Tag Archives: efficiency

How to Monitor Hyper-V Performance with PowerShell

Virtual machines can quickly lose speed and efficiency unless managed properly. Using PowerShell, you can monitor Hyper-V performance so you can keep on top of your performance levels and ensure your Hyper-V VMs are running optimally at all times.

In my last article, I demonstrated how to work with performance counters but from a WMI (Windows Management Instrumentation) perspective, using the corresponding Win32 classes with Get-CimInstance. Today I want to circle back to using Get-Counter to retrieve performance counter information but as part of a toolmaking process. I expect that when you are looking at performance counters, you do so on a very granular level. That is, you are only interested in data from a specific counter. I am too. In fact, I want to develop some tooling around a performance counter so that I can quickly get the information I need.

Getting Started

I’m using Hyper-V running on my Windows 10 desktop, but there’s no reason you can’t substitute your own Hyper-V host.

You should be able to test my code by setting your own value for $Computer.

Hyper-V Performance Counters

Of all the Hyper-V performance counters, the one that interests me is part of the Hyper-V Dynamic Memory VM set.

Dynamic Memory Counters

I am especially interested in the pressure related counters. This should give me an indication if the virtual machine is running low on memory. You sometimes see this in the Hyper-V management console when you look at the memory tab for a given virtual machine. Sometimes you’ll see a Low status. I want to be able to monitor these pressure levels from PowerShell.

After a little research, I found the corresponding WMI class.

Memory Counters via WMI and CIM

As you can see SRV2 is running a bit high. One of the benefits of using a WMI class instead of Get-Counter is that I can create a filter.

High Memory Pressure VM

Building Tools With What We’ve Done So Far

One tool I could create would be to turn this one line command into a function, perhaps adding the Hyper-V host as a parameter. I could set the function to run in a PowerShell scheduled job.

Another option would be to register a WMI event subscription. This is an advanced topic that we don’t have room to cover in great detail. But here is some sample code.

The code is checking every 30 seconds (within 30) for instances of the performance counter where the current pressure value is greater or equal to 80. I am registering the event subscription on my computer.  As long as my PowerShell session is open, any time a VM goes above 80 for Current Pressure, information is logged to a CSV file.

When using an Action scriptblock, you won’t see when the event is raised with Get-Event. The only way I can tell is by looking at the CSV file.

image

To manually stop watching, simply unregister the event.

Using this kind of event subscription has a number of other applications when it comes to managing Hyper-V. I expect I’ll revisit this topic again.

But there’s one more technique I want to share before we wrap up for today.

Usually, I am a big believer in taking advantage of PowerShell objects in the pipeline. Using Write-Host is generally frowned upon. But there are always exceptions and here is one of them.  I want a quick way to tell if a virtual machine is under pressure. Color coding will certainly catch my eye.  Instead of writing objects to the pipeline, I’ll write a string of information to the console. But I will color code it depending on the value of CurrentPressure. You will likely want to set your own thresholds. I wanted settings so that I’d have something good to display.

It wouldn’t take much to turn this into a function and create a reusable tool.

Colorized Performance Counters

I have at least one other performance monitoring tool technique I want to share with you but I think I’ve given you plenty to try out for today so I’ll cover that in my next article.

Wrap-Up

Have you built any custom tools for your Hyper-V environment? Do you find these types of tools helpful? Would you like us to do more? Let us know in the comments section below!

Thanks for reading!

For Sale – Innosilicon Equihash A9 ZMaster

  • Hashrate:50ksol/s +/-6%
  • Power Consumption:620W +/-5%(normal mode, at the wall, with 93% efficiency PSU. 25°C temperature)
  • Chip Type:A9 ZMaster ASIC

This is currently the most profitable ASIC Miner for ZCash.

Price and currency: 6500
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: BT, Cash or Crypto
Location: Warrington
Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

Wanted – 600W+ Modular PSU

ATX form factor. Decent efficiency. Not fussy on brands.

Has to be hybrid or full modular though.

Thanks

Location: Swansea

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

Wanted – 600W+ Modular PSU

ATX form factor. Decent efficiency. Not fussy on brands.

Has to be hybrid or full modular though.

Thanks

Location: Swansea

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

Wearable smart glasses help freight company think outside the box

Time is money, and time wasted is money lost. So, when efficiency stalled in a freight-forwarding company’s warehouse, it turned to wearable smart glasses.

