[Guide] Improving Battery Life on Windows [+Enabling Deeper C States]

Discussion in 'Windows OS and Software' started by Che0063, Apr 14, 2018.

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What was your increase in battery life after following this guide?

  1. None (decreased)

    17.1%
  2. 20%

    14.3%
  3. 40%

    31.4%
  4. 50% +

    37.1%
  1. UnspecifiedName

    UnspecifiedName Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hey man, thanks for your help - based on your posts in this thread, I did check for updates. I used the free version of Driver Booster and that found 11 drivers in need of update, so I did that. I just tried DriverMax and it found 3 more (I did the two free ones I could do today), but still can't access C6.

    Given DriverMax gave me a new Apple USB Controller driver, I ran a powercfg to check if the three USB Selective Suspend errors I've always gotten (on this laptop and the 2019 I'm comparing it to) were still there. They are, unfortunately - the device ID is Intel(R) USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller, and I've updated the drivers for that both from Intel and from Driver Booster.

    [​IMG]

    Additionally, there are these errors (again, not new - they're on the 2019 Macbook Air that can access C6 as well as this 2020 Macbook Air that can't).

    [​IMG]

    I just opened the 2019 Macbook Air and checked the C-states on Throttlestop to make sure I wasn't going crazy - interestingly, C3 isn't utilised at all. 10% of the load is sitting in C2, 90% is sitting in C6.

    I still haven't even been able to enable C6 on this machine at all. Yesterday I sat down with Device Manager (again) and disabled everything with Throttlestop and the C-states window open to see if that made a difference, going so far as to disable the GPU, trackpad and keyboard - no change.

    Given this is a 10th gen shiny Ice Lake CPU, my idle PKG power is a joke. I'm very determined to keep trying for C6, I just can't think of anything else to try.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2020
  2. 0doyle

    0doyle Notebook Enthusiast

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    It's frustrating because it can make a 3-4 hour difference in battery life, and so anytime I unplug from AC power I pretty much have to also restart my laptop if I want to get optimal battery time.​

    Now that's interesting. Our issues are similar enough that I'm hoping if one of us figures it out it will work for the other's problem.

    I found a bios update but no notes for what was changed and it made no difference for my issue. I'm at the point where I have basically a vanilla windows install and the problem persists.

    Edit: couldn't figure out how to quote on mobile until it was too late
     
  3. viktor5001

    viktor5001 Notebook Enthusiast

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    @UnspecifiedName Even before USB Selective Suspend was enabled CPU Package was entering C7/8. Doesn't seem to make much difference either way. I have a USB Mouse connected all the time and 2 USB hubs.
    You mentioned checking for rogue services but did you disable ALL non-Microsoft ones? Prior to that C0 would be fluctuating between 2-5% IIRC.
     
  4. UnspecifiedName

    UnspecifiedName Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks for your reply, really appreciate it. In Msconfig I did yeah - disabled everything that wasn't Microsoft. I didn't go through services.msc and disabled everything because the page one guide now doesn't recommend that
     
  5. viktor5001

    viktor5001 Notebook Enthusiast

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    If nothing works and if this isn't a fresh install of Windows maybe check after a Windows reinstall and manufacturer provided drivers. Apple provides the Windows drivers? I can't think of anything else if you have followed all the relevant steps outlined in the guide.
    Edit: @UnspecifiedName Any update? I booted into Lubuntu and right out-of-the-box the CPU Package was entering C8 and C0 was a mere 0.3-0.4% compared to Windows where it would fluctuate between 0.6-0.8%. I used the Powertop utility by Intel to check.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2020
  6. UnspecifiedName

    UnspecifiedName Notebook Enthusiast

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    Yeah I'm running out of ideas too. I did a clean install of Windows this morning and let Microsoft provide generic drivers for all the devices - still no C6. I then installed the Apple drivers which are provided, still no C6.

    Whilst testing it against the 2019 Macbook Air (the 8th gen Y-series i5 model), I was able to figure out that plugging in any USB device (mouse, keyboard, etc) blocks C6 entirely, leading to the same idle PKG power and C state package loading as the 2020 Ice Lake model.

    I thought I was on to something here, so went about disabling every USB device and controller in device manager - unfortunately, still no C6, and also no working keyboard or trackpad until restart :p
     
    viktor5001 likes this.
  7. IntelUser

    IntelUser Notebook Deity

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    Just FYI, being able to solve all the issues shown by the powercfg command can further improve battery life. Yes, the C-states won't be affected much, but system power use will drop.

    Unfortunately that's a much harder nut to crack. PCI Express suspend not working is one that's often a problem in laptops but it requires things like installing Linux to enable a command or something.

    In Apple's case they simply do not care about the Windows side. Next year they'll abandon it for their own ARM-based processors anyway. For others they are probably too focused in getting the device out by some time period that they don't do thorough enough work.
     
  8. UnspecifiedName

    UnspecifiedName Notebook Enthusiast

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    Yeah I know what you mean. As I just wrote over in the Throttlestop thread, Apple has very little incentive to care about Windows as it's not part of their business model.

    But for Windows-focused OEMs to make this stuff hard for consumers is just insane. Someone who buys a modern Windows notebook off the shelf should not have to play whack-a-mole with drivers, hardware and firmware to come up with the magic solution that actually grants them the advertised battery life/performance.
     
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  9. IntelUser

    IntelUser Notebook Deity

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    That would be really nice.

    However Windows PC manufacturers already have low margins and sellers employ every tactic to improve it. There's a reason why they tend to bundle so much third party software into the machines, which makes the whole thing worse. It's so low that HP, the world's largest PC manufacturer, wanted to get out of the market altogether. Sure the CEO was pretty much nuts, but to think there was an incentive to move away from the main bread and butter is amazing.

    I don't think anything can be done about it. It's just how it is.

    At least on the Windows side we can fix most of the issues.
     
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  10. UnspecifiedName

    UnspecifiedName Notebook Enthusiast

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    I prefer to work in the Windows environment as well, that's why I'm so disappointed that something so integral to the notebook's functionality (enabling the built in functionality of the damn processor) has been neglected.

    For anyone googling this post in the future, I've tried every tip and suggestion in this thread (and the Throttlestop guide) to enable deeper C states for the processor package of the 2020 Macbook Air, and have not been successful.

    If a future user is able to figure out a solution, or if Apple issues a driver update enabling C-states lower than C2 and C3, please post in this thread - it'll help a lot of people forced to use Macbooks achieve much better battery life when working in Windows.
     

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