto the drive can vastly improve gaming performance.

Minimizing / Closing Background Apps

Having many programs running simultaneously in the background can consume a lot of a laptop’s resources. Closing any unnecessary background apps can free up some resources for the main game, potentially reducing stutter.

Likewise, disabling or ending startup programs or processes which do not need to run can help to reduce the load on a laptop. Doing this can help to reduce the number of programs using up a laptop’s resources, resulting in smoother in-game performance.

Moreover, disabling anti-virus programs may help as they can scan files and block data from being accessed during gaming sessions. Allowing these programs to run in the background can lead to lags, so it is advisable to pause these applications temporarily when gaming.

Furthermore, disabling Windows animations or unnecessary visual effects can help with performance. A simple tweak in the power plan can make a huge difference. Changing the plan from balanced to high-performance or playing the game in full-screen mode can also improve gaming performance.

Disabling Steam Overlay

Enabling Steam overlay is useful for keeping track of friends in game. However, this can also add additional stress to the laptop, leading to frame drops and stutters. Disabling Steam overlay can improve gaming performance.

Furthermore, game booster applications such as Razer Cortex can help to reduce the lag. These apps kill all unnecessary processes to maximize gaming performance. They are designed to boost in-game performance and protection, adding an extra layer of protection against system crashes.

Lastly, having adequate system memory is essential when gaming. Freeing up RAM solely for gaming can be beneficial if you are playing a demanding game. Closing other apps that are not in use can help you achieve this, reducing lag and improving in-game performance.

Rose Jackson is an expert in gaming-related technology. She has been researching and writing about game controllers, headsets, and other peripherals for the past two years. With a wealth of knowledge on the topic, she provides clear and detailed reviews to help gamers make informed decisions on the best accessories to buy. Rose also writes a regular column on the website that she contributes to which covers topics such as gaming industry news, upcoming releases, hardware in advent video gaming and more. She believes that having access to quality content and information can help everyone become better gamers.

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