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Power Saver, Balanced, or High Performance?

Power settings matter a great deal, especially on notebooks. Many pre-built computers come with their own power settings built into the OS, usually called something like “Dell Recommended.” These settings are usually decent, but to be sure you’re getting the best power management it is advised to instead use Balanced which will likely do a better job of dynamically setting the CPU as necessary. There’s always more to power settings than meets the eye, however; for example in XP, power settings were curiously hidden in various names like “Home/Office Desk” and “Minimal Power Management” — and, what’s the difference between “Presentation” and “Always On”? Turns out, if you wanted XP to use full power you’d have to set it to “Home/Office Desk.”

In Windows Vista & 7, the power settings have been dramatically overhauled for the better. Here’s what’s different and noteworthy:

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