You got an old regular laptop that is being used for regular computing tasks.
But you are now interested in playing some old (Sims Series) to some new High-graphic settings games.
Plus, you can’t afford to buy a new gaming laptop, as gaming laptops are expensive and cost a big money.
What is the solution then?
Can I turn my regular laptop into a gaming laptop?
And if it is possible, how can I convert my Old Rig into a gaming beast?
We are here to help you with it, to help you make your old laptop ready for playing the latest games without spending big money.
First let’s learn what makes a gaming laptop enough powerful to handle high-graphic settings games, and some other high-end operations.
What is the difference between a regular laptop and a Gaming Laptop?
Ordinary laptops are designed for light operations. Such as you can use them for regular emailing, browsing, assignments preparations, for college students, and even for professionals such as electrical engineers, and civil engineers.
Regular laptops come with average processing power such as core i3 or core i5 (dual-core or multi-core).
You rarely see a regular laptop that comes with a dedicated graphics card, such as Acer Aspire 5 has a light dedicated graphics card which makes it enough good for light gaming and photo editing, etc.
On the flip side, gaming laptops are designed to handle gaming. And gaming is complex and hard to go through operations due to its heavy graphics.
Heavy graphics require processing power as well as initiates power for smooth sailing.
Not just a powerful processor but a dedicated graphics card is also required here. Plus, you see gaming laptops come with SSD storage, and big RAMs, and most importantly they come with a proper cooling system that dissipates heat.
Even if your regular laptop supports processor upgrading or graphics card upgrading, or you use an external dedicated graphics card, what about the heat?
When you handle high-end operations including 3d modelling, virtualization, networking, and gaming, your laptop produces lots of heat which can only be dissipated with a proper cooling system. Gaming laptops come with a cooling system that dissipates that heat.
I am not saying that you can’t do anything and a laptop can’t be converted to play the latest games. I Am saying that you can’t change it completely and can make it ready to play some light to high-end games with low settings.
Check your Current Hardware (RAM, Processor, Graphics, and Storage)
The first thing to learn whether or not your current laptop can be turned or converted into a gaming laptop is to check or evaluate its current hardware.
In most of the cases (I am stating it after checking most regular laptop models) only storage and RAM upgrading turns an old laptop into a gaming rig.
So, check the model of your laptop, write down its processor, integrated graphics, storage (HDD or SSD), RAM, and also check if there are extra slots for RAM and storage to help you expand them.
Now comes the most vital part of this transformation, upgrading the hardware.
If your laptop has a multi-core processor, I can assure you that you can play lots of games with just little tweaks or changes in settings. And for playing some high-ended games, you may use an external dedicated graphics card.
Upgrade Your Hardware (If Possible)
Now, you have checked your laptop’s hardware, and we hope that it supports at least RAM and storage upgrading. Do not worry, if it does not support you, or you want to turn an old laptop into a gaming laptop we have something for you too.
RAM is the most crucial part of a laptop. It loads current operations and makes them available for the user instantly.
Yes, it is like storage but it is expensive and can’t be afforded to use data permanently, but storage.
When we play games, RAM is the first component that loads the data of the game. So, the more the RAM, the more files and data you will be able to hold to be available readily.
If you have 4GB Ram, you can’t play games. As most of its part is used by OS to load the most important programs and functions.
So, upgrade your laptop RAM from 8GB to 16GB.
For normal gaming, it is Ok to have 8GB RAM, it will help you play some light games such as Fortnite, Runescape, and many others without any big issues. ‘
Remember: You can upgrade the RAM if your motherboard supports a dual channel or have two slots. If you have two slots but both of them are filled with 2GB RAM each, you can have one replaced with 8GB or 16GB, it depends on your budget.
Try to grab the latest DDR RAM, as they are the best and make your data loading faster and more efficient. I am not going into the details of how DDR4 operates, just remember that they are the best.
Plus, also check that your motherboard should support DDR4. I have seen many buying DDR4 RAMs and getting them wasted because their system did not support the latest RAM.
Upgrading Storage (SSD drives)
Not just for the upgrading, I am also advising those interested in buying new laptops, do not ever settle with HDD storage. Try hard to buy SSD storage, because with SSD storage half the battle is won.
