Windows 10 Ultimate Gaming Tweak Guide

THIS GUIDE WAS UPDATED 30th DECEMBER 2017 & is STAR CITIZEN 3.0 READY
I play a lot of games and haven’t found a comprehensive guide on Tweaking Windows 10 for Gaming, Performance, System Tweaks, Overclocking & Ping/Latency Improvements and all the relatively simple things you can do to give you better performance in games, a better ping online and make the right choices for your needs, I am sure there are changes here that some people will disagree with, feel free to message me & I will change anything that gets out of date or is no longer working.
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Important Star Citizen Specific Guides & Info
This Guide is in the process of being fleshed out, when it’s done it will be an article & video, each of the sections will have a skip timecode or bookmark too. And if you are unsure about a setting, quickly google it to make sure you aren’t wrecking your OS, I take Zero responsibility for anything going wrong, all I have done here is compiled and tested the Tweaks and for ME they work and are Safe.
Why Windows 10?
General Gaming Tweaks
Online Gaming Tweaks
System Tweaks
Basic Overclocking
(BETA) Programs & Settings
Why Windows 10 over 7 or 8.1?
Windows 10 Pro 64bit is actually your best option now,
It has better boot times than 7 & 8.1
And better Gaming performance, though some of it is fractional
More hardware is supported in general
And DX12 is supported thru it – which we will start seeing more and more games using.
 
Windows 10 Pro
Pro Gives you a few advantages but not really any performance gains over Home. I recommend Pro but if you need to save a couple of bucks or pounds or Euros then you can grab Windows 10 Home.
I think you can still grab Windows 10 Pro Licences from Kinguin.net for $30-35. And as far as I am aware they are legit.
General Gaming Tweaks
Update Your Drivers!
The Most obvious and necessary make sure you have the latest drivers installed for you system & devices especially your graphics card. Just grab your latest drivers for your ATI or Nvidia card, I recommend 3dGuru to get them from they always have the latest drivers and a full description of what they do.
3dGuru host & describe all of the latest drivers some of which don’t appear on the Nvidia / AMD Sites:
System Gaming Responsiveness
This section covers Registry Tweaks that can affect Gaming Performance in most situations:
You’ll need to jump into the Windows Registry for some of this, it’s not complicated tho
  • Press Windows Key and R
  • Type Regedit & then enter
I’ll explain the various things we can change and why.
Some games that uses “Multimedia Class Scheduler” service (MMCSS) can only utilize up to 80% of the CPU. The “Multimedia Class Scheduler” service (MMCSS) ensures prioritized access to CPU resources, without denying CPU resources to lower-priority background applications.
  • To set this tweak, run regedit and find: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Multimedia\SystemProfile.
  • Create a new DWORD and name it to “SystemResponsiveness” set its hexadecimal value to 00000000 for pure gaming/streaming.
Also here you can also change the priority of Games;
  • Find  HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Multimedia\SystemProfile\Tasks\Games
  • Change the following registry values:
  • “GPU Priority” change its value to 8
  • “Priority” set to 6
  • “Scheduling Category” set to “High”
Power Options
Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Power Options
It’s worth changing your Power Options to High Performance
Disable Mouse Acceleration
I Honestly Can’t believe the amount of people that still have this on.
Mouse acceleration needs to be turned off for gaming otherwise you are aiming.
  • Again in Control Panel
  • Mouse
  • Pointer Options
  • Untick Enhance Pointer Precision (this is mouse acceleration)
  • Also try adjusting the Pointer Speed slider here till you are happy
What DPI & Sensitivity should you select?
With some mice you will have software to set you dpi,
so in most games I recommend 400-1600 if in doubt try 800 even if your mouse have 20 billion DPI.
Some people will set their DPI far too high, you want to adjust the sensitivity via the mouse options and in game
Unpark Your Core & Threads
There is a great freeware program that stops threads from “parking” which is basically a power saving mode & makes sure they are ready to use constantly.
