The performance of the processor installed in any PC is determined by several factors. Some are immutable, such as the architecture, the number of cores and threads, and the instructions supported, but these are affected by various factors that can change over time, and also with user interactions.
We can say, therefore, that the performance of the processor we use has a specific basis, but that it can improve or worsen depending on various factors that we are going to discuss in this article, since they will help you better understand what is behind said component, to discover how you can improve your performance without spending money (or with a minimal investment), and how you can extend its useful life effortlessly.
First of all, I want to make it clear that in this guide we are not going to give you any recommendation or advice that may imply a risk for your PC, since we consider that extreme measures are not worth taking to improve the performance of the processor a bit at the cost of shortening the useful life of your equipment, and even less with the current situation.
That said, we get down to business. As always, you can leave any questions in the comments and we will be happy to help you solve it. Make yourself comfortable, let’s get going.
1.-Updating the BIOS can improve processor performance
The motherboard is a fundamental piece in any PC. On it we install components as important as RAM, graphics card and processor, among others, and this can affect performance, for better or for worse of each and every one of the components that we assemble.
In this sense, the version of the BIOS that we use can not only affect the performance of the processor, but also determines aspects as relevant as the compatibility of our motherboard with certain processors, the support of certain types of RAM memory at specific frequencies and the functions that we will have available at all times. For example, AM4 motherboards with a B450 chipset and higher are compatible with Ryzen 5000 processors, but require a prior BIOS update.
AMD is precisely the company who else has improved performance of your processors by resorting to BIOS updates. We have already talked about it on many occasions, in this article for example we saw that the AGESA 188.8.131.52 update was going to bring more than 100 important improvements, and that it would be possible to implement it through a simple BIOS update.
Keeping the BIOS up-to-date can help us increase processor performance, either directly or indirectly, so it is worth keeping an eye on the available updates and proceed with their installation. when they reach their final version and are stable. Always use the official versions of the manufacturer of your motherboard.
2.-Adjust the power plan and processor status
Processor performance is deeply linked to the energy plan that we use, this is no secret, but there are still people who do not fully understand the importance of this in their day to day life, and limit themselves to using a single energy plan continuously, even if their real needs change drastically at different times.
If we use a laptop and we want to prioritize autonomy over processor performance, we can use a balanced energy plan or even a low-power one. In specific cases, it may also be a good idea reduce maximum processor state. However, if we want to maximize processor performance, we have to do the opposite.
The processor status can be easily configured through Windows 10 by entering the path “Edit power plan settings> Change advanced settings> Processor status”. The minimum state set the lowest working frequency the processor will be able to reach, and the maximum state establishes the maximum frequency that you will be able to achieve.
If we use new processors that efficiently manage the turbo mode, and therefore adjust their working frequencies very quickly and precisely in real time, it will not be essential to use a base state of 100%, but in relatively old chips this adjustment can help us slightly improve performance processor, since It saves the delay that occurs when executing the frequency change.
3.-Changing the thermal paste can make a difference
It is one of the most basic maintenance that we must perform on any PC, and it is also one of the most important, since it can make a big difference in temperatures of our processor, in its performance and its useful life.
A processor that has not had the thermal paste changed in five years will register higher temperatures than a processor that uses, for example, a thermal paste that was changed a few months ago. This has an explanation, and it is that the first will be deeply degraded and parched, which means that it will not allow good contact between the processor and the heatsink, and the heat transfer will be very poor.
In that scenario, heat will tend to build up in the processor IHS. When this happens, temperatures can skyrocket to worrying levels. A processor that operates at high temperatures you tend to reduce your work frequency to protect yourself, which translates into lower performance.
However, in extreme situations, its useful life can be shortened due to the gradual degradation that silicon undergoes when operating at high temperatures. The blue screens, the crashes and the hangs they are also other common problems that result from excessive heat in a processor. Changing the thermal paste is the best way to avoid these problems, and it can help us improve processor performance.
4.-Make efficient and intelligent use of the processor
And I mean it in a broad sense. If you have a processor that allows overclocking, the easiest and fastest way to improve its performance would be to increase its working frequencies. However, you should be aware that inappropriate overclocking can lead to worse performance processor, and even adversely affect its lifespan.
If you are going to overclock, do it safely and always keeping in mind the limitations of your own PC, and those of the cooling system you use. It is useless to take a processor to 5.3 GHz if you are going to have to use, for example, a voltage of 1.5V and have to deal with temperatures between 95 and 100 degrees. Better less frequency, less voltage and more reasonable temperatures.
On the other hand, remember that in certain scenarios a state-of-the-art processor without overclocking, which independently and efficiently manages its working frequencies, can offer better performance than another that has been overclocked to certain values. By this I mean that it is not always worth overclocking the processor, and the Ryzen 3000 are a clear example of this.
Finally also we must control the use we make of the processor. If we have a chip that is deeply limited by the number of cores and threads, ending all the background applications that can consume resources at the CPU level can make a considerable difference, especially in those cases in which we do not meet the requirements. Minimal, but we stay relatively close (for example, a game that requires four cores and that we run on a two-core, four-thread processor).
5.-Cleaning and cooling of the equipment
The thermal paste and the cooling system placed on the processor are two of the factors that most influence its temperature, but they are not the only ones. The heat that this component generates, and that is dissipated through both elements, remains inside the PC chassis, which means that without a good flow of air to expel it to the outside, it could accumulate inside and cause serious problems.
Creating a good airflow is important for our PC get cool indoor air, which will help to reduce the interior temperature, and so that it can expel the hot air that accumulates. Having front fans drawing in cold air, top fans drawing out hot air with a rear fan drawing out hot air is more than enough to ensure good air flow.
In addition, we must not forget about cleanliness. Dust and dirt They are two natural enemies of any electronic component, and over time they accumulate in fans and radiators, which can end up greatly reducing air flow and cooling. Regular cleaning can make a big difference, lower temperatures, and allow processor performance to improve.
If you are in an extreme case and the temperature inside your PC reaches too high levels, you can adopt, as a temporary solution, a simple but effective solution: remove the side cover to open the chassis. In specific situations, and in areas where the heat in summer is unbearable, it can make a big difference. However, keep in mind that the components will be exposed, with all the danger that this entails.