Energy Efficiency

Published: February 29, 2012

Updated: October 20, 2013

Applies To: Windows 8, Windows 8.1

An Energy Efficiency job provides an automated way for you to assess energy consumption and measure the battery life of a mobile computer. The Energy Efficiency job runs different workloads, which simulate different user experiences. The results can identify energy efficiency issues for the computer. For more information about results produced for an Energy Efficiency job, see Results for Energy Efficiency jobs and Results for Idle Energy Efficiency.

The concepts of power and energy are often confused. Batteries do not hold power; they hold energy. Power is the rate of energy usage over a specified period. Energy is measured in joules. A joule is defined as an electric current of 1 amp that is flowing through an electrical resistance of 1 ohm for one second. Power consumption for desktop computers, mobile computers, Tablet PCs, and cell phones is expressed in watts. A watt is defined as 1 joule that is used in one second. In the Energy Efficiency job, we differentiate between the charge in a battery and the available system energy. The charge in all batteries in the system is the system energy.

You can run the Energy Efficiency job in any of the following modes:

  • Battery life during connected standby

  • Battery life during full video playback

  • Battery life during idle periods

  • Energy efficiency diagnostic only

The following graphic illustrates the workflow for an energy efficiency job.

Workflow graphic for Energy Efficiency

For more information, see Create and Run an Energy Efficiency Job.

In this topic:

WarningWarning
The first-run help tips in Windows 8.1 can negatively affect assessment results. To disable these, run the following command from an elevated command prompt, and reboot the computer:
reg.exe add "HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\EdgeUI" /v DisableHelpSticker /t REG_DWORD /d "1" /f

WarningWarning
Run this assessment only while the desktop is full screen. Do not run this assessment if you have another Windows Store app opened side-by-side with the desktop.

WarningWarning
When running this assessment on Windows 8.1, make sure the Collect Analysis Trace setting is unchecked when assessing expected battery life. When checked, this option will produce an incorrect estimation.

Enable analysis trace collection only when you need additional information to investigate other energy-related problems.

Requirement

The computer must run on battery power. Energy efficiency jobs are designed to run only on mobile devices. If a battery is not detected, you will receive an error.

Recommendations

Before you begin, configure the settings on the portable computer to reduce the risk of generating warnings in the results and adversely affecting power usage. The following guidelines are recommended settings. They are not required for the job to run, but the results may be affected if the computer is not appropriately configured.

  • Make sure that wireless functionality is enabled and connected to a network. If not enabled and connected, the results might not reflect realistic scenarios.

    In Control Panel, open Manage Wireless Networks. If wireless functionality is not enabled, turn it on and connect to a wireless network.

    noteNote
    If wireless connectivity is on, but there is no network to connect to, results are still affected.

  • Install and enable antivirus software. If antivirus software isn't enabled and running, the results might not reflect realistic scenarios.

    In Control Panel, open Action Center, choose Security, check that the Virus protection is On. If not, choose Change Action Center Settings and then choose the Virus protection check box.

  • Make sure that the power policy is set to Balanced. By default, any other power policy generates a warning that may affect the results.

    In Control Panel, open Power Options, and then choose Balanced.

  • Make sure that the computer is configured so that a password isn't required when the computer resumes from a screen saver.

  • Make sure that all device drivers are correctly installed. Results may vary significantly if your computer has missing or incorrect drivers. You can use the Driver Verification assessment to identify driver issues on the computer that you want to assess.

  • For best results, we recommend that you run the Energy Efficiency job as a packaged job. For information about how to create and run a packaged job, see Package a Job and Run It on Another Computer.

You can run this job on the following operating systems.

  • Windows® 7

  • Windows 8

  • Windows RT

  • Windows 8.1

  • Windows RT 8.1

Supported architectures include x86-based, x64-based, and ARM-based systems.

There are two ways to run this job on a Windows RT system:

A workload is a set of automated tasks that simulate user activity in a predefined, repeatable manner. The workloads run independent of each other. You can select any combination of these workloads to run during an Energy Efficiency job. The Energy Efficiency job will iterate through the workloads until the job finishes. The following table describes the workloads that are available for an Energy Efficiency job.

 

Workload Description Requirements

Connected Standby energy efficiency

Measures the impact of software and devices on the battery life of a system while it is in Connected Standby.

Requires Windows 8 or Windows 8.1.

File handling

Simulates a user who is copying, moving, compressing, extracting, and deleting files and folders.

Requires Windows® 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1), Windows 8, or Windows 8.1.

