After giving us a performance-boosting Game Mode in the latest Creators Update, Microsoft is now working on a Windows 10 feature that does the exact opposite. Its upcoming Power Throttling mode places your computer’s processor in its most energy-efficient state to maximize battery life while you’re on the move without killing productivity.
We all want our computers to be as fast as they can be most of the time, but sometimes, we’re willing to sacrifice some of that power when we need our portable devices to last as long as possible in between charges. Windows 10 already has a battery saver mode baked in, but Microsoft is taking it one step further with a new feature currently called Power Throttling.
First tested as an experiment with Build 15002, Power Throttling makes your computer’s CPU more efficient by capping performance. Microsoft’s tests showed up to 11 percent savings in power consumption “for some of the most strenuous use cases.” This means your processor doesn’t require quite as much energy, and therefore your battery lasts longer.
“To give great performance to the apps you’re using, while at the same time power throttling background work, we built a sophisticated detection system into Windows,” explains Microsoft. “The OS identifies work that is important to you (apps in the foreground, apps playing music, as well as other categories of important work we infer from the demands of running apps and the apps the user interacts with).”
This ensures you still get snappy performance in the apps you’re using, while those in the background that are quietly draining resources are held back. You will have the option to disable Power Throttling for certain apps if you don’t want that to happen.
Power Throttling is designed to work with all Windows apps “out of the box,” Microsoft says, but you’ll need a sixth-generation Intel Core processor (or later) with Speed Shift technology to take advantage of it. Microsoft does promise, however, that it is working to expand support for other processors over the next few months. Also note that “Power Throttling” isn’t the final name for the feature.