My Windows 8 Consumer Preview laptop gets great performance, but horrible battery life. It had excellent battery life while it was running Windows 7. Why?

I've made the power plan use as little CPU as possible and be extremely power-efficient. I've even made an extreme effort to close apps as soon as I'm done using them. I barely use any programs - but still this battery can barely hold out for an hour at best.

Windows 7 got about 2.5hrs. Ubuntu gets 2 hours, and the Dev Preview got an hour forty. What is so power-hungry about the consumer preview? Can I change this?

Even though my battery's small and underpowered, I've still been able to get better battery life out of it {see above}.

What can I do to make my Windows 8 laptop less power-hungry?

  • 1
    see here: anandtech.com/show/5619/… – sblair Mar 5 '12 at 15:29
  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Work_(electrical) For every action in a computer there is going to be required some ammount of work, either all the work is stopped, or the power is used. Newtons law of gravity would demonstrate that holding all these pixels up so they do not fall down to the bottom of the screen , is going to take some power :-) – Psycogeek Mar 5 '12 at 16:21
  • Why was this closed? There can be a specific answer. See the accepted answer below. – JavaAndCSharp Mar 7 '12 at 4:34

You can use the Task Manager to try to identify whether apps are chewing more CPU time than they should - I had a couple of apps use 50% CPU for a while before I noticed it (and then worked out what was causing the app to have a problem, and fixed it).

In Task Manager, make sure you're in the Detailed view, with the tabs across the top, then you can use:

Processes and sort by CPU descending (click the CPU column title) to work out which processes are currently consuming the most CPU.

App History and look for any Metro apps that have consumed a disproportionate amount of CPU time. It's a pity this doesn't include Win32 apps, but there ya go.

You can also turn off notifications and avoid going into the old Desktop mode. This prevents many unnecessary Win32 applications from starting.

My laptop battery life seems better under Win8CP so far (Lenovo X201T).


It's a preview, not the final version. They may very well not have finished all of the power management functionality yet -- it's just the kind of thing you can leave out of a preview, since it doesn't affect the user interaction.

If you want software that is polished and works well, don't install test or preview versions.

  • ...The main part of my question was 'how can I make Windows 8 battery life decent again' not 'please tell me that the Windows 8 Consumer Preview is a preview because I'm 3 and don't know that already.' – JavaAndCSharp Mar 7 '12 at 4:34

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