10 Ways To Turn an Ordinary Laptop Into a Gaming Laptop (2023 Guide)

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10 Ways To Turn a Normal Laptop Into a Gaming Laptop

Have you ever been in a situation where your laptop either fails to run a game or lags while running a game and have thought to yourself that How can you turn a laptop into a gaming Laptop?

This is a common occurrence when running games on an ordinary laptop instead of a gaming laptop. Disappointing, we know. However, it is always better to use a gaming laptop when playing games as it allows it to run smoothly.

Can’t buy a gaming laptop just yet?

That’s okay as this article will describe how you can upgrade your old laptop into a gaming laptop.


  1. Regularly Clean The Laptop
  2. Deactivate Windows Automatic Updates
  3. Upgrade Operating System (OS)
  4. Enable Game Mode
  5. Optimize Power Settings
  6. Update DirectX
  7. Update The Drivers
  8. Upgrade RAM
  9. Install SSD
  10. External Graphics Card

How To Upgrade an Old laptop To a Gaming Laptop?

Down below we have listed 10 ways you can optimize your laptop or computer to essentially function as a Gaming Device.

1. Regularly Clean The Laptop

Always remove all the accumulated dust and dirt from your laptop, including the vents as it increases overheating which then leads to a reduction in the performance of your laptop.

You can also follow wikiHow guide for that.

2. Deactivate Windows Automatic Updates

Although turning on automatic updates ensures that your laptop, as well as its operating system, remains updated, it is usually better to turn it off. This is to avoid updates that may affect your gaming experience.

Therefore, it is advisable to manually update whatever needs updating on your laptop.

3. Upgrade Operating System (OS)

Some new games either lag or don’t run on an old operating system. However, upgrading your old laptop to the latest operating system will enable such games to run smoothly. You will also be able to run your old games.

How To Upgrade Windows?

  • Go to your Settings and select Windows Update from the menu
  • Click on Check for updates
Windows Upgrade
  • If there’s a pending update, click on Download now after which the update will start downloading
  • Once the downloading is done click on Update now and your Operating system will automatically update

4. Enable Game Mode

Once you have upgraded your operating system, enable game mode.

Follow these steps to enable game mode in Windows 10 and 11.

  • Go to your Settings and select Gaming from the menu
  • Locate Game Mode on the left panel and click on it
  • On the right panel, toggle on Game mode to enable it
How to Enable Game Mode in Windows
Enabling Game Mode in Windows

This will increase the gaming performance of your laptop.

5. Optimize Power Settings

Most games are usually heavy. It is therefore important to optimize your laptop’s power settings to improve its performance so that it will be able to manage heavy games.

Follow these steps to optimize your laptop’s power settings:

Optimise power settings on your laptop
  • Go to settings and select Systems from the menu
  • Locate the Power and Sleep option and click on it
  • Now click on Power mode in the Power section
  • Now choose High performance

6. Update DirectX

DirectX is the software responsible for video graphics as well as audio on your Windows operating system 

There have been different versions of DirectX but the latest version is DirectX 12. This version is usually preinstalled in Windows 10. However, it is always better to check that you’re using the latest version.

Follow these steps to make sure you’re using the latest version of DirectX:

  • Open the Run dialogue box by tapping Windows + R keys on your keyboard.
  • Type dxdiag into the box, then press Enter.
  • Under Systems Information, you will see your version of DirectX.

Update your DirectX software once you check and realize that your laptop isn’t using the latest version.

To update DirectX:

  • Go to settings and select Updates and Security from the menu
  • Click on Check for updates
Upgrade DirectX
  • As Windows checks for updates, it will automatically update DirectX to the latest version
  • Once it has been updated, restart your laptop and check that you’re now using the latest version

To improve your laptop’s performance, you must update DirectX to the latest version.

7. Update The Drivers

It is important to update your drivers when upgrading your old laptop to a gaming one. Using outdated drivers on your laptop will reduce its performance as they contain bugs. These bugs are usually fixed in the updated version. 

To make sure that your drivers are always updated, set your drivers to automatically update.

However, you can also update your drivers manually:

  • Go to your Drivers manufacturer’s website 
  • Choose the latest driver and make sure it is compatible with your laptop
  • Download and install it

8. Upgrade RAM

Upgrading your old laptop to a gaming laptop requires space.

RAM (Random Access Memory) is responsible for a laptop’s storage. When your laptop’s RAM is high, your game performance, as well as your laptop’s performance, will improve. Therefore, you must upgrade your RAM.

Update RAM

To upgrade your RAM, simply buy a RAM that is compatible with your laptop. Check your laptop’s specifications to ensure that you buy a RAM that is compatible with it.

The minimum RAM requirement for a gaming laptop is 8GB but we highly recommend you have 16GB of RAM for a smooth gaming experience.

9. Install SSD

An SSD – Solid State Drive – is a hardware component that improves your laptop’s performance and allows games to boot faster. You will need to install a gaming SSD if you’re upgrading your old laptop to a gaming laptop.

Install SSD

Installing an SSD involves swapping the old HDD (Hardware Disk Drive) on your old laptop for a newer and faster SSD. However, if your laptop allows the use of both SSD and HDD, there will be no need for conversion. 

10. External Graphics Card

When upgrading your old laptop to a gaming one, it is advisable to buy an external graphics card. This is because upgrading your laptop’s graphics card is not possible.

Graphics Card upgrade in Laptop

However, before buying an external graphics card, ensure that it is compatible with your laptop.

To use an external graphics card, simply plug it into your laptop’s USB port using a cord that can handle the task.


Turning a laptop into a gaming laptop is quite easy if you follow the guide above. Before you know it, you will begin running games on your old laptop now turned into a gaming laptop and pesky issues like a game failing to run or lagging will be old news.

Further Reading

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Luqman Khan

Luqman is the founder of cliffyB.com and an obsessed gamer! Overseeing the site's coverage of gaming hardware and software. He is also the founder of a Computer Gaming Lounge. He has been into gaming and PC Building since 2009. He is also obsessed with DOTA 2 and Rainbow Six Siege.