The effect of this is better performance in games & quicker response in general.
  • Download The CPU Unparking Utility
  • Run The EXE as an Administrator
  • Change The Slider to 100%
  • Apply & Close
NVIDIA Graphics Settings, if you have an NVIDIA Card
  • Go into the NVIDIA Control Panel
  • Manage 3D Settings
  • Set Multi-display/mixed-GPU acceleration – Single display performance mode (If you have issues with low frame rates on your other monitors OR you are using multiple monitors to game with then change this to Multi)
  • Preferred refresh rate – Highest available
  • [OPTIONAL] Turn Off Shader Cache, some people experience gains with it off, some people lose performance.
  • Leave Pre-Rendered Frames on AUTO
  • Texture Filtering Quality – Performance
Online Gaming Tweaks
This section covers Registry Tweaks that affect Online Gaming Performance, Ping, Latency and all that Jazz, IF you aren’t playing online then you can skip this stuff you can set it manually or use TCP Optimizer 4:
You’ll need to jump into the Windows Registry for this, it’s not complicated tho
Press Windows Key and R
Type Regedit & then enter
I’ll explain the various things we can change and why.
Disable Nagle’s Algorithm
This combines several small packets into a single, larger packet for more “efficient” transmissions. Tho for Gaming Disabling “nagling” can help reduce latency/ping in some games. Nagle’s algorithm is enabled in Windows by default.
To Disable this (for faster performance) go to the value:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters\Interfaces\{NIC-id}
For the {NIC-id}, look for the one with your IP address listed.
Under this {NIC-id} key, create the following DWORD value:
  • TcpAckFrequency and set it to 1
  • TCPNoDelay and set it also to 1
  • TcpDelAckTicks and set it to 0
 
If you don’t know your IP, you can
  • Press Windows Key + R
  • Type CMD then Enter
  • Type IPCONFIG then Enter
  • Your LOCAL IP should be displayed
Disable Network Throttling
Windows likes to Throttle your Packets sometime so it’s worth disabling this setting for better Performance.
  • Again in Regedit now find:
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Multimedia\SystemProfile.
  • In SystemProfile, create a DWORD value and name it to “NetworkThrottlingIndex”
  • Set it’s Hexadecimal value to ffffffff for gaming and max throughput.
Networking Improvements
The Star Citizen mini-PU servers are mostly Server bound when it comes to performance, hence why you sometimes only get 20fps but also the lack of regional servers can also lead to some Latency, poor Pings & Round Trip Times. Setting and Tweaking your Network Settings can help a lot.
TCP Optimizer 4
This program allows you to go through each of the important settings to Tweak your Rig & Network Adapter for Online Gaming & doesn’t require you to go thru the Registry.
  • Download the Program Here
  • Right Click TCPOptimizer & Run as Admin
  • Set Your Connection Speed & The Rest of The Options as Shown
You can do a bit of Research & maybe get better results too
  • Each of the Settings has a tooltip
  • You can read the full explanation and Program Manual Here
  • In The General Settings some of the settings require situational subjective optimization based on your needs, tho Optimal should still give you an improvement.
  • If You are Having Issues you can always set it to Optimal OR Windows Default
Disable Windows Update Delivery Optimization
Windows Updates  has a setting where it can munch your bandwidth by sending Windows updates to other PCs on the net. It’s worth turning this off as it can affect your gameplay and also eat into any data allowance you might have.
To turn this feature OFF, follow these given steps:
  • Go to Settings in the Start menu
  • Search for Update & Security
  • Under Windows Update, open Advanced Options
  • Click Choose How Updates are Installed, select Choose how updates are delivered
  • Disable the toggle under Updated from More than One Place
Disable OneDrive
If you don’t use OneDrive then disable it, it eats up your bandwidth. The OneDrive app of Windows 10 uploads your new files to the cloud internet server so you can access them anywhere.
