Video Games Tutorials and News - Bloat Is Killing Your Fps



I get it. Well, in this article sponsored by Seasonic, we'll be finding out exactly what sort of effect all the junk you might have running in the background will have on your gaming performance and whether you should get rid of it, and if getting rid of it will even fix the A problem in In order to a/b test anything, you need to eliminate as many variables as possible.

Test methodology

This puppy is sick, by the way: modular interface, super quiet fan, and 80-plus titanium efficiency. The only non-identical part is our boot drives. We've got a pair of crucial, 1 terabyte SSDs. The hardware is not the story today, though. Where things get really interesting is in software. Both of our drives were configured with a fresh install of Windows 10, then we applied identical update regimens.

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That is where the similarities end. In the end, the clean build got only what was required for operation: system drivers, the Steam Epic Games launcher, and Nvidia's GPU drivers, plus Chrome for a light-ish internet browsing experience and 7-zip because you need to unzip stuff. We then went a step further and installed Win Arrow Tweaker.

It's a super cool little tool that enhances Windows' ability to phone home, aka telemetry, as well as puts a stop to things that most people don't need, like Cortana, Windows Inc. workspace task view, and the like. It also attempts to intercept Windows updates before they are forced on the PC, like the notorious Windows malicious software removal tool.

a notorious resource hog. As for the dirty building, it's downright filthy. We've got multiple pieces of security software fighting for resources, then we've got Skype, Discord, Spotify, Share X, Logitech gaming software, and our IQ Steam Ubisoft Connect Epic Games Launcher. It's a lot of stuff, and the craziest part is that it's not that crazy and these are all things that a normal gamer could easily have running behind the scenes. To add a little bit of a dynamic load, we're also throwing a 4K article on YouTube running in the background because I heard zoomers are super into multitasking.

Initial impressions

Initial impressions

Let's start then with idle loads as a baseline. That was a snappy boot up, and the task manager has us pulling a grand total of one percent CPU, of which point two, we are at zero percent CPU usage.

Not too shabby. For memory, we're sucking back a whopping 2.3 gigabytes. There's not much else to say other than "damn that's clean, time to see the dirty boy." Yes, we know we're not using the gen 4m.2 slot. It's a Gen 3 drive, so it's fine. There it is, you know what, it's the coating on the screwdriver tip, Colin.

Ah, that's why I wasn't able to short it before the store, Com. Actually, it's going to be a while before we have screwdrivers like that available v2. Baby, I've got pockets for days. That's a dirty welcome. All right, the Microsoft store is still here. We've got some malware down here. I mean, to be clear, when we said it was going to have bloat, we didn't mean like bad bloat.

Having malwarebytes on your computer is a perfectly legal thing to do. I just clicked all the boxes on nine last night, you know, all things considered. It's not that bad in terms of CPU usage anyway; only about two percent, but memory is an entirely different story. We were sucking back over five gigabytes of memory.

Now that's more than double what we were doing with our clean machine. The obvious answer to this is just to install more RAM, but most people these days are running on 16 gigs, and buying more RAM costs a lot more than closing some background programs. Okay, this is not staying at two, sometimes around three, but there it is, it's at three now, four, five, but wait, what do you mean, what is windows explorer doing?

Tasty ssd test

Tasty ssd test

I don't even have it open now. We've reached the point in the article where I have to do a little taste test and see if I can tell the difference between the clean drive and the dirty drive. I'm going to sanitize this. I'll be right back. Let's try two different games, and then I'll try and tell the difference between them.

So I think the thing that you would have the hardest time knowing the difference between is like CSGO or Doom because they're already like 350 fps. Why don't we do it, hitman? I think there's like a zero percent chance Linus gets this without an fps counter. Okay, all right, I will go away and then you either will or won't switch it.

I guess yes. I have my guess. Okay, I say this is clean and the previous one was dirty. That is exactly wrong. I'm disappointed in myself and my family. All my friends and supporters really let us down. It's the opposite of an acceptance speech; it's a rejection speech.



So here's the thing though: just because I can't tell the difference by hand doesn't mean that there is no difference. So we did our homework and ran both of our setups through a gauntlet of benchmarks. Starting with synthetics in 3dmark time spy, we were within the margin of error. I think it's fair to call this a tie, but moving on to Blender's classroom render, we actually saw a significant gap, with the render taking an additional 14 seconds on our dirty machine.

That's about three percent. We then saw a similar story for Browser Bench's javascript-based speedometer 2.0, which netted a 4.25 reduction in performance on our dirty machine. The results then tipped even further in our in-game tests, with CSGO seeing the greatest difference with a 5fps drop. Now to be clear, that is still not the kind of thing that you're just going to be able to feel while using the machine, especially when you're pushing over 300 fps, but it is measurable.

F1 was tighter with only a two and a half percent drop, and we saw a similar story with Hitman 3 in both the Dartmoor and Dubai Can benchmarks.



So across the board, the loss was minimal but measurable, and there are two main takeaways here. One is that the more over-spec your machine is, the less likely you are to feel any kind of problem. If we'd been running with eight gigs of RAM and a quad-core CPU, we might have seen very different results.

Maybe that's an experiment for another day. The second takeaway is that even with an overspec machine, your background tasks are acting as a drag on your gaming performance. I mean, we didn't put this in the script because we didn't know yet, but it's funny to see about a three percent difference in performance, with about three percent CPU usage at idle.

So, bottom line, you need to keep an eye on it. About half of you today are running with 16 gigs of RAM or more, which is great, but as your background programs get more resource intensive, as they're apt to do, that might change. DDr5, with its faster speeds, not to mention greater capacities, is going to provide some respite.

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