Windows 10 2018 update introduced Windows users to the ultimate performance power plan. It goes a step further than the High-Performance power plan and allows you to really squeeze performance out of your machine.
It’s available on Windows 10 and 11 Pro for Workstations but isn’t available by default on Windows 10 and 11 Home and Pro. You can still enable it though, and here, you’ll learn how. Before that though, let’s talk about what the Ultimate Performance power plan is and what it does for your PC.
What Is the Ultimate Performance Power Plan on Windows 10 or 11?
The ultimate performance power plan gives heavy-duty systems like Windows servers and workstations that could use a performance boost. The ultimate performance power plan builds on the High-Performance power plan and optimizes it for superior performance.
The ultimate performance power plan does so by minimizing micro-latencies, which is the time buffer between when your system finds out that a hardware component needs more power and the actual delivery of power to that component. Now, this buffer is typically only a few milliseconds, but reducing it further can still improve performance.
How Is it Different from Other Plans?
The ultimate performance plan does this by setting the Minimum Processor State to 100%. This means regardless of whether your CPU cores are busy or not, your CPU will run at 100% power.
This is significantly different from how the Balanced power plan is set up. Suppose that you have a 3.60GHz CPU and you’re on the Balanced power plan for which the Minimum Processor State is 10% and 90% is the maximum.
What this implies (theoretically), is that your CPU’s processing speed will stay in the range of 0.36GHz and 3.24GHz, based on what you’re using the system for.
However, the ultimate performance plan sets 100% as the minimum, which means your CPU will constantly (and theoretically) run at 3.60GHz at all times. Although, you can also set the Balanced power plan such that the Minimum Processor State is 100%.
You might not realize how much energy your PC is using on the ultimate performance power plan, but you’ll know when you receive your electric bill. If you’re a home or office user, it’s unlikely you’ll want to run your PC in this state. This is why Microsoft doesn’t offer this plan by default on machines that run on a battery. Using the plan could significantly damage your battery’s health over time.
How to Enable the Ultimate Performance Power Plan
You can enable the ultimate performance power plan from where you’d usually change your power plans.
To access your power plans, press Win + I to launch the Settings app and navigate to System > Power & sleep. Switch to the right pane and select Additional power settings.
You’ll see a new window pop up. Select Show Additional Plans and select the radio button besides Ultimate Performance.
If you’re on Windows 11, you’ll find the same option in Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Power Options.
However, there’s a very good chance you won’t see the option to select Ultimate Performance on this page. If this is you, don’t fret; you can still enable ultimate performance mode with a little tinkering within Windows 10 or 11’s settings.
Where Is the Ultimate Performance Option?
You won’t find the ultimate performance power plan in most laptops, and even some desktops. However, running a simple command will make that option available if you want to use it. You can run the command either in Command Prompt or PowerShell.
If you want to use Command Prompt, press Ctrl + R, type cmd, and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to launch an elevated Command Prompt. If you want to use PowerShell, just type powershell instead of cmd to launch PowerShell as an administrator.
You can use the same command to get the ultimate performance option regardless of which one you choose. Just copy and paste the following command into the Command Prompt or PowerShell:
powercfg -duplicatescheme e9a42b02-d5df-448d-aa00-03f14749eb61
Reopen the Power options from Settings and see if the plan is now available. If the Settings window was already open before you executed the command, close and reopen it.
How to Remove the Ultimate Performance Power Plan
Before you remove the ultimate performance Power Plan, revert back to a different plan so you don’t have to face an error while deleting the plan.
To do this, go back to Settings > System > Power & sleep > Additional power settings and select a different plan (from Power saver, Balanced, or High performance).
Then, select the Change plan settings option beside the name of the plan. On the next screen, click on Delete this plan and confirm the deletion when prompted.
Should You Enable the Ultimate Performance Power Plan?
The ultimate performance power plan sounds like a winner, but it’s not for everyone. While some users will see a noticeable boost in their processing power, others will barely notice the difference. And what’s worse, the latter group may end up paying a lot more in energy bills for a very minimal return in processing power.
So, should you enable it? It’s a little tricky to say since everyone’s use case is different. However, be sure to check out our guide on if you should enable the ultimate performance power plan for more details on what it does and if it’s the right plan for you.
Ready to Juice Up Your Hardware?
The ultimate performance power plan will make sure all hardware components have the power they need when they need it. The long and short of it is that the ultimate performance power plan isn’t for everybody. It also comes with a cost (for the additional power consumption), so unless you actually need it, don’t enable it.
That said, some users will find a lot of value in the ultimate performance power plan. It will improve their performance and help them get things done faster than on the high-performance power plan. If you’re only looking to improve performance for regular use, you should consider other, more cost-effective ways.