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Anyone have any idea why my laptop would perform (considerably) better while on battery than while plugged in? It's a Dell Latitude E6420 with Windows 8 Pro. I tried mirroring all the settings in the selected power plan from "On battery" to "Plugged In" and that didn't help. I then just restored the defaults for all power plans (balanced and high performance). I'm still seeing the same results.

The best example where it is most noticeable (don't laugh) is Sim City Social in Chrome. I'm probably seeing a performance increase of 5x on battery versus plugged in. This is easily reproducible too.

I'm very confused.

Could it be caused by dust?

The laptop isn't that old and there is no visible dust. I'm not going to take it apart to check the insides as it's a corporate laptop.

Could it be overheating?


  • Sim City Social: 68 degrees max
  • Civ V: 77 degrees max


  • Sim City Social: 68
  • Civ V: did not test

See answer below... I'm retarded

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A possible reason is overheating. While on net power the battery is charged, generating more heat than not on net power. Could you check that the laptop is dust free and add that to the post? Oh, and optionally run GPU-Z and CPU-Z or other temp. software to either confirm of deny this problem? – Hennes Oct 28 '12 at 21:20
Since this was basically a "false alarm" why not delete the question then? Prevents someone coming to this question and finding a NULL. – Assad Ebrahim May 10 '14 at 10:41
up vote 0 down vote accepted

So while doing my little temperature tests (Thanks Hennes) I noticed my charge indicator said "Plugged in, not charging". After doing some research and finding nothing, I realized this problem started when I got a new universal charger. I plugged in the other adapter that fit my dell and it said "Charging". A quick test reveals that games run as expected.

Long story short, wrong adapter, I'm stupid (The two that are the right size say "Dell" and "HP" right on them...)

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