To disable OneDrive:
Right click on the OneDrive app which is located on your taskbar and click exit.
System Tweaks
Disable Hibernate
Hibernate mode is set up by default to allow the hard drive disk to load the programs faster instead of booting the system, but it is unnecessary for an SSD system drives.
  • To do this, simply open your CMD command
    Search for CMD in the start menu search bar
  • Right click CMD and Run as Admin & Type,
  • powercfg -h off
  • Press Enter
Setting your Page File
  • Press Windows Key
  • Click In the Search Box
  • Search for “Control” then Click on it,
  • Click System
  • Click Advanced System Settings
  • Click the Advanced Tab
  • Under Performance, Click Settings
  • Under the Advanced tab Click Change
  • Uncheck Auto manage
  • PLEASE NOTE THAT I RECOMMEND SETTING THIS TO AN SSD DRIVE
  • Set one of your Drives (preferably an SSD) to SYSTEM MANAGED SIZE
  • Set
  • All other Drives should be set to None (unless if the pagefile you set wasn’t on your OS drive & you want to leave 300mb on your main boot drive for “crash info & recovery”)
If you have loads of Ram some people recommend having no pagefile, though some applications require a page file to operate optimally.
 
I recommend having a Page File on a separate drive or secondary drive.
I use an SSHD that I also use for storage. And let the system workout how much it needs. After much testing I found that I get FRACTIONAL improvements consistently with a 4GB Pagefile on a 2nd drive & NO page file on my main or gaming drives.
 
Some people say if you have 16GB+ ram you should entirely disable pagefiles.
Some programs & games however are designed to operate with a Pagefile & for me it is literally faster to have one. But all gains seem to be pretty negligible.
Visual Effects and Performance
I recommend disabling some of the Visual effects in Windows, it makes Windows faster and a bit more responsive and gives a bit more performance, it’s also in:
  • Control Panel
  • System
  • Advanced System Settings
  • Performance Options
  • Visual Effects
Keep These 3 enabled
  • Show thumbnails instead of icons
  • Show window contents while dragging
  • Smooth edges of screen fonts
HDD, SSD & Service Optimizations
You’ll want to Defrag your HDDs every so often BUT not your SSDs
It will damage them if you force defrag them, instead you want to TRIM them.
Also I recommend Turning off Indexing on SSDs.
  • Press Windows Key + E
  • Click on your SSD and right click on it.
  • Click properties then uncheck “Allow files on this drive to have contents indexed in addition to file properties“
  • Click apply then click OK
Disable Restrictive Services
  • Press Windows Key + R
  • Type services.msc
  • Look for the Service you want to disable and right click on it
  • Click properties then click Startup type
  • Select Disabled, click OK
  • Click the folder icon on your taskbar.
Turn off The Services Listed Below (Unless specifically know you use these), they are a mixture of useless & optimization settings:
  • Windows Search (This will disable Windows Search TOO, keep it if you use it)
  • All Xbox Services
  • All Hyper-V services
  • Microsoft SMS router service
  • Diagnostics tracking service
  • Fax service
  • dmwappushsvc
  • All Sensor Services
Here is an extended list of Services That in most cases you can disable,
I have disabled all of these on my Windows 10 Pro but it’s at your own risk:
AllJoyn Router Service
Application Layer Gateway Service
Bluetooth Support Service
BranchCache
Certificate Propagation
Client for NFS
Distributed Link Tracking Client
dmwappushsvc
Downloaded Maps Manager
Enterprise App Management Service
Geolocation Service
Health Key and Certificate Management
Hyper-V Data Exchange Service
Hyper-V Guest Service Interface
Hyper-V Guest Shutdown Service
Hyper-V Heartbeat Service
Hyper-V Remote Desktop Virtualization Service
Hyper-V Time Synchronization Service
Hyper-V VM Session Service
Hyper-V Volume Shadow Copy Requestor
Internet Connection Sharing (ICS)
Internet Explorer ETW Collector Service
IP Helper
Microsoft Diagnostics Hub Standard Collector Service
Microsoft iSCSI Initiator Service
Microsoft Windows SMS Router Service
Netlogon
Offline Files
Remote Procedure Call (RPC) Locator
Retail Demo Service
Sensor Data Service
Sensor Monitoring Service
Sensor Service
Smart Card Device Enumeration Service
Smart Card Removal Policy
SNMP Trap
Storage Service
Touch Keyboard and Handwriting Panel Service
Windows Biometric Service
Windows Connect Now – Config Registrar
Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service
Windows Mobile Hotspot Service
Windows MultiPoint Server Host Service
Windows MultiPoint Server Repair Service
Windows Remote Management (WS-Management)
Xbox Live Auth Manager
Xbox Live Game Save
XboxNetApiSvc
Data Mining & Bloatware Removal
There are 2 different ways I recommend to do this, but using the More Automated Newer way is probably better, I’ll leave the Manual way here too.