Workers at DB Schenker in Houston needed to streamline the time-consuming processes of tracking inventory and communicating with each other on the large warehouse floor. In April, the company introduced Intel’s Recon Jet Pro smart glasses, which allow employees to work hands-free and keep inventory up to date.

“The glasses are easy to work with and easy to learn,” said John Pappas, IT project manager at DB Schenker. “Instead of having to stop and flag a supervisor down, you can just send a message.”

Wearable smart glasses help turn a corner

The Recon Jet Pro smart glasses have a camera below the right eye, so as not to disrupt the worker’s view. The camera allows the worker to stream live video for support purposes — such as a step-by-step walk-through on how to fix something — or to provide information on an exact product the worker is looking at. It is also capable of scanning bar codes and recording procedures.

When a DB Schenker customer places an order, a worker can scan the inventory using the smart glasses to make sure the item is physically available. If it is not, an alert kicks back to another worker to restock the item, so no time is wasted on the floor.

“The best thing about it is it frees your hands up — no carrying around papers or boxes,” Pappas said.

The glasses are easy to work with and easy to learn.
John PappasIT project manager, DB Schenker

This feature is particularly useful in the warehouse, where turning a corner could mean colliding with a forklift.

As part of a logistics partner pilot program with Intel, DB Schenker has deployed about nine smart glasses so far, but plans to expand.

“We were even thinking of using them for some personal training, because you’re able to show someone in the field exactly what to do,” Pappas said.

The glasses — which include Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth connectivity — use Upskill’s enterprise software suite called Skylight, which provides offline capabilities and other features. The glasses can also take advantage of other software, such as Atheer’s AiR Suite and Augmate, which further customize their operations. AiR Suite allows organizations to create task lists for workers with smart glasses, and Augmate provides management for wearable devices. Organizations can also develop and deploy their own software for Recon Jet Pro, either independently or using the Intel developer support team.

DB Schenker has struggled to take advantage of the full functionality of the software capabilities as of right now, however, Pappas said.

“We don’t have developers on standby,” he said.

Another challenge is IT project managers must train employees on how to use the wearable smart glasses, and employees were initially hesitant to try them at all, he added.

Recon Jet Pro
Recon Jet Pro

Wearable glasses jet into the future

Intel’s Recon Jet Pro glasses are built for job roles such as construction, maintenance and emergency responders. The computer is attached to the outer side of the glasses, as is the battery, which can detach to charge and lasts between two and five hours per use. The glass lenses are interchangeable for indoor and outdoor use.

Industrial workers could access this type of computing technology using tablets or computers, but wearable glasses are safer for workers in conditions that have more hazards, said Christopher Croteau, general manager of wearables at Intel.

“Anything we can do to bring that information into the workers’ field of view unobtrusively and keep them focused on their tasks is what we want to do,” Croteau said.

Intel developed the Recon Jet Pro after acquiring Recon a year and a half ago. In May, the company introduced the Recon Jet Pro ANSI Z87.1+ which has higher impact resistance for better eye protection. The ANSI Z87.1 smart glasses start at $599.

Better battery life with Microsoft Edge

There’s a good chance you’ve noticed that Microsoft Edge and other popular browsers have recently been focused on improving battery life. We’ve been paying particular attention to this with Windows 10, and the response has been great. Windows users spend more than half their time on the web, so improvements here have a significant effect on your device’s battery life.

We’re committed to giving you the best, fastest, and most efficient browser possible. In this post, I’ll share some of the new energy efficiency improvements available with the Windows 10 Creators Update.

Comparing the latest versions of major browsers on Windows, the trends are similar to what we’ve seen with previous releases. According to our tests on the Windows 10 Creators Update – based on an open-source test which simulates typical browsing activities across multiple tabs – Microsoft Edge uses up to 31% less power than Google Chrome, and up to 44% less than Mozilla Firefox.

Bar chart measuring power consumed by Microsoft Edge and the latest versions of Chrome and Firefox. Microsoft Edge uses 31% less power than Chrome 57, and 44% less power than Firefox 52.

Direct measurements of average power consumption during typical browsing activities (source code).

Let’s dive in to some details of how we measure power consumption to optimize for battery life, and how we’re engineering Microsoft Edge to be the most efficient browser on Windows 10.

Our approach: open, transparent, and reproducible

Measuring and improving battery life are both complicated problems, and while we want to show off our leadership here, we also want to be a part of a constructive dialog that improves the entire web. That’s why we always share our measurements alongside filmed rundown tests, or through open source tests freely available on GitHub. These tests are repeatable by other browsers or curious users, backed by methodology documents and open source code.

