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

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

  1. EerieEgg

    EerieEgg Member Guru

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    GTX 1080 Ti
    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 Member Guru

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    Gigabyte 1070Ti 8G
    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.
  3. Margalus

    Margalus Master Guru

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    EVGA GTX 980 Ti FTW
    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.
  4. mbk1969

    mbk1969 Ancient Guru

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    GeForce GTX 1070
    You can use this tool
    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").

  5. EdKiefer

    EdKiefer Ancient Guru

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    MSI 970 Gaming 4G
    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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    Asus 2080 Dual OC
    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.
  7. Undying

    Undying Ancient Guru

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    Aorus RX580 XTR 8GB
  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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    EVGA GTX 1080 Ti SC2
    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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