Spybot Anti-Beacon
This program turns off and stops a load of data mining and Microsoft / Other Services it’s basically designed to block and stop the various tracking (telemetry) issues present in Windows 10.
NOTE – If you are using Skype then after you have run this
You’ll need to unblock some hosts can find your hosts-file here:
C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts
Just open it with Editor and see if you find any lines containing “skype”, “hotmail” or “messenger.live”. Save as a .file then delete the extension and place in the folder.
Turn off Other Tracking , Data-mining, increase Privacy & Performance
  • Right Click the Notification Box in the Bottom Right
  • Open Action Centre
  • All Settings
  • System
  • In Notifications & Actions I turn all the sliders off
  • Apps & Features – There is loads of bloatware
  • Sway, Phone, Get Skype, Maps
  • I delete everything that I am obviously not going to use.
  • If in doubt DON’T DELETE
  • Offline Maps – Turn Everything Off Here
Back to Settings
  • Privacy
  • Go Thru EVERY tab and turn the sliders off unless you have a reason to have them on.
  • In Feedback & Diagnostics
  • Change Windows Feedback to Never
  • If you have the option under Send your device data to Microsoft Select Never OR Basic
Back to Settings
  • Update & Security
  • I Turn off Everything in Windows Defender, But you may need some form of Virus and Online protection
  • Windows Update
  • Click Advanced Options
  • Choose How Updates are delivered
  • Set to Off
Remove Pre-Installed Apps (More Removals)
Windows 10 comes with pre-installed apps or “bloatware” and basically if you don’t use them DELETE / Remove them.
  • Control Panel\All Control Panel Items
  • Programs and Features
  • Uninstall anything that you know you don’t need
Also you can to save some more space by removing the pre-installed apps that came with Windows 10 if you aren’t going to use those apps at all.
