How to Turn Old Laptop into Gaming Laptop?

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Playing games on Laptops and PCs is trending nowadays. Modern games are played more conveniently on PCs, but you can use Laptops if you have a good cooling system. Suppose you own a laptop with good specifications and want to use it for gaming. Then the question arises in your mind how to turn your old laptop into a gaming laptop?

How to Turn Old Laptop into Gaming Laptop

Here, I will discuss various techniques for converting an old laptop into a gaming laptop and playing games at the best framerate. So, you are viewing the right article, and keep reading.

How to Turn Old Laptop into Gaming Laptop

Before going deep into the discussion, the first step is to evaluate your old laptop’s current RAM, Graphics card, and other hardware components. It is the quickest way to pinpoint which feature needs improvement or replacement. You don’t need to spend a lot of money as we will discuss the minimum requirements for hardware changes to start gaming on an old laptop.

Upgrade RAM

A RAM is among the dynamic parts of computers and laptops. Once you open a program, RAM starts its function in loading, temporarily saving, and reading files of that particular program. In the old days, lower-sized games were played, requiring insufficient RAM. But modern games require more RAM depending upon the performance you demand from the laptop. 16 GB RAM is usually installed to avoid slow loading and frame rate while playing. This much RAM will not only keep improving the performance but also help in multi-tasking along with gaming.

Upgrade RAM

Now you have to check RAM slots in the motherboard of the laptop. If it has two places, you need to install two RAMs of 8GB. If there is only one slot, you will be unable for major changes in RAM.

To improve the RAM, you must consider two factors, i.e., DDR standard and clock speed, whether the motherboard supports DDR4 or DDR3 versions of RAMs. The next factor is the clock speed which tells about RAM cycles in one second. A RAM working at a higher clock speed will enhance the performance and FPS in games.

Replace Hard Disk (HDD) with Solid State Disk (SSD)

If your laptop is much older, there is a chance it will have a hard disk drive—HDDs are affordable and reliable for data recovery in case of damage.

SSDs, on the other hand, are more compact, faster, and consume fewer energy resources than normal HDDs.

So, it is essential to change HDD with SSD for a fast-paced performance to convert an old laptop into a gaming laptop.

SSD installation in an old laptop will decrease games’ booting and loading time. It has less effect on the frame rate of games. An HDD will take double the time to load games.

Some gamers consider SSD and HDD rivals of each other. But they work as teammates. Suppose your laptop has good RAM, HDD, and an SSD; it’s a blessing. The best combination is a 1TB HDD with 256GB SSD for better performance. SSD will be the best choice for storing games as it takes less time to load.

What if the laptop has only one bay for the hard disk? It is recommended to remove HDD and install an SSD to enjoy a significant boost in the performance of games.

Upgrading Graphics Card

Old laptops don’t have a graphics card as they cannot load and play high-end games. Just like processors, graphic cards are soldered to the motherboard. So, replacement is unavailable.

Upgrading Graphics Card

A graphics card can provide an HD display by processing graphical data and implementing high-tech features and functions.

An internally soldered graphics card cannot be changed, but an external addition of a graphics card can do wonders in transforming an old laptop into a gaming laptop. This external graphics card is connected to the laptop through the USB port.

Most people suggest buying a new laptop with the best graphics card instead of adding an external graphics card. But it is not budget-friendly to buy a new laptop just for gaming.

You can perform other tasks and play games through an external graphics card.

Install Advance Operating System (OS)

An old version of the operating system can only work better for performing daily easy tasks. You have to install an upgraded version of the OS so that you can play advance level games.

Most of the games require OS – windows eight or advanced versions. Because advanced operating systems like Windows 10 can enhance gaming performance.

Install Advance Operating System

But before installing windows 10, you have to evaluate the laptop’s hardware. Lower RAM, motherboard, and HDD don’t accept windows 10. Window 10 has about 2% better performance than Windows 8.

