Reduce energy consumption by setting power schemes in Windows
Probably, all Windows users at least once faced with the so-called built-in control circuits of power in a popular operating system. However, the majority uses them efficiently enough, relying on the default settings – most often in the mode of «Balanced». The reason for this is that integrated circuits to save energy, contain serious set of options without a detailed description, so beginners they may seem very vague.
In this article I intend to correct this error, and at the same time to give some useful recommendations for the efficient use of various energy saving options available on laptops or tablets.
Will primarily focus on the power management scheme, which is called «Balanced» as it is used more frequently than others. It is a set of recommended settings, with which Windows turns off the display if the computer is not used for 5 minutes (when it runs out of battery) and after 10 minutes if the device is connected to the mains. After 15 minutes when running on battery or 30 minutes from the network the computer automatically goes into a «sleep»state.
Balanced mode is the default mode on any system with Windows and most users only rely on him. Although desktop computers in General, it provides sufficient energy efficiency, for laptops this mode is not ideal. However, after completing the fine-tuning options and creating your own profile, your portable system can become much more efficient from the point of view of energy consumption.
Custom power profiles
Opening the menu «power options», you will get access to the three main schemes: the «Balanced», «energy Saving» and «High performance» (on some devices may have additional power supply circuit configured by their producers). The default for each of them you can only change the brightness (laptops and tablets) and the interval after which the operating system automatically disables the monitor and the whole machine. However, if you choose «change plan settings» and then click on «Change advanced power settings», you will get access to a much wider set of options. Let’s discuss each of them.
To require a password when waking
In General, this parameter has no direct effect on the overall energy consumption of the computer. It determines whether the system should require a password to login after exit from sleep mode or not. This parameter is required for reasons of safety – if you leave the machine unattended for a while, and then it will be auto off, nobody will be able to activate the computer again without proper user name and password.
This section of settings controls the interval after which Windows puts the computer disk in the low power mode. In addition to reducing the overall level of energy consumption this option extends the lifetime of the disk, minimizing its wear.
Parameters desktop background
The latest version of Windows can dynamically change the background image on the desktop. It’s not such a spectacular feature (especially to change the background color by doing a few seconds), which, however, also consumes power. Suspend this feature if not using it – so you save some more charges.
The parameters of the wireless network adapter
The option that allows you to control access to resources of energy in the system built-in wireless adapter. Keep in mind that maximizing energy savings wireless network will operate at lower speeds. Use this mode if the router is close to you and the signal is powerful enough.
If you don’t need a fast Internet connection, you can set the maximum energy saving. If the wireless connection is not required while the unit is operating on battery power, you should disable the wireless adapter completely, so as not to waste power unnecessarily.
One of the most flexible of the sections in this window gives wide possibilities for fine-tuning interval after which the device can be placed in a «sleep» mode. Here, you can enable an alternative mode hibernation, which saves even more energy than «sleep».
A great option for all laptop users, allowing them to disable power to the USB ports that are not actively being used. When you connect a USB device to the suspended port to the system you will need to spend only a few seconds to turn it on again.
This option may not be on some systems – it all depends on the type of video adapter. On most laptops and tablets based on Intel architecture, it’s called the Intel Graphics Settings. Given the fact that the video processor is one of the major guzzlers of energy on each PC, this section to better pay special attention. In particular, it is better to set to when running on battery used mode to «Maximum Battery Life» and from the network – «Maximum Performance» for maximum performance.
The power buttons and lid
A very important option for all laptop owners. Allows you to control the actions performed when pressing the power button or close the lid on a mobile system.
Another graphical feature that you should pay attention, if you have a laptop with a powerful discrete video solution. PCI Express interface can operate as moderate and maximum energy saving. The second option saves more power but slows down the graphics performance.
The power management processor
Another important parameter that controls the level of power consumption by the CPU. Because Windows has built-in capabilities to determine the optimal level of performance, which require the running processes and applications, the operating system can automatically adjust the level of energy consumed by the processor. For maximum efficiency, it is better to choose a low value of «Minimum processor state» (e.g. 5%) and to leave unchanged the option «Maximum value» CPU – 100%. So, when the laptop or tablet does not work under conditions of heavy load, Windows will configure the CPU to work at the lowest level of energy consumption. However, when the load increases, the system will give the CPU as much energy as he needs to work at maximum capacity.
Regarding the section «the Politics of cool» that there are two settings to choose from: «Passive» and «Active». Active cooling means that when you increase the load on the CPU will increase its operating frequency, and with it the rotational speed of the cooling fans. So you will have the best possible performance, but shorter battery life. If you choose the passive setting, the fan speed will remain unchanged, but at the cost of lower CPU clock frequency. In other words, the laptop will run slower, but longer.
The display is another extremely «greedy» on the energy component of any notebook or tablet. Therefore, this section is also very important – it allows you to control the brightness of the screen depending on whether the device is on battery or external power supply and. Here you will find the option of activating a so-called «adaptive adjustment», which automatically adjusts the brightness level of the display depending on the intensity of the external light (only available in Windows 8.1 and above on systems with a built-in photo sensor). Finally, in this section you can choose the interval after which the screen should switch off automatically when not in use.
Interesting section to determine the behavior of the device when playing media. For example, when you are watching a movie, for Windows this means quite a long period of time during which the operating system does not detect an active action on your part. In the absence of other instructions, the system can activate any of the power saving modes by default, and turn off the device literally in the middle of the film. So if you often use your laptop or tablet for multimedia entertainment, it is better to specify how to operate the system in such cases.
Here you can control the behavior of Windows when the critical battery level. The recommended choice is «hibernate». It is not only effective but also highly energy efficient feature that records the data of all running processes to the hard disk before power down, thus preventing the loss of valuable user information.
Settings «low battery» «Level almost fully discharged battery» is also important, because Windows indicate the exact values of the battery that the system needs to be perceived as «low» and «almost full», respectively. Recommended settings here range from 7 to 12 percent of battery capacity for low power levels and 3 to 7 percent of critical. If you set too low value, the system may not be enough time to make the arrangements – for example, to save details of all open files and programs from RAM to the hard drive and send the device into hibernation mode.
The parameter «Notification on low battery» determines whether Windows to inform you about critical low battery or not.
With regard to the level of the backup battery, it should be below the level of almost full discharge. His achievement will be a signal for Windows to automatically execute the command you specify in the «Action almost complete discharge of the battery». When it reaches the level specified as «almost full,» you will still have time to connect the device to the external power supply, and if the charge falls to a level value of the backup battery, then the device will immediately enter the state you selected in «step to the almost complete discharge of the battery».