  • Press the windows key
  • Search for Powershell
  • Right Click Run as Admin
Enter the following commands to remove one or more apps of your choice:
(I keep calculator BUT get rid of everything else)
powershell “Get-AppxPackage *BingFinance* | Remove-AppxPackage”
powershell “Get-AppxPackage *BingNews* | Remove-AppxPackage”
powershell “Get-AppxPackage *BingSports* | Remove-AppxPackage”
powershell “Get-AppxPackage *BingWeather* | Remove-AppxPackage”
powershell “Get-AppxPackage *Getstarted* | Remove-AppxPackage”
powershell “Get-AppxPackage *MicrosoftOfficeHub* | Remove-AppxPackage”
powershell “Get-AppxPackage *MicrosoftSolitaireCollection* | Remove-AppxPackage”
powershell “Get-AppxPackage *Office.OneNote* | Remove-AppxPackage”
powershell “Get-AppxPackage *People* | Remove-AppxPackage”
powershell “Get-AppxPackage *SkypeApp* | Remove-AppxPackage”
powershell “Get-AppxPackage *Windows.Photos* | Remove-AppxPackage”
powershell “Get-AppxPackage *WindowsAlarms* | Remove-AppxPackage”
powershell “Get-AppxPackage *WindowsCalculator* | Remove-AppxPackage”
powershell “Get-AppxPackage *WindowsCamera* | Remove-AppxPackage”
powershell “Get-AppxPackage *windowscommunicationsapps* | Remove-AppxPackage”
powershell “Get-AppxPackage *WindowsMaps* | Remove-AppxPackage”
powershell “Get-AppxPackage *WindowsPhone* | Remove-AppxPackage”
powershell “Get-AppxPackage *WindowsSoundRecorder* | Remove-AppxPackage”
powershell “Get-AppxPackage *XboxApp* | Remove-AppxPackage”
powershell “Get-AppxPackage *ZuneMusic* | Remove-AppxPackage”
powershell “Get-AppxPackage *ZuneVideo* | Remove-AppxPackage”
powershell “Get-AppxPackage *3DBuilder* | Remove-AppxPackage”
 
The More Automated Way is using W10Privacy
Still getting my head around this simple Windows 10 program, it combines loads of other Privacy Tweaks as well as loads of things to disable in Windows for a better experience.
  • Download it from Here
  • Run the EXE in it’s own folder by right clicking and “Run as Admin”
  • Disable / Tweak anything you want
  • Then Press Set Changed Settings, wait then restart
I tick pretty much everything except:
  • Show Hidden and Cache Files
  • Items / Services I know I use
  • Some of the Settings in Tweaks Explorer
  • Just have a quick read of the tooltip of each setting before you tick it
NOTE – If you are using Skype then after you have run this
You’ll need to unblock some hosts can find your hosts-file here:
C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts
Just open it with Editor and see if you find any lines containing “skype”, “hotmail” or “messenger.live”. If you have issues saving then, Save as a .file then delete the extension and place in the folder.
Graphics Card Overclocking
This is much safer and easier than CPU Overclocking
As with CPUs it’s still worth googling your card and the word overclock to see what settings are recommended and achievable.
The Latest GTX 1060, 1070 & 1080 Cards | Precision XOC
For Nvidia Cards Prior to the GTX 1060, 1070 & 1080 Series | Precision
For AMD & ATI Cards Use | AMDTrixx
Overclock your Monitor too you can use those tools to up your pixel clock or hz rate on your monitor, again it’s worth googling your monitor and seeing what others have achieved. You can also just Set a Custom Resolution now in the latest Nvidia Drivers.
I have my AOC 144hz Monitor @ 171hz without any issues.
BUT do this as WITH ALL THE OTHER OVERCLOCKING AT YOUR OWN RISK
And make sure you always Test your Overclocks
Test your overclocks to make sure your system is stable I run a series of 3d Mark Tests
And I also recommend 3d Mark Firestrike for general benchmarking too.
The Basic Version is FREE too!
Also http://www.cpuid.com have loads of great Monitoring Software for your Temps & Voltages.
I can recommend HWMonitor for pretty much everything, again the Freeware version is great.
Other Programs & Settings (BETA)
So these are programs, tweaks and tools that I am trying out and may be AMAZING, Useless OR Damaging, I don’t know I don’t know enough about them.
Process Lasso – http://bitsum.com
This is a Program that you can use to set process and system priorities to tasks & processes as well as a whole world of other features. I am messing around with the features at the moment & it seems good but I am yet to make up my mind.
Prio Process Priority Saver – http://www.prnwatch.com/prio/
Does a similar more slimline job that Lasso does, saving the Process Priorities so you don’t have to keep setting them.
The CMark Win 10 “Fix” – donewmouseaccel.blogspot.co.uk
This is a registry fix that removes anything that sounds like it might be acceleration related in regards. I haven’t seen any real change (after disabling Mouse Acceleration) It might be magic thinking but every frame is a gain… that doesn’t work when talking about mice does it?