One of the most important tools for our energy efficiency engineering is BrowserEfficiencyTest. It automates the most important tasks that people do with their browser, and runs through those tasks while measuring how much power a device is consuming, as well as how hard the CPU is working, how much traffic is being sent over the network, and more. It can be used to look at specific sites and patterns, or measure complex workloads composed of many different sites in multiple tabs. This test supports Microsoft Edge as well as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, so we can compare results across browsers over time.

Surface Books instrumented for direct power measurement, running a looping browser test in a performance lab.

Surface Books instrumented for direct power measurement, running a looping browser test in a performance lab.

Using an open test has also enabled us to work closer with partners to deliver a better experience to you. As we built the Windows 10 Creators Update, we collaborated with hardware teams like Surface and Intel to understand what’s going on at the hardware level when you’re on the web. By designing the software and the hardware to work with each other, we can make your device run even faster and last even longer.

Battery life improvements in the Windows 10 Creators Update

Our improvements in EdgeHTML 15 are focused not only on improving the average power consumption in Microsoft Edge, but also making it more consistent. The below chart shows the 90th percentile power consumption during a multi-tab workload that went through email, social media, video, news, and more.

Bar chart comparing Edge power consumption in the Anniversary Update and in the Creators Update. In the Creators Update, Edge uses 17% less power at the 90th percentile.

As you can see, the 90th percentile has improved by 17% from the previous version of Microsoft Edge to the latest version. What does this mean for you? You can be more confident about getting consistent, all-day battery life with Microsoft Edge.

Let’s look at the specific things we’ve improved:

iframes are more efficient

Today, lots of web content is delivered using iframes, which allow web authors to embed documents (even from different origins) within their own webpages. This is a flexible, powerful, and secure tool used on many popular sites, often in the context of advertisements or embedded content. Iframes are essentially small webpages contained inside another web page.

Until now, these mini-webpages have been able to run JavaScript timers and code without restriction, even when you can’t see them. An iframe down at the bottom of an article could be running code, measuring if it’s visible, or performing animations while you’re still reading the headline at the top. With this release, we’ve made Microsoft Edge much more intelligent, throttling the JavaScript timers for iframes that aren’t visible, and stopping them from calculating animations that will never be seen. Users won’t notice any difference: the iframes still load and behave normally when you can see them. We’re simply reducing the resources they consume when they’re not visible.

Hit testing is more efficient

A common pattern we’ve found on sites is that pieces of a webpage want to know if they’re visible to the user or not, referred as hit testing. This is necessary for advertisers to judge the effectiveness of ads, as well as for creating infinite scrolling lists and other advanced layouts. In the past, this has been computationally expensive, especially since it’s done a lot. Sometimes, elements on a page will check to see if they’re visible on every frame, 60 times per second.

With the Creator’s Update, we’ve reworked what happens when the webpage needs to know if iframes or other elements are visible. We’ve added an additional layer of caching and optimizations to perform this common operation with less CPU and less power. Web developers don’t need to do anything different to take advantage of these improvements, and users won’t notice any difference, other than a faster experience and more battery life.

Intersection Observer

On top of these improvements, we’ve implemented a standards-based framework for webpages to accomplish the same thing without needing to constantly check for visibility themselves. This framework is called Intersection Observer; it’s supported by other major browsers and is documented with a working draft through the W3C.

When websites and ads take advantage of Intersection Observer, Microsoft Edge will do the work for them, calculating if they intersect with the main viewport or any other element. The page will be notified when any element’s intersection with the viewport changes, so constantly checking on every frame is no longer required. This is a much more efficient pattern, and will make the web better for everybody.

Encouraging HTML5 over Flash

In the Creator’s Update, we’re giving users even more control over their experience and helping transition the web to more secure, standards-based, and energy-efficient content by encouraging HTML5 over Flash and giving users control over where Flash is allowed to run. Not only is this good for battery life, but it will help improve security, speed, and stability.

Screen capture of a prompt in Microsoft Edge reading "Adobe Flash content was blocked."

Countless efficiency improvements based on telemetry

As with any release, we’re tweaking and improving what’s happening under the hood in Microsoft Edge. Recently, we’ve been using telemetry from real devices to measure how much time we’re spending responding to different APIs in JavaScript. This view tells us which functions we spend the most total time responding to across all devices, so we can improve those first and get the most bang for our buck.

