Recently, while testing out Guild Wars 2 on an ENVY 14 Spectre, I realized something: I forgot to make my custom power option like I usually do. Oh, sure, you can usually go for a couple different settings – “High Performance,” “Power Saver,” …and “HP Recommended” (the later takes a more balanced approach). Me? I like to hand-select where I jack up the power and keep other things in check. If you want a quick walkthrough of how I created my custom load, I have a couple tips for you.
First, you need to go into “Power Options” and in the right-hand column of the Window, choose the option to “Create a power plan.” From that point, you’re selecting the basic plan that you’re settings are based off of….and then you’re choosing things like when you want the display to dim. The basics. That’s the easy part, your plan is set.
Now you need to open up that plan setting and look for that link near the lower-left corner of the window. Go on, click “Change advanced power settings.” This opens up a separate window that lists out a litany of computer functions that you can control.
Quick word of warning: Now, while I continue to experiment with what settings I want on and off, I should warn that this is where you need to exercise a little caution. Think of your laptop like how your treat your car. If you push your engine too hard, for too long, you run the risk of damaging your car. Same could be said for PCs.
Warnings aside, here’s what I have tweaked on my Ultrabook.
Display Dimming – Turn that off! (Man, I hate that!)
Turn off display – 30 minutes on battery, 2 hours on battery. That gives you enough time to read that long article or maybe catch a movie without worrying that the screen’s going dark.
Put the computer to sleep – never! The laptop will go to sleep when I tell it to – when I close the lid or hit the power button. (But I’ll get to that in a minute.)
Brightness – midway. Either you’re opening up your laptop in a mildly dark room (and you run the risk of cheesing people off because it’s too bright) or you open the laptop outside and you can’t see ANYTHING! I can’t remember how many times I’d leave the screen at full-blast, forget I had it on…and help burn the battery a little quicker.
Password on wakeup – that’s a personal preference. I prefer to play it safe with “yes.”
Hard disk – turn off after 20 minutes of being idle; plugged in, let it run for 30. I’m usually doing more tasks when my laptop is plugged in…some that work in the background. So I allow for a little more time before I want the drive to wind down.
Desktop background settings – I just keep that “paused” when I’m on battery power. Plugged in, why not? (even then, though, I usually keep it off.)
Wireless adapter settings – on battery, medium power saving; plugged in go for maximum performance!
Sleep – Like I said above, I turn off all sleep functions. I want to be in complete control of when I put my PC to bed.
USB settings – Whether it’s on battery or plugged in, I usually leave this disabled. Let’s say you’re using a wireless mouse / keyboard combo. You want some arbitrary app to come in and start causing problems? I don’t. It hasn’t caused me any grief disabling it. Yet.
Intel Graphics Settings – Well, I’m writing this story on an Ultrabook with the HD 3000 integrated graphics. I like power. So I’m inclined to ALWAYS leave graphics cranked to maximum awesome….I mean, “Maximum Performance.” There is no “slow” in my dictionary.
Power Buttons and Lid – this boils down to personal preference. I like to have things go into a sleep state. That way, if I’m in a jam, I can just hit the power button – or close the lid – stow my laptop and not think about it.
PCI Express Link State Power Management – this is all about power management for laptops. Me? I just keep it turned off.
Processor power management – Basically, you’re telling the laptop at what level of power load you want to activate things like cooling or the maximum processor state. I wouldn’t mess with this one too much.
Display – [It’s the same as in the Basic Settings]
Multimedia settings – On battery or plugged in, I always opt to, “prevent idling to sleep.” And when playing video NEVER sacrifice video quality for battery savings. That’s just how I roll.
Battery level – you can adjust when your will automatically turn off and hibernate. I personally like giving myself until there is about 5% power left in the battery before shutdown.
Well, there you have it – that’s how I mess around with power consumption on the go. Does this help you? Any things you’ve been curious about for tuning up your PC? I’m here for ya!