Add Direct – X

A direct X is a collection of programming applications to handle different tasks related to gaming interface, gaming programming, and gaming media. In Microsoft platforms, there are various APIs like Direct Play, Direct3D, and many others.

To play games on an old laptop, you have to install Direct X. Windows 10 is compatible with Direct X 12, an advanced version of Direct X.

The right query is why Direct X is a prerequisite to have? The main reason for this is that it can acquire games from CPU and GPU and resultantly improve performance.

If you are unable to find which version of Direct is available on your laptop, follow these steps;

Open the search menu of windows on the bottom left side

  • Search here ‘Dxdiag’ and press Enter
  • A new box will pop up, and information about Direct x and other components is available in front of you.
  • An advanced Direct X is automatically added by putting in the new operating system (OS).

Improve Power Settings

When you have improved graphics and other factors, you have to optimize the power usage in the old laptop to perform well while gaming. By executing the subsequent steps, you can change power settings;

  • Go to the power setting section by clicking on the battery icon on the laptop’s taskbar.
  • Two options will appear one is about adjusting the brightness, and another is about more power options.
  • Click on more power options, and a new window opens up. Search here to create a power plan
  • Create an advanced power usage plan which is optimal for gaming.

Cooling system for Old Gaming laptop

A laptop naturally heats up when you play games or carry out heavy tasks like rendering if this heat is ventilated through grills to the atmosphere with the help of internal fans or external cooling kits.

You can put on the next tips to keep the old gaming laptop cool.

  • Play games by placing the laptop on a flat and hard surface
  • Clean the airways and vents of the laptop
  • Arrange a laptop cooler and stand
  • Keep upgrading hardware
  • Avoid gaming in direct sunlight
  • Routinely change thermal paste of CPU

Shade and Network settings

Shade and texture settings are important if you want to have a clad interface of games. So, it would be best if you are looking for a better texture to enjoy games on an old gaming laptop. Textures are available in-game options and selected from there. But keep in mind that a high-definition display affects battery usage and speed of RAM.

When you have applied all the above requirements, the last factor is important enough for a great gaming experience. Nowadays, most gamers play games online, so you have to arrange a better network with the least ping in gaming.

Frequently asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. How can I upgrade my old gaming laptop into a faster one?

To upgrade an old gaming laptop that is not performing well, you can follow these steps;

  • Turn off windows updates from the internet as they make it heavy
  • Avoid multi-tasking
  • Upgrade Windows to the latest version
  • Keep power usage optimal
  • Remove all extra programs to have space
  • Update Direct X

Q2. Why my old gaming laptop is getting slow?

There are reasons for the slow behavior of gaming laptops. First and foremost is overheating, caused by dust sticking on fans and vents. So, cleaning can remove this problem.

Other reasons are related to hardware like GPU or low-quality RAM. Due to this, the loading and booting of games become slow. If you have one emptier slot for RAM, then add one more RAM for a better gaming experience.

Q3. What do you see as a normal laptop vs. an old gaming laptop?

There is a vast variance between a normal and a gaming laptop. A normal laptop has hardware and software features that help do basic tasks such as watching movies and working on excel or Photoshop.

While a gaming computer or laptop has advanced-level components that support playing games offline and online, a gaming laptop has good RAM, graphic card, and a better processor version.

Q4. Is it easy to add a graphics card to my old gaming laptop?

The graphics card and processor are soldered to the motherboard in most cases. Therefore, replacing a graphics card with a new one is impossible.

The best solution to such an issue is to add the latest version graphics card as an external USB port.


The gaming industry is booming day by day, and everyone wants to play games using available resources, whether it is mobile or normal laptops. Playing modern and advanced games on low-end or old laptops is nearly impossible. If these laptops are revamped into advanced versions by installing the latest compatible hardware and software, you can play games. We have discussed different important factors to turn an old laptop into a gaming laptop to have the best gaming experience.

If you don’t know about upgrading a laptop’s hardware, you must visit a computer specialist; otherwise, you will damage it.

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