Do PC Game Boosting Utilities Really Work?

By Will Greenwald

There's no magic bullet for making your computer faster, but programs like IOBit's Game Booster and AMD's Fusion Utility at least have the potential to squeeze a few more frames per second out of your hardware when gaming.

Performance "boosting" programs should always be taken with a grain of salt. They're the kind of programs you usually see advertised on daytime television, promising a cure-all for everything that's wrong with your computer. However, certain utilities can be useful, depending on how they attempt to improve your performance. There's no magic bullet for making your computer faster, but programs like IOBit's Game Booster and AMD's Fusion Utility claim to have the potential to squeeze a few more frames per second out of your hardware when gaming. 


 

 

 
AMD's Fusion Utility makes similar promises about boosting game performance. However, AMD takes the idea a bit further by enabling overclocking and even more extreme system tweaks. Unfortunately, Fusion only works on systems with AMD CPUs. Since my computer has an Intel processor, I was unable to install the utility and explore it further. Tom's Hardware posted a hack last year that purportedly makes Fusion work on Intel-based systems, but it requires first tricking the installer to dump its files into your system, then hex editing the executable. It seems like a long and dangerous way to go just to enable a utility that's designed to overclock a completely different CPU than the one you have.  
 
its upcoming series of APUs, combination CPU/GPU chips, "Fusion." This seems to be coincidental, and could indicate AMD's plan to eventually discontinue or rename its Fusion Utility. 
 
If you want to get the most out of your computer when gaming, there are several simple things you can do. Like any program, your games need a certain amount of processing power and memory to run. The more that's eaten up by other programs, the less that's available to the game. By shutting down any programs that you're not currently using, disabling any system tray utilities you don't currently need, and disabling the Windows Sidebar, you can free up a hefty chunk of computing power for your games. These measures aren't nearly as thorough or deep as what the acceleration utilities offer, but they're also much less complicated and don't require installing anything.