Screen capture showing aggregated telemetry measuring how much time we’re spending responding to different APIs in JavaScript.

An interesting note: the top 10 functions account for about 50% of the total time that JavaScript spends waiting for Microsoft Edge to respond. Using this data, we’re improving not only battery life, but making webpages feel faster and snappier as well.

What’s next?

As always, this work is a step in our ongoing journey to improve your experience on the web and maximize what you can get out of your browser and your device. When it comes to making Microsoft Edge faster and more efficient, we’re never done! We look forward to continuing to push the limits of efficiency, speed, and battery life in upcoming releases.

– Brandon Heenan, Program Manager, Microsoft Edge

Get more out of your battery with Microsoft Edge

Using a power efficient browser is one of the best ways to get more out of your PC or tablet – whether you’re checking email, shopping online, playing games, or watching movies. Today’s laptops and tablets last longer than ever, thanks to major advances in battery technology, processor architecture, and software design. Still, no battery lasts forever, and every extra hour counts when you’re on the go.

We designed Microsoft Edge from the ground up to prioritize power efficiency and deliver more battery life, without any special battery saving mode or changes to the default settings. Our testing and data show that you can simply browse longer with Microsoft Edge than with Chrome, Firefox, or Opera on Windows 10 devices.

You can simply browse longer with Microsoft Edge than with Chrome, Firefox, or Opera on Windows 10 devices.

To understand the impact, we compared today’s leading browsers across three independent dimensions. First, we measured their power consumption in a controlled lab environment. Second, we examined the real-world energy telemetry from millions of Windows 10 devices. Finally, we recorded time-lapse videos of each browser performing the same tasks until the battery dies. Microsoft Edge wins out in every case, which translates to longer battery life for you.

And we’re not stopping there! We continue to focus on power efficiency with regular updates to Windows 10, and the Windows 10 Anniversary Update will include even more power-saving improvements, using fewer CPU cycles, consuming less memory, and minimizing the impact of background activity and peripheral content like Flash advertisements. These improvements will build on the efficiency demonstrated below to make sure you can stay online longer with Microsoft Edge.

Stay productive longer (controlled lab tests)

Whether you’re browsing the web with multiple tabs open, reading email, or checking your social networks, Microsoft Edge is built to maximize the potential of your hardware to operate efficiently on daily activities, while using minimal resources when a page isn’t being used.

We connected a Surface Book to specialized power monitoring equipment and measured the actual power usage during typical browsing activities in Microsoft Edge, Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. We then automated each browser to perform the same series of activities: opening websites, scrolling through articles, and watching videos, opening new tabs for each task. We used the same websites you spend your time on – Facebook, Google, YouTube, Amazon, Wikipedia and more.

Chart showing power consumption by browser (lower is better). Microsoft Edge had an average consumption of 2068 milliwatts; Chrome 2819; Opera (battery saver) 3077; Firefox 3161.

Average power consumption in milliwatts for identical workloads in Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera (with battery saver mode enabled). Unless specified, all browser settings were left at their defaults.

For these browsing activities, our tests show Microsoft Edge is a more energy efficient browser on Windows 10, with up to 36%-53% more battery life to get what you need done —whether you’re studying at the library, researching dream vacation destinations, or checking in with your friends on social networks.

Users see these results (real-world measurements)

The results above aren’t just theoretical! To measure Windows efficiency and identify opportunities, we measure aggregated telemetry from millions of Windows 10 devices around the world. The billions of data points from these devices are consistent with the lab results, demonstrating that Microsoft Edge is more efficient in real-world, day-to-day use than the competition:

Chart showing average power consumption per browser (lower is better) based on aggregated telemetry. Edge on average consumed 465.24 milliwatts; Firefox, 493.5; Chrome, 719.72.

Average power consumption per browser based on billions of data points of aggregated telemetry.

These numbers are from actual Windows 10 use “in the wild,” not artificial tests or hypotheses. People using Microsoft Edge simply get more out of their battery every day.

Experience the difference (time-lapse videos)

To help you experience the difference, we compared what happens when watching streaming videos on Surface Books running the latest versions of Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera. We streamed the same high-definition video wirelessly on each device and set up a video camera to record the laptops until each one died, noting the time when each device stopped playing.

The results speak for themselves: Microsoft Edge outlasts the rest, delivering 17%-70% more battery life than the competition.

Microsoft Edge lasted three hours longer than Google Chrome—long enough to finish the final movie in your favorite trilogy, while the competition stalls out halfway through.

