How to Play Games With a Low Processor Speed

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How to Play Games With a Low Processor Speed
You can make the processor respond faster to your game controller. (Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Playing a video game largely requires most of your thought and mental processes. Computers also have a "brain," which is technically called the central processing unit (CPU). This processor performs computational calculations when you instruct the PC to carry out most of your commands, which include saving a document, downloading a Web page -- or fighting your way off a virtual battlefield. A slow processor means that the PC is sluggish in its response to your gaming commands. However, if you have Windows, you can use a function in the operating system that tells the processor to put more "thought" into your gaming experience.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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  1. 1

    Launch the game program on your PC. Begin playing the game. Pause the game.

  2. 2

    Right-click on the taskbar at the bottom of the Windows desktop. Select "Start Task Manager" from the menu, which opens the Task Manager in a new window.

  3. 3

    Click the "Applications" tab in the box. Find the title of the game program from the list under the Task column. Right-click on the title and then select "Go To Process" from the menu. Task Manager transitions to the Processes tab.

  4. 4

    Find the process associated with the game's program; it should already be highlighted in grey under the Image Name column. Right-click the process and then select "Set Priority" from the menu. Click on "High" from the submenu.

  5. 5

    Select the "Change Priority" button in the pop-up confirmation dialogue box. These actions instruct the processor to give your game program a higher priority over other programs on the PC, potentially getting a little more performance out of your low-speed processor.

  6. 6

    Repeat the previous steps for each game program.

Tips and warnings

  • Use the Windows Experience Index utility to run a test on your processor. The resulting scoring will give you an idea if your computer's hardware is truly equipped to handle the intense computations and graphics that are required for playing a PC game (see Resources).
  • Use Microsoft's Windows 7 Compatibility Center website to verify that your game is playable on the operating system (see Resources).
  • Visit the game developer's support website to check for updates/upgrades that will improve the performance of the game's program. These upgrades might also make the game compatible with newer PCs.
  • After you restart Windows, you will need to repeat these steps for each game, because priority level settings are temporary.

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