If you're a power user, you know that Windows offers three standard power plans: Balanced, Power Saver, and High Performance. These plans meet the needs of most users, but some need every ounce of performance their system can deliver. For those users, Windows offers a fourth power plan: Ultimate Performance.
What is the Ultimate Performance power plan?
The Ultimate Performance power plan is a preset power plan designed to maximize performance on high-power systems, such as workstations and servers. It does this by eliminating the micro-latencies associated with fine-grained power management techniques.
Micro-latencies are the slight delays between when the operating system recognizes that a hardware component needs power and when it actually delivers that power. The Ultimate Performance power plan eliminates these delays by disabling certain power management features.
The Ultimate Performance power plan is based on the High Performance power plan, but it takes it one step further by disabling even more power management features. This results in even better performance, but it also consumes more power and generates more heat.
How the Ultimate Performance Plan Works
The Ultimate Performance power plan is a preset power plan designed to maximize performance on high-end systems, such as workstations and servers. It does this by disabling certain power management features, such as:
- Processor throttling: The Ultimate Performance power plan sets the minimum and maximum processor states to 100%. This means that the CPU will always run at full power, even if it is not fully utilized.
- Hard disk spin-down: The Ultimate Performance power plan prevents the hard disk from spinning down when it is idle. This ensures that the hard disk is always ready to access data, which can improve performance for applications that frequently read and write data to the hard disk.
Other power management features that may be disabled by the Ultimate Performance power plan include:
- Display dimming: The Ultimate Performance power plan may prevent the display from dimming when it is idle.
- USB power management: The Ultimate Performance power plan may prevent USB devices from entering a low-power state when they are not in use.
You should only use the Ultimate Performance power plan if you need every ounce of performance your system can deliver. This is typically only necessary for users who run demanding applications such as video editing software, 3D rendering software, or scientific computing software.
If you don't need the extra performance, you should use a different power plan, such as Balanced or High Performance. These power plans offer a good balance between performance and battery life.
How to Turn On Ultimate Performance Plan
Windows intended it for high-end systems, and as such, the option is automatically available in Windows for Workstations. But all other systems running Windows 11 can get the feature manually.
For systems that have the Ultimate Performance plan officially enabled, turning it on is a piece of cake in Windows 11. Open the Control Panel on your system. You can find it from the search option on the taskbar.
Then, go to ‘Hardware and Sound’.
Select ‘Power Options’ from the list of options available.
The available power plans for your PC will appear. If the Ultimate Performance plan is available, it’ll also appear.
It’s possible that the Ultimate Performance isn’t listed directly with the other plans. If you see the option for ‘Show additional plans’, click it. It should appear in the expanded options. If it doesn’t (which will be the case for most laptops and also some desktops), you have to enable it manually which is explained in the next section.
To use it, click the radio button next to it.
Just like with any other power plan, you can customize the plan. Click ‘Change plan settings’ to tweak any settings. But it isn’t really advisable as that would mess with the “Ultimate Performance” it’s supposed to deliver.
How to Add Ultimate Performance Plan to any Windows 11 PC
If you don’t have the option for an Ultimate Performance plan in your Power options, you can manually add it.
Open either Command Prompt or Windows PowerShell in the admin mode. The command we want to execute is the same for both, so you can open either. Go to the search option and type ‘Command Prompt’ or ‘Windows PowerShell’. Then, click the ‘Run as administrator’ option to run the app in admin mode.
A User Account Control prompt will appear. Click ‘Yes’ to proceed.
Now, type or copy/ paste the following command and press Enter.
powercfg -duplicatescheme e9a42b02-d5df-448d-aa00-03f14749eb61
When the command executes, you’ll be able to see Ultimate Performance on the console.
Now, open Power Options in Control Panel again. If the app was open while you run the command, hit the ‘Refresh’ button.
Click the ‘Show additional plans’ option.
The Ultimate Performance plan should appear among your power plans. Click the radio button next to it to select it.
Deleting the Ultimate Performance Plan from your System
Users who manually add the power plan to their Windows 11 system can also delete it. But before you try to delete it, it’s paramount to switch to another power plan. Trying to delete a plan you’re currently using can mess your entire system.
From the Power Options, switch to another plan. Then, click the ‘Change plan settings’ option next to the ‘Ultimate Performance’ plan.
The options for changing the settings will open. Click the ‘Delete this plan’ option.
A confirmation dialog box will appear. Click ‘Yes’ to proceed.
The Ultimate Performance power plan is a powerful tool that can be used to maximize performance on high-power systems. However, it is important to use this power plan wisely and to monitor your system's temperature and performance when using it.
If you are not sure whether or not you need the Ultimate Performance power plan, it is best to stick with the Balanced or High Performance power plan.