[Windows 10] Does "High Performance" Power Option ON do anything for gaming?

Discussion in 'Operating Systems' started by BlindBison, Nov 15, 2019.

  1. BlindBison

    BlindBison Master Guru

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    Hi there guys,

    In Windows, my current process for games is to:

    1) Set the game to launch with "High" CPU priority (via a script so its permanent)
    2) Set the game to "Prefer Max Performance" in Nvidia Control Panel
    3) Change Windows over to "High Performance" mode from "Balance" before I launch a game in the [Control Panel -> Hardware and Sound -> Power Options]

    My question is, is any of this really necessary? Does it do anything at all?

    My big concern here is that this might actually hurt performance since if the clocks are always "maxed" then perhaps you'll get worse problems with heating, but really i'm speculating about how it all works and I'm out of my depth.

    Anyway, thanks for your time, have been wondering about this for some time, but haven't seen much credible info round Google thus far.
     
  2. toyo

    toyo Master Guru

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    You should do some benchmarks yourself and see, since it kind of depends on your PC config.

    My experience with the power plans is that Balanced/High/Ultimate are pretty much identical on my 8700K, but on my FX8350 High Perf. provided a sizable boost in CPU limited situations. One that I clearly remember was with WoW, I would play it circa 2014 on the 8350 and a GTX970 combo, WoW was (is?) heavily single core dependent; on Balanced I had fps as low as 42 near more demanding sports; with High Perf. I would jump to 47-48, a pretty decent increase. The FX CPUs were... not ideal for MMOs, to put it politely.

    On the 8700K/1070ti combo I use now, I pretty much always keep in on Balanced because I haven't seen improvements in anything but some benchmarks with High. Realtime prio for some benchmarks tends to add a bit though.

    As for temps, I can only speak for Coffee Lake, which would idle at 3-4W more when on High Perf., for example 15W vs 12W (on Balanced). When you're in a game, it will boost as much as it can and the power plan becomes irrelevant, not to mention the 3-4W differences will be harder to track inside a game. On most games, a 8700K is stuck @4.3GHz regardless of power plan (on default settings). It can go up a bit for less demanding games that don't use all cores, and it can drop in frequency sometimes in menus, cutscenes etc., all of this is pretty much irrelevant.

    I don't know if Prefer Max Perf. from NVCP does anything either, at least not for Pascal. The GPU will boost as much as possible.The limiting factors (pwr, temps, voltage etc.) remain even with pref.max.perf. There are rare, older games (like Diablo 3) which are very light on the GPU at times and it will clock down a bit. Didn't notice framedrops associated with it or other performance issues.
     
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  3. Margalus

    Margalus Master Guru

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    Personally I would say you are wasting your time.

    1. Definitely a waste, that does nothing.

    2. That might make a bit of a difference, but I keep mine on Optimal Power. Max performance is a huge waste of power and creates more heat than needed and could "possibly" shorten the life of the card.

    3. Stays on a custom plan which is based off of balanced, high performance is another waste.

    All of this is just my opinion, but in my limited testing it made no difference at all in games. I'd say the "performance" settings are just gimmicks that use more power that isn't needed.
     
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  4. mbk1969

    mbk1969 Ancient Guru

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    You can use this tool
    https://forums.guru3d.com/threads/windows-power-plan-settings-explorer-utility.416058/
    to customize each power plan for your preferring. But you have to be aware of the settings` meanings.

    I only use "balanced" and "performance" power plans (for desktops at home and at work) so I configure "balanced" one to be the "power on demand" kind (with deeper C-states to kick in when idle and higher P-states to kick in when load increases), and "performance" one to be the "constant power" kind (with P-states disabled and C-states enabled but less aggressive than in "balanced").
     
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  5. EdKiefer

    EdKiefer Ancient Guru

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    It all depends on HW and applications being run, some games GPU won't clock up to higher states with non HP GPU profiles.
    On windows side HP plans or tweaking plan for performance will/should give faster response to load (better clock scaling/no parked cores).

    That said if you test with just avg FPS your probably not going to see a difference with modern HW but that doesn't mean it is not doing anything.
     
  6. alanm

    alanm Ancient Guru

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    I doubt any game will decrease in performance due to these settings. Windows recognizes when games are on and will ensure it gets all the CPU power it needs accordingly. AV or defender scans or any other background task or service that can be deferred will be in a game. The game will get the highest priority automatically.
     
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  7. Undying

    Undying Ancient Guru

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  8. hemla

    hemla Member Guru

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    I have heard that in current Windows version(1909) Game Mode is managing power options by itself, for example by forcing CPU to 100%. This is suppose to happen only when Game Mode is active and used. Is it true, and if it is true, is there any list of other thing that Game Mode changes?
     
