How to Make PCXS2 Run Faster on Laptop. Our Best Tips

An emulator like PCXS2 is an incredible technology that allows you to play PS2 games on your PC or laptop. Though emulators give gamers an extended selection of video games to play, the system is far from perfect.

The PCSX2 still lags on some laptops, which compromises your gaming experiences. To address the issue of slow laptop performance when running PCXS2, you need to adjust your emulator settings or upgrade your hardware.

In this article, let’s discuss how to make PCXS2 run faster on a laptop for an optimal gaming experience.

Table of Contents

Why does PCSX2 run so slow?

If your emulator is unusually slow, the first thing you should check is if your internet connection is stable. If your connection is working fine, then your problem is with device compatibility.

Console emulators can be demanding on your laptop, especially if your device doesn’t meet the minimum requirements to run emulators in the first place. After all, the PCSX2 website describes the program as hardware intensive, so it will be best to learn the minimum system requirements.

If your laptop has a slow processor, an outdated graphics card, or these will result in slow speeds and lagging. Laptops with low memory will also have problems with performance.

Without a mid to high-end laptop, you will only strain your system and PCSX2 will be unusable. 

Another reason why PCSX2 runs slow is because there may be too many background programs running. Especially if your laptop has low specs, the emulator will be sluggish if it has to compete with other tasks, like debugging.

How to Optimize PCSX2 Performance

To get the best gameplay, it’s advisable to get a powerful laptop or to upgrade your system to meet the recommended specifications to run an emulator. You will also need to adjust the system settings on your PC and on PCSX2 to make the emulator run faster.

Best PCSX2 Settings

Adjusting our PC settings for optimal emulator performance can be tricky if you’re not tech-savvy. Let us break it down for you:

  • Adjust your display settings (aspect ratio, screen mode, or balanced preset settings) so that the emulator fits the entire screen. You can also double-click the screen so that the image adjusts to full screen.
  • Manage your memory card by enabling titles to auto-eject during savestates loading. You can also automate save-management.
  • Retain the default settings of folders and manage BIOS ROM with the latest version. SPU2-X modifications including module interpolation, synchronizing mode to Timestretch, and audio expansion to the stereo are also possible. 

When making adjustments to your laptop, make sure that you back up the system before making any configuration changes. Removing security measures and adjusting PC or emulator settings can put your device at risk of viruses. 

Upgrade your Hardware

While it’s true that you can technically run PCSX2 on a laptop with low specs, don’t expect to get a rewarding gaming experience. Making PCSX2 run faster on your laptop without upgrading your laptop to reach the minimum requirements is a futile attempt. Better yet, aiming for the recommended specifications to run an emulator on your laptop will ensure optimized gameplay.

With the minimum system requirements, it will be difficult to play moderately complex games. This means that you won’t be able to maximize your emulator since CPU-intensive games will be virtually unplayable.

The  Acer Aspire 5 is a great choice if you will only play a few release titles and 2D games. It runs on an Intel Core i7 processor with 4-core threads and it has Windows 10 Home as the operating system. While its GPU is integrated, the Intel Iris Xe graphics on a 15.6” screen will work well.

The recommended system requirements are based on a resolution of 1080p. If your device has a higher resolution, you will need to reach higher CPU and GPU requirements, such as GeForce GTX 1070 Ti.

For a powerful laptop that can run emulators and other PC games, we recommend the 2022 ASUS TUF High-Performance Gaming or the Acer Nitro 5.

Here are the minimum and recommended system requirements according to the PCXS2 website:


System requirements
Minimum Operating System GPU CPU RAM
– Windows 7 (32 or 64-bit)

– At least Ubuntu 18.04/Debian, Arch Linux, or other distro (32 or 64 bit)

– Direct3D10 support

– OpenGL 3.x support

– PassMark G3D Mark rating around 3000 (GeForce GTX 750)


– Two physical cores, with hyperthreading

– Supports SSE2

– PassMark Single Thread Performance rating near or greater than 1600

4 GB
Recommended Operating System GPU CPU RAM
– Windows 10 (64 bit)

– Ubuntu 19.04/Debian or newer, Arch Linux, or other distro (64 bit)

Direct3D11 support

– OpenGL 4.5 support

– PassMark G3D Mark rating around 6000 (GeForce GTX 1050 Ti)

– 4 GB Video Memory

– 4 physical cores, with or without hyperthreading

– Supports AVX2

– PassMark Single Thread Performance rating near or greater than 2100

8 GB


How to Make PCXS2 Run Faster on Laptop

Aside from upgrading your laptop specs, closing background tasks, and freeing up memory, you can try these hacks to improve laptop speed for emulators:

  • If some titles are too slow on your laptop, consider lowering the device image resolution. In most cases, your emulator will run smoothly after this. Navigate to the Config menu then BIOS > Plugin to change resolution.  For the GSdx plugin, check under D3D Internal Res.
  • Lower frame rate to keep up with your emulator’s functional speed. While this will reduce quality, it will reduce lags. Under Config > GS tab > Emulation Settings, adjust the frame-limiting option.
  • Disable the debugging window by deselecting the Enable Console under the Misc menu.


To ensure that your emulator runs smoothly on your laptop, make sure that your system has a dedicated graphics card, solid processing capabilities, and generous storage. It will be best to upgrade your system specs to get the best gaming experience.

Other ways to make PCXS2 run smoothly on your laptop are to lower resolution, disable the debugging menu, and use frame-limiting.