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Z790-E + 13700k : Windows Power Plan - Balanced or High Performance?

Level 9

So this is my first p-core / e-core CPU and I'm trying to gather some information about which power plan is the best to use on my desktop gaming system.

I like balanced plan for it's ability to down clock the CPU when I'm just web surfing / watching videos.

My questions so far are :

Does it hurt the CPU having all the clocks at max all the time when using the high performance plan?

How much performance am I losing out on using the Balanced plan? 10%? 5% 1%?

Is there a way to use the High Performance Plan and still have the CPU down clock when not gaming?

I've seen a few posts online saying the p-cores / e-cores are treated differently between those 2 power plans. What are those differences?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!




Level 17

You will do no harm by selecting the high performance plan. But, you probably won't benefit from that and the CPU will consume more power. If you want to know the difference, try running a CPU intensive benchmark like R23 with each setting. I just use balanced and performance is plenty. The clocks will jus6t boost when needed. If you do want/need max performance then you could also try AI overclock or TVB (Thermal Velocity Boost) in BIOS. These are both single click overclock options and they worked great for me when I tried them. To be honest though, I noticed no difference in practice and didn't want the extra power consumption, so I just turned them both back off. 

Z690 Hero, 12900K, BIOS 3603, MEI 2407.6.1.0, ME Firmware, 7000X Case, RM1000x PSU, ASUS TUF OC 3090TI, 2 x 16GB Corsair RAM @ 5200MHz, Windows 11 Pro 23H2, Corsair H150i Elite AIO, 4x Corsair RGB fans, 3x M.2 NVME drives, 2x SATA SSDs, 2x SATA HDs.

Level 13

you re on windows 11? if so is that is automatic (regarding Pcores and Ecores) 

you can keep balance or high performace. both way will work fine. 

you will notice any % lose on any way if you use p cores or e cores. On windows 11 the use of the cores are for use only. the cpu will boost as need. what power plan will do the minimum is always apply. but in the end is the same


Learn, Play Enjoy! We help and collaborate, NOT complain!

Level 9

Thank you for the responses so far (and yes I'm using Windows 11 22H2)

I've done a little further research and stumbled upon this response on another site:

"There is a huge misunderstanding about this as well.
Just because a CPU for example is perhaps being forced to run at its max clocks; does not in-turn mean it is then outputting that max TDP. The TDP still remains dynamic, regardless of clocks. As clocks are just a frequency for data throughput, TDP is the actual power draws."

So I loaded up HWiNFO64 to test this out and interestingly enough this was true. 

Using the Balanced or High Performance plans showed only using 13 watts "CPU Package Power" while windows is in idle - and ramped up to the same wattage in game.

The only other thing I could find was someone saying the HP plan reduces latency from the clocks having to cycling up and down in the balanced plan.

I'm starting to get a better picture to this puzzle. I wish Windows would just clearly state this plan does ABC, that plan does XYZ.


Well, I've learnt something new from the comments here. Thanks all. 

Z690 Hero, 12900K, BIOS 3603, MEI 2407.6.1.0, ME Firmware, 7000X Case, RM1000x PSU, ASUS TUF OC 3090TI, 2 x 16GB Corsair RAM @ 5200MHz, Windows 11 Pro 23H2, Corsair H150i Elite AIO, 4x Corsair RGB fans, 3x M.2 NVME drives, 2x SATA SSDs, 2x SATA HDs.

Level 11

The only issue I see with "High Performance" is the voltage is also much higher than balanced it's the reason I don't use high performance unless gaming however I have it automated as I use an app called "Park Control" 


Not sure if I am able to post links here or not but basically I use it for 2 reasons, 1 being Windows 11 parks the cores on these multicore CPU's so I use it to permanently unpark all the 16 cores of my 12900K but also You can set the utility to automatically change your power profile to  High Performance when you are using your system and you can set an Idle timeout so that if you are not using your system for X amount of minutes it will revert back to whatever power profile you want it to ie I have mine go back to balanced when I am not using my system for 5 mins.

I will have to double check later tonight, but I didn't recall seeing any voltage differences between the two power plans.

If you saw this with HWiNFO, could you let me know the exact name where you saw the difference?

Also I'll take a peak at that app - thanks for the info!

Yes if you look at CPU VCore My balanced voltage is approx 0.6-0.9 currently 0.835 and High Performance is the other one that is currently at 1.305 that one fluctuates anything from 1.1-1.35 depending on OS spikes.Screenshot 2023-04-27 215658.pngScreenshot 2023-04-27 215728.png

Ok I am seeing the same thing as you for the v-cores. The high performance plan is keeping it around 1.25v and max spike of 1.31v.

I guess my only question now is ... Does keeping it at this voltage hurt the CPU in any way? Or is this just an issue of using more power?

That's the million dollar question I have been wanting to know myself simply because it is far far easier to overclock a CPU with manual fixed voltage however I do not know if it degrades the CPU any faster, Unfortunately I do not know, I can't imagine it doing it any good being at full voltage all the time but in all honesty I do not know the answer to that question.