Possible to improve framerate on older Gaming laptop?

I have a 17" Asus ROG G751JL. I get 8-12 fps in combat situations, and max at 14-15 fps in all situations. It used to be 4-8 fps before I started finding adjustments I could make to settings. But this is my hardware:

  • Intel Core i7-4720HQ (Haswell) Quad core @ 2.6Ghz (3.6Ghz max turbo)
  • 16GB RAM
  • 1 TB Samsung EVO SSD
  • GeForce GTX965M 2GB VRAM
  • 1920x1080 native resolution
  • Windows 10

So far I’ve played with the settings and the PC in general per recommendations I have found in various sources.

  • Turned off volumetric clouds
  • Set quality to low
  • Disable vsync
  • Increased SC’s task priority to High
  • Killed all non-essential tasks

I’ve also adjusted NVidia specific settings

  • Increased Shader Cache size to 10GB

I’ve looked into upgrading to 32GB of RAM and my laptop is supposed to have four slots to do so, however two of the slots don’t exist there are pads on the PCB for them but they are not physically present. I can’t find any info to verify that a pair of 16GB sticks would work in the only two slots I’ve got and I don’t want to spend the money on something that won’t work (I’d rather put that towards a better PC). There are no other hardware upgrade options to be done on it.

I have not looking into boosting the CPU speed or other BIOS type adjustments. I’m sure there may be more adjustments I can make and hoping to get some hints!


I think the SSD and RAM are adequate. The CPU (max boost 3.6ghz) and the 2GB VRAM video card are what is killing you. That’s a 2015ish era GPU and some people are having trouble keeping 1080’s up to speed in 1080p…let alone a sub-1050 class GPU.

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I"m putting together specs for a new PC to play SC with, among other games.

I’ve narrowed it down to these basic specs:

  • ASUS AMD X590 chipset motherboard
  • AMD Ryzen 7 5700X 8 Core CPU
  • 32 GB RAM
  • ASUS Nvidia RTX3070 Graphics card
  • 1 TB Samsung Pro NVMe SSD

Does anyone run a similar config?

For my specific requirements, I’m doing this as an SSF build with a Mini-ITX motherboard and a fairly small case with a carrying handle. It will be a water cooled system with plenty of cooling for continuous high performance usage.

I prefer the AMD CPUs because of their lower power consumption compared to the Intel equivalents. I originally was thinking 5900X with an RTX 3050 but the more I read about the 3050, the more I decided I needed something better, and something had to give on the budget side. I don’t think I’ll see much different with the 5700X vs the 5900X since performance is very similar between the two until you are saturating all the cores.

Anyhow, if someone is running an identically or near identically spec system I’d be interested to hear about your experience with it with this as well as other games.

Well things have gotten a little out of hand here…

I ended up with:

  • ASUS STRIX Rog X-570I motherboard
  • AMD Ryzen 7 3800X3D
  • EVGA RTX 3080 FTW3 ULTRA HYDRO COPPER (water cooled)
  • 2 TB Samsung 960 Pro NVMe SSD

That ought to do.

Go with a 10th or 11th gen Intel, instead of AMD. I have both AMD’s and Intel CPU’s and dollar for dollar the 10th and 11th gen’s are better for SC. RTX 3070 is a good buy if you’re running 1080p, but isn’t powerful enough to push 4k and decent frame rates.

@Nomedias found some deal on motherboard/cpu combo at microcenter you should hit him up about if you live near one.

I’ve chosen AMD for reasons other than SC specifically. The 3800X3D is the top contender right now for FPS in most games (paired with an appropriate graphics card of course) beating just about everything else, the 12th gen i9 can beat it of course. Not sure how that relates to SC, but I think it will handle it OK. The main thing is that the performance for power consumption is far better than intel.
It performs at 105W while you need 200+W on intel for the same performance. I mainly game off-grid on a solar powered system so the lower consumption is a boon for me.

I also really like how AMD keeps their socket/mobo/cpu series compatible over a long period of time.

I’ve already ordered and received the hardware so now it’s time to build the system.

The system is built and running. My first impression is WOW this is a different game with the proper hardware. I’m still setting things up and getting things tuned but the first thing I tried was just to run at Max settings, turn clouds back on and then let it use my native resolution (4K). Framerates 35-65 in most cases so far. Haven’t been to orison yet. I’m going to try out 2K with upscale to 4K and see how that feels and performs as well.

The visual clarity improvement is amazing as is the responsiveness of the controls and general UI updates as well. I now feel like I’m in the game instead of watching from outside like I felt on my underpowered laptop.

I’ve undervolted the CPU to get the temps down and this actually improved the CPU performance, even with water cooling it was throttling at 100% CPU stress testing, but with a slight undervolt temps dropped 10 C. I then followed with small max clock boost limit and dropped temps and power consumption even further with no noticeable reduction in performance.

I’ve put a bit of playtime on the new rig and I have to say it’s a night and day difference. Thanks to a suggestion made by @Frakk I’ve set it to 2560x1440 and have the NVidia settings set to upscale to 4K to match my display. I can’t really see any quality difference and the performance is much better. I turned on vsync to reduce load on the system and it is rock solid at 60FPS almost all the time. The only time it drops is when around large cities and even then it’s always above 30.

Since I game off-grid on a solar powered system I monitor power usage. With the game in 4K with the 30-60fps I saw in that mode and before I did the CPU undervolt, the rig was drawing 650 watts continously (this includes the monitor). The two coolers I have were not sufficient to maintain this long term and the coolant temp crept up with no end in sight, I’d need an additional radiator to handle that level of continous power draw.

After undervolting, moving to 1440P/Upscale and vsync to 60 FPS, the power draw is down to 300W on average. More in cities (400-500) and less outside of the, as low as 220W at a station, or mining in the belt. This is CPU usage of 50-60% and GPU at about 60-80%, all still at 60FPS. So, I’m really happy with all that.

If you want a power friendly gaming CPU, I definitely recommend the 3800X3D. Very low power consumption and great performance.