Freeze frame from a video rundown test comparing streaming battery life on four browsers. Click to play.

Streaming video test conducted on identical Microsoft Surface Books. All browser settings were as default; Opera battery saver mode was enabled for this test.

We’re not the only ones who have noticed this—a recent test by the Wall Street Journal arrived at the same conclusion, declaring Microsoft Edge to be the most power-efficient browser for both general purpose browsing and streaming.

To learn more about what’s coming with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, check out our post on the Microsoft Edge Dev Blog, “Building a more power efficient browser,” which details how we are working to make Microsoft Edge even more efficient in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update this summer!

Building a more power efficient browser

Today, Jason Weber shared a post on the Windows Experience Blog demonstrating the power efficiency of Microsoft Edge over other popular browsers on Windows 10. With the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, we are hard at work pushing the envelope further, engineering Microsoft Edge to last even longer with typical workloads.

In this post, I’ll share our approach to the complex problems of battery life and power consumption, and discuss some specific work we’re doing to improve Microsoft Edge’s energy efficiency in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.

How we measure energy efficiency

Improving energy efficiency starts in a controlled lab environment where we can run repeatable tests. At Microsoft, we have a lab specifically designed for measuring power consumption, where we run the newest builds of Windows 10 and Microsoft Edge. This allows us to see how they perform against different workloads and with different PCs.

Photo of a power consumption lab at Microsoft. Rows of PCs, phones, and more are shown hooked up to power consumption monitoring equipment.

Power consumption lab at Microsoft

We measure power consumption across a diverse set of Windows hardware – desktops, laptops, tablets, phones and more. Process architectures, screen sizes, and even physical characteristics like heat dissipation and mechanical fans can have a significant impact on power consumption. It’s important to broadly improve power efficiency for everyone.

Machines such as the below Surface Pro 3 are connected to specialized power monitors which measure instantaneous power consumption down to the milliwatt. As we run different workloads across these machines, we measure exactly how much energy they consume.

Photo of a Surface Pro 3 attached to instantaneous power consumption equipment.

Surface Pro 3 instrumented to measure instantaneous power consumption. We test power efficiency on a variety of devices, including Surface Pro 3, Surface Pro 4, and Surface Book.

We also record detailed diagnostic information through Windows Event Tracing, which allows us to understand what was happening in software, and correlate that to the energy consumed by the machine – specifically Microsoft Edge and the website’s HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

The lab provides repeatable and immediately actionable results in a controlled environment. This allows us to validate improvements, identify regressions, and ensure that Windows and Microsoft Edge are continuously improving with every code change.

Informing power efficiency through customer telemetry

Our objective is to improve efficiency for users, and it’s important to understand what’s happening in the real-world. The Windows Energy Estimation Engine (E3) is a service running on all battery powered Windows 10 devices which tracks energy usage across hardware, apps, and services. The E3 service provides users with more control over their battery life by informing battery saver recommendations, and aggregated results are used by Microsoft through the Windows telemetry systems to improve the Windows ecosystem.

Many modern Windows computers, such as the Surface family, include specialized hardware designed to measure power consumption. This specialized hardware measurement provides 98% accuracy, compared to system software power measurement which has 85% accuracy, and application software power measurement which has minimal correlation to actual power consumption.

Some of our most important insights come from aggregated data from millions of Windows devices reporting billions of data points around Microsoft Edge’s energy efficiency to Microsoft on a monthly basis. We particularly pay attention to telemetry coming from systems with specialized hardware measurement – you just can’t beat 98% accuracy.

Have you ever wondered how many joules of energy are spent on JavaScript garbage collections every day? Those are the multifaceted questions we consider as we optimize Microsoft Edge for performance, power, memory, and more. With this level of data, the tradeoffs around power become clear and intentional.

Screen capture showing a view of aggregated data reporting power consumptions across typical JavaScript operations.

With every Windows Insider flight, we compare our power consumption with past flights and released versions of Windows. We use this telemetry to ensure new features and code changes don’t increase our power consumption, and to validate new features designed to improve energy efficiency. Thanks to the Windows Insider Program, we can validate our engineering and ensure Microsoft Edge only improves with every release!

Energy efficiency improvements in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update

The Windows 10 Anniversary Update brings dozens of improvements to power efficiency, informed from analyzing customer telemetry and experiments in our controlled labs. These improvements are built into Microsoft Edge, so you don’t need to change settings or turn on a power saving mode – every Microsoft Edge user will receive these without a compromised experience.

