Ultimate Guide to Power Efficiency
The goal of power management in Windows is to maximize energy efficiency. This is accomplished by minimizing the amount of power used while automatically providing required performance on demand. Power management is an increasingly important issue for businesses as a result of rising energy costs and energy consumption by today's desktop and mobile computers . In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency has estimated that PCs at home and in the workplace use about 2 percent of all electrical energy consumed. Leaving a PC on at home can add up to 8 percent to the total household power usage for the average home By contrast, putting a PC into Sleep mode for 14 hours a day can save between 600 and 760 kWh per year of electricity consumption. In 2009, this means savings of approximately 63,000 per year per 1,000 PCs for which this is done . The business and environmental importance of improving the power efficiency of PCs is compelling, and Microsoft has made numerous...
The Windows 7 operating system builds upon the improvements previously made in the Windows Vista operating system in the areas of device installation and management, power management, and service implementation and management. These enhancements not only make it easy for users to connect and use devices and conserve battery life on their mobile computers, but they also enable administrators to manage the device installation process better and ensure energy efficiency across an enterprise. This chapter examines how to manage devices, energy efficiency, and services on desktop and mobile computers and describes the various improvements in these areas in Windows 7.
It isn't a bad idea to bite the bullet and shell out for a new Windows machine every two or three years. When you do upgrade to a new computer, you'll notice lots of improvements across the board, including quicker response improved power management so your idle system uses less power (and cuts your utility bills) reduced energy consumption owing to lower chip counts more hardware settings a faster optical drive faster, higher-resolution video displays and so on. If you decide to purchase new PCs for your personal or corporate arsenal, let me suggest an easier way to choose them than to research each piece separately. Visit the Windows Marketplace website at www.windowsmarketplace.com to browse the desktop and portable computers that meet Windows 7 requirements. There's no shortage of systems there, so get ready to do some digging.
Warning Disk defragmenting could take a while. If you have energy-saving features active (such as a screen saver), they could cause the defragmenter to stop and start all over again. Try running your defrag overnight while you're happily dreaming of much more interesting things. You can also set up the procedure to run automatically at a preset period of time when your computer is on but you're away from it, such as once every two weeks, by using the Run Automatically setting in the Disk Defragmenter window.
The Powercfg utility has been enhanced in Windows 7 with a new command-line option (-energy) to enable the detection of common energy-efficiency problems. These problems can include excessive processor utilization, increased timer resolution, inefficient power policy settings, ineffective use of suspend by USB devices, and battery capacity degradation. This new Powercfg option can help IT professionals validate a system prior to deployment, provide support to users who encounter battery life or power consumption issues, and more . In addition, Power users can use this option to diagnose energy-efficiency problems on their own systems .
Windows XP delivered improvements in the area of power management, such as support for hibernation and standby and the ability of Windows to automatically power down monitors and hard drives to reduce energy consumption. Windows Vista built upon these advances with a number of improved power management capabilities, including Balanced Automatically balances system performance with energy consumption for example, by speeding up the processor when performing CPU-intensive activities, such as playing a 3D game, and slowing down the processor when performing activities that require little CPU, such as editing a document in Microsoft Office Word. Balanced is the default power plan in Windows Vista. Power Saver Saves power at the expense of maximum performance. On mobile systems, this helps to maximize battery life . On desktop and server platforms, it works to reduce energy consumption . You can now configure how much idle time must elapse before Windows automatically transitions the...
Do power settings really make a difference In a word, yes. You can not only achieve greater battery life on a portable computer with the appropriate settings, but you can save considerable amounts of energy on desktop computers. The green effect of reducing power consumption can be significant, whether you interpret green to mean saving dollars or saving the environment. Microsoft has published a white paper that describes the changes in Windows 7 power management and helps you to assess the energy savings, financial savings, and environmental savings of proper power management download it from w7io.com 0405. You can calculate your own savings using the Energy Star Computer Power Management Savings Calculator, a Microsoft Office Excel spreadsheet you can download at w7io.com 0406. Diagnose energy efficiency and sleep problems Windows 7 includes a command-line tool called Powercfg that can analyze your system for common energy efficiency and battery life problems. The tool is used...
This also saves energy because the hard drives, the CPU, the CPU fan, some internal electronics, and possibly the power supply and fan go into a low-power state. If your monitor is Energy Star compliant, it should also go into a frugal state of energy consumption. When you want to start up again, a quick press of the power switch (on some computers, a keypress on the keyboard or a jiggle of the mouse will do) should start up the system right where you left off.
Windows 7 includes built-in troubleshooting packs to correlate to the top 10 categories of Microsoft support calls, including power efficiency, application compatibility, networking, and sound. Table 30-1 describes the troubleshooting packs that are built into Windows 7 or are currently available using the Windows Online Troubleshooting Service (WOTS). WOTS is a free online service that Windows 7 can use to download new or updated troubleshooting packs .
To evaluate the energy efficiency of the computer, first close all applications and documents, let the system remain idle for 10 minutes, and then run the following command. Energy efficiency problems were found. Opening the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) file generated by the command displays a Power Efficiency Diagnostic Report with errors, warnings, and informational issues . Figure 17-10 shows the error section of a report run on an older system that is not configured for optimal energy efficiency
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