How to Turn a Laptop Into a Gaming Laptop? (Step by Step Guide)

Turning an ordinary laptop into a gaming laptop is easy. However, you should have the budget for it to buy new components to upgrade the existing ones. I’m talking about RAM, SSD, and an external graphics card called the eGPU. You’d be increasing RAM to 16GB, discarding HDD for SSD, and powering the graphics of the games with the external GPU. With these modifications, there are other steps to follow, too. 

Read on to know.

Turn a Laptop Into a Gaming Laptop by Upgrading Hardware 

Hoping that the ASUS Vivobook 15 would run Red Dead Redemption at 100fps like the Acer Predator Helios 300 is a lost cause. That laptop is simply not made for gaming. Yes, it packs a punch with its Ryzen 3 3200U CPU, 16GB RAM, and a 256GB SSD, it still cannot run heavy AAA titles the way you want. On the other hand, the Predator Helios 300 with its Intel Core i7 9th generation, 16GB RAM, and 512GB SSD has the power to do so. 

The difference between them is a dedicated GPU. 

So, to make your ordinary laptop a gaming laptop, you need to provide it with a graphics processing unit. The good news is that there are eGPUs available.

But before buying it, make sure that you upgrade your RAM to at least 16GB and swap HDD for SSD or increase your SSD to at least 512GB. You can do that by opening the hood with the help of a Phillips screwdriver and installing the components. 

Requirements for setting up an eGPU 

The bad news is that you may not be able to use an external GPU with any laptop. They connect to a laptop via Thunderbolt 3. So, if your model has it, go for it. 

Setting it up is a breeze since it’s plug-and-play. Just connect it to your laptop and get the most fps out of your ordinary laptop. 

Now that you’ve upgraded the hardware, here are a few more things to consider. 

9 Other Things to Consider

1. Keep your laptop clean 

The external GPUs come with their own cases but that doesn’t mean they are not susceptible to getting clogged by dust and dirt. You may wanna clean it regularly with a damp cloth. The same is recommended for the rest of the laptop as well. Removing dust every day will save your screen from scratches and the internal parts from receiving unnecessary interferences. 

2. Defragment your hard drive 

It’s necessary to keep your hard drive clean from clutter. If you’ve just newly installed another SSD, then you don’t have to do this. For the old one, search “Defragment and Optimize Drives”. Open the app and you’ll be taken to the drives. Check their “Current Status”. Select them one by one and “Optimize” them if they are fragmented. 

Doing this will optimize the performance of your hard drive to better render your game files. 

3. Keep Windows Updates on 

Next, turn the windows update on when you’re not playing a game. Updating your windows once in a while keeps the files updated, including the DirectX. Your laptop should have the latest DirectX 12 Ultimate to be able to cope up with the demands of your games. 

But don’t forget to turn the updates off when you’re entering a gaming room. To do that, search “Services” in the search bar. When a small window opens to show you the services, search for Windows Update. Right-click on it and go to its properties. There in the dropdown menu, select “Disabled” and “Stop the updates. Click OK and the updates will stop, freeing all the bandwidth to your game. 

4. Use a cooling pad 

Your laptop might be able to run games after updating its hardware, DirectX, and keeping it clean. However, you don’t want its lifespan to reduce because of all the heat building up. The eGPU has its own mechanism of dissipating heat, still, your laptop will get increments in degrees. To stop the components from roasting, do buy a cooling pad. When you’re about to play the game, keep it under and let things be at their optimal temperatures. 

5. Update drivers

Keep your drivers up to date for the components to put out their best performances. While windows update takes care of most of it, the new installations or modifications in your laptop may need manual updates. To do that, search for “Device Manager” in the search bar. Open the app, select the driver you want to update. Right-click on it and select “update driver”. 

 6. Overclock your GPU when needed 

The external GPUs also come with their own apps. You can overclock them from there if you want to increase their output. In case they don’t have that app, then install the MSI Afterburner. This app will tweak the GPU for maximum performance and you’ll see an apparent jump in the frames per second. 

7. Turn on Game Mode

Windows 10 has a dedicated gaming mode that when enabled prioritizes your game over any background app. To activate it, press the Windows key and G together. You’ll be taken to the Xbox app and see the stats right before you. 

8. Keep your laptop plugged in 

Gaming takes a lot of power, which your laptop battery might not be able to give. Therefore, it is wise to keep it plugged during gaming. Don’t worry about the battery because it won’t take a toll. However, make sure that you don’t overcharge it during normal usage. 

9. Check the speed of your internet connection 

To get good frames per second, you should check the speed of your internet connection before playing the game. The easy way to do that is to search for speed checkers on Google. There are plenty of them. Select any and begin the test. You should normally have at least 2MB/s stable speed.

If the speed is slow, better sit closer to the router. 

Can I connect my laptop with an External Graphics card?

Yes, as long as your laptop has a thunderbolt port, you will be able to connect an eGPU without any issue.

Will updating the operating system and drivers help my laptop perform better in gaming?

Your operating system and other crucial drivers play an enormous role in your gaming hours since they eliminate any bugs and errors you may encounter and make your experience as smooth as possible.

How to Turn a Laptop Into a Gaming Laptop – Conclusion 

You can turn your ordinary laptop into a gaming laptop. First, you’ve to make hardware changes as I mentioned above, then you’ve to follow a few steps to further make the laptop suitable for playing heavy games. 

Do know that you should only take these steps if the CPU of your laptop is not older than Core i5, AMD Ryzen 3000 series. Good luck!