Power Throttling your background apps on Windows

Most people have multiple apps running at the same time – and often, what’s running in the background can drain your battery. In the latest Insider Preview build (Build 16176), Microsoft allows you to run background work in a power-efficient manner, thereby enhancing battery life significantly while still giving users access to powerful multitasking capabilities. With “Power Throttling”, when background work is running, Windows places the CPU in its most energy-efficient operating modes – work gets done, but the minimal possible battery is spent on that work.

Microsoft mentioned in January that they where doing some power experiments. Power Throttling was one of those experiments, and showed up to 11% savings in CPU power consumption for some of the most strenuous use cases. This capability should help many of you see a nice boost in battery life!

Background Moderated apps are the Power Throttled ones.

Power Throttling is currently available only for processors with Intel’s Speed Shift technology, available in Intel’s 6th-gen (and newer) Core processors. Processors where the first number after i3, i5 or i7 starts with a 6 are currently available (for example i5-6400, i7-6600). Other processors, read older ones, will likely be added to the support list in the future.

A passage from Microsoft:

How does it work? To give great performance to the apps you’re using, while at the same time power throttling background work, we built a sophisticated detection system into Windows. The OS identifies work that is important to you (apps in the foreground, apps playing music, as well as other categories of important work we infer from the demands of running apps and the apps the user interacts with). While this detection works well for most apps, if you happen to notice an app that is negatively impacted by Power Throttling, we really want to know!! You can do 3 things:

1. Provide feedback! Please run the Feedback Hub and file feedback under the Power and Battery > Throttled Applications category

2. Control power throttling system-wide, using the Power Slider. Windows works hardest to keep the processor in its efficient ranges when you’ve selected “Battery Saver” or “Recommended”, and turns off completely when you’ve selected “Best Performance”.

Power Slider

3. Opt individual apps out from Power Throttling:

  • Go to Battery Settings (Settings >  System > Battery).
  • Click on “Battery Usage by App”.
  • Select your app.
  • Toggle “Managed by Windows” to “Off”.
  • Uncheck the “Reduce work app does when in background” checkbox.

Note that benchmark results may vary with power throttling turned on. While most benchmarks run fine and produce great performance results, some benchmark processes may be affected by throttling. Our general recommendation is to always run performance benchmarks while plugged in, as power throttling does not apply in that case.

I find a few things weird in this text. First of all, why mention music apps? It’s not like an app playing music would need full power of a 6th generation Intel Core processor. Are there some restrictions with apps that use DirectSound or Direct3D?

And as you can read in the final sentence this feature won’t be available on your Desktop. Why? Why wouldn’t I want 11% power-savings (or even more since desktops processors are likely to use more power) on my desktop?

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s