Gaming on PC is fun. The best part about it is not even the gaming itself but the control you have over the interface, drivers, and everything else that makes your gaming sessions a worthwhile experience.

But now you kicked back, taken out that special gaming keyboard and mouse, and launched the game only to find that everything is running a little slowly. But this is not how the game looked or ran when you played it on your friend’s PC, is it?

You can run the same game on two different PCs that are exactly the same in terms of model and specs and still find that the gaming experience is different. The video game might be slower on one or glitchy with funky colors streaming across your screen.

You can fix these problems by tweaking your RAM or SSD BIOS settings, or just optimizing your PC BIOS for better performance and gaming. BIOS is short for Basic Input Output System. It is not quite the engine of your computer, but it comes really close. It is the first code to kick in whenever you boot up your computer. Thus, once you have a good handle on it, you can determine how your PC runs every time you turn it on.

In this article, we highlight a few things you must know and do if you want a better gaming experience by optimizing your Windows BIOS settings.

How to Get into the BIOS Settings

You will not find the BIOS settings within the normal Windows running interface. These settings can only be assessed when your PC is booting up. In other words, that small interval of time between your PC coming on and launching your default drivers and services is when you can intercept it and get into BIOS settings.

Tips for Assessing the BIOS Settings on Windows Computers

To assess the BIOS settings on your Windows PC, follow the steps outlined below:

  1. Restart your computer. This is so you can get the PC into that aforementioned phase between its initial bootup and loading up of drivers and services. You can do this by closing every program you have running in the background and then clicking Windows key + D to get to your desktop. Next, use alt + f4 to get the shutdown options, and scroll down to get Restart.
  2. After the computer goes off, start clicking the hotkeys. The hotkeys on your Windows keyboard include the F1 to F12 keys. Continue to click on the F2 key once your PC comes on. Don’t allow it to load up the OS (operating system)—so if you see your PC showing the Windows logo, you were a second too late. Restart the process.

Note that getting access to your Gigabyte BIOS settings might be a little different in terms of the hotkeys that you use. However, the process is generally the same.

What if You Can’t Get Into the BIOS Settings Even After Clicking on Hotkeys During Windows Startup?

If you click on F2 multiple times and you still can’t get into the BIOS settings, something is wrong with your Windows startup procedure. Usually, this means you have the fast startup protocol in operation and you might need to remove this before you can use the BIOS settings.

To fix this problem, follow the steps below:

  1. Use Windows key + S to search for Control Panel.
  2. Enter the Control Panel page and search for Power options.
  3. Select the “Change what the power buttons do” option under Power options.
  4. Click on Change settings that are currently unavailable at the top of your screen.
  5. Uncheck the Turn on fast checkup (recommended) option.
  6. Restart your computer and try to get into the BIOS settings again.

Hotkeys for Getting into the BIOS Settings on Different Computer Models

Different Windows computer models generally require you to use specific hotkeys to get into the BIOS settings. We have mentioned F2 which is what many of these models have configured the BIOS settings with. Others use the DEL (delete) key, the ESC key, any other hotkey, or a combination of these.

Windows computer models that require you to click F2 to access the BIOS settings include Acer, ASUS, Dell, Lenovo, Origin PC, Samsung, Sony, and Toshiba. For HP users, F10 is the primary hotkey for opening these settings. These models also allows the use of ESC, similar to how Dell computers allow the use of F12

If you use some of the hotkeys for your PC and still can’t get into the BIOS settings, try using a combination of these hotkeys with the Fn key. For Lenovo PCs, for example, Fn + F2 should get you into the BIOS settings. All in all, clicking at least one of these keys—ESC, Delete, F1, F2, F10, or F12—at the point of PC bootup should get you into BIOS settings.

How to Enable High BIOS Performance

Now that you know how to enter the BIOS settings page, how do you enable high performance?

Boosting PC performance via BIOS settings generally has to do with tweaking the PC’s CPU clock speed, CPU frequency, or CPU voltage. Once these features have been adjusted to a reasonable limit, your PC will follow up by operating at a higher or lower ceiling, depending on whether you increased or reduced the numbers on these features. The result is your PC running faster or slower.

For this article, we will highlight the basic steps for increasing the clock speed (alternatively known as overclocking) of your CPU. All you need to do is:

  1. Enter the BIOS settings using your PC manufacturer’s preferred hotkey.
  2. Find whichever menu on the BIOS page has to do with processing.
  3. Go through the page to find the Adjust CPU FSB Frequency (MHz) option.
  4. Increase the number you find here (the default is usually 10%).
  5. Save your changes, exit the BIOS, and restart your PC.

How to Optimize BIOS for Gaming

Any dedicated gamer knows that fixing speed and accuracy is the key to enjoying video games on a PC. The basic Windows computer is factory configured so that it offers the best mix of speed and performance at default settings. Even so, the user can go the extra mile and tweak BIOS to eke out further performance gains.

There is no one-size-fits-all rule to improve gaming performance via BIOS. For example, the best Asus BIOS settings for gaming might be different from the MSI BIOS settings for gaming or even the ASRock BIOS TPM settings. This is because the motherboards were made by different people. Even so, the effects are similar.

To optimize BIOS for gaming (rather than just PC performance), there are a number of settings you can tweak. These include fan settings, hard disk driver settings, or even your RAM settings.

Of course, the steps to doing these are different from machine to machine. For example, the BIOS PCIE settings for HP computers might vary from the ASUS BIOS PCIE settings even though both settings options have to do with influencing the PC’s video graphics for gaming.

Fan Settings in BIOS

To put it simply, increasing the cooling system of your PC will get you better gaming performance. It allows the PC to increase the number of times the built-in fan comes on to reduce the heat from your gaming. So, yes, if you want a better gaming experience, turn on the PC fan.

To turn on the fan inside your PC for a better gaming experience, you can use the BIOS settings.

  1. Enter BIOS using any of the dedicated hotkeys on your keyboard.
  2. Find the cooling menu or fan settings menu.
  3. Tweak the options to boost fan activity.
  4. Save the changes and exit the BIOS settings page before restarting your PC.

Note, however, that this change will put pressure on your PC’s power. So, if you don’t have a steady power source or a battery that drains quickly whenever you play video games, you should consider leaving the cooling system as it is.

SSD BIOS Settings

Sometimes, the reason your gaming sessions are made up of slow, glitchy graphics is that the SSD BIOS settings are not properly configured. This could happen for any number of reasons including improper SSD drive placement or outdated drivers.

If you want to fix this issue and ensure that your gaming sessions are backed by the speed of your SSD drive, you need to get into the BIOS settings. So, follow the steps as outlined below:

  1. Restart your PC.
  2. Click on the F2 key once your PC comes on and do so until the BIOS interface is launched.
  3. Choose the Config option and Enter.
  4. Navigate to Serial ATA and tap the ENTER key on your keyboard.
  5. Choose IDE Compatibility Mode from the list of options.
  6. Save changes and exit the BIOS settings.
  7. Restart your PC to implement the changes you just set up.

If you don’t notice any significant changes to your graphics speed, try to update your drivers from the Windows drivers settings page. This usually solves the problem of the incompatibility of hard drives and gaming settings.

To conclude on using the BIOS settings on Windows PCs for better performance or gaming, note that each of the highlighted methods puts pressure on your PC. Any one of them might increase power drain or even crash your motherboard. As a result, you need to be careful when attempting to tweak your CPU base clock or even the RAM BIOS Settings for a better gaming experience.