Microsoft Testing New Power Throttling For Windows 10

/ 2 years ago

Windows 10

Since Microsoft moved to the new software as a service model, we’ve been treated to a view of the inner workings of Windows development. To help ease the impact of a gutted testing division and to get better users feedback, Microsoft introduced the Windows Insider Program where new features would be run through a group of “beta testers” first. One of the new features being trialled right now is Power Throttling.

Currently, the power management options offered by Windows 10 are quite blunt. The power saving, balanced and high-performance modes simply set parameters for CPU performance which are enforced system-wide. With Power Throttling, Microsoft is aiming at more fine-grained control. For systems using Skylake or Kaby Lake processors, the system can tag certain processes as background tasks or work.

When an app is tagged as a background task, if it wants to get work done, the system will not take the CPU out of idle. Instead, the system will force the CPU to remain in idle, reducing power consumption at the cost of performance. Microsoft is also hoping to add in a future update the ability to never treat certain apps as background and perhaps select which apps to be background. There will also be new APIs for developers to tag their app as background or not to ensure nothing breaks.

Microsoft is also introducing a new power management slider which is more accessible and intuitive. Power throttling will only be activated when the slider is to maximum battery savings and the device is not plugged into the wall. In a best case scenario, up the new feature can reduce CPU power consumption by up to 11%. There is no word yet when this feature will become production ready and folded into the mainstream Windows 10 builds.

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