Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Windows power schemes

you really can learn something new every day. i recently formatted my laptop a couple of times for a number of reasons - one of them being that i found that my processor was constantly operating at its maximum speed and this was running down its battery seriously. after a new install, i noticed once again that the processor had starting running at its maximum speed again without stepping. i'd just installed WiX, and thought that might be the cause - but WiX doesn't update any system components, so i dismissed the idea (also, i'd installed WiX before and the processor was still stepping then). i'd gotten tired of formatting by then, so i just decided to keep using the laptop and its internal "oven".

this morning, i decided to google power schemes. i then found that for a laptop, power schemes really do matter beyond timing for switching on/off hardware like the monitor and hard disks. get this: they also affect the way the operating system uses the processor. for instance, the difference between "Minimal Power Management" and "Max Battery" is only the timing for turning off the monitor, hard disks, and going into standby - but under the hood, the CPU is allowed to toggle its speed based on demand. there's no difference between "Home/Office Desk" and "Minimal Power Management" when the laptop is on battery. for more information, please look up this article on Orthogonal Thought.

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