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Improving System Performance with Power Plan Settings

Windows Vista uses power plan settings for both notebook and desktop computers:

  • Balanced—Balances power saving and performance.
  • Power Saver—Reduces performance to minimize power consumption and to enhance battery life on mobile computers. This setting reduces clock speed.
  • High Performance—Runs system at maximum performance, which reduces battery life in mobile computers.

By default, most notebook computers use the Balanced power plan. Desktop computers might use Balanced or High Performance as their defaults.

If you typically run your mobile computer on AC power, use High Performance as your default. To switch to High Performance, click the AC adapter or battery icon in the taskbar and select High Performance as the desired plan (Figure 8). Remember to change to a different plan when you use battery power.

Figure 8

Figure 8 Switching the power plan from Balanced to High Performance improves system performance.

To select High Performance on your desktop computer:

  1. Open Control Panel.
  2. Open the Hardware and Sound category.
  3. Click Power Options.
  4. Select High Performance from the list of power plans.
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