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Power Settings and Their Effect on PC Performance
If you are using a laptop and are noticing a slow computer, one of the first things that you should check is your power settings. This is often overlooked as users will jump to more drastic conclusions. One thing your laptop will do automatically, unless you changed the settings, is decrease performance when on battery power. It does this to make sure your battery lasts as long as possible while still trying to provide reasonable performance. Generally, if you are plugged in, you should be at maximum performance. However, it is worth a double check since this could have been changed at some point in the past.
Adjusting Power Settings
Adjusting your laptop power settings is very easy. In Windows 7, you can simply click start -> type in "power settings", and then click on the "Change battery Settings" link. In older versions of Windows, you will just need to open up the control panel and then find the power options to adjust performance. As an alternative, most laptops have some type of power or battery icon located on the bottom right part of the task bar that will open up your power settings management window.
If you are noticing slowness and your laptop is not set on high performance, then you should click on high performance. Keep in mind that, if you are on battery power, your battery will run out faster. To go along with this, you can always lower your screen brightness to help conserve battery power when not plugged in.
Advanced Power Settings
Another thing you can do is to set individual settings when it comes to your PC's performance. In Windows 7, from the Power Options window, you can edit advanced settings by clicking on "change plan settings" -> "Change Advanced Power Options". Finding the advanced options in XP and Vista will be similar. From the advanced power options window, you will be able to edit individual settings. For example, you can edit the Processor Power Management, the Hard Disk power management, and the Graphics Settings Power management. These 3 settings in particular are worth checking or changing to maximum performance if you are experiencing slowness.
If you are experiencing slowness while on battery power only, it is likely changing the power settings are the culprit. However, if you are experiencing slowness all the time, your power settings are probably not the issue. However, it is very easy to check this and could save you some headache if it turns out that your laptop is not performing at maximum performance when on AC power.
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