Here are four examples which provide a feel for the type of power optimizations occurring.

1. Background tabs are more efficient

Websites frequently run JavaScript in the background, even once fully loaded and not visible to the user. These sites may be checking for new email, analyzing ad metrics, running animations, or anything really – the web is a diverse place. So, when a user has a lot of background tabs open at once, these tasks add up, causing the CPU to work more than it needs to. This makes the computer slower and consumes unnecessary battery life. We’ve heard feedback from our Insiders telling us that sometimes Microsoft Edge is using more CPU than they expect, and background tabs are frequently the cause.

With the Anniversary Update, Microsoft Edge only executes background JavaScript timers once per second in background tabs. More importantly, these timers are coalesced with other work happening across Windows. Microsoft Edge doesn’t wake up the hardware to perform work. Instead we tag along with other work happening across the system, and then quickly yield, allowing the hardware to enter a low power state.

Savings vary depending on the websites you have open, but we’ve seen energy savings of over 90% in some scenarios.

This balance allows your background tabs to keep connections to servers open, check for mail, play music, run analytics, and whatever else they need to do, and also makes your system faster while saving your battery.

Savings vary depending on the websites you have open, but we’ve seen energy savings of over 90% in some scenarios. As an example, the following charts show CPU improvements with eight popular websites open in background tabs.

Charts showing CPU utilization in Windows 10 and the Anniversary Update.

CPU usage with eight popular websites open in background tabs.

2. Flash is more efficient

Flash ads are common on the Internet and they can have a high battery cost, primarily through continuous animations which continually consume CPU, GPU and display resources. In the Anniversary Update, Flash is now running inside a separate process, and controls which aren’t central to the page are paused by default. Users who want to interact with Flash can simply click the control.

And given Flash is now running in a separate process, we can monitor and control the resource impact of Flash. When Flash consumes too many resources or crashes, we can stop the Flash process without impacting the website.

3. Microsoft Edge’s user interface is more efficient

The Microsoft Edge user interface has been optimized for power efficiency. Animations are an important part of the Windows 10 and Microsoft Edge design language, but animations can consume considerable power if they perform more work than necessary.

For example, the reading mode button animation has been redesigned around power efficiency.

Screen capture of the Reading Mode button in Microsoft Edge

The reading mode button was previously composed of 120 frames. Each time we updated the frame, we caused an expensive XAML layout and visual update. Here we can see the GPU cost for this one animation:

Screen capture showing the GPU cost of the Reading Mode animation

GPU cost of the Reading Mode animation

We have improved this in several ways.

  • The animation had identical frames at the beginning and end of each loop, so progressing frames didn’t always result in visible changes. Optimizing this removed 40% of the frames.
  • We replaced the traditional XAML animation with a timed GPU transform, and now animate the contents through a viewport – relying entirely on the GPU to perform the work.
  • These coupled with other optimized have reduced the GPU cost by nearly 75%, the CPU cost by 100%, and reduced the power impact to near zero.

Here’s the GPU cost of this animation with the Anniversary Update:

Screen capture showing the GPU cost of the Reading Mode animation in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update

GPU cost of the Reading Mode animation in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update

That looks much better! We’re applying this level of optimization across our user interface, because every milliwatt counts.

4. Windows networking is more efficient

Microsoft Edge builds on the Windows platform, and benefits from power optimizations throughout Windows. The Windows 10 Anniversary update delivers a range of networking improvements which improve performance and efficiency, while reducing power consumption.

The new TCP Fast Open (TFO) feature allows connections between the device and the server to be setup faster with fewer messages. And the TCP stack now includes an optimized Initial Congestion Window (ICW) with a larger maximum message size, meaning fewer messages have to be exchanged with the server. Fewer messages means the wifi antenna can be turned off sooner, saving energy.

We’ve also added features called Tail Loss Probe (TLP) and Recent Acknowledgement (RACK) which reduce the time required to correct for lost packets. If it’s likely that a message is going to time out, we send a request for the data again sooner than the normal timeout. Doing this allows us to switch off the wifi antenna sooner when you have a poor connection.

What’s next?

Are we done? Absolutely not!  When it comes to energy efficiency, we’re never really done, and you’ll continue to see this level of investment over the coming releases. You can preview these improvements today in the Windows Insider Program, and we look forward to bringing them to everyone with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update this summer.

Brandon Heenan
Program Manager, Microsoft Edge