How To Maintain Your Gaming PC

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  • Upgrade Your Components As Necessary
  • Keep Your Software And Antivirus Updated

Maintaining your gaming rig will ensure it can run at optimal performance while playing heavy games. It will help you avoid common troubleshooting issues like lagging, crashing, freezing, or random shutdowns. Properly maintaining your PC will also increase its longevity.



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Many gamers fail to properly clean their PC. However, a little maintenance goes a long way. By using the following checklist, you can ensure your PC is clean, well-maintained, and properly cared for.

Clean Your PC

An air sprayer can of compressed air

Dust will build up in your computer case, and if you fail to clean it, it could negatively impact its performance. Dust can get stuck in the fans and cause your PC to overheat, leading to lagging and crashing.

Every few weeks, use a can of compressed air to clear out those dust bunnies. In addition, every few months, you should perform a deep cleaning of your system’s components. Use a lint-free cloth to wipe down various components, such as the graphics card.

Remove the GPU and RAM from their slots, wipe them down, and reseat them. You can also add a few drops of isopropyl alcohol to the cloth, but don’t overdo it.

If you have a liquid cooling system, wipe it down with a lint-free cloth and isopropyl alcohol. Flush it with water every few months as well.

Your PC case may have dust filters. Every few months, clean them thoroughly.

You can even wash the dust filters or your liquid cooling system’s radiators with water and gentle soap, but make sure they are dry before reinserting them. Of course, don’t wash components like your RAM with water.

Another important thing to remember is to organize your cables. If you have a lot of cables in your case, they can block airflow and lead to dust buildup. They can even get stuck in your fan. Use a zip-tie to tie your cables together and organize them in one place.

Upgrade Your Components As Necessary

upgrade PC components

Over time, you may outgrow certain PC components. For example, 8 GB of RAM might have been sufficient for you in the past, but if you downloaded additional games, especially resource-intensive ones, you may require 16 or 32 GB of RAM.

If you are downloading a lot more games than before, you may also need more storage space, so adding an extra storage drive might help.

Similarly, if you installed a higher-end graphics card, you may need a new PSU that can handle all the additional power requirements. Or, if you’ve been using your CPU’s integrated graphics but are becoming more of a heavy gamer, you may have to buy a dedicated GPU, even if you didn’t need one until now.

Keep Your Software And Antivirus Updated

Windows Security scan options

Until now, we’ve been talking about hardware maintenance and upgrades, but software maintenance is just as important.

Upgrade your operating system whenever new updates come out, whether you’re using a Windows or Mac. Windows regularly releases updates that fix security bugs and other glitches. If you have an older version of Windows, upgrade to Windows 10 or 11 for optimal performance.

It’s also critical to ensure you have the right drivers installed for all your components. Manufacturers regularly release new drivers to meet the requirements of new popular games or applications.

Keeping track of all your drivers can be challenging, but there are utility tools that do it automatically for you by scanning your installed components and checking for new driver updates.

Another utility software you should have is an antivirus software. Fortunately, Windows comes with Windows Defender built in. Despite what people think, it’s a solid antivirus software, and there’s no need to download another free antivirus like Avast, although there are some other paid options worth looking into, like BitDefender.

Turning on real-time and cloud monitoring will offer the highest level of protection, but it may also slow down your PC.

In any case, run scans regularly. A quick scan once a day and a full scan once a week is usually sufficient. If you don’t have real-time protection turned on, running regular scans becomes even more critical.

Many antivirus programs allow you to schedule scans in advance, although Windows Defender doesn’t offer that option.

Also, make sure the antivirus definitions are updated regularly. As new threats emerge, antivirus producers release new updates to their databases to better detect new viruses and malware.

Finally, make sure to update other games, applications, or software you have downloaded on your device. For example, if you use Chrome, updating it regularly will ensure that you have the latest security patches.

NEXT: A Beginner’s Guide To Installing A PSU For Your Gaming PC

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