Improve the performance of Windows PCs with Nvidia hardware
A video on YouTube, Twitch or Facebook stutters? You experience frame drops in your favorite game or video chat, or notice other performance issues on your system?
While old or less capable hardware may be the reason for that, performance issues may sometimes be caused by less than optimal settings.
If you run a Windows PC with Nvidia hardware, you have some options to tweak the system in general and specific programs in particular.
Most PC games include options to change graphics settings. You can change the quality of textures or other graphical effects, or turn them off completely.
But what if you run into performance issues in applications? Say, stuttering video playback in Firefox or Chrome. You could change the resolution of the video if that is an option and hope that it resolves the issue, or upgrade your system directly.
Sometimes, however, there is an even better option to address these issues.
Improve Nvidia performance
Nvidia's Control Panel includes options to manage global and program-specific settings that may impact performance on the system.
You open the Control Panel with a right-click on the desktop and the selection of Nvidia Control Panel from the context menu.
Select Manage 3D Settings in the Control Panel window to display the configuration screen. Switch to Program Settings and select the program that you want to customize settings for. If the program is not listed, click on the add button to add it using the displayed list or by selecting it manually.
The preference that you want to modify is called Power Management Mode. If it is not set to "prefer maximum performance," you may not get the optimum out of your graphics card.
Note: Setting this to the level may increase power consumption on the device. This may not be an issue for desktop PCs, but if you use a laptop on battery, you may notice that power drains faster than before when those applications run.
Set the level to "prefer maximum performance" and then on apply to save the change. Run the program afterward to find out if that setting changed the performance of the device.
You should see higher framerates and better overall performance when playing games, watching videos, or doing other things that benefit from faster hardware.
You may restore the previous setting at any time, for example when the device runs on battery or when you don't notice a considerable improvement.
Now You: Do you notice performance issues on your system? If so when and what have you tried to improve it?