Fixes for Computer Freezes When Gaming

Gaming is all about FPS stability and smoothness since that majorly dictates what kind of experience you will have. Conversely, there is nothing quite as infuriating as when your computer freezes when playing games.

No matter how much self-control you have, at some point, these uncontrolled lags will get to you, and you will have a big gamer rage moment (we all do). To make sure you know what to do when your computer freezes, we decided to talk a little bit about the topic today and give you some quick advice.

Why Do Computers Freezes While Gaming Happen?

In reality when your computer freezes when playing games there could be a plethora of possible explanations for this occurrence.

These explanations range from the most basic conclusion that your PC is simply too weak to play the game of your choice, to hardware issues, and even software issues that are causing conflicts in the way your PC allocates resources to the game.

To make things easier for you we have categorized the main troubleshooting points for when your computer freezes when gaming into two categories: hardware and software.

Hardware

When talking about the hardware it is a bit easier to figure out if there are any issues or incompatibilities.

The most basic reason for lags and stuttering during gameplay can be caused by the simple fact that your hardware is too old and weak to play the game you want. If you are running hardware from 2005 and want to play current titles, obviously things will not work out smoothly.

Assuming that your hardware is up to date there are a couple of things you can check to make sure your components are performing as they should.

First of all, make sure your components are not thermally throttling. This can be checked with software like HWiNFO that can show you in real-time what the temperatures of your CPU and GPU are.

Open HWiNFO and open your game and look at the CPU and GPU temperatures and if they hit above 100C and you notice a sudden drop in operating speed you have found your issue.

Thermal throttling can be caused by a dirty PC case and not enough airflow. Clean your case fans and make sure your fans are configured properly for good airflow. You should also change the thermal paste on your CPU and make sure that your CPU cooler makes proper contact with your component.

For the GPU make sure the heatsink is clean, fans are spinning, and the thermal pads are not old and dried up.

If all of those things check out, you can also try overclocking your CPU and GPU to make sure you are squeezing every little bit of FPS out of your PC.

Besides this, make sure your RAM is running at its rated speed or is using the appropriate XMP profile, you have your Windows installed on your SSD, and if you have your games on an HDD, make sure to defrag it and keep it up to speed.

Cleaning your PC once every two weeks and making sure there are no layers of dust inside of it will ensure that your hardware is working properly and no computer freezes while gaming will happen.

Software

The software side of things is a bit more convoluted because there are a lot of layers to what can make your computer freeze when gaming.

This can range from poor game engine optimization to poor Windows settings that you are running on your machine.

Since there are so many variables we will quickly list as many as we can think of so you can try as many as you can to get your smooth gameplay back.

  • Fix in-game settings. Lower graphics settings like anti-aliasing, ray tracing, or any other graphically intensive elements. If necessary lower your in-game resolution.
  • Use the additional configuration (Cfg) files available for most games to squeeze some extra frames using settings not available in-game.
  • Fix your graphic settings from the Nvidia panel or the AMD Adrenalin software making sure to emphasize high-performance everywhere and not graphics quality.
  • Update older drivers especially GPU drivers and chipset drivers. Use Display Driver Uninstaller and NVCleanstall to uninstall and install the GPU drivers without any issues.
  • Install a fresh version of Windows 10.
  • Go through a full Windows 10 optimization cycle to get rid of all the bloatware and services that might hog resources, or alternatively install a fresh custom Windows 10 ISO (Tech Yes City & Ghost Spectre versions). On this current PC, we are using the Ghost Spectre custom ISO with no issues.
  • Disable HPET and other synthetic timers.
  • Disable all unnecessary programs on startup.
  • Use Intelligent standby list cleaner to force a quicker timer resolution and also obviously clean the standby list.

This list is not exhaustive and there are more tweaks you can find online, but going through these steps regarding software optimization for your PC will give you a 99% chance that you will never again see computer freezes while gaming!

About The Author

Chris

Custom Windows ISO enjoyer, FPS optimizer, and aim improvement enthusiast. Will disassemble all of his peripherals (and sometimes PC parts) to mod them even if all of them work perfectly fine. Overall, Chris is a BIG nerd and he is absolutely proud of it! Follow him on Twitch.

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