Idle energy efficiency

Puts the system in an idle state for a specified amount of time.

Requires Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1.

IE video playback (HTML5)

Simulates a user watching a full screen video using HTML5.

Requires Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1.

Requires Internet Explorer 9 or Internet Explorer 10.

Local Video Playback Energy Efficiency Workload

Measures the usage rate of a computer’s battery during full-screen local video playback.

Requires Windows 8 or Windows 8.1.

Photo handling

Simulates a user who's viewing photos, importing photos, and running a slide show.

Requires Windows 8 or Windows 8.1.

Streaming media

Simulates a user who is watching a video in Internet Explorer.

Requires Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1.

Requires Internet Explorer 9 or Internet Explorer 10.

Windows Media Player playback (legacy)

Simulates streaming of video by using Windows Media® Player.

Requires Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1.

By default, each workload uses the recommended settings. Microsoft defines these settings so that you can compare the results across multiple computer configurations or over time on the same computer. When you review the results, the run information includes metadata that indicates whether the recommended settings were used.

  • The File Handling workload has these settings available:

     

    Setting Description

    Use recommended settings

    Specifies whether the File Handling workload runs using the recommended values. By default, this check box is selected. To change the settings, you must first clear this check box.

    Iterations

    Specifies the number of times that this workload runs. By default, the value is 1.

    Source

    Specifies the location of the files and folders that the workload copies. By default, the source is on the local computer. Use this setting to specify a different location or to use different files.

    Destination

    Specifies the location that the workload copies files or folders to. You must have write access to the destination folder. You can use the default folder or specify a different folder. If you provide a different destination folder, the folder must be empty before you run the job.

    Import data location

    Specifies a user-created payload for use during workload operations. When you specify an import data location, the data is copied from the import location to the Source folder. When the workload runs, the source content is copied to the Destination folder. For this reason, when you import data, both the Source and Destination folders must be empty when the job starts.

    For more information about the File Handling assessment, see File Handling.

  • The Idle Energy Efficiency workload has these settings available:

     

    Setting Description

    Use recommended settings

    Specifies whether the Idle Energy Efficiency workload runs using the recommended values. By default, this check box is selected. To change the settings, you must first clear this check box.

    Minutes

    Specifies the number of minutes that the system should remain in the idle mode. By default, the value is 11.

  • The Photo Handling workload has these settings available:

     

    Setting Description

    Use recommended settings

    Specifies whether the Photo Handling workload runs by using the default configuration settings. By default, this check box is selected. To change the settings, you must first clear this check box.

    LocalPath

    Specifies the run location of the workload. By default, the workload uses the photo dataset that's in the AssessmentData folder. You can also specify a location that's different from the default location to use a custom photo dataset. Be aware of these configuration implications:

    • If you don't define a content path by using the Content Path setting, the local path must be a relative path to the %TEMP%\ PhotoAssessment{9EFF6A22-7006-48E5-8DF7-7C15796237F6}\AssessmentData folder or an absolute path.

    • If you define a content path by using the Content Path setting, the %TEMP%\ PhotoAssessment{9EFF6A22-7006-48E5-8DF7-7C15796237F6}\AssessmentData folder must not exist.

    Content Path

    Specifies the location that the workload copies the photo dataset from. By default, the folder is <ADK Installation Root>\Content based Assessments\Contents\PhotoAssessment\PhotoData. You can use the default or specify a different folder. If you supply your own test content, the workload supports the use of a network folder.

    Iterations

    Specifies the number of times that the workload runs. By default, the value is 1.

    Keep Local Content

    Specifies whether the workload keeps the photo corpus in the destination directory. By default, this check box is cleared.

    This setting applies only if you've defined a content path by using the Content Path setting.

    For more information about the Photo Handling assessment, see Photo Handling.

  • The Streaming Media workload has these settings available:

     

    Setting Description

    Use recommended settings

    Specifies whether the Streaming Media workload runs using the default values. By default, this check box is selected. To change the settings, you must first clear this check box.

    Iterations

    Specifies the number of times that the workload runs. By default, the value is 3.

    Content Path

    Specifies the path of the source directory for the dataset that contains media and HTML files that the workload uses. By default, the content at /Content/Streaming Media is used.

    Server Name

    Specifies the name of the streaming media server on the local network. Even though the box appears to be blank, the path of the default server is defined. If an alternative server name isn't specified, the workload starts the streaming server on the local computer.

    Port

    Specifies the port that the server accepts requests on. The default is port 80.

