One of the really nice things that Microsoft added to Vista was three different power plans, and also provided the ability to create your own if you so desire. By default the operating system ships with a power saver, balanced, and high performance plan. I can really attest to the power saver plan squeezing every bit of juice out of your battery, but most people will likely never switch out of the “balanced” plan that Microsoft has set as the default.
Naturally you would expect performance to suffer when using the balanced plan when compared to the high performance plan. After all, the balanced plan is more friendly on your pocketbook and the environment. Interestingly enough that’s not turning out to be the case according to some recent CrystalMark benchmarks by PocketTables (here and here).
What they found was that Vista’s balanced power plan beat out high performance on two different machines that they tested. You would expect it to be pretty darn close since the balanced plan is supposed to kick up performance when it’s needed, but to flat-out beat the high performance plan in nearly every test is just crazy.
If you’ve been using the high performance power plan maybe it’s time you kick it “down” to the balanced option. ;)