I have a new gaming laptop. What housekeeping should I do to start?

Jun 17, 2020
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Hi everyone,
First of all, I have joined the community today and already started contributing. I may even subscribe to the magazines. Apologies if this is posted in the incorrect place (I really did look around) but I am hoping an active and lively community can help.
I have a new gaming laptop arriving this week. Asus 15.6"
The only laptops I have ever owned before were Apple products, the last one being a MacBook Air (early 2015) but never used for gaming. However it was on it's last legs, battery lasted an hour and with me having to work in lockdown, I have found not having a windows laptop means remotely working has been a real pain.
So, I decided to treat myself to a new laptop but my question for you all is what housekeeping should you do when you get it out of the box? Is there somewhere a list of things to check/run when using it for the first time? Or are laptops literally, plug and play? I understand these are vague questions, but hoping that there might be some advice from experienced laptop users about what I should ensure happens to start.
I also have some other questions as well which if you could answer that would be great. I haven't yet had time to really browse the forums so far too much. Game backpacks, any recommendations for when I take it out and about? Can I use my laptop to play games linked to my PC monitor as my laptop is a much better spec than my intel 5 PC build?
Thanks
 
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Oussebon

Community Contributor
Feb 17, 2020
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Plug and play. The more you fiddle with settings and configurations, the more likely you are to break something / do something that has unintended consequences

I'd certainly check performance and temperatures when it arrives. e.g. the free version of 3dmark Timespy (under the 'Demo' on Steam) to check performance, and something like HWinfo to check CPU and GPU temperatures under load. Test all the keys, all the outputs, all the things that the laptop has that are meant to work, like you would any expensive product.

If the laptop comes loaded with bloatware (that video singles out a specific MSI laptop, but others are at it too), you may find yourself wanting to do a clean install of Windows. Where you make a bootable USB stick with Windows 10 on it:
boot from that, delete the existing OS partitions, and then install a clean version of the OS that isn't riddled with McAfee/Norton, Junk A, Junk B, Junk C, and so on.

But if it's not too bad and you don't feel a need to clean install / or once you've done a clean install, you'd leave most of it alone, other than personalisation. Possibly select a high performance laptop power plan and/or set Nvidia GPU to prefer maximum performance in Nvidia control panel, but only if you are actually having performance issues e.g. a specific game where the power saving features of the hardware get confused and prevent them from delivering the performance they need to.

And yes, you can use your PC's display to play games on :)
 
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Frindis

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Jan 14, 2020
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There are a few things I do whenever I run Windows for the first time:

  • Go to notification and actions from the search bar and uncheck the "get tips, tricks and suggestions as you use Windows.
  • type sysdm.cpl in the search bar, go to advanced - performances and check the "Adjust for best performance" box.
  • Type settings in the search bar and go to color and uncheck Transparency effects.
Not really necessary at all, but you might get smoother experience while using Windows. If you feel you do not notice much difference, then you can always revert.
 
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Alm

Jan 17, 2020
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Since I switched to solely SSDs I always turn off Disk Defragmenter when I have a new install of Windows.

I don't know if they have improved it to be good for SSDs too now but it was always said to harm them initially.
 

Oussebon

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Feb 17, 2020
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I think Windows 10 actually doesn't let you defragment your SSDs by default (nor does it defragment them automatically). It does optimise them automatically (TRIM functions I think).

Also, modern SSDs have pretty high endurance, to the point that for most home users it's not going to be an issue if you did defragment them periodically.

This is worth a look:
 

Alm

Jan 17, 2020
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That's good to know. I've had friends who's SSD has failed and I had heard the scare stories. I guess it must have been a freak faulty unit or something.
 

OsaX Nymloth

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Jan 29, 2020
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Uninstall all bloatware that usually comes with new laptop. Chances are you may have over dozen or more programs preinstalled that are nothing but junk. Googling their name and reading what they do is good option to make sure if you actually need that XYZ app or not.
 
Jun 17, 2020
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Many thanks for all responses so far. My worry would be though that 'bloatware' (or what I call, my stomach) I would probably delete something which is integral to the running of the laptop!
It is arriving tomorrow and I am excited. However, a little daunted too!
As I have your attention now and you have given some great food for thought, what cable do I require to link from the laptop to my monitor? Is it HDMI 2.0?
 
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Oussebon

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Feb 17, 2020
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Any old HDMI cable will do. 2.0 is for things like 4k res.

Re the bloatware, any software needed for operating certain features of the laptop can be redownloaded off the Asus site (I assume, do check). You could always use Macrium Reflect to image the drive as it arrives, then do a clean install.
 
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Jun 17, 2020
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I think I need to get my mindset out of this 'If I haven't heard of it, it might corrupt my machine' mantra.
So I am right in thinking that any HDMI cable from new laptop to the old acer screen would mean i can play, for instance, citi:skylines on max level and what I see on the monitor will reflect the performance of the laptop (apart from screen FPS?)
Appreciate your advice here since joining Oussebon so thank you.
 

Alm

Jan 17, 2020
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Sorry I think I am being dense. There's an hdmi logo at the bottom of the page. It should be easy to check though
 

Frindis

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Jan 14, 2020
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Sorry if I am disturbing the natural flow of this thread, but I am curious:
Also, modern SSDs have pretty high endurance, to the point that for most home users it's not going to be an issue if you did defragment them periodically.
Is there any beneficial outcome of doing a defrag on an SSD?
 
Jun 17, 2020
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Don't worry about disturbing the natural flow, as I really ought to learn about PC/laptops. Seems that on here people offer advice, and not judgment so it's all cool with me.
 
Jun 17, 2020
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Hi - really sorry for not posting a gaming note on this thread but does anyone know how I can transfer 100 Numbers documents from a Macbook onto my laptop. I know you can export 1 at a time but how can I transfer them all? Hoping someone can help but if not, I will remove this post.
 

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