Microsoft is introducing a major new feature for Windows 10 with the upcoming “Redstone 3” release that will help save battery life on some laptops. The new feature is called Power Throttling — which, amusingly, is a temporary name for now but Microsoft will probably come up with something more clever and consumer-focused when the feature is officially released. It is important to note that Microsoft actually experimented with Power Throttling in the Windows 10 Creators Update, but it is officially launching with the upcoming Redstone 3 release later this year.
Power Throttling can save up to 11% in power consumption by a device’s CPU, but it won’t be available on all Windows 10 devices. The feature only works for devices powered by Intel’s Skylake and Kaby Lake processors for now, but Microsoft says it will bring support for more processors over time.
Power Throttling can cut down CPU power consumption by up to 11%
So what does Power Throttling actually do? According to Microsoft’s Bill Karagounis, Windows 10 now has a “sophisticated detection system” that can automagically detect what apps and tasks are important to you and the ones that aren’t very important. Depending on the importance of certain tasks, Power Throttling will allocate your CPU’s resources to those. For instance, if you are compiling an app in Visual Studio, the detection system will likely be able to identify that and it will allocate more resources to it so that the compilation takes less time. This will make sure your CPU’s power and device’s battery isn’t being wasted on the handful of background tasks created by Google Chrome — instead, it’ll be used where you actually need it.
You’ll be able to turn off Power Throttling for any app you want
Of course, we don’t really know the effectiveness of Power Throttling as of yet, but it might just be able to improve your laptop’s performance and battery life quite a bit. More importantly, Microsoft is initially testing Power Throttling in Windows 10 with Windows Insiders. The company claims the new detection system for Power Throttling “works well for most apps” but the company wants Insiders to provide feedback if the detection system doesn’t work as expected. Using the new Power Slider in Windows 10, users can also completely disable Power Throttling by changing the Power Mode to “Best Performance.”
But the best thing about Power Throttling? You can disable it for certain apps out-of-the-box. Just head over to the Settings app (Settings > System > Battery) and you’ll be able to disable Power Throttling for any app you want. The company will also provide APIs to develoeprs that will allow them to optimize their apps so that it plays nicely with Power Throttling, but details regarding that will be available later.
Power Throttling will arrive with the Windows 10 Redstone 3 update later this Fall, and users part of the Windows Insider program can already try it out in the latest Insider Preview release.