Microsoft's work on a new power saving technology called Power Throttling continues in the latest Windows Insider builds.
The feature is designed to improve the power consumption of a battery-powered device running Windows 10 by handling the power consumption of background tasks better.
Note: Power Throttling is a temporary name for the feature. The current iteration works only on systems with Intel's 6th-generation or later Core processors. The company plans to improve support in the coming months.
Most Windows users run multiple programs at the same time. A web browser and video player, multiple browsers, an email client, image editor, games, image viewers, and a lot more.
All of these programs drain power, even if they run in the background. Microsoft's first batch of experiments showed that Power Throttling could save up to 11% in CPU power consumption. While the actual mileage may vary depending on the programs that are run and throttled, it is quite useful for battery powered Windows devices.
Microsoft's describes Power Throttling in the following way:
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 built a detection system into Windows 10 to automate the functionality of the feature. This algorithm detects important work, and protects it from being throttled. Work that is deemed important may include foreground programs, but also background apps such as music players and apps you interact with regularly.
All other applications and programs may be throttled to decrease the device's power consumption.
While the system worked well during tests, errors may be made in determining whether programs should be throttled or not.
Windows 10 users have two main options to handle issues that they may run into while Power Throttling is applied to processes on the system:
This turns off Power Throttling completely, but it will increase the power consumption significantly as power saving functions are disabled as well in that mode.
Use a new blacklist setting in the Battery Settings to opt-out individual applications.
Power Throttling is designed to save power on Windows 10 devices. It remains to be seen how much power Windows 10 users will save with the feature enabled on the release channel.
Microsoft plans to release APIs for developers to give developers "more fine grained control" over the throttling.
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