Before we start going into the game and changing settings, most gamers should know these basics. If you didn't know, here's a refresher.Update your drivers!
For newcomers to PC gaming (or just casual players), you probably didn't know that updating drivers can improve stable-ness of your PC, fix bugs, and also improve performance in games!
ATi Users: http://support.amd.com/us/gpudownload/Pages/index.aspx
NVidia Users: http://www.nvidia.com/Download/index.aspx?lang=en-us
Intel Users: https://downloadcenter.intel.com/default.aspx
As a note for Intel users, it seems the company ignores gamers, as they pretty much never put out driver updates. I know this as I'm a Intel user right now.Laptop Users: ThrottleStop
A lot of gamers I know play on laptops. And those laptops have Intel processors. Intel processors are known to do something where when they think that they're getting the TINIEST bit hot, they will start to lower your performance to get back to normal temperatures. This application, named ThrottleStop, can stop Intel processors from doing this. WARNING!
This application WILL make your PC get hotter and could possibly burn something. While this hasn't happened to me, it'll also lower the lifespan of your PC. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE GOOD VENTALATION OR A GOOD COOLER FOR YOUR COMPUTER!!
Download: http://www.techinferno.com/downloads/?did=41How to Use ThrottleStop
Hang on a second there, I'm not getting off this application that easily. This program needs a few steps to understand first of all.
1. Run the program as administrator, otherwise it won't have access to your CPU.
2. Check off EIST, BD PROCHOT, and C1E.
3. Check off Clock Modulation and Chipset Clock Mod and make sure both are at 100%.
4. Check off Set Multiplier and put it to the maximum it can get. For example, Intel i3 users have a max of 21.
5. Click Turn On and press Save.Razer Game Booster
This is really optional, and experienced PC users will probably do this by themselves anyways, but I find using this application really easy to use and removes the hassle of doing it manually. What this application does is kill off unneeded background services and processes to get more memory and take off strain on your CPU.
Download: http://www.razerzone.com/gameboosterDisable Windows Aero
This may not make a huge performance change, and can make Windows... "Ugly" looking, but it's still a good try to see what happens. Press Start, and type in the search bar "Performance" and select "Adjust the performance and appearence of Windows". Select the option for best performance and press Apply. This will make Windows look something like Windows 98, but from testing between the two, I got a pretty small-but-good performance boost.
However, if you are using Razer Game Booster, when changing options and customizing, there is an option to disable DWM and themes, which basically does the same thing as this.