jordanneenan
1 Nickel

Battery life has dropped ~50% since installing stock Windows 8.1 Pro

I recently bought an XPS 9530 and the first thing I did was upgrade the SSD and install a copy of Windows 8.1 Pro on it. I then continued to install all of the drivers listed on the Dell website for my model of laptop. I have made sure the laptop is set to the Power saver power plan but I am still only getting a max of 4 hours when the laptop is stated for 8 - and this is running no applications.

It seems that the Dell version of Windows might have an application or driver that I have missed that helps save energy?

Thanks,

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3 Replies
Ken PC
2 Bronze

RE: Battery life has dropped ~50% since installing stock Windows 8.1 Pro

I have seen the same thing on the 9530 if the NVidia driver is not installed or not working, or if the NVidia is disabled in device manager. If so, battery life maxes at 4 something hours because the NVidia chip has no way to turn off. It is 'turned off' in normal operation to save power except when 3D/Games need it. Disabling/no drivers for the Nvidia chip draws a lot of power despite the chip doing nothing. At idle/min screen brightness/no activity after a fresh install of windows 8.1Pro/64 with all drivers installed, I often see 16 hour battery life on the lower right icon with a fully charged battery. Of course, use the computer for anything and that number drops to around 10 or less, depending on the workload. Idle battery life depends a lot on the devices being 'enabled' so they can be put to sleep. If devices are disabled, then they won't allow the lower power modes to occur. (This includes choosing the touchpad software driver option of disabling the touchpad if a mouse is used - the disabled touchpad has a minor reduction in idle battery life because it cant be told to go to lower power modes.) My personal preference is to install dell provided drivers EXCEPT for the display drivers. Those I get from the intel download center (4600) and Nvidia (750M).
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jordanneenan
1 Nickel

RE: Battery life has dropped ~50% since installing stock Windows 8.1 Pro

Thanks for your reply,

I have had issues with the display drivers switching between GPUs (I couldn't get the dedicated card to kick in for games) but I fixed it by wiping the drivers - including any files that the uninstaller missed, and then reinstalled from intel and nvidia respectively. This fixed the swapping issue but didn't have any effect on the battery life. It seems unlikely that after completely uninstalling and reinstalling the display drivers that it would be the nvidia card causing the issue, do you think?

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Ken PC
2 Bronze

RE: Battery life has dropped ~50% since installing stock Windows 8.1 Pro

If you had GPU switching problems, then perhaps a windows restore to a much earlier point or a clean install is in order. I know this can be laborious, but it will set all the files and system 'in order' again. It might be possible that some of the deleted files were 'windows' files and not 'driver' files, or the windows registry is now somewhat scrambled. But to check the video chip power management, try this test - fully charge the battery, put the screen on Min brightness when on battery power, and set power saver to allow the screen to stay on for at least 30 mins. Restart on battery power, go to desktop and do NOTHING except monitor the battery indicator at the lower right every 5 to 10 mins. You should get about 7 or more hours per the battery icon. If so, then the video chip IS getting turned off properly and the battery life problem is elsewhere. For instance, the screen takes a lot of power - running at full or near full bright will bring that battery life number down a lot. And, if you do a clean install, I would recommend using the DELL drivers from the website, except it seems OK to update to the Nvidia driver from Nvidia, the Intel Graphics driver from Intel, and the 7260 wireless drivers from Intel.
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