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Summary:

As a mobile worker I usually keep my portable devices running Vista or XP with a power management setting of Power Saver.  I’m always trying to eke out the most battery life I can so I don’t run the risk of running out of juice.  Sometimes […]

SpeedingAs a mobile worker I usually keep my portable devices running Vista or XP with a power management setting of Power Saver.  I’m always trying to eke out the most battery life I can so I don’t run the risk of running out of juice.  Sometimes though I set the Vista power management to Balanced in order to get better performance than in Power Saver if I don’t suspect that battery life will be a problem that day.  I find my performance is greatly improved under the Balance setting which according to Microsoft is defined as follows:

  • Balanced. Offers full performance when you need it and saves power during periods ofinactivity.
  • Power saver. Saves power by reducing system performance. This plan can help mobile PC users get the most from a single battery charge.
  • High performance. Maximizes system performance and responsiveness. Mobile PC   users mightnotice that their battery doesn’t last as long when using this plan.

Logic would tell you how the 3 different settings would affect the performance of your mobile device but according to Jenn Lee of pocketables.net logic doesn’t necessarily play a role in this.  She has recently run benchmarks on two ultra-portables, the HTC Shift and the Sony TZ notebook and discovered that on both devices the Balanced power setting provides better benchmark numbers than the High Performance setting.  Say what?  Check out Jenn’s benchmark numbers and see for yourself.

  1. Royce Mathew Tuesday, May 6, 2008

    I’ve seen similar results in my usage; balanced tends to be faster than high performance.

    Why this is the case – no idea.

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  2. AllanCJones Tuesday, May 6, 2008

    There’s much about the power settings that I find puzzling. For instance, why not have it set up so that on mains you’re on ‘balanced’ but when you go to battery you automatically go to ‘power saving’? (I apreciate that you can tweak the settings of ‘balanced’ so that this is effectively what happens.)

    Also, I’d appreciate a mode whereby after an idle period, instead of the monitor being turned off, it goes into a very dim mode, where you can at least see what’s on the desktop, or whether certain activities are still running. Or does that already exist?

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  3. I too thought this was odd. So I ran my own test on my T4220 Tablet, a T7100 1.8GHz/3GB RAM/5400rpm 120GB HDD…

    High Performance> 54215
    Balanced > 56723

    The big difference was in HDD speeds. So I ran PCMark05 and CrystalMark’s Disk Mark. In both results, High Performance beat out Balanced by varying margins. I don’t think High Performance is faster, I think there is a flaw in the program/it’s scoring methods.

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  4. > For instance, why not have it set up so
    > that on mains you’re on ‘balanced’
    > but when you go to battery you
    > automatically go to ‘power saving’?

    Toshiba’s power saver utility does something similar (on XP – haven’t upgraded to Vista)

    > Also, I’d appreciate a mode whereby
    > after an idle period, instead of the
    > monitor being turned off, it goes into
    > a very dim mode

    My work Mac does that.

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