  9. Darren Hodgson

    Darren Hodgson Ancient Guru

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    Using power options to force high performance ALL the time is a massive, massive waste of energy IMO and most games, if coded properly, should automatically make full use of GPU and CPU resources as needed, i.e. when you actually run the game.
     
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  10. Marctraider

    Marctraider Member

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    I havent actually seen proper answers here other than 'it depends on your hardware', which is kinda right, but I think it is more to do with 'it depends on your bios settings'.

    The most promiment things that the power profiles change is C-states, Speedstep, NVMe timeout tolerances, PCIe ASPM (native vs non-native), but most of these settings only have effect depending on how your bios is set-up. You'll actually have to allow certain things in order to be Windows controlled.

    A lot of settings are indeed hidden, and it depends per Windows version/build what is exposed, used or what default values are set for each profile.

    It can be a waste of power to run on High/Ultimate at all times so its best to script it so it only goes on max profile when youre focussing on a game or something.

    It CAN improve frametimes, or prevent cpu ramp-up time, or can give you a minimal dpc latency at all times.
     

  11. AsiJu

    AsiJu Ancient Guru

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    I'm using Balanced and Adaptive unless I have issues that may, or may not, be due to these.

    Some games for example might have a consistent low to medium load that makes the GPU go back and forth between power states causing stutters.
    Or for some reason GPU won't boost to an appropriate state.

    Then I set Max Perf. in NV CPL in game specific settings. Global is always at Adaptive.

    Don't think I've ever seen any real benefit between Windows Balanced or High Perf.
    I also believe this makes less difference with contemporary CPUs and might be more meaningful with older ones.

    Do note even with Balanced I manually disable USB and PCI-E power saving options (selective suspend and link state power management) as these might cause issues.

    These settings are disabled by default in High Perf. plan I think.
     
  12. EdKiefer

    EdKiefer Ancient Guru

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    One of the reasons I mentioned HW is because how speed-steps works across Intel CPU's, I think it was around 6700 series where Intel brought out very fast response to CPU core frequency.
    Anyway, the major difference between HP and balance with regard to CPU is balance lets the CPU speed step up to each frequency step, compared to HP where it boosts right to max frequency and of course voltage too.
    So the response will be slightly better with spikey type workloads.

    As someone else mentioned any bios tweeking can bypass all of this.
     
  13. mbk1969

    mbk1969 Ancient Guru

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    Note that some laptops have no C-states (and even P-states) settings in BIOS. In such cases the power plan is the only way to control these things.
     
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  14. Strange Times

    Strange Times Master Guru

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    for me its same tdp in windows and always stable max cpu clock
     
  15. BetA

    BetA Ancient Guru

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    dont know why, but when using Performance or ultimate performance my memory latency is better.
    But this is the only thing i saw happening.. in games or cinebench it does not really matter for me.. In some games yes, when a stable CPU Clock is needed without downclocking..

    anyway, im using per/ultimatePerf only when gaming or benching. Usually when not gaming i just use Balanced mode to save energy and give that little CPU a better and easyer life to live :p

    Thanks to a TIP from @-Tj- i made me 2 shortcuts, one named Turbo and one named Eco :p
    Easy switching between them when needed..

    Comparsion "Memory Latency"

    Balanced Profile:
    [​IMG]

    Perf/Ultimate Profile:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2020
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  16. MaCk0y

    MaCk0y Master Guru

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    High performance mode makes the CPU run at the highest frequency constantly. So no downclocking during the game which in theory should help. You can achieve this by enabling game mode so you don't need to change the power plan manually every time or the need to use a third party application to do it.
     
  17. Astyanax

    Astyanax Ancient Guru

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    it also reduces the peak potential of ryzen processors in less than all core gaming because the chip can't selectively boost cores anymore.
     
  18. BuildeR2

    BuildeR2 Ancient Guru

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    Are you saying the High Performance plan does this? How does this factor in if the 1usmus Ryzen Universal power plan is in use? I'm just getting used to Ryzen 5 3600 and would like to hit higher clocks when not under full core load.
     
  19. Astyanax

    Astyanax Ancient Guru

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    you don't use both, its either or.
     
  20. BuildeR2

    BuildeR2 Ancient Guru

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    Indeed, only one power plan may be used at a time. I am just wondering whether you were referring to the "Balanced" or "High Performance" power plan when you typed "it also reduces the peak potential of ryzen processors in less than all core gaming because the chip can't selectively boost cores anymore"

    My limited testing so far seems to put all scores within 2% or lower margins regardless of what power plan is in use, but I'd appreciate any input regarding Ryzen since I am brand new to it. Thanks.
     
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