Win 10 power slider vs Power Plan

Discussion in 'Windows OS and Software' started by thegh0sts, Feb 9, 2019.

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  1. thegh0sts

    thegh0sts Notebook Nobel Laureate

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  2. Spartan

    Spartan Super Tweaker

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    The regular power plans which we are all accustomed to from previous versions of Windows do exactly what they're supposed to

    Power Saver = stays in lower CPU frequencies mostly
    Balanced = stays in a lower CPU frequency but immediately ramps up the clock speeds to full when needed
    High Performance = Stays in the highest CPU clock speed at all times regardless of CPU usage

    Now, in Windows 10, you can further tweak whose power plans individually with those sliders so for example you can be on the Balanced power plan yet have it favore higher CPU frequency which in turn will hurt battery performance.

    If you ask me, this isn't needed and is just plain confusing but it is what it is.

    How is the power slider different from power plans?
    In older versions of Windows, the power settings were configured only through power plans or power schemes. A power plan is a collection of hardware and system settings that manage how your computer or device uses power. For example, the power plan sets how the following elements behave when on battery and when connected to a power source:

    • The screen brightness, when the display dims and turns off
    • When the computers sleeps
    • When the hard disk turns off
    • How fast Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge render web pages
    • How often the desktop background changes
    • The performance of your wireless network card
    • How fast USB devices are suspended when they are not used
    • How much power is used by the graphics card
    • What happens when you close the lid on your device or when you press the Power button
    • How much power is used by the PCI-Express cards in your system
    • The processor's (CPU) active power management features
    • How multimedia is rendered on the screen (video playback quality, and so on)
    • The notifications you get depending on your battery level and the battery use

    The power slider is an overlay on top of your power plan, with additional features that do not exist in traditional power plans. Here is what the power slider level manages:

    • The operating mode of the processor (CPU) to enhance battery life or performance, depending on what the user wants
    • The priority of background apps and Windows processes, so that they are used in the most power-efficient manner when you want to save as much battery as possible
    • The screen brightness
    In technical terms, the power slider only handles how power throttling algorithms work in Windows 10. It does not change your power plan and its settings. It is a layer that comes on top of the active power plan.

    The power slider is missing from Windows 10. Why is that?
    The power slider is not available on all systems with Windows 10. First of all, it was first introduced with Fall Creators Update (build 1709), which was released in October 2017. If you use an older version of Windows 10, you do not have this feature. Also, the power slider is available only for mobile Windows 10 devices that have a battery, not for desktop PCs and other computers that are always plugged into a power source.


    The power slider works only on systems with AMD and Intel processors, that have the Intel Speed Shift technology or similar technologies. For example, it works with Intel's 6th generation Skylake processors that were released in August 2015. Newer AMD Ryzen and Intel processors all support this feature.

    Another issue is that the power slider works only when using the Balanced power plan that is the default in Windows. If you change your power plan to High Performance or something else, the power slider is no longer available.

    Make sure to change the active power plan to Balanced, or the default provided by your system's manufacturer. On some mobile systems, there is only one power plan available, created by the manufacturer of the device.

    If you did all this, you have a compatible processor, and you still do not see the power slider, then you are out of luck. It seems that there is a bug in Windows 10 that makes this issue appear on some systems, and nobody has found a fix yet. If you did, let us know in the comments below, and we promise to update this article so that we can help others having this issue.

    Do you use the power slider? How satisfied are you with this feature?
    Microsoft claims that the power slider and the power throttling that was introduced in Windows 10, can deliver up to 11% in energy savings. Try this feature, see how it works and let us know whether or not you agree with Microsoft's claims. Is this what you are looking for when working on mobile devices with Windows 10? Comment below and let's discuss.

    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
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