    Streaming Time

    Specifies the maximum time, in seconds, that the job waits for a video workload to finish playing. By default, the value for this setting is 65.

    Workloads

    The Streaming Media workload can stream video to Internet Explorer by using content that has various resolutions. The default is 720p (30 FPS).

    For more information about the Streaming Media assessment, see Streaming Media Performance.

  • The Windows Media Player playback workload has these settings available:

     

    Setting Description

    Use recommended settings

    Specifies whether the Windows Media Player playback workload runs using the default values. By default, this check box is selected. To change the settings, you must first clear this check box.

    Content Path

    Specifies the source folder for the media clips that are played in Windows Media Player when the workload runs. By default, the folder is at \Content\Streaming Media Assessment. If you supply your own media content, specify the full path to the content on the local computer or a network share.

    Duration

    Specifies the duration of single playback session, in seconds. The default is 600.

  • The Internet Explorer playback (HTML5) workload has these settings available:

     

    Setting Description

    Use recommended settings

    Specifies whether the Internet Explorer playback (HTML5) playback workload runs using the default values. By default, this check box is selected. To change the settings, you must first clear this check box.

    Content Path

    Specifies the source folder for the media clips that are played in Internet Explorer playback (HTML5) when the workload runs. By default, the file that is used is \Content\Streaming Media Assessment\720p.mp4. If you supply your own media content, specify the full path to the content on the local computer or a network share.

    Duration

    Specifies the duration of single playback session, in seconds. The default is 600.

Job settings provide specific information about how a job will run. The following table describes the job settings that are specific to an Energy Efficiency job. The settings are used with any mode that you select, except where noted.

 

Setting Description

Start before fully charged

Allows the job to start before the battery is fully charged. By default, this check box is cleared. When you choose Run to begin the job, the job checks the battery to make sure that it is charged to the level that is specified in the Battery start % box. If this check box is selected, you must also specify the Battery start % to define the job start condition. If not specified, the job starts when the battery is fully charged.

Battery start %

Specifies the percentage of charge that you want in the battery before the test begins. You can specify any integer from 1 to 100, but the setting must be higher than that shown in the Battery end % setting. Use this setting only if you selected Start before fully charged.

Loop workloads until the specified battery level

If checked, the assessment runs until the battery reaches the level specified in Battery end %. If unchecked, the assessment runs only one loop of the specified workloads. By default, this check box is selected and Battery end % is set to 5.

Battery end %

Specifies the percentage of charge that you want remaining in the battery when the job ends. By default, this is 5. You can specify any integer from 1 to 100.

noteNote
This setting does not apply in the Energy efficiency with diagnostic only mode but is available for the battery run down modes.

Use default screen timeout value

Specifies whether to change the DC screen timeout value to the power profile’s default value while the assessment is running.

Generate diagnostics information

Turns on additional tracing during the first iteration of each workload, and generate metrics and issues to help diagnose energy efficiency problems.

Create Power Profile Issues

Specifies whether to run powercfg.exe /energy for one minute to generate power profile and device issues related to energy consumption.

Collect Analysis Trace

Specifies whether to collect a three-minute advanced idle analysis trace with stacks enabled that can be used for deeper investigation.

Run automated

Runs the job with minimal user interaction. By default, this check box is cleared. If this check box is selected, you can specify the commands to run at power transitions.

Disconnect power command

Specifies the command to run to disconnect the AC power. By default, this setting is not enabled until the Run automated check box is checked. Once selected, AC power is automatically disconnected when the assessment begins.

Restore power command

Specifies the command to run when AC power can be restored. By default, this setting is not enabled until the Run automated check box is checked. Once selected, AC power is automatically restored when the assessment finishes.

Logging Frequency (minutes)

Specifies the frequency with which results are written to disk after the battery reaches the critical threshold and may shut off the system. Valid values range from 1 to 60. By default, this value is 1.

noteNote
This setting does not apply in the DC Energy Efficiency with Diagnostic mode.

Here are three recommended configurations that you can use to help diagnose energy efficiency issues:

  • Check Loop workloads until specified battery level.

  • Uncheck Generate diagnostic information.

  • Check Loop workloads until specified battery level.

  • Check Generate diagnostic information. Make sure that Create Power Profile Issues and Collect Analysis Trace are also checked.

  • Uncheck Loop workloads until specified battery level.

  • Check Generate diagnostic information. Make sure that Create Power Profile Issues and Collect Analysis Trace are also checked.

See Also

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