What is Ultimate Performance Plan in Windows 10/11 Power Options

The Ultimate Performance plan is a preset power scheme introduced in Windows 10 v1803 and higher. This power scheme is enabled by default for Windows for Workstations. But, it can be manually enabled in other Windows 10/11 editions — Home, Pro, etc.

what is ultimate performance power scheme in windows 10

But, what exactly does the Ultimate Performance power scheme do?

What is the Ultimate Performance Power Plan?

The Ultimate Performance plan is a preset power scheme that disables all the power management features that Windows normally has. Let’s say you have a 3.00GHz CPU. In the Balanced power scheme, the Minimum Processor state is set to 10% and the maximum to 90%. This means your processor speed might vary from 0.3GHz (10% of 3.00 GHz) and 2.7GHz (90% of 3.00GHz) P-state, depending upon the usage.

However, a SuperUser participant has an interesting observation:

Also, depending on which P-states are supported, the actual clock speed might differ considerably from what you might expect from the percentage; specifying 50% in Windows power options doesn’t necessarily mean that your processor will run at 50% clock speed. For instance, on my Core 2 Duo T9550 with a nominal clock speed of 2.66 GHz, setting the processor state to 50% doesn’t give a clock speed of 1.33 GHz, as might be expected. Instead, Windows chooses the lowest supported multiplier (FID 6), which results in a clock speed of ~1.6 GHz (FSB 266 MHz × multiplier 6 = 1596 MHz), or 60% of the nominal clock speed…

In the Ultimate Performance plan, the Minimum Processor State is set to 100%. This means your CPU will always be running at 100% power, even if some or all of its cores have nothing to do at the moment. The Turn off hard disk option is set to Never. Your hard disk will always be spinning, regardless of how long the system has been idle.

The Ultimate Performance power scheme, as Microsoft explains:

Demanding workloads on workstations always desire more performance. As part of our effort to provide the absolute maximum performance, we’re introducing a new power policy called Ultimate Performance. Windows has developed key areas where performance and efficiency tradeoffs are made in the OS. Over time, we’ve amassed a collection of settings which allow the OS to quickly tune the behavior based on user preference, policy, underlying hardware or workload.

This new policy builds on the current High-Performance policy, and it goes a step further to eliminate micro-latencies associated with fine-grained power management techniques. The Ultimate Performance Power plan is selectable either by an OEM on new systems or selectable by a user.

As the power scheme is geared towards reducing micro-latencies it may directly impact hardware, and consume more power than the default balanced plan. The Ultimate Performance power policy is currently not available on battery-powered systems.

With the Ultimate Performance scheme, your computer will use more power than it needs. For most users, especially home users, this scheme is not recommended.

Enabling Ultimate Performance Power Plan

To enable the Ultimate Performance power scheme, open an admin Command Prompt and type:

POWERCFG  /DUPLICATESCHEME e9a42b02-d5df-448d-aa00-03f14749eb61

what is ultimate performance power scheme in windows 10

Power Plans Comparison

Here’s a comparison between Balanced Vs. Power saver Vs. High-Performance Vs. Ultimate Performance power schemes (for desktop computers.)

Power Option Setting Balanced Power saver High Performance Ultimate Performance
Turn off hard disk after 20 minutes 20 minutes 20 minutes Never
IE: Javascript Timer Frequency Maximum Performance Maximum Power Savings Maximum Performance Maximum Performance
Desktop Background Slideshow Available Available Available Available
WiFi adapter: Power saving mode Maximum Performance Maximum Performance Maximum Performance Maximum Performance
Sleep after 30 minutes 15 minutes Never Never
Hibernate after Never Never Never Never
Allow wake timers Enable Enable Enable Enable
USB settings
USB selective suspend Enabled Enabled Enabled Enabled
Power button and lid
Power button action Shut down Shut down Shut down Shut down
Sleep button action Sleep Sleep Sleep Sleep
PCI-E Link State Power Management Moderate power savings Maximum power savings Off Off
Processor power management
Minimum processor state 5% 5% 100% 100%
System cooling policy Active Passive Active Active
Maximum processor state 100% 100% 100% 100%
Turn off display after 10 minutes 5 minutes 15 minutes 15 minutes
Multimedia settings
When sharing media Prevent idling to sleep Allow the computer to sleep Prevent idling to sleep Prevent idling to sleep
Video playback quality bias Video playback performance bias Video playback performance bias Video playback performance bias Video playback performance bias
When playing video Optimize video quality Balanced Optimize video quality Optimize video quality

As you can see, the High performance and Ultimate performance power schemes are almost the same, with the exception of the “turn off hard disks” setting. For most desktop users, Balanced is the recommended power setting.

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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded Winhelponline.com in 2005.

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