Best BIOS Settings For Gaming: Basic Optimization Tips

BIOS is an abbreviation for Basic Input Output System, and this is the first line of code that activates once you turn on your computer. The BIOS forms the bridge that connects your motherboard to other PC parts, such as the CPU, storage, and memory. With that in mind, you will want to have the optimum BIOS settings for gaming. In this article, I go over the best BIOS settings for gaming that you should use.

How To Access The BIOS Settings

After pressing the power button on your PC, you can press F2, F12 or Del to enter the BIOS settings. This can be different depending on the motherboard manufacturer. You can also spam this button to get into the settings if you are unable to get the timing right. If your PC is already powered on, then you can restart your computer and do the same.

BIOS Settings To Enable

Since we are optimizing for gaming performance, there are some BIOS settings that you want to enable. The following are some of the ones that we recommend.


XMP RAM Settings

Intel’s XMP (Extreme Memory Profile) and AMD’s EXPO (Extended Profiles for Overclocking) are preconfigured overclocking profiles for your system memory (RAM). If you have RAM capable of running at higher than default clocks, they will come with XMP or EXPO profiles that should be enabled in the BIOS.

Enabling XMP/EXPO will automatically configure your RAM to its optimal settings and speed. This is one of the most important BIOS settings for gaming (and overall performance) that isn’t usually enabled by default.

Set SATA Mode to AHCI

If you are using a SATA SSD, then you should set the SATA Mode to AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface). AHCI is usually enabled by default, but may be disabled on older systems. This will provide you with the best performance and loading times. If you are not using secondary SATA controllers, it’s safe to disregard this option.

TPM And Secure Boot

BIOS TPM Settings

Although it doesn’t affect gaming performance, these settings will enable compatibility with certain games that have their own anti-cheat systems. TPM 2.0 is also required to run Windows 11.

BIOS Settings To Disable

The following are some of the BIOS settings that we recommend you disable.

Disable Hyper-V and Other Virtualization Tech

Intel Virtualization Technology BIOS setting

Hyper-V is a virtualization technology that has been developed by Microsoft. This is mainly intended for running virtual machines but is also used by Windows 11’s virtualization-based security (VBS) and Core Isolation features. Unfortunately, this may impact gaming performance negatively, so we recommend turning off Hyper-V virtualization in the BIOS settings, such as Intel VT-x or AMD-V.

Obviously, you shouldn’t touch these settings if you are using virtual machines.

Fast Boot

BIOS fast boot setting

Fast Boot bypasses important desktop checks until later. We recommend disabling this feature to allow your PC to run proper checks during the startup phase.

Disable Spread Spectrum When Overclocking

If your CPU supports overclocking and you are planning on using the feature, then I recommend turning off Spread Spectrum. This is because it affects the clock speed of the CPU, and the variation is not ideal for overclocking.

Optional BIOS Optimization Tips

With the most basic settings out of the way, here are some additional tips on how you can optimize your BIOS for gaming.


BIOS hyperthreading

This is a bit controversial since Hyperthreading (Intel) and SMT (AMD)are major features for modern CPUs. However, it is not necessarily beneficial for gaming. If you have more than 6 CPU cores, then you might want to experiment with disabling Hyper-Threading for gaming to reduce latency, temperature, and the risk of throttling.

Basic CPU Overclocking

MSI Game Boost

If your CPU supports overclocking, it’s often worth using it to get the most out of your system. However, it’s a rather complex and time-consuming process that not everyone is comfortable with. Instead, you might try the safer route of using the automatic OC features built into the motherboard BIOS. For example, MSI offers the Game Boost feature, which slightly increases voltage and allows the CPU to boost higher/longer.

Remember that overclocking your CPU leads to increased heat generation and power consumption. So be sure that you have proper cooling for your CPU.

CSM (Compatibility Support Module) or UEFI

This is part of the UEFI firmware that enables the motherboard to support older hardware and software. This does not have an impact on the gaming performance of your system, and you might need to turn it off or on, depending on your PC. If you have a relatively new PC with modern hardware and operating system, it’s usually set to UEFI by default.

Update BIOS When Needed

If your system is perfectly stable and works as intended, it’s typically not necessary to update your BIOS. If you have issues or plan to upgrade to new hardware, on the other hand, you should download the latest BIOS version from the manufacturer’s website and use a USB drive to install it onto your motherboard to ensure compatibility and potentially resolve existing problems.

Intel Software Guard Extensions (GSX)

There are minimal benefits to using the Intel Software Guard Extensions, so it might be better to have them disabled so that they do not interfere with the performance of your CPU.

Platform Power Management

Disabling this will disable the power-saving features in Windows and allow your PC to perform at its maximum.

  1. Disabling Hyperthreading/SMT can also reduce performance and should be checked and double-checked. (You also shouldn’t have to do it for any game but that’s another discussion)

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