SSDs are lightning-fast compared to HDDs. So, if you have old HDD drives installed in your system, upgrade them with SSD. Yes, SSDs are expensive, but this spend is going to be worth a lot.
It increases your data loading speed, copying speed, booting time, installation time, and many more.
Even if you can’t afford to buy a big SSD, you can buy SSD+HDD storage. Both are teammates, you can install your OS in SSD storage, and use HDD as permanent storage.
You can only use HDD and SSD if your laptop has an extra slot. The latest laptops come with extra slots to help you easily upgrade the storage.
If you do not have an extra slot, unfortunately, you will have to sacrifice your current HDD and upgrade it with an SSD.
Upgrading Graphics Card:
If your laptop does not support upgrading graphics cards, you can’t remove it. As graphics card and CPU are soldered on the motherboard of your system, and can’t be removed unless you have a laptop that supports upgrading Processor as well as Graphics card.
But there are very few laptops that support upgrading CPU and graphics cards. And most of the chances are that you do not have one.
In that case, you can upgrade the graphics card by buying external dedicated graphics. Yes, there are eGPU that can be connected via a USB port to your system.
Even if you are not able to upgrade graphics and CPU, by upgrading the RAM and Storage in the presence of a multi-core processor, you can easily play lots of games.
Now, the second part of the article, for those interested in tweaks, those who can’t afford to upgrade RAM, storage, or other parts, and still want their old laptops compatible to handle the latest games, this is for you.
Also Read: Best Laptops For Photo Storage
How to convert an old laptop into a gaming laptop for Free:
Well, here I suppose that you have a relatively better laptop. If it is not dedicated graphics, at least it should have integrated graphics.
Here we would mention some tricks and tips to enhance the gaming experience.
It is not like following these tips or tricks or tweaks your system will altogether be changed, but its performance would be way better than before.
This point might look as important, or as cliché everyone tells you. But believe me, cleansing enhances performance. Let me explain.
If you do not clean your laptop, its vents get clogged. In some cases, if you do not clean your laptop properly by opening its bottom lid, the fan even gets jammed and does not run when needed to dissipate heat.
Your system starts overheating, and if the heat reaches a certain point, our systems stop running at their full potential.
Overheating or a certain temperature is an alarming bell for the laptop to stop running on more commands or reaching its full potential, as the heat is generated is not getting out of the system, and if it continues to operate at the same speed, there can be physical permanent damage.
So, yes, physical cleansing adds a boost, just try it once.
Defragmentation of your storage
Defragmentation is like servicing your storage. The junk files and temporary files stored on your hard drives are removed, and available data is rearranged in the proper manner for the best performance of your system.
If your storage is not defragmented, the data you want to store in your laptop will have to be divided into several tiny chunks to adjust the size available in your system, which takes time and decreases the overall performance.
If you want to add a boost to your gaming performance, the next thing you should do is to upgrade it to the latest Direct X version.
Windows OS has launched Direct X support for gamers, it offers extra support to help gamers enjoy a smooth gaming experience.
Latest Direct X is Direct X 12, check it and upgrade it to the latest one.
Windows 10 Installation:
I forget to mention that Direct X 12 is only supported in Windows 10. So, not for other purposes but for you will have to install Windows 10 OS.
If you have a laptop without Windows installed, you may skip this step. ‘
If you are running Windows 8 right now or 7, it is not that hard to install or upgrade to Windows 10 for free.
If you have a dedicated graphics card laptop, but it is not the latest one, or the heavier one that supports the latest games, you can get its performance maxed out by overlocking it.
For example, if you have GTX 980M dedicated graphics in your laptop, overlock it and you will like newer and more powerful graphics that have been installed.
Disable Automatic Updates:
It is good to update your OS installed but just turn off the auto-update feature. Auto-update initiates updates when it is available, and when I check my laptop, it seems, there is an update every time.
So, try to keep it off, as it impacts the gaming performance, as the power of the system is being divided to somewhere else also.
As I mentioned above, if you have a pretty old laptop, I mean 8-10 years old, which has no extra slot for RAM or storage, and it is not that powerful in terms of processor and other aspects, it would be hard to upgrade or convert your laptop to support latest games.
But if it is relatively old, I mean 3-4 years old, and it got a relatively good processor, and there are options to upgrade RAM, and storage, you can easily make it enough good to handle lots of games.